Divers wear weight systems, weight belts or weights to counteract the buoyancy of other diving equipment such as wetsuits and aluminum scuba tanks and the diver’s buoyancy.
Many people mistakenly believe that a weight system required for scuba diving will sink you straight to the ocean floor. It will not. Weight systems are a necessary part of scuba diving; for those who don’t know, divers are lively.
The primary reason for wearing a weight belt is to balance the freediver’s buoyancy and their exposure protection. The main types of weight systems used by freedivers are weight belts, neck weights, and weight vests (more commonly used in spearfishing and collecting).
When your suit is compressed, a nylon belt often ends up around your chest. By using smaller weight increments, you can fine-tune your buoyancy. Weights in the 0.5-1kg/1-2lb range are ideal.
Females should add 4 to 5 pounds (about 2 kg) of weight when diving in salt water or subtract 4 to 5 pounds (about 2 kg) when diving in fresh water. Males should add 6 to 7 pounds (about 3 kg) when diving in salt water or subtract 6 to 7 pounds (about 3 kg) when diving in fresh water.
6 lbs is a lot of weight without a wetsuit. You’ll probably need 2lbs or less unless you’re going very flat.
Weights typically come in sizes from 1 to 5 pounds and the weight is stamped on the side.
If properly weighted, you should float with the water surface at or slightly above eye level and your forehead touching the surface. Demonstrate negative buoyancy by descending past eye level on the exhale. When you can sink slightly on the exhale, return to the surface and establish positive buoyancy.
You will likely use about 7-11 pounds of weight with this suit. You want to carry just enough weight so that you can barely touch the ground at your maximum depth of 20 feet. At shallower depths you will be bouyant (floating upwards). Neutral means you tend to hang at a certain depth and neither float nor sink.