About the Course

Discover the balance and efficiency of sidemount scuba diving with your PADI dive instructor. Many divers find sidemount tanks are more comfortable and easier to put on in the water. Sidemount diving is also beneficial for divers who want improved balance and prolonged dives.
Take This Course If You Want to
  • Experience a different scuba configuration
  • Improve gas management
  • Gain insight into basic tec diving techniques
Learn How to
  • Assemble and configure sidemount equipment
  • Mount scuba tanks in the water
  • Adjust your weights for optimal balance
  • Frog kick to move easily while wearing sidemount

How to Earn Your PADI Sidemount Diver Certification

Complete your Sidemount Diver eLearning coursework online, then meet with a highly-trained PADI Instructor for training dives.

The PADI Difference

For over 50 years, PADI has undeniably been the Way the World Learns to Dive®, setting the standard for the highest quality dive training, underwater safety and conservation initiatives while evolving the sport of diving into a passionate lifestyle.


(and counting) PADI certified divers to date!


PADI dive centers and resorts across the globe


PADI Professional members worldwide

More Info

Gifting and Sharing Courses

Want to share the experience or give the gift of endless adventure? You can now purchase PADI eLearning® and share it with a recipient of your choice! Whether you are purchasing the course as a gift or need to assign it to family members – it’s super easy.

  1. Purchase an eLearning course.
  2. Follow the link in your confirmation email or sign into your account to go to your Dashboard.
  3. From your Dashboard go to 'Manage Your Courses' section.
  4. Select the course you'd like to gift and enter the email of the gift recipient.
  5. The recipient will receive an email to start the eLearning course.
Medical Requirements

Scuba diving requires a minimum level of health and fitness. Chronic health conditions, certain medications and/or recent surgery may require you to get written approval from a physician before diving.

Avoid disappointment, download and review the Diver Medical form to ensure you won’t need a physician’s approval to dive before enrolling in a scuba course. Instructors, divemasters and dive shop staff are not physicians and should not be asked for medical advice; only medical professionals can give medical clearance to dive.

If you (or your physician) have questions about medical fitness to dive, contact the experts at Divers Alert Network (DAN).

Prerequisites & Minimum Age
  • Prerequisites: PADI Open Water Diver (or qualifying certification)
  • Minimum age: 15 years or older
Choosing a Dive Shop

There are three parts to certification: knowledge development, skill practice and open water dives. You can complete all three parts locally, on holiday, or split between the two.

Choose a dive shop close to home to:

  • Support your local diving community
  • Meet other divers in your area
  • Learn about your local ecosystem

Choose a dive shop away from home if you:

  • Plan to travel to a dive destination on holiday
  • Enjoy meeting new people
  • Have time to complete your course on vacation

If you're not ready to try diving locally, but want to support your local dive shop, you can complete eLearning and coursework near home, then complete your training dives while traveling. Contact your local PADI Dive Center to ask about a referral.

TIP: Complete PADI eLearning pre-travel to minimize time spent studying on vacation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Want a detailed explanation of what's involved with learning to scuba dive? This comprehensive article covers everything you need to know about scuba certification.

You can also review the frequently asked questions about learning to scuba dive at the bottom of this page.

Other Costs & Equipment

This is a two-part class with course study and inwater dive training requirements for certification. The PADI eLearning course purchased on padi.com covers course study only.

There is an additional cost for inwater training with a PADI Instructor. Cost varies by class size, location and dive gear rental.

  • In addition to your basic gear, you’ll need a harness and buoyancy control device (BCD) designed specifically for sidemount. When wearing two tanks, each tank requires its own regulator and submersible pressure gauge (SPG). Most recreational sidemount divers carry a folding or collapsible snorkel in a pocket, instead of wearing it on a mask. Your instructor will advise you about the equipment options. Gear may or may not be included with inwater training cost.
  • Depending on the dive environment, you may also need a wetsuit or dry suit. 

Contact your PADI Dive Center or Resort for more information and pricing.

Time Commitment
  • PADI eLearning: 2-4 hours
  • Entire course: 2-3 days


Available Languages
English, Nederlands, Français, Italiano, اللغة العربية, Deutsch, 한국어, Espanol, 日本語, 中文简体, 中文繁体, Русский язык
System Requirements

PADI's eLearning courses online are designed to work on the browsers listed below. For the best experience ensure your browser is up to date.

  • Chrome
  • Safari
  • Edge
  • Firefox

If you’re going somewhere without internet access, use the PADI Training app to download course content and study offline. Content can be downloaded in sections up to 1.10 GB. Once back online, upload your progress to resume your training where you left off.

The PADI Training app is available for Android™ and Apple® iOS devices. For an optimal experience, devices should be no more than three models old with the most current OS (operating system).


After this course

Consider continuing on to Tec Sidemount Diver course in which you’ll learn additional skills specific to tec diving in sidemount, such as staging and switching deco cylinders.

Technical divers explore reefs and wrecks at depths below the 40 meter/130-foot recreational limit. With specialized training, they can explore underwater caves and other places well beyond the reach of mainstream recreational diving.

The Sidemount Diver Specialty course dive may count toward your Advanced Open Water Diver certification – ask your instructor about earning credit.

Each PADI Specialty you complete gets you one step closer to earning the elite Master Scuba Diver™ rating.

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