TDI Sidemount Diver Course in Playa del Carmen Mexico

What is Sidemount Diving?

Sidemount is an equipment configuration originally started in the 1960's by UK sump explorers. Over the years it has become more refined and the equipment and configuration has become more streamlined and cohesive.

Sidemount diving is not only for cave divers.  Many people have switched to a sidemount configuration over the past several years because of easier access to valves in case of an emergency, a more streamlined profile and far more freedom and flexibility than back mounted twin tanks.  Recreational divers can benefit from sidemount as well due to the redudant gas supply. It also puts a whole lot less stress on your back, shoulders and knees due to not having tanks attached to your back, and instead being able to gear up and take off the tanks in the water.


Why Come to Playa del Carmen, Mexico to do your sidemount diver course?

That's a really easy question to answer! While we didn't invent sidemount diving,  we certainly have perfected it down here in the Riviera Maya, and at Beyond Diving in Playa del Carmen, we live and breathe sidemount diving.  Sure, we all switch from one configuration to another from time to time (depending on what the dive calls for), but the vast majority of the dives we do are in sidemount configuration (mostly because we all love to get down and dirty into some really small cave passages where double tanks would not allow us to go)!

Remember, if you want to do any cave diving courses or technical diving courses in this configuration, you must have prior training.

Do you want proper training? Then shoot us an email!  Let's have fun, and get you properly trained without cutting corners!

Who this TDI course is for:

  • The SDI or TDI diver looking to expand their in-water skills and techniques
  • The certified diver who has interest in moving forward with technical diving education and expanding their equipment configuration options

What you can expect to learn:

The TDI Sidemount Diver Course takes an in-depth look at all of the following and more!

  • Gas matching procedures to include dissimilar volumes
  • Gas management utilizing independent cylinders
  • Psychological considerations of technical diving
  • Equipment considerations including:
    • Cylinder options
    • Regulator options
    • Buoyancy compensator/harness options
    • Proper weighting
    • Equipment configurations
  • Communication (light and hand signals)
  • Problem solving in a sidemount configuration
  • Diving in tight or confined spaces
  • Conservation
  • Water entries/exits
  • S-drills specific to sidemount diving

Some of the required skills you will have to demonstrate include:

  • Demonstrate various propulsion techniques such as the frog kick, modified frog kick, modified flutter kick, backwards kick, helicopter turns, and hand pulling if appropriate for the environment.
  • Demonstrate adequate buoyancy control; ability to hover at a fixed position in water column without moving hands or feet
  • Demonstrate adequate trim; ability to maintain proper position during the descent, bottom, and ascent portion of the dive
  • Demonstrate the ability to perform the following exercises while maintaining trim and buoyancy in the water column:
    • Unclipping and attaching sidemount cylinders
    • Perform gas switches with and without a mask
  • Demonstrate the ability to safely manage gas in independent cylinders
  • Demonstrate conservation, awareness, and back referencing techniques
  • Deploy a lift bag
  • Carry additional cylinders is optional in this course

What’s in it for you?

Upon successful completion of this course, graduates may engage in sidemount diving activities without direct supervision so long as the following limits are adhered to:

  • The diving activities approximate those of training
  • The areas of activities approximate those of training
  • Planned dives do not exceed diver’s current certification level

TDI Sidemount Diver minimum certification requirements:

  • Perform all land drills and dive requirements safely and efficiently
  • Demonstrate mature, sound judgment concerning dive planning and execution
  • Maintain an appropriate level of awareness and respect for the environment
  • Log all training dives

3 days  minimum - $230/day

Course prerequisites

(these requirements must be met prior to commencement of training):

  • Minimum age 18
  • Minimum certification of SDI Open Water Scuba Diver, or equivalent


Sidemount Course Combinations:

  • Sidemount + Cavern Diver  (6 days minimum)
  • Sidemount + Cavern + Intro to Cave  (8 days minimum)
  • Sidemount + Intro to Cave (6 days minimum)
  • Sidemount + Full Cave  (8 days minimum)
  • Sidemount + Cavern + Intro to Cave + Full Cave (11 days minimum)

Prices Include:

  • Transportation to and from the cenote(s) departing from our dive center in downtown Playa del Carmen.
  • Tanks
  • Weights if needed
  • Bottled water

Not Included:

  • Manual/E-Learning
  • Equipment Rental (see list of required equipment) - Can be rented for a fee, though students should have their own
  • Entry/Boat Fees (15-40 USD/Day)
  • Certification Fees
  • Lunch