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Having seen the plethora of sidemount rigs coming into the country now from a variety of manufacturers, the ever-growing number of courses on offer, and the zealous way this is being taken up by some people, I am keen to gauge reaction from the Yorkshire Diver ranks. I know that several of you already dive sidemount, and others might have dabbled (as I have), but I want to ask:

Sidemount - is this the 'next big thing'? CCRs are all the talk of the town, but the price puts these out of the reach of a lot of people, while sidemount rigs allow you to utilise much of what you already own. So what do you think of sidemount? Is it here to stay? A bit of a gimmick in open water? What are the pros and cons from your perspective?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Cheers

Mark
 

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No it's a fad and will pass quickly IMHO. It's useful for some people - the missus and I looked at it for cave diving to make carrying the kit easier. I hated it and will go the independent twin (back mounted) route. Lots of people ask us about the course but none seemed to have an idea why they wanted to do it.

The main advantage (for me) was being able to carry cylinders one at a time rather than a twinset. This is not an issue if you're on a boat but is a major PITA if you are climbing up (or down) adverse terrain.

Once kitted out (we use Ali 80s) the tanks were bulky and intrusive. The SPGs were too near too my face and I hated the trim and the whole feel of the rig. Getting in and out the water was a pain and somewhere like Source de Doubs it would be enough to put me off the dive altogether.

For open water its a daft idea IMPO.

If you need to get through small spaces in wrecks or caves you need this set up. But the open water course doesn't cover that environment. It's a kit fad in my mind, for people that faff about with kit rather than actually go diving. If you need it fair enough (and I can recommend Ian France as a good instructor) but I doubt very many people need it. Badge collection ;)

PS the US made kit is rubbish - Dive Rite Nomad etc. Forced to use it as it's CE. Total crap (all of them not just the DR) Ian's home made kit is what you needed. (Non CE - can't teach it) Popularity of courses driven by kit manufacturers and dive media...
 

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Funnily enough, I've just enquired about taking the first steps towards sidemount diving at my lds. I had no idea it was a newish idea, I just like the idea of diving with twin tanks but not on my poor old back!
All the divers I've seen using sidemounts have been diving beautifully, something I want to emulate.
 

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The next big thing? I thought it was the last big thing? Some of us were diving sidemount 10 years ago, the guys who taught me doing it 25 years ago.

It is just a case of the mainstream working out that there is a lot to learn from those who specialise in a particular area, even if not the complete system at least some of it benefits them.

Having used a scooter and sidemounts, I managed to get about 20% off my resting SAC while pootling around a dive. Even without the scooter it was still 10%+ off on normal dives. The lack of drag just diving with a suit and a couple of tins is really nice.

Digs.
 

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Having seen the plethora of sidemount rigs coming into the country now from a variety of manufacturers, the ever-growing number of courses on offer, and the zealous way this is being taken up by some people, I am keen to gauge reaction from the Yorkshire Diver ranks. I know that several of you already dive sidemount, and others might have dabbled (as I have), but I want to ask:

Sidemount - is this the 'next big thing'? CCRs are all the talk of the town, but the price puts these out of the reach of a lot of people, while sidemount rigs allow you to utilise much of what you already own. So what do you think of sidemount? Is it here to stay? A bit of a gimmick in open water? What are the pros and cons from your perspective?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Cheers

Mark
It probably is the "next big thing" but like all "next big things", it will soon be "last year's big thing" and out of fashion...
 

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Sidemount has been around for years! It's just come into the more public/recreational eye thanks to rigs like the Razor by Steve Bogaerts and the Nomad etc.
It's awesome for people who have back issues (like me), with an Instructor who knows what they're doing (I reccomend Garry Dallas, he lives breathes and sleeps Sidemount!), you'll adapt in no time.

Higher interest -> people wanting to jump on the £££ opportunity = Lot's of different rigs trying to do the same thing with little idea.
There will be people who will jump on the bandwagon and get off when the "hype" dies down but, its here to stay =]
 

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Fad's already over.....

TBH i love it, and my favourite dive gear IS the Nomad..... AND i take it out in open water... AND off boats...

But, yep, the Fads over.... now back to those who actually just like diving the setup ;)
 

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It's a fad, people were doing it ages ago - and it really is just "Indie Twins" but not on your back...

Strange how all the people claiming "your gonna die" when Indie's get mentioned haven't said the same about sidemount, perhaps it's cos..... nah, it's not Friday yet!!!
 

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Yup.

The fad was noticeably getting going in a big way about 2 years ago, and continuing last year.
I think this year's abysmal weather has nipped it in the bud for now - but it might come back strong next if it's a better summer.
But I doubt it.

The club I'm in is 80 strong, with @ 40 active divers - in central London. How many of those do you think either dive sidemount or have a noticeable interest?
None.
 

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I dont care if it is a passing fad or something here to stay but I really cant see a benefit for it on open water dives. Sure in confined spaces it has it's role but in the wide open seas I would prefer one of the more conventional methods but that is just me.

Each to their own but I do not see why so many get worked up about it on either side of the fence
 

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I can confirm that whoever designed the passageways in the Scylla that people aren't supposed to get into, that they didn't think about sidemounts ;)

I also tried a no mount entry from the deck that apparently would have lead to a munitions room. Or a dead end. I only got a few feet down it, but it was scary enough being boxed in all sides and zero viz in the dark.

Digs.
 

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It has been used for a log time with a specific purpose, but recently the dive industry saw it as a way to make money. Whereas kit was previously home made or adapted it is now being sold fully assembled, ready to dive, CE marked. Of course selling it only to people who really need side mount configuration wouldn't be profitable so they are trying to make all divers believe that it's the next big thing and that everyone would benefit from it. I think people just have to weight the pros and cons and in my opinion, for an open water diver there are more cons.
 

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It isn't the next big thing
It isn't the current big thing
It isn't the last big thing

It is just a thing, a thing to get people to part with more cash, once it stops doing that something else will take its place... 15 + pony maybe...
 

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I'm in two minds.

Pro - It increases choice of configurations for divers to use, to help with medical problems, and comfort levels in the water.

Cons - The vast majority of those who would have needed the kit would have known about it and been able to put a set together, regardless of it becoming popular. How much of the "Hype" is actually the diving industry just patting each other on the back?
 

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side mount. dont side mount. i really dont care how some faceless person has somehow deemed this to be a big thing. i just want to go diving be safe and have fun. i also just want other people to go diving and be safe and have fun.

i dont personally think side mount adds anything to the safe and fun bits outside of wreck ferreting and cave diving. the open water (or rather quarry jumping) aspects of it are simply selling something that does nothing new to people who dont really need it. its a sales gimmick to part people from cash


when used within the realms where it was developed then fantastic. that's a system developed over years for a REAL need in diving much like twins were developed to give more capacity and slung cylinders for other gasses and extras.
 

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Agreed it may be a bit of a fad but I don't think we should knock trying out different kit. I've been doing a lot of cycling and for the type of cycling I do my mountain bike with semi road tyres is the best tool. But for the fun of it I've just built a single speed bike. Bit fashionable at the moment and not hugely practical but it's fun on the road and I had fun building it.
The same applies to diving kit it's good to try different configurations and it can be good fun faffing about with different kit.
 

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Complete fad - unless you are already going down the technical route and can't do shut downs.

What seems to have happened this time is that PADI have got on the bandwagon - Sidemount course....being able to use sidemount on open water...

Like most things, it is a tool. Should you need that particular tool for the job, then fine. If you don't then it doesn't fit and is completely pointless.
 
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