This course is to provide the diver with fundamental knowledge and skills necessary to gain experience and minimize risk while conducting open water dives utilizing a sidemount scuba equipment configuration within the no decompression limits. Upon successful completion of this course, graduates are considered competent to conduct dives using a sidemount equipment configuration in open water diving activities without supervision, provided the diving activities and the areas dived approximate those of training.

Get Started

The NAUI Sidemount Diver is for certified divers who are are passionate about diving and would like to increase their knowledge and safety in diving. Divers must be a minimum of 15 years of age, in good health and must be previously certified as a NAUI Advanced Scuba Diver or equivalent.

What’s Next?

Continue your training by enrolling in a NAUI Rescue Scuba Diver or NAUI First Aid course. If you completed the aforementioned courses you may enroll in NAUI Divemaster course.


Academic: E-learning/Classroom

Practical Application:

Open Water Dives: 4 dives


  • NAUI Equipment Configuration for side-mounted cylinder configuration.
  • Ballasting and buoyancy control for side-mounted cylinders.
  • Water entry and exit procedures.
  • Side-mounted cylinder attachment considerations.
  • Cylinder removal and replacement.
  • Gas management with independent cylinders.
  • Gas sharing with side-mounted cylinders.
  • Psychological aspects of Sidemount Diving.
  • Dive Planning
      • Safety drills are to be performed at the beginning of every dive to include:
        • equipment checks
        • bubble check
        • gas sharing
        • dive plan and limits review
      • In the open water each student must:
        • Demonstrate environmentally appropriate propulsion techniques.
        • Remove, replace and clear the mask
        • Out-of-air drill: Share air with a buddy, at depth in a neutral position in the water column, and perform a safe ascent to the surface
        • Bring a diver, simulating unconsciousness to the surface from a depth of approximately 10 feet (3m), remove victim’s weight system, mask and snorkel; simulate in-water rescue breathing.
        • Hover with proper horizontal body position without swimming..
        • With a simulated out-of-gas teammate, swim a distance of 30m (100 ft.) underwater.
        • Demonstrate a simulated regulator failure, shutdown, and switch over procedure within 10 seconds.
        • Demonstrate adequate trim and the ability to maintain proper body position during the descent, bottom, and ascent portion of the dive.
        • Unclip sidemount cylinder, rotate one and two cylinders to the front and back to re attach.
        • Demonstrate the ability to safely manage gas in independent cylinders..
      • Attach sidemount cylinders while:
        • Out of the water
        • On surface, standing.
        • On surface in water too deep to stand.
      • Remove and Replace Sidemount cylinder(s)
          • At depth


  • Age. Minimum is 15 years by the water phase of the course.
  • Certification/Experience/Knowledge.
    • NAUI Advanced Open Water Scuba Diver Certification or equivalent.
    • NAUI Nitrox Diver or equivalent recommended.
    • Proof of at least 25 dives.
    • The Instructor is to ensure adequate student knowledge and capability before any open water training and shall use skill or other evaluations to do so. One open water dive (which does not count towards the minimum number of dives required for the course) may be used as a screening and evaluation dive. This is not required when the student’s diving proficiencies are well known to the instructors.
  • Equipment. Students shall furnish and be responsible for the care and maintenance of their own equipment. The instructor shall initially assist the student in checking all student gear to ensure it is adequate and in proper working order.