Sidemount (SDI)


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Why Sidemount? Aside from looking like an absolute beast, Sidmounting is great for divers who are looking to extend their range, considering decompression diving, and is a perfect option for those who are looking to advance their skills but either can’t or don’t want to carry around double tanks on their back. Diving Sidemount also decreases your profile underwater, allowing for easy passage through narrow openings; your tanks are constantly available for you to manage; and again, you look like a BEAST.

There are two Sidemount courses: SDI and TDI. The SDI course teaches the basics. Here divers learn about the gear, how to set it up for a variety of diving conditions, different BCD configurations; regulator types; hose routing options; and most importantly, how to set up and adjust your trim for epic level buoyancy and efficiency of movement under water.

The TDI Sidemount course goes a step farther, instructing the student on how to dive with additional stage tanks and is typically taught in combination with advanced courses like Decompression Procedures or Extended Range.

Prerequisites: in order to take this Spartan course, divers much have their basic open water certification through any recognized agency; you must have at least 50 logged dives under your belt with a good handle on your buoyancy; divers must be 18 at sign-up, or 15 with parent approval. On top of this, Spartan Scuba finds this course is more easily conquered by divers who are both drysuit and deep certified (to 130 feet), although neither of these is a requirement.

Interested? Then read on!

Here’s some of the things you’ll learn in this course:

  • Gas management utilizing independent cylinders
  • Equipment considerations – Cylinder options Regulator options; Buoyancy compensator device (BCD)/harness options; Proper weighting; Equipment configurations.
  • Communication – Hand signals
  • Problem solving – Gas-sharing; Gas hemorrhages
  • Water entries – Shore; Boat
  • S-Drills (specific to sidemount)

Some of the skills you are required to demonstrate include:

  • Plan dive
  • Set up equipment, including hose routing and tank banding
  • Test and check all equipment (depth gauges, bottom timers/watches and computers)
  • Familiarization with area
  • Descend to planed depth and not exceed any pre-planned limits
  • Demonstrate the ability to safely manage gas in independent cylinders
  • Monitor depth/time/air consumption, figure all times on slate
  • Demonstrate ability to control buoyancy
  • Attaching sidemount cylinders while – Out of water; On surface standing on bottom; On surface in water to deep to stand; At depth
  • Perform gas switches
  • Perform safety stops

The following equipment is required for each student:

  1. Cylinder(s), volume appropriate for planned dive, and student gas consumption
  2. Regulators appropriate for the cylinder configuration with a pressure gauge on each first stage and a total of two second stages
  3. Buoyancy compensator device (BCD) with power inflator appropriate for sidemount configuration
  4. Exposure suit adequate for diving environment
  5. Mask and fins
  6. Dive computer
  7. Compass
  8. Rescue signal

Included in cost of course:

  • Sidemount specific gear if not owned – Sidemount BCD; Tank(s); Tank rigging; Complete regulator kit (1st and 2nd stage with SPG and short hoses); AI dive computer with two transmitters
  •  eLearning
  • All academic and open water time with instructional team
  • Certification card upon completion
  • Privilege of becoming a Spartan Sidemount Diver!

What’s not included:

  • Tansportation to dive site
  • Food and lodging
  • Air fills
  • Failure



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