So are we just “Hyping” a new thing to get you to do more training? Are you asking yourself, “Self - Why would I want to hang more cylinders off my body?” Is this just another angle to spend more money?!
We’ll I am “Hyping” the Sidemount wave! True! But it’s not a “New” thing. I’m hyping it for a number of reasons….most of which answers the other two questions! (… And by the way if you are really talking to yourself about this….seek help!)
I gotta admit that I first showed interest in Sidemount when the new specialty came out for PADI and I really didn’t know what it was. Then I became heavily involved in helping and training divers with back injuries and handicaps and it kind of dawned on me that there might be some benefits here for those folks….and then I connected those divers who “Really enjoy their air” i.e. Air hogs...and finally I got the deep diving bug and it all came together.
So, I took the class. It started out awkward and then quickly became rather cool….especially the part where I walk down to the water without lugging he two Steel 100’s on my back! And I gotta admit, the Hollis SMS-100D looks and wears very cool.
So, what are the benefits of Sidemount diving?
- With a proper side mount configuration a diver can transport two much smaller cylinders to the water before gearing up reducing the weight of scuba gear on the surface and during entry and exit points, including on boat dives!
- Two independent air sources and redundant gages underwater!
- Increased ability to move weight (cylinders) for proper, comfortable trim
- More streamlined underwater…believe it or not it’s true!
- Increased ability to access gear underwater ( Open and shutting down air, etc)
- Weight off of the back!
Hey, don’t take my word for it…come try it out! … Jeff