SDI Sidemount Diver



The SDI Sidemount course is designed to teach certified divers how to safely utilize side-mounted primary cylinders as an alternative to the traditional back-mounted configuration.  The course is strictly non-decompression with a maximum depth limit of 40m/130ft, or within the limit of the student's current certification, whichever is shallower.  

Who this SDI course is for:

  • The certified diver looking to use a sidemount cylinder instead of the standard back mount unit.

Course prerequisites:

  • SDI Open Water Scuba Diver or equivalent
  • Minimum age 18, 15 with parental consent (a parent or legal guardian must watch this Risk Awareness Video and contact us prior to signing up)

What you can expect to learn:

The SDI Sidemount Diver Course takes an in-depth look at all of the following and more:

  • 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 required skills you will have to demonstrate include:

  • Plan dive
  • Test and check all equipment (depth gauges, bottom timers/watches and computers)
  • Familiarization with area
  • Descend to planned 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

What’s in it for you?

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

  • Safety stops as appropriate
  • Planned dives do not exceed diver’s current certification level

Also, the SDI Sidemount Diver certification counts towards a single specialty rating to achieve the SDI Advanced Diver Development program.

SDI Sidemount Diver minimum requirements:

  • Perform all land drills and open water dive requirements safely and efficiently
  • Demonstrate mature, sound judgment concerning dive planning and execution
  • Log all dives

Prior to signing up:

-You must be 18 years of age.  Minors may enroll at 15 years of age, but a parent or legal guardian must watch this Risk Awareness Video and contact us prior to signing up

-No equipment is provided.  It is the responsibility of the student to provide all required equipment.  Please contact us for a complete list of required equipment.   

-If you are giving a course as a gift, please contact us.  

-Understand there is a $50 rescheduling fee if you do not arrive on time to the first academic session, you arrive and have not completed the academic portion, or you do not bring your medical clearance to dive, if required.   

-Review the General Liability Release.

-Review the Medical Questionnaire.  The purpose of this Medical Questionnaire is to find out if you should be examined by your doctor before participating in recreational diver training. A positive response to a question does not necessarily disqualify you from diving. A positive response means that there is a preexisting condition that may affect your safety while diving and you must seek the advice of your physician prior to engaging in dive activities.

-Watch this Risk Awareness Video

-If you have any other questions or concerns please contact us.

After you register:

-Sign up for an SDI account here (if you don't have an account yet).  If you already have an account you will receive your online access code within 24 hours. 

-Let us know you've signed up here making sure to use the same email you used on the SDI/TDI website.  

-You will receive your online access code within 24 hours.  Your access code is included in the course fee.  Please do not purchase a code from the SDI website.  If you do, we will not be able to refund or prorate your course fees.  

-Complete your online academics and obtain medical clearance to dive, if necessary. 

-Arrive on time for the first session with all required equipment, an ink pen, and medical clearance to dive, if required.  


Skill Level: Specialty
Materials Included: Everything but equipment. Sidemount equipment available for purchase or rent.
Requirements: SDI Open Water Scuba Diver or equivelent.
Instructor: TBD
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This class cannot be purchased online. Please contact the store for more information.