Sidemount scuba diving
Sidemount divers on scooter

Sidemount Diving

Blue Label Diving is pleased to offer all levels of Sidemount Diving Courses from SSI, TDI and PADI in Phuket Thailand. From recreational two tank side mount diving to advanced technical sidemounting in overhead environments and even instructor levels. The only drawback is that once you dive side mount, you may never want to return to backmount diving!

Sidemount Diving evolved in the early years of cave diving, pioneered by explorers such as Lamar Hires to use multiple tanks in a streamlined a compact fashion to get places that back mounted divers could not. As time went on, the technique has matured and evolved to become one of the fastest growing areas of our sport.

Sidemount is a scuba diving equipment configuration which has diving cylinders mounted along the diver, below the shoulders and along the hips, instead of on the back of the diver. It began as a configuration popular with advanced cave divers, as smaller sections of cave can be penetrated and tanks can be changed with greater ease. The same benefits for operating in confined spaces were also recognised by divers who conducted technical wreck diving penetrations. We have well-trained instructors to teach scuba diving courses and scuba diving training in Thailand.


Sidemount diving is now growing in popularity within the technical diving community for general decompression diving and is becoming an increasingly popular specialty training for recreational diving, with several diver certification agencies offering recreational and technical level sidemount training programs

Sidemount Diving Courses are a useful stand-alone course for the technical diver who wants to become more skilled and proficient with different gear configurations regardless of if he intends to use sidemount all the time.  The course may also be taught in conjunction with any of TDI’s other open-circuit specialty courses, on the condition that all prerequisites and standards applicable to both courses are fully met.

Sidemount Diving terms

Sidemount staging: This is where the diver is setting up cylinders with tank straps, bungee, clips and special valves (left and right-handed). and is the practice of using sidemount configuration (bungee loops and/or butt-plate rails) as a means for stowing stage/deco cylinders in a streamlined manner against the sides of the torso, when otherwise diving in back-mounted doubles or CCR

Sidemount Harness: This is a specialised Harness, like a BCD, which is very minimum and light weight. This harness has several D-rings on shoulder straps, and a special Butt plate with rings or sliders.

Side Mount and Sidemount is the same.


Easy to travel with, flexible, no steel or aluminium back plates, light weight, easy to adjust, easy to get into in and out of the water, perfect for disabled divers, divers with back problems and female divers that are small but want extra in water time, longer in water time as you can carry 2 cylinders at the same time, safer as you will have redundant gas supply.


Yes Sidemount started with the Cave diver, but you do not have to be a tech or cave diver to be able to dive on Sidemount. PADI has a Side mount course in which you only carry one cylinder/tank on one of your sides instead of your back.


The regular Sidemount course you can use for your Advanced Nitrox diving or Cave certifications. The Advanced Sidemount or Tec Sidemount you will use more than 2 tanks while diving Sidemount which can be perfect for Deco and Extended Range. There are even Trimix divers that prefer to dive Sidemount.


As a Rebreather CCR diver you will always carry bailouts cylinders with you. Yes you can clip the tank to your side and not think anything more of it, but once you have done a Sidemount course you learn how to properly stage  tank to either side and if you are a Trimix CCR Diver even how to stage 3-4 tanks comfortably and safely.


Stage-only diving is the use of standard deco/stage cylinder configuration, without back-mounted cylinders, on an otherwise standard, or partly modified tec/rec BCD. The lower cylinder is attached to waist D-Rings and the upper cylinder to shoulder D-Rings, both via direct bolt-snap. Some divers (untrained in specific sidemount diving techniques) often incorrectly assume this approach to be sidemount diving. No bungee cord is utilised in the upper attachment, causing the cylinders to hang low beneath the diver and not in line (parallel) with their torso beneath their armpits. Without change of the BCD design, the lack of back-mounted cylinders also causes taco’ing of wing designs and much instability.



This is a great video with sidemount diving skills. Made by Sandy and Hiro!


Bungees and D-Rings     Stage Rigging kit     Butt Plate     Butt Plate rails     Harness



Advanced Nitrox course instructor
Sidemount instructor
XR instructor bluelabeldiving Koh Tao_SMB
Sidemount diver course