“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.
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.
- Better control
- Improved safety and comfort
- A side mount provides you with room to grow and develop your diving skills
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.
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.
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.
For more information about the Aquamundo Side Mount System, don’t hesitate to contact us at Aquamundo Sports.