Saturday, December 15, 2018
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Question Shallow water weight issue


New Member
Oct 11, 2018
Hi guys I have recently got into free diving although I am facing some issues as it is getting colder.

I have made the switch over to my 5mm wetsuit to compensate for the cold but now no matter how much weight I seem to put on I'm struggling to keep myself submerged in 2 metres of water (there is some nice scars and rock pools I am wanting to ivestigate).

I haven't had any issues in deeper water, as soon as I pass about 20 feet I seem to equalise and I just hover so to speak but even with my 5kg weight belt and 6kg sled weight in the shallows I just cannot hold the sea floor.

Any tips or if I'm missing something glaringly obvious, it would be greatly appreciated :)

J Campbell

Well-Known Member
Sep 17, 2001
Annapolis, MD, USA
The first 10-15 feet of depth have the most dramatic effect on weight and buoyancy. It's an exponentially declining curve - the deeper you go the less the pressure delta. In two meters of water there is only very slight comprssion on your lungs and wetsuit - you will need tons of weight to be neutral at such a shallow depth. Try letting out half your air - since you won't be diving as deep you won't need as much air.

Nathan Vinski

Well-Known Member
Apr 19, 2015
Ah fantastic thank you :)
Are you diving with a buddy? If you do use exhales to dive shallow (I do) just be very careful. That technique requires some experience and training as the CO2 and O2 curves will be very different and blackout can be reached very easily (much less urge to breath). At 2m on exhale you are effectively doing FRC dynamics which are the least suited to using passive exhales in terms of risk of BO. Not such a big deal with a buddy but obviously pretty bad if you're alone