PADI Sidemount Diver Specialty Course
Learn to become a PADI Sidemount Diver on Koh Tao
Enjoy optimal streamline, find flawless trim, better balance, increase your gas supply and extend your dives by becoming a PADI Sidemount diver.
Learn about the many benefits of diving with a sidemount configuration including more flexibility and the ability to explore a variety of different marine environments including cave diving.
Benefits of becoming a PADI Sidemount Diver
It is more comfortable – with your cylinders mounted either side there is much less pressure on your back.
Expend less energy – enhance your streamlining & body position, improve your buoyancy, become a more efficient diver and use less energy.
Maximise your dive time – two tanks will give you more air and bottom time, especially if you are using Enriched Air sidemount.
Have more control – the regulator first stage and valves are in front of you where they are visible and accessible, making it easier to see and deal with problems.
More peace of mind – with two-cylinder sidemount, you can handle an out-of-gas problem without your buddy by switching to the second cylinder.
Sidemount Diving is lots of fun.
Included in the Koh Tao PADI Sidemount Specialty Course
- PADI Sidemount diver manual
- 3 Sidemount Open Water training dives
- PADI Certification card
- Rental of all scuba equipment
- FREE use of Dive Computer
- Log book
- Maximum 4 students per PADI Instructor
- Black Turtle Dive customer (and environmental) promise
To enroll on a PADI Sidemount specialty course you must:
- Be an Open Water diver
- Have recent diving experience – we recommend completing a scuba review if you have not dived for 12 months
- 15 years of age or older
- Medically fit to dive
2 Day PADI Sidemount Diver Specialty Course
The course consists of 3 sections:
- Knowledge Development – read the PADI Sidemount diver manual and complete the knowledge reviews
- Confined water training – a shallow water training session that introduces you to the equipment and how to use it
- Open Water training – 3 Sidemount diver training dives
Our Dive Instructors are highly trained and will ensure you receive lots of attention and most importantly, progress at your own pace in a relaxed environment.
During your training we will slowly build your confidence and ability as you develop the skills necessary to become a competent PADI Sidemount diver.
Koh Tao PADI Sidemount Course Schedule
The PADI Sidemount diver specialty course schedule at Black Turtle Dive is flexible and we can work around your own personal needs and timeframe.
Please feel free to ask if you have any special requests via email or on one of the messenger apps on this page.
PADI Sidemount Diver Specialty Course Cost: 12,000 baht
09.00 – 11.30: Orientation & Knowledge Development
12.30 – 17.00: Sidemount confined water training dive
Sidemount diver Open Water training dive #1
* Depending on the schedule, the first Open Water training dive may be conducted on day 1 or day 2.
09.00 – 11.00: Knowledge Development
12.30 – 17.00: Sidemount Open Water training dives #2 & #3
Log dives + Certification
Congratulations. You are now a certified PADI Sidemount diver.
PADI Sidemount Diver Specialty Course Information
Orientation & Knowledge Development
We start the PADI Sidemount diver specialty course at 09.00 with an Orientation that includes completion of paperwork and the PADI Medical statement.
There is a Sidemount Specialty diver manual to read and an open book knowledge review with 9 questions that your instructor will guide you through and review.
The Instructor led knowledge development is conducted during the morning of day 1. Some of the subjects you will cover include:
- What the benefits of Sidemount diving are
- Sidemount Equipment configuration
- Dive planning, gas management and turn pressure
- Sidemount equipment malfunctions & emergency procedures
- Techniques used for flutter, frog and reverse frog kicking
Shallow & Confined water training
As you will be using new and unfamiliar equipment compared to what you have previously dived with it is a good idea to start with a confined water training dive.
This will allow you to become familiar with your harness and sidemount equipment configuration and familiarise yourself with the basic skills that differ between sidemount and standard scuba equipment.
Some of the skills you will be mastering include:
- Descents, ascents, entry and exit techniques
- Gas management by switching second stages as per dive plan
- Correct buoyancy control including body position, trim and balance
- Correct swimming techniques and turning including flutter, frog & reverse frog kicking
- Simulated out-of-gas emergencies using long hose second stage
- Respond to regulator / cylinder valve failure & shutting down cylinder within 60 seconds
Your Sidemount Diving Specialty Instructor will present simulated emergencies throughout the session, building up your confidence so by the end you can respond calmly, correctly and in an appropriate manner.
Sidemount Dives – Exploring a Koh Tao Dive Site
There are 3 Sidemount training dives you will need complete to become a PADI Sidemount Diver.
Practice managing your gas by switching second stages, become more familiar with your kicking techniques plus learn to master your balance and trim.
When one tank is not enough
Your Dive Instructor will ask you to repeat some of the simulated emergencies you practiced in confined water training.
These skills include responding to and shutting down a failed regulator and cylinder, simulating out of air emergencies and air sharing using the long hose.
You will be sure to enjoy these action-packed training dives as you add a new dimension to your diving and more confident and competent diver.
Congratulations. You are now a PADI Sidemount Diver
PADI Sidemount with Enriched Air Nitrox – more fun
You can combine the PADI Sidemount diver course with the PADI Enriched Air Nitrox Specialty course.
Black Turtle Dive offers you a great opportunity to combine the PADI Sidemount diver course with the Enriched Air nitrox course, gain two certifications and save money that you can spend on more fun diving.
Our Sidemount & Enriched Air combo diving course is a great way to gain two certifications at the same time.
Your Dive Instructor will guide you through the knowledge development section and you will dive on Nitrox tanks on your final two Sidemount training dives.
* Add 5,900 baht to Sidemount course price
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Benefit of Diving PADI Sidemount on Koh Tao?
One of the benefits of diving on sidemount configuration is that there is less strain on your back during the dives.
It is easier to control your buoyancy, improves your trim and makes you more streamlined in the water. All of this makes you move through the water more efficiently.
On top of that, you will have double the amount of breathable gas available on the dive.
How long is PADI Sidemount Specialty course for on Koh Tao?
The Sidemount Specialty course takes 2.5 days to complete on Koh Tao. The schedule is flexible and can be adjusted to suit your travel plans.
You will start with the theory portion of the course in the morning of day 1, before getting introduced to the Sidemount equipment.
You will learn how to make adjustments to the harness for better fit. That afternoon, we take you to the swimming pool for a confined water session.
On day 2 you will do the 3 Open Water dives from the boat at two of Koh Tao’s beautiful dive sites.
What is the cost of PADI Sidemount Specialty course Koh Tao?
The cost of the PADI Sidemount Specialty course is THB 12,000. Included in this price are all course materials, equipment rental (including dive computer), instructor fees, boat trips and insurance.
Food and accommodation are not included. However, you can contact us to find out about accommodation options. We have AC rooms available at discounted rates when taking a diving course with us.
Ex-students will enjoy a 10% discount on the course price.
How many dives is PADI Sidemount Specialty course Koh Tao?
The PADI Sidemount Specialty course consists of 3 Open Water training dives.
Before Open Water dive 1, you have to complete a confined water dive, which is conducted in the swimming pool.
The Open Water dives can be completed in one afternoon or can be spread out over 2 different days, depending on your preference and itinerary.
Is Equipment included in the Cost of PADI Sidemount Specialty course?
Yes, all equipment rental is included in the course price for the PADI Sidemount Specialty.
For the course, you will use specialized equipment such as sidemount harness, DIN tanks and specialized regulators.
In the course everything will be explained about how to use and set up the equipment.
If you are interested in purchasing any of your own equipment, we offer a 10% discount on equipment purchases through our retail store to all our student divers.