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Contractions? Weight Belts?? help!

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.


Rasta Freediver
Mar 4, 2004
Ok i'm very new to diving, but love every second im in the water. I have never used, nor seen a weight belt, but i was wondering if it would be useful for about 20-30 ft. dives...... I am only 5'5" and weigh about 120 lbs. so when i get down there, im always fighting to stay down. I was just wondering if a weight belt would be a hassle to ascend, etc.

Second, i was wondering what exactly contractions are. I'm not sure how to breathe quite right yet, so i was thinking i need to improve it. Everyone talks about contractions, BH, and all this stuff i dont get! Ahh! so if someone could please help, i'd appreciate it.
Hi skarz, and welcome to DeeperBlue.

I compiled a glossary of freediving terms last year, after searching through all the posts on the forum because I also was confused and unfamiliar with the language. You can find it here just scroll down to the last post: http://forums.deeperblue.net/showthread.php?s=&postid=216035#post216035

Do you wear a wetsuit when you dive? If you do it's almost necessary to have a weightbelt. Otherwise it's a big expenditure of effort and consequently oxygen to get down. The general rule of thumb is to weigh yourself so that you are "neutral" at 10 or 15 meters. This means that you should be able to float up without any effort from those depths. Deeper than that though you would have to fin to get back up to the depths where you'll be positive and able to float.

If you don't wear a wetsuit probably you might need only four to eght pounds to help you get down. So if you go to 30 feet, weigh yourself so you are neutral there, and very important, always dive with a buddy and never push your limits. When you feel the desire to breath, head for the surface. Don't even think about it!

Browse through the posts on the forum and research the safety aspect thoroughly. There are tons of good information here and with patiience you'll learn a lot. There are also lots of good and very experienced people in DB so the information is priceless. and when in doubt, ask.

Hey, i dont have a wetsuit :( i saved up to get stuff, but my parents think it's just a fad, so they said no! But i love diving! Do you know how much a 4-8 lb. belt cost? Is it still easy to swim with it on, or does it feel like a struggle to stay afloat, or ascend?
You definitely want a weight belt. For freediving, the rubber kind is superior to the nylon ones, because as you dive, your body and wetsuit will compress. A nylon belt doesn’t compress so it will become lose. A rubber one does so it will not become as lose and you can chinch it up a little too to compensation if it compresses less than you and your suit. You want to wear them on your hips, so that your lungs can fully expand when you breath in. The db store here has the rubber kind you need. I prefer several small distributed weights to a few large ones.

Like Adrian said, you should normally weight yourself so you are neutral at about 30 feet. The compression I mentioned as you dive down will make you less buoyant, because you displace less water. If you have to fight to stay down in the 20 to 30 feet range it sounds like you are too buoyant.

The exception to the 30’ rule is if the water depth is less than 30’ and you want to stay at the bottom without effort to spearfish, take photographs or just explore. Then you weight yourself to be neutral at the lower depth.
Contractions are when your body tries to breath but can’t because you are still holding your breath. For some it begins like a swallow. They vary in intensity and frequency between individuals, how a person breaths up and other variables.
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