Open Water Course Equipment Options

Open Water Course Equipment Options

Most people don't think about their Open Water Course Equipment Options when deciding to become a certified diver and so they end up in what is more or less a standard single cylinder back mounted configuration.

This is typically the setup you would see on TV and on holiday if you are in an area where divers walk across the beaches.  There is nothing wrong with this setup, it has been tried and tested for a long time.

Sadly most people are not aware of the other options available to them as not everyone is able to teach them at this entry level and so could potentially miss out on something which would be better for them.

Needless to say, we can teach any of our courses from Open Water level upwards on any of the different configurations.


  • Standard backmount
  • Standard backmount with Long Hose
  • Twinset
  • Sidemount
  • Rebreather


This is the most common and consists of a BCD (Buoyancy Control / Compensation Device), a single cylinder on the back of it and a set of regulators with 65 - 90cm hoses on them.  Note, a special type of BCD called a WING could be used in this configuration also.


This is identical to the standard backmount setup with the exception that the regulators are on a short 56 - 65cm hose for the backup and a 210cm hose for the primary.  The main difference here is that you would donate your primary regulator in the event of a buddy needing air.  It provides for a greater distance between the person out of air and the person with air.  Note, a special type of BCD called a WING could be used in this configuration also.


This is where we start moving onto a different configuration and techniques for some skills.  The obvious difference is two cylinders which are linked together instead of just one on your back and two separate regulators.  This provides far greater air and also redundancy in case of any problems.  This setup uses a long hose setup.


This, like Twinset, has two cylinders except they are not linked together and they are on the side of your body as opposed to on your back.  It provides the same safety benefits as a twinset and in some case even more.  It is ideal for anyone who struggles with weight on their back but would still like the added benefits of more cylinders.


While uncommon, it is possible to learn to dive using a CCR (Closed Circuit Rebreather).  This is a serious piece of equipment and can easily give you up to 3 hours underwater at one time (other training requirements may be required for these durations).

This consists of a 'special black box' of electronics, a means to remove carbon dioxide and a couple of very small cylinders for the gasses which at this level would be Air and Pure Oxygen.  It then mixes these as you need them.

This would typically go on your back although there are some CCR units appearing in Sidemount configuration now.

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