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How much weight should I buy?

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
Jul 23, 2004
Hey, Im really new to freediving, and I have a quick question. Im going to be freediving off of ireland, and I own a 5mm wetsuit, with jacket. I weigh about 180, but my wetsuit is much too buoyant, so Im going to buy lead weights. I am wondering though, how much weight would be appropriate to buy?? Thanks you guys,

It will depend on several factors but try about 14 lbs or 7Kgs for starters and see how that feels :)
I am 155-160lb, just bought a 5/4/3 wetsuit, and in fresh water have been using 5-6 lbs. I used 8lbs once and it was noticeably too much, I was getting negative by 20 feet.
I weigh about 130 lbs and have a 5mm suit, Im silghtly positive at the surface with 7Kg So it will depend on many factors :) I knew a guy once who was negatively bouyant with a 6mm suit and no weight. So its a matter of trying it out for your self really.
Besides the 111 keeps a fair poundage of lead in his head ;) rofl
I never said that! It was an imposter :D Blame someone else! Im innocent untill proven guilty!
Just kidding of course :)
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Matt definitely impressed me as being a pretty bright guy (like most freedivers I've met).

Brain tissue is positively buoyant, I think. On the other hand, the bones in a skull needed to house that brain are kind of heavy but the mass of those bones is likely to increase in proportion to the square of "hat-size", while the volume of displacement increases as the third power of hat-size.

My Conclusion: Matt, better grab a couple more pounds unless it turns out the brain tissue is negatively buoyant, in which case ditch the weight belt altogether and wear a helmet when diving near rocks ;).
I would like to adjust my buoynacy in 1lb increments, however
I couldn't find 1lb solid lead weights in the local scuba/dive shops.
So, now I'm thinking of making my own. Any ideas where one can find / buy lead in bulk ?
You can often get slugs in smaller increments than that from ankle weights. JimGlynn made some great neck-weights using ankle weights and bicycle innertubes.

I think that I may actually make a similar neck-weight setup -- for no-fins work and also for regular freediving because my WW#4's are heavy as hell (which screws up my underwater trim).
Originally posted by Pezman
Matt definitely impressed me as being a pretty bright guy (like most freedivers I've met).
Ok dude, now you've called me good-looking in one forum and smart in another. You're either looking for karma or creeping me the hell out. :eek:

Here comes karma...

EDIT: Karma denied, even after a bit of "spreading".

Oh well, thanks for giving me a hard time Pez and Alison. I still am pretty content with my 5 lbs.:D
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No creep-out intended -- just defending you against the lead-head thing, even if it was well intended.

You have to admit that it was just plain weird that all three of us at Blue that day work as engineers for multi-national mega-corporations and that the conversation drifted at points to finite mesh analysis tools with Lisp meta-language front-ends etc. I guess that we escape the Dilbertian reality of our work-life by cheating death on the weekends ...

The Outback Jack guy does nothing for me. It was just funny that when they when I saw adds for the show, I was thinking that he looked quite a bit like you -- then the girls on the add started making a fuss -- then Skarz posted about his sister in relation to a transportation problem -- my engineering brain identified a possible solution ...

I don't think that you'll be able to give me any karma, but it's the thought that counts.

It depends on what you're doing. If you just like to dive around in a relatively shallow depth, I'd say 4-5 kg should be good. If you intend to do constant ballast dives, increasing depth, you'll want to "under weight" yourself slightly for easier ascent. For starters it's a good rule of thumb that you should be neutral at about 10 meters. As your depths increase, you might want to go to 15 m for neutral. I currently have 2 kg with a 5mm suit, and started with 5 kg. You'll need less as your "jackknife" and early descent gets better with practise. Just make sure that as a total you are positively buoyant. Just in case the worst would happen and you black out, you will at least float to the surface and keep on floating even if you exhale or your lungs are full of water. Since the risk of SWB is the greatest in the last 15 m of the dive, at least for deep dives I weigh myself so that I get the "free ride up" from about 15-10 m.

It takes a bit of experimenting and every individual is slightly different (body fat etc. being factors). I'd suggest you get about 6 kg of weights at different sizes. 2-4 about 1 kg pieces and 2-4 at 0.5 kg. This will give you freedom to adjust your weight at a fairly fine level.

For starters go into water wearing your suit and weights. Strap on, I'd say about 5 kg and do a full exhale. You should not start to sink, but the water level raises at about your eye level or forehead. The right amount is not far from there, but you'll have to try it out by diving. Dive to your intended target depth where you want to be neutral (if you do mainly recreational diving, this would be the depth at which you will spent your "bottom time", you'll want to be neutral to make your dive comfortable). If you start to ascend when you stop moving, add a little (0.5 - 1 kg) and if you descent take some off. Avoid buying big lumps of weight. They are cumbersome to wear and not very adjustable.

As I said, I use 2 kg for constant weight, but I carry around a 2 kg neck ballast just in case I feel like doing some "snorkeling" or having fun at shallow depth. I just throw it on in about 10 seconds and bring the "neutral zone" up to ~8 m.

Hope this helps...
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Originally posted by Pezman
I guess that we escape the Dilbertian reality of our work-life by cheating death on the weekends ...

"They have the nack"

"Whats the nack?"

"An intution for all things mechanical and electrical, but utter social ineptitude"

"Will they lead a normal life?"

"No, they'll be engineers... but freedivers on the weekend to obscure their handicap!"

Only works if youv'e seen that episode of Dilbert. btw I'm a Drives Engineer...
Funny, Shadow - how's the real one go? (I'm assuming you added the part about freediving...)
Originally posted by Pezman
I guess that we escape the Dilbertian reality of our work-life by cheating death on the weekends ...

Get in the passenger seat of my car and you'll see I don't limit it to weekends... :eek:
Maybe one can see the so called "real-life" Atrificial life instead. I do not see many animals working in offices.

Back to the lead question, I use no weights, get Nutral boilancy at 15m in 5,5mm suit, and 3,5mm pants.
1,89m 69KG

Diving deep without lead is a good exercise, one has to have a very good duckdive. That's the trick. It makes a huge difference.
As you'll improve on that you'll find you need less and less weight. With the exeption of shallow shore dives.

Welcome to DB!

7kg with a 5ml suit?

that sounds like loads to me

I dive in a 5ml, am not exactly the worlds skinniest female and I use 2kg in the sea, 1.5 in fresh..

don't sink yourselves out there!

Its true rofl even then if I do an aspetto in about 3 metres I need a stone on my knees to keep me down. Guess thats what a lifetimes flying does to you ;) hollow bones :D
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