Slide Sidemount Diver Course

Sidemount Diver Course:

This course is designed to teach certified divers how to safely utilize side-mounted primary cylinders as an alternative to the traditional back-mounted configuration.

Also, it can be combined with other TDI courses such as Decompression Procedures, Extended Range, Trimix, Advanced Trimix, and Advanced Wreck. If combined the standards for both courses must be met.

Qualifications of Graduates:

Upon successful completion of this course, graduates may engage in sidemount diving activities without direct supervision so long as the following limits are adhered to:

  1. Safety and decompression stop as appropriate or necessary.
  2. Planned dives do not exceed the diver’s current certification level.

Student Prerequisites:

  1. Minimum age 18.
  2. Certification; SDI Open Water Scuba Diver or the equivalent.

Course Structure and Duration:

Water execution:

  • Three dives are required with a minimum accumulated bottom time of 90 minutes.


  1. 4 hours of classroom and briefing.
  2. The course must be taught over a minimum of 2 days.

Required Equipment:

The following equipment is required for each student:

  1. Dual cylinders, volume appropriate for planned dive, and student gas consumption.
  2. Two independent first and second stage regulators each with a submersible pressure gauge.
  3. Buoyancy compensator device (BCD) with power inflator appropriate for sidemount configuration.
  4. Exposure suit adequate for the diving environment.
  5. Mask and fins.
  6. Dive computer and an additional depth and timing device; backup computer recommended.

The student must perform the following in-water skills during dives:

  1. Demonstrate various propulsion techniques: frog kick, modified frog kick, modified flutter kick, backward kick, helicopter turns, and hand pulling if appropriate for the environment.
  2. Display adequate buoyancy control; ability to hover at a fixed position in water column without moving hands or feet.
  3. Show adequate trim; ability to maintain proper position during the descent, bottom, and ascent portion of the dive.
  4. Demonstrate the ability to perform the following exercises while maintaining trim and buoyancy in the water column:
  5. Unclipping and attaching sidemount cylinders.
  6. Perform gas switches with and without a mask.
  7. Demonstrate the ability to safely manage gas in independent cylinders.
  8. Display conservation, awareness, and back referencing techniques.
  9. Deploy a lift bag.
  10. In order to complete this course, students must:
  • Perform all land drills and dive requirements safely and efficiently.
  • Demonstrate mature, sound judgment concerning dive planning and execution.
  • Maintain an appropriate level of awareness and respect for the environment.
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