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Is it common to get cramps?

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.

Do you get cramps on constant ballast?

  • Never

    Votes: 4 44.4%
  • Used to, not anymore

    Votes: 1 11.1%
  • Sometimes

    Votes: 4 44.4%
  • Often

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters


Well-Known Member
Feb 22, 2004
I have started doing my first open-water constant ballast dives, and love it! However, one of the things I find is that after about an hour, it seems that I tend to get calf cramps (usually at the bottom!)

I don't think my foot-pockets are too tight (they have some play while swimming on the surface, with a bootie on), but I suppose it could be possible.

As the cramps are rather inconvenient :mute when trying to get back up to the surface, I would like to avoid them.

Is it due to inexperience (2 months) with long-blade fins, lack of stretching, build up of lactate from continuous exercise under apnea, or what? Again, this usually only happens after about an hour of diving.

Many thanks,
  • Like
Reactions: donmoore
Lack of stretching and not enough oxygen getting to your legs... I suggest you do some extensive stretching before you diving and after... also try to breath up a little more but that doesn't matter too much... STRETCH!
The biggest thing I've found to help eliminate cramps is water, lots of it. I hydrate borderline excessively before freediving, and I don't get cramps. If I forget however, I get them. My buddy has had cramps alot, and I keep after him to drink more before diving.

Give it a try.

Sounds like your legs may not have built up to the fins yet. Time and practice will solve that one. Pool workouts help. Cramping is usually (not always) a signal for me that I have overdone it and it is time to quit for the day.

I take bottle of water with me, when diving.. helps me at least.. I would try the drinking water method, if you dont mind wetting your wetsuit..:)

Thanks everyone for their suggestions. I'll see if I can be even more hydrated next time (it's a rental suit :) ), and focus on the stretches!
Good luck!
at least you get some diving done. I am stuck in library working on my final project... :(

safe diving

Cal, your situation reminds me of when I got my first pair of stiff blades. It took months to get the legs used to them. Also, I have heard pottasium helps alleviate cramps. I suppose that depends on the cause. I have noticed that cramps occur sooner in colder water. Just wondering what your water temps are up there?

Just think of how many people have you seen on land with their feet stretched out to he point where their toes are pointing towards the ground? (other than a ballerina). That takes some getting used to. With enough hours of practice you'll be fine.

Yes, Jim, I think that's certainly possible. The water temperature is around 40-50 deg F, but I am fairly warm (5mm 2pc).

Last night I was asking about this at my course, and it was suggested that the type of fins I have could actually play a part in the problem because of the very flexible foot pockets (Cressi Sub Gara 2000 LD). This seems possible... but for now, I'll stick with them and see if more experience helps my feet adapt better.

Thanks again for everyone's help!
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