So many reasons
Euro-Divers at El Gouna’s Mövenpick Resort & Spa in Egypt reckons the PADI Sidemount and Self-Reliant Diver courses complement one another, allowing divers to fully manage their air consumption but also, with streamlined tanks, to be free in their movements, especially for underwater photography.
Sidemounting, which originated among cave-divers, has been adapted for recreational diving. It allows increased gas supply and, with your first stage readily accessible, added security.
The course can be completed in two days for 275 euros, including four dives and certification, or you can combine the two courses for 450 euros.
Euro-Divers Spain is also embracing the approach. ”Being able to see your valves and first stages is comforting in case of an incident,” it says. ”It will also improve your profile, trim and streamlining as well as improve your buoyancy skills and gas management.”
The 350-euro course also gives divers a taste of tec training, says the centre, and existing tec divers can learn other DSAT technical courses such as Tech 40 up to Full Trimix while configured for sidemount.

Trying and buying
Dive Dahab in Egypt says it can offer a wide range of sidemount jackets for visiting divers to try out and choose from. For new sidemount divers, it can combine this gear-testing with an SSI Recreational Sidemount course, which means four dives for 149 euros, plus certification costs.
If you decide to buy a sidemount system later, half of the course price is deducted from the price of the equipment.
If requested by at least four candidates, i Dive offers SSI Instructor training in August, including Perfect Buoyancy and the Search & Rescue speciality instructor licence.
At any time in the summer it offers SSI crossovers to your instructor level for 495 euros.