Cave diving in sidemount will give you all the flexibility you need to complete some of the most advanced tasks there is. If you want to start exploration, you'll need to learn the basics of cave diving sidemount.
In this photo, I am doing some cave survey: sidemounting allows for free hands thanks to the use of a helmet to secure your lights.
The possibilities are endless! The end of the cave is your limit! ;)
Cave diving in sidemount doesn't necessarily means you have to dive in super small cave. It is a personal choice whether you want to use this safe and tested configuration in your everyday cave diving or you can keep it as a"tool" if you think that's what it is.
In the photo here, you can see Steve Davis preparing for a sidemount cave dive in cenote Ponderosa. Bellow, are two photos taken of a video shot during one of my last exploration dive - cenote Second Look - Cave Sidemount diving will give you the tools to dive smaller caves in total comfort and peace od mind.
Contact Me to book your next advanced cave diver course and also, if you want to buy your equipment through me or simply talk about it before you buy it. Make sure to do the right choice for you!
Cave diving can be done in two configurations today: regular backmounted doubles with isolator manifold or sidemount. My preference goes to sidemount. Why? Because it offers the best redundancy compared to doubles and freedom of movement plus flexibility that make it the optimum cave diving configuration.
If you have taken the Essential Sidemount diver course, you will get to do your Full Cave course in sidemount. If you already are a cave diver, then this course is going to give you a glimpse of what cave diving is really about... Silt, small holes and adrenaline. Yes, I said 'adrenaline', it is not for everybody and I reserve myself the option to take someone out of the course if the approach is not correct.
What do I mean by that? If you are a thrill seeker, you are: 1 - putting your life in danger and 2 - the life of your team members.
It is progressive course where you will be shown the limits of recreational sidemount taken into overhead environment. You will still be using a 7ft long hose on your secondary tank and a short one with necklace bungee for the primary tank.
It is usually done in 3 days. First day you have gear configuration plus a bit of theory then most certainly a first jump in the cenote for gear check, buoyancy check and the basic skills, such as, trim, buoyancy, regulator exchange, propulsion techniques etc...
After that, another confined class where you will be doing the Famous "Stress Circuit" or Circuit of Death... While following a line placed by me through some smaller and smaller passages with dealing with multiple failures and rising tempo topped with a bit of Mexican Hot sauce!
Once the course takes you in the overhead, you will be taken to nothing extremely small, not as small as what you'll do in the open water confined session but it will mimic the situation and the stress level. No restriction will require you to remove a tank while in the cave. This is for the next level: Advanced Sidemount cave diver program.
There is a total of 2 confined water dives and 4 cave dives with each containing drills and stress scenarios.
Yes and no is the best answer. If you bought a 'sidemount only' rig then certainly yes, you can as this rig is designed for sidemount diving only.
On the other hand, if you have one of these modular sidemount rig that is out there, there will be a fair amount of modifications to be done that if your rig has any CE approval (and you want to keep that rating) your dive insurance will probably not cover you in case of an accident related to equipment failure...
So my advice to you: Contact me before buying your sidemount rig, I can help you save money!