SSI – Recreational Sidemount Diving

Le cours Plongée Loisir en Configuration Latérale – SSI – Recreational Sidemount Diving est l’un des cours ou il est important d’avoir un instructeur qui connais très bien et utilise lui même cette configuration. C’est la que nos experts se démarquent de la compétition ayant un savoir approfondi sur le sujet. Ils vont bien au delà des standards fixés par les agences avec du matériel pédagogique fait maison et très avancé.

Where does Sidemount come from and what is it

Ce type de configuration est née du besoin que certains explorateurs avancés avaient pour entrer dans de petites ouvertures lors de plongée en caverne ou en épaves. Le fait d’avoir les cylindres de plongée à ses coté permet de réduire l’épaisseur ou profil d’un plongeur n’ayant pas le cylindre sur le dos. Mais c’est plus que cela. L’accès au points d’attache est facile et permet de détacher facilement le cylindre avec son ensemble de détendeur du plongeur. Cela est utile pour des espaces restreint ou l’on doit passer les cylindres devant ou à l’arrière.

This type of configuration came from the need of some advanced explorers for a setup that would allow them to get through tight passages and restrictions when cave or wreck diving. To have the cylinder along the sides of the body help reduce the thickness of the diver profile.

You learn in details the different types of configuration for sidemount and their history. They were adapted to the local conditions and to the needs of different divers.

The theory behind sidemount diving

The theoretical part of the course is not complex as this course is much more focused on skills.

You will learn about the history of sidemount and what it has been used for. You will also view how gas management can affect your buoyancy and other things that are different compared to back mount diving.

The practical part and the pool sessions

The practical part starts with a workshop on adjustment and configuration of the sidemount harness and buoyancy compensator. This must be the most crucial part of the course and is the one that too many instructors shorten too much. Being the base of the equipment the harness and wing adjustment has an impact on all that comes after. Hence it is very important that we pay attention to details in this step.

Then another workshop focused on the tanks takes place. They and the valves mounted on them plays an important role in sidemount diving.

Then comes the pool sessions which aim to offer you an environment where it is easy to experiment and adjust and configure the gear.

Dives in open water

The dives in open water expose students to all the steps of real diving in sidemount configuration. The preparation required. The entry and exits with one and two tanks. As well as the gas management, emergency procedures, buoyancy, trim, and propulsion.

Through these dives, your instructor allocates problems to solve but also offer guidance in the use of the sidemount equipment. To have an external pair of eyes is the best way to find and resolves less than optimal configuration.

The typical flow of the course

The SSI – Recreational Sidemount Diving course can be completed as the basic course with 4 dives in 3 days. But because of the very specialized equipment and techniques, we strongly recommend the option of more time with your instructor. This also comes with 2 extra dives.

Example schedule of a 6 dives program

Morning Afternoon
  • Account setup with SSI
  • Forms and payment
  • Academic presentation
  • Self-Study
  • Configuration and adjustment workshop
  • Pool sessions
  • Self-study
  • Breakfast at the dive center
  • Planning and briefing of the first dive
  • First dive
  • Debriefing
  • Lunch on the boat
  • Predive planning of the second dive
  • 2nd dive
  • Debriefing
  • Logbook entries on the way back or at the dive center
  • Pool sessions if required
  • Breakfast at the dive center
  • Planning and briefing of the dive
  • Third dive
  • Debriefing
  • Lunch on the boat
  • Predive planning of the dive
  • Fourth dive
  • Debriefing
  • Logbook entries on the way back or at the dive center
  • Breakfast at the dive center
  • Planning and briefing of the dive
  • Fifth dive
  • Debriefing
  • Lunch on the boat
  • Predive planning of the 6th dive
  • Last dive
  • Debriefing
  • Logbook entries on the way back or at the dive center
  • Certification

Course prerequisites

To enroll in the SSI – Recreational Sidemount Diving course you need to be at least 12 years. You also need to be certified as an SSI – Open Water Diver or have an equivalent certificate with another agency.

For participants that are less than 18 years old, they need to have a written permission and all their related paperwork signed by a parent or legal guardian.

As stated before, this course is quite specialized and requires a great grasp of fundamental skills. Most definitely in trim and buoyancy as well as propulsion techniques. Remediation by the instructor is possible in the pool prior to the beginning of the course.

  • Be certified as an SSI – Open Water Diver or have an equivalent certification
  • 12 years old
  • Demonstrate adequate fundamental skills

What is included in the SSI – Recreational Sidemount Diving specialty course

To make it easy for you, we included in our prices everything you need for the course. Bring your sunscreen, your towel and you are good to go.

  • The SSI course material for the duration of the course in electronic format.
  • The experienced sidemount instructor
  • The required equipment for the course composed of a mask, fins, shorty wetsuit, harness and buoyancy compensator, weights, compass, dive computer and two sets of regulators with tower and 5th port optimized and configured for sidemount.
  • Tanks mounted with long post valves for sidemount and fill as needed.
  • Les repas lors des sorties en bateau qui comprend un petit déjeuner et un déjeuner ainsi que les rafraîchissements; fruits, thé, café, boissons gazeuses, électrolytes et bien évidement de l’eau pour boire.

Packages offered

The basic price includes 4 dives but you have the options to add more days.

SSI – Recreational Sidemount Diving basic package including 4 dives and done on 4 days 14,000
The option of 2 additional dives with your instructor +1,800
Prices are subject to changes without prior notice. We recommend to contact us directly to obtain up to date prices and a more personalized service.

What you need to know about the SSI – Recreational Sidemount Diving

The SSI – Recreational Sidemount Diving specialty is a course where the teaching becomes limited at a certain point. It comes mostly down to the skills and understanding of each participant. Our professionals will give you all the knowledge and tools for you to be autonomous after the course.

This course does not cover the use of more than two cylinders. It is covered in the SSI – Technical Sidemount Diving course

After the SSI – Recreational Sidemount Diving specialty course

It possible to combine this course with other SSI – Specialty Courses. A good example is the SSI – Independent Diving course where the use of a complete secondary source of air is required. The course is also a good complement of the SSI – Deep Diving specialty.

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