Sidemount Diver

Book Your Course

  • $ 0.00 CAD

Why train with us?

  • Our retail centre is located on Queen Street in Leslieville, Toronto.

  • Our training pool is only 1km from our retail centre in Leslieville.

  • Our Caledon training pool is located at Southfields Community Centre Pool, 225 Dougall Avenue, Caledon, L7C 3M7

  • We are a PADI 5 Star Dive Centre, offering the full PADI range of courses.

  • Classroom and eLearning options.

  • We have our own in-house TICO certified travel agency, ScubaGetaway.

  • We teach children 10 years and older.

  • Diving courses available year-round.

  • Private courses available.

  • Passionate team of Instructors and Divemasters who love to teach.

Pool training takes place at the Jimmie Simpson Recreation Centre in Leslieville, just a short 1km from our retail location. Open water training takes place at Gulliver’s Lake.

Course Description

Sidemount diving is an scuba equipment configuration where the diver wears 2 scuba cylinders alongside their body, instead of on their back. It comes from the cave diving world where this streamlined setup allows divers to enter smaller passages, but sidemount diving is gaining popularity in all parts of recreational and technical diving.

Sidemount diving can have several benefits:

  • Less drag, improved buoyancy and trim
  • With 2 cylinders, you can use smaller cylinders to be really streamlined, or standard cylinders for double the air
  • Easier shore entries
  • Redundancy by having 2 cylinders and 2 full regulator sets
  • Accessibility to cylinder valve and regulator first stage while underwater for troubleshooting

The PADI Sidemount course includes a knowledge development component done through eLearning, equipment sizing and setup, one confined water (pool) training dive and 3 open water (lake) training dives.

If you’re thinking of pursuing technical or cave diving, getting your Sidemount certification is a great first step to diving with multiple cylinders. The Sidemount specialty course counts towards the PADI Master Scuba Diver rating.

What You Will Learn

In many ways, learning sidemount is like learning to dive again. You use a completely different BCD and two cylinders with 2 regulator sets that each include a first stage, second stage and SPG. There are bands and clips on the cylinder to attach them to your BCD.

Your eLearning knowledge development will introduce sidemount diving, the equipment use for sidemount, including the harness/BCD, cylinders and regulators, and the key techniques.

The in-person training takes place over 2 days on separate weekends.

We start at the pool where we review and set up our gear. Sidemount BCDs use a harness that can be adjusted to fit any diver, so we’ll spend some time adjusting the harness for your body. Then we’ll get in the water and:

  • Complete the setup with the cylinders
  • Practice descents/ascents
  • Establishing neutral buoyancy
  • Adjusting equipment for proper weighting and trim
  • Introduce/emphasize the use of the frog kick and helicopter turn
  • Simulate a freeflowing regulator and practice shutting down that cylinder and switching to the other.

During the 3 open water training dives at Gulliver’s Lake, we repeat the skills introduced in the pool to establish mastery.


The Sidemount specialty course is a challenging course with emphasis on neutral buoyancy, trim and finning techniques. Students are expected to enter the course with decent buoyancy skills with a traditional backmount setup in order to progress at the expected rate.

As such, TSC’s prerequisites include:

  • PADI Open Water diver (or equivalent)
  • Good buoyancy skills (to be validated during the pool training session)
  • Logged dives in the last 6 months, or completed a scuba refresher with TSC
  • 18 years or older


The TSC Sidemount course fee includes use of our training pools, instruction, use of a sidemount harness/BCD, 2 cylinders with sidemount rigging and 2 regulator sets configured for sidemount, and weights. Upon successful completion of the course, the PADI Sidemount specialty digital certification card will be issued. If students require more training time to master the necessary skills, additional fees will be required.

Students are required to have their own mask, snorkel and fins for this course. Fins must be open-heel fins with a boot.

Wetsuits and dive computers are available to rent. We will wear a 7mm wetsuit in both the pool and lake so that we can establish weight requirements and trim in the pool.