The history of Sidemount diving goes back to cave diving in the early 1960s. Around the mid 90s, Sidemount systems were becoming increasing more popular and commercial manufacturers began producing Sidemount commercially.
In 2010 Hollis bought Sidemounts to Australia. At that time Jamie Miller was trained by the world’s leading authority on Sidemount diving, Jeff Loflin. Jamie fell in love with fell in love with Sidemount diving and today is Australia’s leading PADI Instructor and PADI Instructor Trainer for Sidemount diving.
There are many reasons divers choose to dive Sidemount. These range from comfort reasons, to extended dive times, to technical diving needs. Some of the benefits are as follows:
- Increased Gas Supply: two (2) independent air sources for redundancy and/or extended dive times. Recreationally, you get to dive twice as long as single tank divers, so you can see areas single tank divers don’t and experience twice as much!
- Improved air consumption: in Sidemount, you have an increased ability to move weight and the cylinders for proper trim, creating a more natural and comfortable position in the water. This reduces fatigue, stress and improves air consumption!
- Versatile: Sidemount is great for a variety of recreational diving activities. Even if using a singular tank in Sidemount configuration. It is suitable for a number of entries & exits – both on shore and from a boat.
- Improved streamlining: when either single or dual cylinders are required, Sidemount can reduce drag and avoid contact with overhead environments.
- Easier equipment transport: with Sidemount you have the ability to transport 2 smaller independent tanks to the water before gearing up, reducing weight on land and during entry/exits.
- Safety: you have an increased ability to access gear (valves/hoses etc) underwater should you have any equipment issues.
- Problem solving and redundancy: with a two (2) cylinder Sidemount configuration you have two (2) independent regulator systems, so you can handle a low on air/out of gas problem without needing your buddy’s primary alternate air source.