TDI Full Cave Stage Instructor, Adv Sidemount Facebook Icon YouTube Icon Wordpress Icon Photo taken during overhead workshop in Tulum, Mexico IANTD Instructor Intro to Cave - Adv. Rec Trimix Photo taken during recent ART course at Coastal Technical Divers in Fujeirah, UAE

Some call it Fundamentals but I call it the Essentials of Sidemount Scuba Diving. After some academics and gear configuration, harness set up, it will be time to get in the water and start your sidemount training.


During your training your skills will be put to the test: your ability to stay still, maintain proper buoyancy and move accordingly in the environment.


Here is a small list of skills you will work on during an Essential class, apart from the classic sidemount skills, you'll also learn:


  • Buoyancy: holding yourself in the water column with little or no use of your hands and fine tuning with your lungs.

  • Trim: once your buoyancy is set, your trim needs to match the environment. In other words no fins hitting the reef or lifting silt.

  • Propulsion: finning techniques come in handy when the environment requires precision and finesse.


All this is accessible with a properly balanced rig and clean sidemount configuration. Before you make any movement underwater you should always have correct B.T.P. These skills are basic to your next move.


The Essential Diver and Essential Sidemount Diver will help you build the skill set you need to match the type of diving you want to do. Open water, techincal and/or cave diving.


Although training may take place, in part, in cenotes or fresh water springs, this course is purely recreational.


 It can be taken in conjunction with a Cavern, Intro to Cave or Cave course. Take advantage of the promo combo package!




If you want to join in the Sidemount Essentials workshop in order to better your knowledge and techniques of sidemount open water diving, feel free to Contact Me to arrange a schedule and goals to achieve.




Essential Sidemount Diver

What equipment will I need for this course?

Sidemount scuba diving in open water differs from diving sidemount in a cave, but the equipment needed for open water is very similar to what you will need when you are ready to go into the darkness of the caves.


Since I started diving sidemount, many different companies have been producing 'off-the-shelf' modular sidemount units. Why  do I say modular sidemount units? Simply because the manufacturers want to hit the widest range of divers, so they offer a sidemount rig that can also accommodate a backmount diver.


This is where I differ and offer training in sidemount, with sidemount-only equipment.


Of course not all the sidemount-only rigs are the same and some are even very similar. I offer my Essential Scuba Training courses using the Razor© or any other aproved rig such as the Ultimate, SMS50, Stealth, etc... From Basic Open Water to Tech, Trimix and Overhead courses.



NOTE: Please contact us if you want to get certified as a sidemount diver so we can guide you through your equipment selection. E-mail


Some of the available sidemount harnesses are more for cold water and/or deep mix gas diving. We believe that the new Razor© offers a greater range of capabilities and therefore would fit any training you'd like to take. When you learn Sidemount Essentials with us, in the warm waters of the Caribbean, on the reefs or in the cenotes, some modifications to your sidemount harness may be necessary. Although not major, the philosophy behind any of our Essential training programmes is the gear configuration. Less is more!

What will you learn?


The Essential Sidemount Diver programme was born when my friend Steve Martin and I decided to do our cave training together here in Mexico. We took our time to find the right instructor, who just so happened to be passionate about sidemount diving. The way we dive sidemount here is close to none. We have  brought sidemount diving to a new level and now we have recreational, technical and/or cave sidemount scuba diving all around the world in this safe, sound, redundant and FUN configuration.


So, it is with his teaching philosophy and support that I came up with Essential Sidemount Diver.


During your training to become a Sidemount Essentials diver, the focus will be on a set of foundational skills including:


  • Buoyancy

  • Trim

  • Propulsion Techniques (frog, flutter, helicopter turn)

  • Lift bag deploy (SMB)


Course duration:

3 full days minimum



What is Essential Open WaterSidemount Diver?

Essential Scuba Training  and Jason Renoux work closely with Steve Martin from Sidemountscubadiving 


To organise any of your overhead/cave diving courses. Contact here.

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