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How much weight for a 5 mm wetsuit?

pthread

New Member
Jul 26, 2009
31
1
0
London
#1
Hi there,

I got a 5 mm wetsuit in the making. I'm about 5.9"/180 cm and weigh 160lbs/73 kg.

What sort of weights would I need to buy to be on the safe side?

Cheers

P.
 
Feb 19, 2005
3,574
1,130
0
Guernsey, Channel Islands, UK.
#3
Weight is all about the depth you are aiming for. As you go deeper your suit and lungs are compressed and you loose bouyancy. Most spearo's only work down to a max of 10metres in th Uk and typical weights are between 14 and 28 pounds. i'm a shallow water diver and I use 21lb approx.

Weight distribution is another issue. I use 6lb in a weight vest, 14lb on a belt and 2 x 1/2lb ankle weights.

Dave.
 

myfish

Well-Known Member
Apr 29, 2007
127
72
68
#4
As a channel islands spearo (shallow water mostly) we often want neutral at 4-5 meters. I was running an 8kg harness.

We then started to go deeper.

we use omer cayman 5mm and brown mimetic 5mm (both omer, both different bouyancy).

however...

when at vobster quay we soon learned we were way too heavy !

i had though 14lb fine in salt but i was running 2kg in freshwater.

i reduced weight to 12, then 11lb and another pound is still gonna come off before i dive again, maybe 2.

weight for bouyancy at 10-11 meters if diving below that and upto 20M i reckon.
fins down, arms up and exhale it all....... if you sink below your mouth your too heavy and its hard to relax whilst buddying etc..
And...
on your big exhale during a snorkel breathe up, you can gulp a chunk of salt if you are heavy.
being heavy makes crap duck dives look good too.

hope this helps but its just what we were shown, i'm no expert.
 

pthread

New Member
Jul 26, 2009
31
1
0
London
#5
Thanks for the tips, guys. :)

I only wanted to do recreational freediving at max. 10 Meters depth in the Aegean sea.

So I guess it is a safe bet to take some 21 lbs with me and then see how much I need in reality?
 

Bill

Baron of Breathold
Supporter
Oct 17, 2001
1,804
331
188
78
Kona
kv6j.net
#6
The old rule of thumb (1 kg for each mm of suit in salt water) will get you started for free diving and should end up +/- 20%. Neutral at 1/3 of max depth when you have a chance to check. For spearfishing you're better off learning to dive with partial lungs than wearing huge amounts of weight. For diving 10 meters, neutral at the bottom works great.
 
Last edited:

HEDS

Well-Known Member
May 23, 2007
247
56
68
Isle of Anglesey
#7
Im glad i have seen this thread as im in the middle of a weight dilemma myself ... i only freedive as part of spearfishing - i think there is a big diffrence in terms of the weight needed for both these activities.

I wear a two piece diveskin 5mm suit , and have been spearfishing with 6kg[about13lb] , i dont dive deep and have never ever had the feeling of being 'neutral' with this setup. Usually i dive in kelp so there is plenty to hang on to - recently i dived with a friend , and we dived over very clean bottom , sand and weed , nothing to hold on to - i was as useless as a bloody chocolate teapot!!
So i got home and knocked myself a diy harness with about 4.5 kg[10lb] tried this out the following day , was very slightly positive at about 4m.
It made a hell of a difference to my bottom time , and i didnt tire half as quick!
However i am slightly curious and worried about the affect of 23lbs if i decided i wanted to go deeper .
 
Feb 19, 2005
3,574
1,130
0
Guernsey, Channel Islands, UK.
#8
My 21lb sees me neutral at about 15 to 20 foot. Deeper than that and I am negative.

There's no doubt that with experience you need less weight and beginners often use too much weight t compensate for poor technique. However spearing in shallowish water does need a fair bit of weight.

I mainly practice 2 sorts of diving/spearing. One surface hunting bass in the shallows, indian style. Need plenty of weight to get yourself low in the water, especially your legs (anlkle weights essential). Secondly I hunt flatfish by swimming just off the bottom in 15 to 25 foot. lots of repeat dives and important to keep station a few feet above the bottom. 21lb does this for me. Deeper and I constantly have to push off the bottom with the spear but I try to compensate with extra large lungfulls of air.

All in all it's horses for courses and there is no absolute answer. The only rider I'd add is stay safe. Add weight a little at a time and have a good quick release buckle on your belt.

Dave.
 

HEDS

Well-Known Member
May 23, 2007
247
56
68
Isle of Anglesey
#9
Cheers OMD ..
It seems pretty similar to the type of hunting i do , i hope ive hit the jackpot in terms of weight now - just need to work on my technique , something that i couldnt do with 6Kg's.
 

aquamac01

Active Member
Jan 13, 2009
27
2
38
Plymouth
#10
As a channel islands spearo (shallow water mostly) we often want neutral at 4-5 meters. I was running an 8kg harness.

We then started to go deeper.

we use omer cayman 5mm and brown mimetic 5mm (both omer, both different bouyancy).

however...

when at vobster quay we soon learned we were way too heavy !

i had though 14lb fine in salt but i was running 2kg in freshwater.

i reduced weight to 12, then 11lb and another pound is still gonna come off before i dive again, maybe 2.

weight for bouyancy at 10-11 meters if diving below that and upto 20M i reckon.
fins down, arms up and exhale it all....... if you sink below your mouth your too heavy and its hard to relax whilst buddying etc..
And...
on your big exhale during a snorkel breathe up, you can gulp a chunk of salt if you are heavy.
being heavy makes crap duck dives look good too.

hope this helps but its just what we were shown, i'm no expert.
Thanks for the heads up Myfish. Im freediving Vobster tomorrow so will drop some weight.