Weight recommendations

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divekids
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Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2021 5:41 pm

Weight recommendations

Post by divekids »

Hi folks,

My dive buddy and I have been struggling with weighting for the past couple of months, in theory and in practice. I've run into a lot of conflicting opinions, so of course it's only proper to get a few more if anyone would be so kind.

As a newly certified divers, we dove with rental BCDs, drysuits, and AL80s, needing 34lb of lead to sink us.

Now we've moved on to steel BP/W, hog harnesses, and HP80s. This allowed us to drop to 24lb of lead (excluding backplate), which is much more ergonomic.

Theory

I've heard:
- Use a weight belt over your harness (this doesn't seem physically possible for my buddy)
- Use a weight belt under your harness
- Get a DUI weight & trim
- Use integrated weight pockets on the harness
- Use weights on the top cam band
- Use a combination of all options
- You need to have ditchable weight (some consider a weightbelt under a harness as ditchable, others do not)
- You need to have some weight on your person, to counteract the drysuit's buoyancy

Practice

Right now I do 2x DGX trim pockets with 4lb each on my waistband, a 12lb belt and 4lbs of ankle weights = 24lb total. The belt is worn under the harness.

With this setup, I seem to be able to sink on my first dive of the day only if I kick down and force my lungs to be empty for a little while. Once I'm a couple feet down, I can make it to the bottom.

On the second dive of the day, I sink easily. Not like a stone, but without any effort.

I did a weight check at the end of the day, and I could drop maybe 4lb although I was having a bit of trouble staying down in 5ft of water. Any more and I couldn't stay down at all.

My questions are:
- Is it safe for my buddy - who despises the chunky weight belts, as they really don't work well with her body type - to swap it out for integrated pockets (such as https://www.divegearexpress.com/oms-bal ... -lb-5-4-kg) on the harness waistband? Is it ok to dive without any weight on one's person, making them extremely positively buoyant without their rig?
- Is it safe for me to wear my weightbelt under my harness? I attempted to ditch it on land, and it was definitely not fire-and-forget due to the crotch strap. I can see this being an advantage and a disadvantage.

I understand a lot of advice is really situational. We're here for the creatures at 60 feet or less in the cold PNW waters, we'll always be with a buddy or a DM, and we want to dive conservatively & safely. Thanks for reading and we appreciate any opinions.
Last edited by divekids on Wed Feb 10, 2021 7:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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YellowEye
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Re: Weight recommendations

Post by YellowEye »

Hi
Welcome!

A few thoughts on my own experience below. I'm not an instructor or anything, and I haven't seen an integrated pocket used on a harness. Others may have more to add

For your buddy -- My first question is would a integrated pocket on a backplate even allow for good trim? I use a bp+w + dui weight harness and find I have to hang my weights pretty low to float horizontal in the water. I'm pretty tall but had the same case with a few buddies I've helped sort their trim. Would you be able to lower your weights enough with those integrated?

I see no issues with no weight on person. Has you buddy tried to see if a weight harness works with her body type? There's a female diver fb group that may be able to help with that type of issue

For you -- keep in mind that it may not just be you removing your weights, it could be a buddy in an emergency situation. What if you forget to plug in your drysuit hose and don't realize it until a fast descent? Will you have the presence of mind to ditch your weights and untangle it? Some in that situation have not had the presence of mind to even ditch weights. If somebody had to ditch your weights to lift you onto a boat in an emergency, less weights (ankle weights) and dodads to remove also helps. If you lower your tank and weights you probably don't need ankle weights.

Not sure why its easier for you to sink on a second dive -- could it be because your gear is wet? are you purging your suit before you walk into the water?

I'd avoid dropping too much weight. Make sure you will not pop or have to struggle to stay down if you get down to 300psi, accidentally wear thick socks that day, hand off your pony bottle and ditch your camera. Or what if your buddy's a bit floaty?
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YellowEye
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Re: Weight recommendations

Post by YellowEye »

Hi
If you want to look at our setups or discuss more, we'll be at Redondo Thursday night (ththth thread) or Keystone over the weekend (if the weather's okay).

-Eric
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Nwbrewer
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Re: Weight recommendations

Post by Nwbrewer »

Yelloweye has good advice.

Regarding weights in pockets, I've seen people put XS scuba pockets on the waist band behind the D ring on the left and behind the can light on the right, but personally I don't like that, it always felt awkward. I have 2 pockets for trim weights on each cam band and that works pretty well, the rest (10lbs) I put on a weight belt that goes under my harness. New buddies I just brief on the need to pop BOTH buckles in the event of emergency. My thought is I'm at more risk from the uncontrolled ascent from loss of weight at depth than I am from someone not figuring out to pop two standard buckles that are right on top of each other. I've seen it happen at least once that the weight belt buckle failed and it wound up hanging from my buddies crotch strap...

It's not a bad thing to have some weight on you especially if you ever need to ditch your rig underwater (this seems to be more of a "class" type skill rather than something that I've ever seen anyone do in reality. The bigger reason to split the weight up is to make sure your rig can be positively buoyant on the surface. If I had all my weight on the rig, even fully inflated it would sink, which is not good if diving from small boats where you often clip off and ditch the rig before boarding.

Weight is not the enemy, you need what you need. If you need 24lbs to stay down comfortably with an empty tank at the end of the dive, then that's what you need, don't try to take too much off right now, maybe after 30-40 dives, re-evaluate that. As far as the 1st versus second dive issue, that's easy, dive more. You're dropping easier on the second dive because you're comfortable.

Happy diving!

Jake
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Jeff Pack
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Re: Weight recommendations

Post by Jeff Pack »

I've always been fond of the DUI weight and trims. Used them for years
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- I got a good squirt in my mouth
- I would imagine that there would be a large amount of involuntary gagging
- I don't know about you but I'm not into swallowing it

CCR discussion on Caustic Cocktails.
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