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Sidemount as a first own setup?

Discussion in 'New Divers and Those Considering Diving' started by Walde, Mar 28, 2020.

  1. RainPilot

    RainPilot OC/CCR Instructor Trainer Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: UAE
    Or as @cerich calls it, which I have stolen, "front-mounted independent doubles"
    saxman242 and decompression like this.
  2. Mike1967

    Mike1967 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Victoria, Australia
    What's monkey diving then?
  3. mac64

    mac64 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Ireland
    ChuckP and SandyRobinson like this.
  4. jale

    jale Barracuda

    As you don't quote, I am not sure if you are refering to my post but how do you think we were doing before all these specific SM equipments were available?
    You want a cheap SM set-up to play around or to see if you like it?
    Easy, just take a simple basic BM jacket (in fact a smaller size than you are use to is better), remove the hard plastic backplate holding the tank to get a nice jacket wrapping you, add a bungee in the style you like and you get your SM wing.
    For the tanks, like any other SM set-up and you can use the tank strap you removed from the backplate.
    For the reg, like any other SM set-up and even to try and to start, you still can use your rec BM set-up.
    Yes the hose gauge will be too long but you can store in nicely on the tank with bungee. The original primary 2nd on a "normal" (80cm) lenght hose can be used without any problem as a secondary necklaced secondary and the original secondary 2nd can be as used as a primary on its 1m hose (some hardcore SM divers used 1m hoses). As for the inflator hose, you can route the original nicely to come to the the inflator.
    Of course, for the purists this is junk but to have a cheap simple rec SM set-up for having fun, why not.
    Clearer?! :)
  5. Mike1967

    Mike1967 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Victoria, Australia
    @jale still waiting on your definition of monkey diving.
  6. jale

    jale Barracuda

    In my understanding and my experience monkey diving is removing your double and the wing from your backplate, put the stage-deco as a stage-deco (means just hanging, not SM) and go play around under the boat using your scooter to help with the buoyancy. :)
    it also means that is illustrated in the video in Bali :) :)
    Mike1967 likes this.
  7. runsongas

    runsongas Great White

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: California - Bay Area
    @jale I asked for pictures because I haven't seen a successful diy jacket sm conversion that doesn't end up looking like slinging a stage. To me that isn't monkey diving, that is just being a trainwreck.

    Minimalist harnesses like from andy's blog are cheap enough to put together already.
    racanichou and RainPilot like this.
  8. Azraelien

    Azraelien Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Slovakia
    My first setup was a tecline side 16 avenger- sidemount, twin Al 80's (11L?) and drysuit, bought after around 30 dives, drysuit and Nitrox certs.

    As a caveat, living here in Slovakia I have access to some of the most highly qualified tech divers in Central Europe, and my instructor is a full time sidemount cave instructor, who also dives sidemount rebreathers, teaches tech all the way to cave trimix, and is generally awesome- and when we began the joint sidemount/tech sidemount course he reckoned on roughly 50 open water dives (not including class dives) until I was comfortable.

    He specifically told me not to even bother signing up if I wasn't prepared to put in the hours. With free air fills, and free access to a local Quarry, I saw that number as easily attainable over a winter of diving, and went for it.

    Despite the current corona induced pause, we have managed to keep up a pretty good schedule, and my god am I thankful that I did- Diving Sidemount is awesome fun!

    20 odd dives into the course, I can happily say that I love the 'fiddling to get the perfect setup' aspect, and have by now managed to feel at one with my gear, and reduce setup time to no more than it would be for singles or doubles. As a safety conscious diver, I love the redundancy offered. Valve drills are a breeze, switching regs is simple and routine by now, and it is a wonderful feeling, floating neutral through the water knowing that I have double the air that I would on a single, without the back strain caused by carting doubles about the place (another important consideration when I was weighing up my route into tech)
    Walde, Andrew Dawson and CaveSloth like this.
  9. CodeS

    CodeS Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Sydney, Australia
    Ahem, I dive sidemount Michael. It is harder and is not needed for rec diving. It is nice having redundancy if you want to do long dives and accrue deco. Not sure I really want to have the SM vs BM argument because both work.

    Honestly If you really want to dive SM, a couple of small cylinders are quite manageable. It is more work and more money. You decide if you want redundancy - I do. I also want to have the skill to take into other environments.

    In either case, you will probably end up with a bp/w on some dives - it's good to know and have access to all the tools available to you.
  10. CaveSloth

    CaveSloth Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: The Deep South
    What about backmount without a manifold? Independent back doubles... ??????
    CodeS likes this.

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