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Review: Video Sidemount Training with Steve Martin

Informational, video-based courses can help divers interested in expanding their recreational and technical-dive knowledge

For good or for ill, modern consumers increasingly favor video content over the written word. That can mean that even dive instructors must shift their teaching styles with the times. Giving in to the demand for video content, scuba instructor Steve Martin embarked on an innovative approach to dive training. He took his years of experience as both a diver and instructor and started developing video-based training courses for divers interested in expanding their recreational and technical dive knowledge.

What’s included in the videos?

With 17 years of diving experience, 13 of them as an instructor, Martin has developed his own training courses and is considered one of the leading developers of sidemount diving. He continues to create new course content based on client feedback and requests.

Note that his online courses do not offer certifications. Rather, these informational training courses impart knowledge and increase a diver’s skills when he or she puts the knowledge contained in the videos to practical use. However, Martin does teach in person as well, particularly conducting cave-training classes across the world.

A handful of his courses are free, while others have associated costs. The quality of the videos is impressive; the information is clear and concise; and the knowledge is useful and appropriate for a range of divers. On the hand-signals videos alone I learned a few new signals to add to my repertoire. All the instructional videos are easy to understand. They offer some great tips regarding finning techniques, rescue training, S-drills, compass use, determining your air-consumption rate, and so much more. If you’re an avid tec diver, a tec diver in training, or just interested in learning some new skills, there’s a good chance he has lessons that will be useful for you.

Martin offers seven complete courses containing 22 hours of content split over 165 individual lessons. Check them out for yourself at