PADI Sidemount Diver Specialty

PADI Sidemount Diver Specialty

PADI Sidemount Diver Specialty

Looking for more flexibility and better streamlining options? Then complete the PADI Sidemount Diver specialty to learn about the many benefits of diving with a sidemount configuration.  With two cylinders attached you’ll be able to increase your bottom time too!

Having scuba tanks on your back isn’t a requirement for exploring the underwater world. Many divers have discovered the joy of mounting cylinders on their sides.

Sidemount diving offers divers a different approach to equipment configuration and an opportunity to learn a completely new set of skills. It takes redundancy to a new level and for many divers who try sidemounts for the first time, the knowledge that their breathing systems are in view at all times is a massive comfort.

Following some ‘self study’ you’ll complete at home, you’ll meet the NHDC team to review your theory before getting on with the fun bits!

You will take part in a ‘confined water’ session in a large swimming pool where you will learn about planning, work out configuration and start to experience the freedom sidemount diving offers..

During three open water dives you’ll fine-tune your skills, perfect your weighting & trim and learning more about the opportunities sidemount diving can offer.

This course will also count towards the prestigious PADI Master Scuba Diver rating and the first dive of this Specialty course may count towards the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver Certification. 


Basic Course: £249*

Standard Course: £708

Deluxe Course: £2105

Executive Option: additional £50 on Basic, Standard or Deluxe Course fee.

Elite Option: We’ll come to you! For an additional £100* on the Basic, Standard or Deluxe Course fee we’ll complete the training at your own facilities.


Min Age: 15 years old

Medically Fit: Complete this Medical Statement and have GP countersign if required.

Ability: You will need to be PADI Open Water Diver certified (or equivalent) to enrol onto this course.

Reserve your place

Contact Us to Reserve your Place

Knowledge Development 

As part of the PADI Sidemount Diver Specialty Course, you’ll complete some Knowledge Development before the fun bits. This will be reviewed with your instructor before putting the theory into practice during one confined water and three open water dives.

The theory side can be completed at you own pace before being reviewed. Currently only available as a physical manual, this can be collected from the NHDC Dive Centre.


Skills Practice

Also known as ‘Confined Water’ sessions, you’ll practice and ultimately master the skills that will allow you to dive confidently and safely using sidemount equipment. Our Skills Practice sessions will take place at local leisure centres on Saturday or Sunday afternoons.

You will enjoy a minimum of 2 hours in the pool, getting comfortable and practicing your skills before completing your open water dives.


Open Water Dives

Over the course of a day, you’ll complete three open water dives where you’ll really get to grips with the joy of sidemount diving and the possibilities this style of diving has to offer. You’ll come to master a range of skills including:

  • Proper assembly and configuration of sidemount scuba diving equipment.
  • Perfecting your trim of your weight system and sidemount gear so you’re perfectly balanced in the water.
  • Gas management by switching second stages as planned, if wearing two cylinders.

We will provide all the basic, as well as specialised, equipment for diving with sidemounted equipment.

Comfort is everything in scuba diving, therefore if you already have your own equipment, we’d encourage you to bring it along to ensure it’s correctly configured for sidemount diving. Discounts are available to those with their own equipment or those looking to buy their own sidemount equipment.

Knowledge Development can be completed at your own pace but will be reviewed with the NHDC team before certification.

The confined water session takes place on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon at Macclesfield or Congleton Leisure Centres, ensuring you’ll be ready for the day in open water.

Open Water dives are completed over a day at the weekend, usually a Saturday, with courses arranged on a regular basis.

New Horizons aims to be flexible with arranging courses to suit your schedule so if the scheduled dates are not convenient please give us a call to discuss suitable alternatives.

 On all of our PADI Sidemount Diver Specialty course options you will receive…

  • Coaching and on-going support from an experienced, passionate and professional PADI Instructor
  • Equipment Orientation (specialised equipment)
  • 1 hour (minimum) Knowledge Review (held with you NHDC Instructor)
  • 2 hours (minimum) Skills Development (confined water)
  • 1.5 hours (minimum) Open Water dives
  • FREE rental of all required equipment (including, but not limited to: cylinders & air fills, dive computer, fins, mask, snorkel, drysuit & undersuit, specialist equipment [e.g. harness and sidemount regulator set])
  • Course materials
  • PADI Certification

Our dives are usually completed in UK water, therefore we recommend you use a drysuit and undersuit for greater comfort. If you have no previous drysuit experience, we will arrange a pool based orientation session for an additional £40 before your weekend in Open Water so you are fully prepared and confident to jump in.

Please note, our course fees covers equipment rental, pool entry fees, PADI Certification fees etc, but do not cover entry fees to open water dive sites. These vary according to location; please ask for further details.


Basic Course

All of the above


Standard course

All of the above, plus X-Deep sidemount harness for you to use throughout the course and keep for years of joy.


Deluxe Course

All of the above, X-Deep sidemount harness plus Apeks XTX50 sidemount regulators for you to use throughout the course and keep for years of joy.

Knowledge Development 

Completed in your own time, this can be started at any time and completed at your own pace. Currently only available as a physical manual the course materials can be collected from the NHDC Dive Centre.

An initial £100 deposit will ensure course materials can be issued, allowing you to start as soon as you want! we’ll also reserve the specialist equipment required for you.

The NHDC team will be on hand to help you through and answer any questions as you progress. We will then review things and allow you to ask any questions you may have before the fun bits start.


Skills Development 

Confined Water sessions take place on Saturday or Sunday afternoons at local leisure centres. We offer standard schedules, with a minimum of 2 hours spent in the pool before progressing tothe open water dives.

Pool sessions lasts up to 4 hours, with up to 2 hours ‘in water’. With a maximum depth of 3 metres, you’ll soon be able to experience what sidemount diving can truly feel like.


Basic Course

Complete the PADI Sidemount Diver Specialty Course following our standard schedules.


Standard Course

Complete the PADI Sidemount Diver Specialty Course following our standard schedules. Purchase your own sidemount harness to use throughout the course, allowing you to tailor its setup and fit to your needs.


Deluxe Course

Complete the PADI Sidemount Diver Specialty Course following our standard schedules. Purchase your own sidemount harness and sidemount regulators set to use throughout the course, allowing you to tailor the setup and fit to your needs and enable you to go diving using sidemount systems any time you wish.


Executive Option

Our standard schedules are designed to offer flexibility, however, if these aren’t convenient, or if you feel you’d benefit from the more personal touch, we can tailor our schedules to a more bespoke timetable.

This executive option allows a 1:1 program, giving you the chance to work with a member of the NHDC team to become a master of sidemount diving.


Elite Option

If you have access to your own facilities, we can come to you! We will work with you to make a truly tailor-made course schedule. Use the course materials then when you’re ready, we’ll complete the Skills Development at your own facilities. Choose to join us at our usual open water dive sites, or let us escort you overseas. There’s a whole world of possibilities.


Trip Completion

This course may be conducted and completed on one of our trips. Please get in touch with the team to discuss this option and applicable discounts.


Payment Plans

A single £100 deposit will allow us to issue the relevant course materials and reserve required specialist equipment.

Further installment payments can be made with the final balance paid before the open water weekend (or final pool session if completing the Referral option). Talk to us about installment payment options.

Let us know you want to join us! Simply send us a Course Booking Form and completed Medical Statement. Once we’ve received your deposit we’ll issue your course materials, so you can get started straight away!

Get in touch for our bank account details or to make payment over the phone.

Your place will be confirmed on receipt of the Course Medical Statement (Countersigned by a GP if required). Please note, we will not be able to start any in water activities without one!