A recent post on a diving forum stated “sidemounting is just a fad”.
New(er) divers to the sport could be forgiven for thinking this style of scuba diving is a recent phenomenon.
Sidemounting was actually invented in the 1960s by the Brits. They were exploring sites such as Wookey Hole, Swildons Cave and other underground systems, and would often find ‘the way on’ was blocked by a submerged passageway called a sump (*in the UK – VB). In order to explore further, these sumps needed to be navigated.
British sumps tend to be short, cramped, flooded passageways, therefore buoyancy is not an issue nor is the use of fins. Cavers just needed a means to be able to breath and (sometimes) see where they were pushing. The caver would attach a cylinder and regulator to their body using a robust belt that allowed the cylinder to be worn against the body. This ‘English…
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