recreational diving

3 Reasons Why You Should Consider Side Mount Scuba Diving

“Side Mount” (sometimes written “sidemount”) is a scuba equipment configuration that has been steadily growing in popularity among divers in recent years. Instead of the usual configuration wherein your cylinder is propped behind your back, side mounts, as the name implies, place your cylinders to your sides.

A scuba diver using the side mount configuration

Side Mounts used to be confined among cave divers, but with recent advances in scuba technology and equipment materials, other types of divers have been adopting the side-mounted configuration as well, and there are some pretty good reasons for that.

  1. Better control
  2. An advantage to using a side-mounted configuration is improved streamlining. Cave divers used this advantage to gain access to areas with restrictions and proceed diving without much disturbance to their underwater environment. For other types of diving, such as open water diving, using side mounts can decrease drag and provide you with better buoyancy control and enhanced response with each kick, even with challenging currents.

  3. Improved safety and comfort
  4. Perhaps some of the main advantages to using a side mount configuration lie in the improvements to safety and comfort. With your cylinder to your side, you’ll have better visual and physical access to your cylinder valve and first stage regulator, which makes it easier to spot and solve trouble while you’re in the water. Being more visually aware of your cylinders and having them tucked in a more protected position underneath your arm, you also lessen the risk of damaging your valve and first-stage regulator while diving.

    Being in a side mount frees your back from the bulk of a traditionally mounted cylinder, which enables you to flex your spine and, in the case of smaller divers, move your head more freely. Your improved profile underwater also enables you to use your fins more efficiently by lessening drag, making you spend less energy to move around, and therefore consume less air.

    With side mounts, you also have the option to mount your cylinders while in the water, which is a relief if you find entering with a cylinder to your back cumbersome, or if you have a condition which makes it difficult to do so. But if you’re used to doing a back roll or giant stride for your entry, they’re still possible even if you’re on side mounts.

  5. A side mount provides you with room to grow and develop your diving skills
  6. When the itch for more advanced dives (such as wreck diving) bites you, rest assured that you already have a capable system with you. What’s left for you is to get the proper training and certification for the dive.

Aquamundo offers side mount certified divers the Aquamundo Side Mount System. Made of high-quality materials and featuring a flexible design, Aquamundo’s Side Mount System comes complete with everything you need in a side mount configuration. Aquamundo’s Side Mount System has been tried and tested by renowned Technical Diving instructor Andy Davis, and recommended for both recreational and technical divers alike.

Aquamundo Sidemount System

For more information about the Aquamundo Side Mount System, don’t hesitate to contact us at Aquamundo Sports.

Panglao Island Scuba Diving and the International Dive Fiesta

The International Dive Fiesta will be held in Panglao Island tomorrow and it’s going to be a big event where divers can check out the latest gear, talk with fellow dive enthusiasts, and watch or participate in special diving events. For those who haven’t been to the place yet, or plan on doing so in the future, here’s a primer on Panglao Island and why it figures prominently within local dive groups and communities.

Panglao Island is a small island located southwest of the island of Bohol. It has a population of more than 68,000 people, and most of them rely on tourism for their livelihood. The terrain is hilly, and one of its interesting geological features includes the Hinagdanan cave, a limestone cave which houses rock formations and a lagoon. Another prominent feature of Panglao are its beaches and dive sites. With white coral sand and clear blue waters, Panglao Island has been a favorite among divers and simple beach-goers alike.

Rich Marine Life
Panglao Island boasts of its diverse marine life, and it is no empty claim. In a study, more species of mollusks were found within a 15,000 hectare area of Panglao, compared to the 300 million hectares of study area in the Mediterranean. Due to the rich biodiversity of its marine life, it has attracted the attention of conservationists and recreational divers alike.

There are a number of beautiful dive sites within the area of Panglao Island. These include Napaling, Doljo Point, Kalipayan, the Habagat Wreck, and the Balicasag Dive Sites, to name a few. Panglao Island’s dive sites offer different kinds of diving experiences, with dive depth for the different dive sites ranging between 3 meters to 60 meters. A multitude of marine life can be spotted within these dive sites like lion fish, white tip sharks, moray eels, sea snakes, and a whole lot more, often with colorful corals as their backdrop.

International Dive Fiesta
Panglao, in cooperation with the Philippine Department of Tourism, will be hosting this year’s International Dive Fiesta. A lot of activities have been prepared for divers from all over the country and abroad, and Aquamundo will be a part of the festivities. Aquamundo will be holding a Technical Repair Seminar, and is inviting everyone to join. The International Dive Fiesta will be held at the Alona Central Parking Area, and will take place from June 12 – 15, 2014. See you there!

Aquamundo International Dive Fiesta Panglao