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Neck-Weights in Competitions

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.

bevan dewar

Well-Known Member
Sep 26, 2001
looking at the AIDA rules, there doesnt seem to be any mention of neckweights. it mentions 'belts' and 'quick release', is there anything to stop one wrapping their weightbelt arround their necks?
what is the rationale behind this rule, neckweights are hardly unsafe. how often during a competition blackout is the divers belt even dropped?
is this rule being reviewed in the near future as i heard aida's rules on goggles etc were? cheers
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Actually the "belts" and "quick-release" are specified for Depth disciplines.

In Dynamic there are non obligations on the athlete to use weights.

Therefore one is free to adopt the weight system prefered. Be it neck, i.e. Peter Pedersen, or "traditional" belt or, as some of my friends do, a weight velcro-ed just below the neck on the back.
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Thanks for the clarification. I had received an e-mail that listed material requirements, but the message left out the fact that these rules only applied to depth disciplines. After you said this I went to AIDA’s web site news and saw where the new material rules only applied to depth dives.

So does this mean that goggles and nose clips can be used in dynamic and static? What about ankle weights in static to be able to get vertical at the end easier?
You can use all sorts of complicated ballast system in static and dynamic.

Goggles, neck weights and nose clips were banned again this year for depth disciplines. The funny thing is that to my knowledge, no competition safety freediver has ever 'ditched' the belt of a diver in distress, EVER.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
thanks for replies. i was thinking cw only, so they are disallowed. even my old neckweight which used a standard weightbelt buckle...makes you wonder if the people making these decisions actually freedive?
what of aida record attempts, where goggles and noseclips are allowed, i'm guessing neckweights are allowed then?
Neck weights are allowed for depth record attempts.

I think Bevan has a point about the people who make the decisions vs. the people who do the diving. Here on deeperblue, we ran that poll about whether or not goggles etc... should be allowed, and it was about 51% to 49% in favour, if I remember, with lots of votes. In the recent AIDA vote, the vote was 17-7 against. Perhaps it was no coincidence that in the actual votation document, right before the question about the equipment, the AIDA president makes a strong recommendation that allowing 'freedom' of equipment will create a 'strong disparity' between rich and poor divers. Below is the statement by AIDA president Sebastien Nagel that appeared right before the multiple choice votation question about the equipment:

'> The first sensitive point about that is THE MASK, currently requested
> as «serial mask without water inside», in order to insure a general
> equivalence between all athletes, and a better visibility (= safety)
> for each athlete under the water... Opposite opinions would like to
> suppress the serial mask, and to allow all kind of goggles, lenses, or
> mask with water inside, or even no mask at all, following free choice
> of the athlete... But this could also create a big comfort, visibility
> and safety differences between 'technical' athletes using
> fluid-goggles or lenses and 'poor' athlete only using mask/goggles
> with water inside or no mask at all..."

Then, below this statement, the person was asked to vote for either allowing freedom of equipment or not.

Of course, the argument that $1000 custom monofins and $1000 wetsuits are still allowed was not addressed.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
Well put Eric. You might also ad the cost of the trip to Cyprus or Vancouver, which makes the price of goggles seem even smaller. Maybe a poll of the sixty meter plus divers this year would be interesting.
Cost and “strong disparity' between rich and poor divers” ought to be the number one reason to make the equipment rules for competition and record attempts the same. With the advantage a depth diver has with special equipment -- it is becoming very difficult, if not impossible, for divers to set records at a competitions. This makes records only available to the divers who can afford the $10,000 – $15,000 cost of putting on a deep water attempt! You want to talk about equity and fairness!

Plus its really sad the AIDA does not see the PR opportunity they are missing by not having more World and National records set at large competitions; and not having some of the best attend the compeitions, because it interferes with their record attempt training.
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Are you sure that neck weights are banned from comps? I have no doubt that that was the intent of the new rules but doesn't the following actually allow for neck weights if thay have a quick release buckle?

"2. Nose-clip, goggles, lenses, and any kind ballast other than a weight-belt with a quick-opening-system outside of the divesuit stay forbiden for all AIDA competitions."
Well, 'neck-ballasts' was one of the choices which didn't win, and Sebastien said in the 'leading comment' before the question that weight belt meant a belt around the 'pelvis.'

Concerning the 2004 worlds in Canada, I'm thinking of just circumventing the rule entirely by not using a wetsuit, in which case I don't need any weight, because the water in howe sound where the competition will be is not very salty either.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada

I guess someone could argue that you wear a belt around your waist ratehr than around your neck

On a lighter note.....in the latest fashions you could argue that the weight "belt" should be worn closer to the knees! I must be getting old as wearing my pants low like that just doesn't make sense to me, although I've certainly seen a number of less fashionable older more round gentleman wearing their pants much closer to their necks than waists. This could be a hard one for AIDA to judge!
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