PADI Tec Sidemount Instructor Course
The PADI Tec Sidemount Diver Course provides an introduction to the Sidemount equipment and techniques for tec diving. The course provides instruction in correct equipment configuration for using 2 sidemount cylinders for your primary gas supply, as well as 2 or more stage/deco cylinders. The course introduces the diver to the equipment-related motor skills and underlying knowledge for technical sidemount diving.
The Tec Sidemount Diver program is flexible, and may be a great starting point for a diver who is beginning the tec diving journey with no prior experience in tec diving or sidemount. It is also an appropriate course for an experienced tec diver who wants to gain the benefits of sidemount configuration, which include:
- Greater streamlining
- Ease of equipment transport
- Equipment availability
- Ease of problem-solving
The PADI Tec Sidemount Instructor Course prepares qualified instructor candidates to conduct the PADI Tec Sidemount Diver Course. The content includes the philosophy, organisation, practical considerations, promotion and other aspects of the Tec Sidemount Diver course.
Instructor Prerequisites and Postrequisites
To commence the PADI Tec Sidemount Diver Course, you must meet the following requirements:
- Be a renewed PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor (or PADI Instructor with a higher rating)
- Be a PADI Enriched Air Instructor (or have successfully completed the PADI EANx Instructor training course)
- Be a PADI Deep Diver Instructor (or have successfully completed the PADI Deep Diver Instructor training course)
- Have a minimum of 100 logged dives, of which at least 20 were made with enriched air, 25 were deeper than 18m and at least 15 were deeper than 30m
- Be a PADI Tec 45 diver (or have a qualifying certification)
After successfully completing the PADI Tec Sidemount Instructor Course, you must meet the following criteria prior to submitting your application to PADI
- Be a PADI Tec Instructor (or TecRec Instructor with a higher rating)
- Be a PADI Tec Sidemount Diver (or have a qualifying certification). The PADI Tec Sidemount Diver course may be run in conjunction with the instructor course
- Have logged at least 20 tec sidemount dives including 10 with 3 or more cylinders (2 main and 1 or more stage/deco cylinders)
- Have successfully completed the Tec Sidemount Instructor Course.
PADI Sidemount Equipment Requirements
Each Tec Sidemount Instructor Candidate is required to have a full set of dive equipment as detailed in the PADI Tec Sidemount Diver Instructor Guide. This includes the following items:
- BCD and harness configured for Technical Sidemount Diving. We recommend the Hollis SMS100 or similar units. Other units may be acceptable, but please consult with the Course Director prior to the course.
- Four independent cylinders. We suggest that one of the cylinders have a left handed valve.
- 2 cylinders of a size and type appropriate as main cylinders
- 2 cylinders of a size and type appropriate for stage/deco cylinders
- Independent regulator for each cylinder, each with a single second stage and SPG
- At least one second stage must be on a 1.5-2m long hose for gas sharing.
- We recommend the use of Omni Swivels for each second stage
- At least one regulator must be equipped with a low pressure inflator hose to supply the BCD.
- We recommend the SPGs be on 6" hoses
- Other dive equipment as required by General Standards and Procedures.
Cylinders can generally be provided by arrangement.
Preparing for Your Tec Sidemount Instructor Course
The requirements for becoming a Tec Sidemount Instructor are quite high, and many instructors find that undertaking the PADI Sidemount Diver Instructor Course and a PADI Tec Sidemount Diver course may be a better option. Once the instructor has met the extensive diving requirements, they may then submit their application to become a Tec Sidemount Instructor.
The Sidemount Diving video by Jill Heinerth and Jeff Loflin is a fantastic resource to help you to prepare for your own sidemount diver training, and as a tool for you to use in your teaching. I recommend you purchase a copy (download is the easiest).
If you already have your Sidemount equipment, watch this video, and use it as a guide to setting up your gear. Bring your gear along on the first day of your training, and assemble it as you learnt in the video. We will then work together to fine tune and personalise your rig for you.