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a weighty issue

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.

icarus pacific

Nov 7, 2001
OK, here's one for all you freedive and SCUBA folks, spearo and numbers types alike...

The ol' back has been giving me grief these last few dive sessions and I've got it down to being the 17 pounds of lead wrapped around my middle. Doing my breath-ups horizontally at the surface just about breaks me, and the turn at the bottom is enough to make me want to just leave it there.

I used to use a harness when I was working commercial, wearing a lot more gear than today, a hat, comm cables, hot water and the gas hoses, along with the weights. I remember trying this a while back, wearing a harness like those offered by Beauchat and Sporasub and it being a bit better. (But at $50 US to ship a $60 US harness, I may just troll the ads.)

My question is then, are any of you loyal and true DB types using a harness to hold your lead? Are you doing it just for the Constant Ballast stuff or spearing fish, or both?

My back and heart appreciate your input. :crutch

DB comp guru
tried Ankle weights? take 2lbs off the belt anyways. might fubar your kinking though.....

I tried a "harness" the a pearl diver was using in Baharain a few years back - was FANTASTIC. but he had a crotch strap built in so it didn't slide around.

no idea how it would work for hunt - was comfortable as hell. (only had 8lbs on it though)

Originally posted by Amphibious
tried Ankle weights?
might fubar your kinking though.....


No, ankle weights are for flabby ladies that are watching Oprah.

Shot in the dark

Sven , how about redistributing the weights so you have more in front of the pelvic bones and replacing the ones on your back with pouches of lead shot ? :confused:
My G-friend

Originally posted by icarus pacific


No, ankle weights are for flabby ladies that are watching Oprah.


The only one i know that use a harness is my girlfriend :D The advantage of harness is getting weigth off her hip when she is standing, preventing the weight from "bitting" in them.

I use Ankle weight because it help me stay flat on the bottom. Also you get more weight above the water when you do the duck, so you go down faster.

You could try a "marseillaise" belt (rubber belt). You can put it lower on your hip and it will stay there because of the elasticity of the belt that prevent it from going loose when you go deeper.

You could also find a nice thai girl to massage your back and any other part you want.:D
Sven, I think that any system that will move the weight higher on your body is the way to go, for a few reasons. The main reason is that your centre of bouyancy is not the same as your centre of gravity when on land. Your centre of bouyancy is right up around your nipples (Oh beHAVE!!) and that's the optimal place for the weight. When diving, the weights help you sink or swim straight down, which is a good advantage. I know you don't use a monofin, but this is really comfortable for monodivers, especially when you get below 30 metres and want to sink the rest of the way.
I have not used a heavy harness with a big suit, but I have dived with a 4lb neck weight, and I dislike diving with a belt now. i will, in the future, go to a harness system for a heavier belt.
let me know if you stumble on to any good deals.
Erik Y.


I am sure that you are aware of the very expensive harness systems that DUI make- over $300.
Global Manufacturing, in Milwaukee, make a cheaper harness that is used for ice diving.
Take a look at it and just make your own. You'll need a few meters of weight belt webbing, a few weight keepers, and three belt buckles. You could even fashion a crotch strap that would release.
I have know many old Unisuit divers that used to dive with these things all the time. They would put 20#'s on the harness and keep another 20#'s on their belt to split up the weight.


what about doing situps...
from what i have heard (and from the mouth of my physiotherapist..) do alot of situpsm, stronger abs usually help back pain, AND... if you do ALOT of situps you might bring that 17lbs down to 7lbs :D (or maybe 2-4 which is what i figure i need..)

but seriously, do some situps...
sit up on this!

sit ups... yeah thanks, Vince. I'm very aware that developing the abdominals will ease the back strain. That fact was drilled into me by the orthopedic surgeon that drilled into 4 of my lowest vertabrae, fusing them and making my life much easier for the last 11 years. Best thing I've done since quitting the sauce; gave up the twelve packs and got a six pack on me! And hey, you develop into a 6'-3" 205 lb hunk like me, and dive here, you'll need a 7/9mm suit too, and thus the lead. (little wiseass...;)

Comes a time though when the verts above the repairs get tired of taking the load and start giving grief... Diving actually is a great tonic for the back as the weight is removed and borne by the water, allowing me to stretch and relax. The first couple of bends at the waist to initiate a dive are filled with cracks and pops. Great for drawing the fish.

Yes, DUI has never been shy about their pricing. Put Tech infront of anything and double the price... The thing I like about the Sporasub and Beauchats is that they aren't laden with D rings and all the rivets and crap- just a simple set of suspenders and a quick release on the belt, very much like a set of carpenter's tool belts. There looks to be about a 5 kg weightplate at the shoulder blades, (I like it Erik!) and two more at the waist. My interest lies in the amount of tension I'd have to put on the suspenders to keep them on and still do my breathups; the belt part would pretty much stay in place as a normal belt does. I do use all an rubber weight belt strap by the way, it's the only way to go without having to readjust your stuff once you get to the bottom and keeps that nice, handy release buckle, front and center- always a good thing.

Tell you peoples what... find me a decent price, shipped to N. California for either a Sporasub or Beauchat weight harness w/ the weights, and I'll lob you hella Karma. It gets no easier than that. :cool:

I've recently switched to a weight vest to try and give the old back a rest. I had tried using a homemade one several years
ago but found it unsatisfactory due to it slipping up to my armpits
when descending. However, this time I purchased one from
Adrenalin in Oz. I can't believe how good a good vest feels. I am
getting better bottom times due to the freer feeling and comfort.
I'm using it spearfishing and find that a waist belt /no weight helps when cocking my gun since the gun cannot slip down to the family jewels. I don't necessarily recommend their product due
to the fact that I had to make weights to fit their small pockets.
Unlike their claim that a standard one or two lb. fits I had to use sheet lead and cut into small wafers to fit. The vest is made well
and cost about $4o U.S.
hmm, after reading those shark threads in the hunting forum, I actualy got an idea for you, it might be way unreal, but I'll give it a go:

How about getting one of those 'shark suits'? I heard they can get real heavy (atleast the old ones).
You can cut the legs and sleeves and then you'll have a torso suit, with the weight well distributed on you. You might need to fasten it to get a good fit for the weight to dirtribute well and not just hang on your shoulders, ...or when head down, crotch. :waterwork

I think that cutting the legs only from mid-thigh downwards and using garters might solve that.
I swear that in no way I'm trying to con you into a new db contest picture. rofl

A diving instructor out o' shape Abri? I never seen that happen... yet.
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How about getting a used stainless steel backplate (for tech diving) from ebay and add some 2" rubber straps and buckle? They weigh about 5-12 lbs. You can add weight to them as needed. They'll definitely take the stress off your lower back.

Yeah, I know. The price is anywhere from $1 to $100+. But they seem more widely available than the Beuchat or Sporasub harness you mention. If you bid you may get lucky. Anyway, it's just a suggestion.

Peter S.
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Posted mine too late, sounds like some one saved all the tinkering with a factory made solution.
Thanks guys. Actually the chainmail thing sounds pretty genius, as it would distribute th eweight about as evenly as could be. The only thing is being able to ditch it if shit happened. I'm one of those types that has had a SWB and have lost a couple friends to it, so I keep my thumb bvehind the buckle on my ascents. Great idea though, Deep! Have a little karma.

The tech plate is a good idea too Peter; it's pretty much what the Sporasub and other model is, though rather than using a plate, the weights themselves are molded to act as the strap's separators. But to be honest, I'm going to have to cut one or all of them and add some mounting lugs to add and subtract for the additional weight I'll need with the 7/9 suit and the 3mm suits.

Is there a site for that vest Fijifree?

Good ideas, keep 'em coming! Or better yet, I think I'll just take up a collection!

Thanks guys. Actually the chainmail thing sounds pretty genius, as it would distribute th eweight about as evenly as could be.
10x! :D
And it's the perfect two-in-one outfit, a diving wheight, AND a disco suit! promised to attract game in both terrains!

And if someone gives you an odd frown, just claim that you didn't actually want to become a freediver/disco-dancer, and what you really wanted to be is a... A LUMBERJACK! :D
The only thing is being able to ditch it if shit happened. I'm one of those types that has had a SWB and have lost a couple friends to it, so I keep my thumb bvehind the buckle on my ascents.
:( sad.

How about creating a 'floating grenade'? a Co2 cartridge and a floater, the second you lose your grip it floats you. and you only start griping it when ascending...

Still more usefull than ditching the belt, since it ensures your arrival.

...Maybe I'm just too keen to see my chainmail idea coming to life. :)
Thanks Michael, but I'm a minimalist as far as my freediving goes. The extent of the crap I want to pack around is a speargun and knife.

Come to think of it, that's about all I like to carry when I'm on SCUBA.


Adrenalin has a site: sales@spearfishing.com.au Also, their

ph 61 7 339122 99 fax 61 7 3891 1144. In general they have

the best prices and service for mail order spearfishing gear that

I've found in Aus.



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