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Hollis Ride - Going sidemount tutorial

Discussion in 'Sidemount Diving' started by walucas, Jan 5, 2016.

  1. walucas

    walucas Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Brazil

    I have a Hollis Ride (23lbs) and after making my sidemount course, decide to make a few modifications to make it SideMount Ready.
    I look over the internet and couldn't find anyone explaining how to do it (or if it even was possible), so a friend of mine and I start making the necessary modifications to it ourselves.
    My first concern was about the lift of my BCD, it is not a great lift and is indicated to be used in low profile dives with 2 cylinders (the Hollis SMS 50 has the same lift).

    The procedures bellow should not destroy your BCD, but I am not responsible for any damage that you may cause at your BCD. Use at your own risk.

    Out of the "box" of your Hollis Ride you have:
    · 2 tank attachments straps
    · 2 D-Rings (shoulder D-Rings)
    · 2 D-Rings (waist D-Rings – Don`t remove this :) )
    · 2 Belt Slide

    To create the same configuration as I did, you will need extra:
    · 4 Steel Belt Slide
    · 4 Steel D-Rings
    · 2 Belt Slide Serrated
    · 2 Bolt Snaps (large ones)
    · 2 Quick Links
    · 2 Weight Pockets (for the tank attachments)
    · 2 meters of Bungee (4mm or 5mm)
    · 1m cord (4mm)
    · 1 buttplate (I purchased one from Dive Rite - https://www.divegearexpress.com/nomad-lt-butt-plate)

    First things first

    First thing you will have to do is to remove all your shoulder D-Rings. The D-rings that are delivered in the shoulder will be used as your Armpit D-ring, which will be attached the bungee.

    After that you will add the Armpit D-Ring over the inferior shoulder strap with the serrated belt slide (you don’t want that moving). The tip here: this D-Ring should be at your nipple height.

    Now that this is done, let’s add two more D-Rings on our shoulder strap (I am assuming here that you want to have this 2 d-rings, if not, just add one). The height here is easy to find: come with your hand to your shoulder, and the place your toe touch, it is the upper d-ring, the place your little finger touch, it is the lower d-ring. Attention here: both shoulder d-rings should be fixed with the lower and higher shoulder straps.

    Done here.

    Thank Attachment
    The Ride comes with two cylinders tank attachment which is great since we are planning to dive with, at least, two cylinders.
    You will remove it from your BCD and next to the cam strap you will add the weigh pocket (small pocket, for just 1 or 2 kgs), and very close to it, you will add the brass clip, locked up with a belt slide.
    How to make a brass clip: first get a cord (4mm) and measure the cam band size (5,5 cm) you will pass the cord inside the boltsnap, and make a not at the end. In the references you can find an image demonstrating it (Fig 21 – A).

    Make it for the left and right tank attachments. Remember to switch the “orientation” of the brass clip, so it will not get upside-down.
    Tip (read and place it on the floor left-right Reading):
    Right Band:
    Cam Strap > Weight Pocket > Brass Clip
    Left Band:
    Brass Clip > Weight Pocket > Cam Strap

    Done here

    Attach the buttplate
    Now you can attach the buttplate at the bottom of your soft harness. You can get one from diverite (tech buttplate or nomad) that will fit. Or make one yourself (I will try that later).

    Low Pressure Inflator rearrangement
    Unscrew your inflator from your shoulder, and exchange it with the purge at the bottom of your BCD. Check if it is well done inflanting your bcd and checking for noises.

    Wing rearrangement
    In a sidemount system, you should have more lift on your hips than on your shoulders. So you need to remove your wing bungee from its tradicional place (don’t cut it, you will need it). It is easy to remove, just unscrew the clip, and the bungee goes free.
    Pass it in a way that you will have low lift on your shoulders (there is no right way here, take a look at my pictures later, every part here is a mess).

    The Cylinder Bungee
    Here is where the fun begins, and you will need a buddy to act as your personal tailor.
    On the back of your harness, where the wing bungee pass at the top you will pass the bungee. Add your quicklink at the end and link it to your D-Ring. Then you have to measure up what is better for you. Remembering that this type of bungee with double cord will allow you to use one or two bungee to “lock” your cylinder.

    Other considerations
    Sidemount divers use different configuration, I myself have modified this one a ton of time, but it all goes around what is described here. When I go backmount, I just have to pass the cam bands back, and switch the inflator. I kept the cam bands with its pockets, so I use my weight there :).

    Practical experience
    I have been diving with this setup for over a year now, and I am very happy with this setup. Some pertinent comments:
    • You have low lift, remember this. After my rescue course, I tried to perform a maneuver to recover my buddy that was “sleeping” at the bottom of the pool, and couldn’t lift myself + 2 cylinders + him with his cylinder (his BCD was deflated). Consider having an extra lift equipment (surface marker - I tried this maneuver with the surface marker and it was pretty cool to practice).
    • If I knew that I would go Sidemount, I would have purchased the 37lbs wing.
    • The D-Rings will go beneath your armpits, with the bungee, so it may get hard to get it. I solved it attaching a strap with quick release between this two D-Rings.
    • I had a dive without the buttplate, and attached the cylinders at a D-Ring on my waist, good configuration too.


    A lot of information was retrieved from the Armadillo harness, they have pretty good images over there too, you can access it here: ADVANCED DIVER MAGAZINE

    DO NOT USE this harness if you have not obtained proper sidemount training and certification.
    Lakediving and Geoffrey like this.
  2. Remy B.

    Remy B. Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Rotterdam
    I guess a picture before and after will show better what you explained,

    I have the Hollis HD200 wing, wich have the option for sidemount, but I replaced the side D-rings for tecnical D-ring ( the ones that are thicker and don't move ) in order to do the stage dismount and mount exercicies for the tec course without problems to find the D-rings during the drills re-engage the stage, specially with 7mm gloves.

    For the rest I'm very happy with my HD200 flexibility to attach, two, three, four, five and even six bottle configuration, if using 7L bottles.
  3. Dive Right In Scuba 2

    Dive Right In Scuba 2 ScubaBoard Business Sponsor ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Illinois
    Wow! Awesome write up. Thanks for putting it out there.
  4. mddolson

    mddolson Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Belleville,Ontario, Canada
    Nice write up.
    I have made the same conversion for an older DR transpac & rec-wing.
    2 D-rings per shoulder & both sides of the waiste belt: agree, & added one at back of crotch strap also.
    As an alternative: Butte-plate
    I don't like the standard V-butte plate. I opted for & prefer the DR tech-butte plate.
    It has C or crescent shaped loops, not the rectangular draw pulls.
    It was originally intended adding deco bottles to twin backmount, & CCR rigs.

    Mike D

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