Sidemount Diving

Hello dear followers! I have been thinking about something and I wanted to write about it and maybe you can share your experiences.

I am so used to just one cylinder on my back, like we learn it in our basic courses. But lately, I often see people diving with two cylinders, one on each side of their body. I wondered why they do that and I started doing some research online and talking to my dive buddies. So what is this sidemount fuzz all about?

The first thing I found out is that many of those divers are technical divers. They go either very deep or stay very long in the water. So why were they using it on the same dives as I make with my single cylinder? For safety, they told me. And that makes good sense. If you have two cylinders and one fails, you always have a backup to safely finish the dive. I think it is an awesome idea. Another guy told me he had back problems and it is difficult for him to carry all that heavy equipment. He explained to me that he simply brings his two tanks to the waterside and clips his tanks on his sides while he is in the water. So he never carries anything on his back and can still enjoy his favorite watersport. 

I have read many discussions online and there seem to be huge fans and other people think it is just silly and a show off.

When researching online, I found out that it is very popular in Yucatán in Mexico. There are lots of cenotes and caves there and sidemount diving seems to be one of the favourite systems to enter caves. Actually, sidemount diving has been invented by cave divers because they often had to squeeze through small passages, called restrictions in dive lingo. A cylinder on their back wasn’t suitable to pass through, so they invented a system where the cylinders are under the armpits and they can even remove the cylinder underwater so they can squeeze through those restrictions without any gear on them. How cool is that?

To me, it seems interesting. I really want to dive longer and deeper. And who knows, maybe go explore a cave one day. But I am not there yet, I need to dive a lot more to get more experience and get more training. But I feel tempted to try it out. 

Have you tried it out or do you already use sidemount? What is your opinion? I am curious to hear what everybody thinks. 

Ethan and David

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