Sidemount Diving - Openwater, in Wrecks, or in Caves
The term “
The term “Sidemount Diving” generally describes a technique and configuration of scuba diving where the tanks are attached on the divers side rather than on his back as in the backmounted configuration. Having its origins mostly from U.K. sump diving in the 1960´s it first appeared on the U.S. cave diving scene in the 1970´s used by Florida cave diver Woody Jasper whom due to an accident was unable to use manifolded double cylinders. So the main original use and adaptation was for ease of transportation outside of the water.
Inspired by Woody Jasper soon other divers followed in the 1980's, like Wes Skiles who not only saw the benefit of Sidemounting in the ease of carrying single cylinders rather than doubles to the water, but also understood the advantage of lateral mounted cylinders when it came to exploring smaller parts of caves and wrecks. The 1990's saw the first commercialy manufactured Sidemount equipment with the TransPac by Dive Rite's owner and Florida cave diver Lamar Hires. Soon Sidemount diving became the number one choice for most cave explorers.
2009 was the start of a worldwide boom for Sidemount Diving with more and more people realizing that carrying your cylinders on the back only makes sense outside of the water where the concept of carrying heavy loads on the back is thousands of years old. But once in the water, putting your life support equipment in a place where you can't see it and where it is hard to reach seems to be less than ideal.
In the Sidemount configuration having the cylinders behind your shoulders streamlined and not creating any additional drag, greatly facilitates moving through the water as efficiently and as easily as possible. It's a true experience of freedom under water.
Since then many CCR Rebreather divers have been using similar techniques to stow their bail out tanks in a Sidemount configuration and many cave divers have changed over to enjoy the freedom of Sidemount diving without a restricting, heavy set of doubles on the back.
Lately Sidemount has also become a huge trend in the recreational diving market and even large training organizations like PADI accept this “new” form of diving and support it. The ease with which you can attach and detach tanks in the water and not having to perform a balancing act before and after the dive on the often shaky dive boats or long surface walks is one of many benefits.
How the CE certified STEALTH 2.0 came to be
2009 was our year and Patrick Widmann had the chance to go to the drawing board. Patrick is aSidemount fanatic since 2005 and has used this type of gear configuration in many forms and shapes during a cave and a wreck exploration project in the Egyptian Red Sea as well as for all of his cave exploration projects in Mexico. During that time he had plenty of time to see all the features he liked and did not like on the available Sidemount systems, as well as to understand the needs he had. The ProTec STEALTH 2.0 Sidemount Gear is produced in Poland by by X-Deep and has CE certification.
The STEALTH 2.0 Sidemount gear components
This is by no means a reinvention of the wheel but simply an adaptation and adjustment of already proven and accepted Sidemount gear, techniques, features and configurations. We felt that the Sidemount setup should be simplified and only have the following necessary and useful features.
1) Switching from drysuit to wetsuit in less then 5 minutes (As teaching and guiding in a drysuit but exploring in a wetsuit).
2) Easy to add or remove up to36lbs/16.5kg weight under water in specific designed compartments that help with trim. (To simplify teaching by having the possibility to weight and trim the student without leaving the water).
3) No plastic buckles, clips or other easy to brake material.
4) Adopt the simplicity of theHogarthian Gear Configuration.
5) The possibility to add a butt plate when diving with steel cylinders in cold water or when diving deep.
6) Multiple and flexible adjustment points to fit any size diver from huge to tiny.
7) Sufficient space to pack enough weight for heavy undergarment and soft weights.
8) A buoyancy device system that is removable under water (to give maximum safety when diving extremely small caves) and be placed where the diver really needs it: On the lower back instead around the shoulders.
9) Enough lift to carry heavy tanks, multiple stages, scooters and camera gear with minimum lift of 36lbs/16.5kg.
10) Power Inflator and dump valve.
11) A buoyancy device that follows the natural body curve of the diver with a horizontal position and an arched back.
12) Maximum streamlining.
13) Maximum durability and high quality materials (heavy duty Cordura, webbing and zipper).
After six months of designing and 18 month of test diving while implementing changes and re-designing we are very happy and proud to present ourCE certified STEALTH 2.0 Sidemount System.
We have used the STEALTH2.0 system for long range 30.000ft/9km penetration multi-stage, multi-scooter exploratory cave dives, while diving in wetsuits and drysuits, conducting multi gas technical trimix deep dives, extreme Sidmount and no-mount cave diving, Sidemount wreck diving as well as leisure open water ocean Sidemount diving with over 200 hours of diving and testing in these different environments and diving applications.
Contact us by email to place your order or click here to see purchase options and use the buy now PayPal buttons next to each item. Please inquire prior ordering about availability and exact shipping cost via FedEx or DHL to your location. As an option you can pick up your STEALTH 2.0 gear here at our ProTec locations in Playa del Carmen or Tulum. We accept PayPal, credit cards via PayPal and wire money transfer.
If you plan to do your Sidemount training with ProTec or pick up your STEALTH 2.0 gear at our ProTec locations we offer a free gear adjustment workshop.
STEALTH 2.0 gear front view
If you have any questions or need any assistance please do not hesitate to contact us by email
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