How I train on the Extended Range Sidemount course
To complete the picture of this course, I invite you to read about How I train on a basic course where I explain in detail the main assumptions of basic training, which also apply during the SM technical course.
The Extended Range Sidemount course is a two-day course, but also extensive and detailed.
We start by reading and signing the relevant documents, presenting the action plan, assumptions and logistics. After the theoretical part (history, setup, gas management, procedures, rescue and emergencies), we get down to reviewing our harnesses, bungee lengths, cords, setting hoops, regulators and all other equipment. We make appropriate adjustments (more in How I Train on a Basic Course) to prepare our equipment and ourselves for a new challenge; diving with stage cylinders in side configuration.
The main goal of our course is to master how to don and doff stage cylinders and swim efficiently with three or four cylinders and the ability to deal with difficult and emergency situations with more equipment.
Each XR Sidemount course begins with an underwater skills review of the basic course with two cylinders and partial development of them.
My students know perfectly well how much importance I attach to ensuring that the diver and his equipment (including cylinders) are streamlined and easily accessible. Achieving this goal in the SM configuration requires learning many tricks and ways and practicing them in various conditions and configurations.
During the course I run, we learn and practice the ways of putting on a stage cylinder, including one (in two variations) typically cave way, where we are in contact with the rope all the time.
It's important to be aware that the type of main cylinders (steel, aluminum) also affects the harness presets and (sometimes) the way you put on your stage cylinders. These dependencies are discussed or practiced in the course.
As usual, each dive is preceded by a meticulous discussion of exercises, plan, dry-run and visualization, which helps to remember individual sequences of the exercise. We start with exercises with one stage cylinder and finish the course with two.
The XR Sidemount course is not only about operating cylinders, but also emergency situations, operating sources of buoyancy, ascent and descent, clarifying the hoses of stage cylinder regulators, replacing stage cylinders, shooting a buoy, operating the main light, the aforementioned rope exercises, working on buoyancy and improving swimming techniques . Having the XR Sidemount certificate obliges!
In every XR SM course, we discuss and practice the sidemount gas switching procedure in detail, which MUST be mastered! After all, this course, among other things, either prepares the diver for technical courses and swimming on various breathing mixes or is dedicated to divers who already have technical qualifications.
The XR Sidemount course is a lot of hard work and commitment is required. However, nothing can replace the satisfaction that gives us mastering all skills and the sight of a sidemount diver who, in a beautiful position, perfectly streamlined, flows with composure and dignity, aware of his fitness and diving competence.
Course at your place?
If there are more of you and you are interested in the course, maybe it would be more convenient and cheaper to invite me to you? In this case, please ask for an inquiry via the form in the "contact" section.
I cordially invite you!