A sneak preview by Jim Thompson

I have recently been lucky enough to get sent a prototype sidemount rig produced by Aquamundo. Here at Liquid all of our rental equipment available is from Aquamundo. The equipment stands up to the battering and bruising that Open Water students,through to trained dive masters can throw at it. As a bustling 5* PADI Dive Resort we recognise the need for tough, long lasting and high quality equipment.

I had only spoken to Adie Espino a month or two ago, but decided it might be time to bother her again and see if they were any closer to a release. Low and behold, Adie was kind enough to offer to ship me the prototype rig to have a play around with before the coming release. A few subtle hints to some colleagues here at Liquid and some envious faces around. I don‘t quite know how this was managed in a country dispersed with so much water (lucky us) but the package arrived in what felt like about 12 hours! Top stuff and top service again.

So, unpacking the box…..exciting stuff. Without giving much away I am happy to say Aquamundo have stuck to a nice simplistic design. For the avid technical diver this is perfect. Less things to go wrong in the system in the first place! Setting up the harness was quick and easy, but then I am an old hand at this a little now. With six Aquamundo backplate and wing rigs available for rental, you get used to adjusting for divers on a regular basis. Getting the bungee setup correctly was a little bit more tricky, and as it was the prototype, I didn‘t feel obliged to take off what was on and swap it out for my own. This is something that would take all of five minutes and a few piston clips to sort out, given I had my own Aquamundo Sidemount equipment.

The plate design is exactly what I like and something I have been looking forward to fora while. 2 small plates of lovely stainless steel holds the webbing and components together. It also means that getting trimmed out into a zen like horizontal position takes 2 easy steps…..deflate and swim! I have never felt so streamlined in the water and frog kicks moved me more efficiently than in backmounted doubles. Unfortunately I didn’t get opportunity to test the rig for a more technically challenging dive, so I can’t comment on how well it would handle stage or decompression cylinders. I am certainly looking forward to finding out when the model goes on sale.

A huge advantage I see to those travelling around a lot is the weight of the entire unit.The Aquamundo sidemount set up with a set of their Ventec fins would serve the most demanding of divers and travellers, without tipping the scales at airport check-in or breaking the bank.

I am very reluctant to give away too much information about the product itself until the final release, however I can assure you of the following:

  • Comfortable
  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to set up
  • Easier to dive
  • Lots of fun
  • Fantastic customer support

Engineered to be a simple design that does exactly what I need
I would just like to say a personal thank you again to Aquamundo Sports for this opportunity and fantastic customer service and product support. The Liquid Dumaguete dive team looks forward to a long established relationship and working with Aquamundo in the future! A second thanks goes to Dennis Grunwald and Sandra Vennix for their assistance and photography during these dives.

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