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Weighting for freediving

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.

jonny lee

New Member
Jul 30, 2002
Hi there, lm jonny lee a scuba diver (BSAC and PADI certs) , as you will have no doubt noticed i am new to the site, it looks pretty good from what i have seen so far.

I am trying to get into freediving although its provong hard to find anyone who knows about the sport in the local area. I would just like to ask a question if thats ok....i will be going to Tobago in september and will be diving a 3/2 mm suit for both freediving/snorkeling and scuba. I just wanted to know how i would weight myself for freediving so i dont have to fight against the buoyancy of the suit.

Thanks in advance for any replies :)

PS: Has anyone tried the Omersub Zoom Pro Soft snorkel?
I assume that your wetsuit is one piece (not long john), and that you are going to dive in salt water. Depending on the depth you wish to go down to, anywhere between 1-6 pounds might be reasonable. The deeper you wish to go, the less weight you need.

Hope this helps, and have a safe trip!

Jonny Lee,

Welcome to Deeper Blue! It's a great place to learn about freediving.

The rule of thumb (as I have been taught at least) is to weight yourself to be nuetral at 30 feet. Obviously, what weight that requires depends on the wetsuit/water/etc. As such, just dive down to 30' and adjust the weights up or down accordingly.

Note that this is just a general rule - if you are doing very deep dives, you'll want to have less weight; if doing shallow dives on a reef or such, you'll want more.

Can't help you out with you Omersub Zoom snorkel question.

Take care,

Diving in HULL!!!!!!

Believe it or not, Jonny, you live very near to one of the main players in British Freediving - Steve Fuller.

He is a memebr of the British Freediving Association committee. I suggest you get his email address from the BFA site:


look for contacts and you wil see his name on the page somewhere. From what I know Steve has been itching to find a freediving partner for some time so you will both benefit from getting in touch.

Welcome Jonny Lee,
I use that snorkel and I will never use anything else, if possible!
The only thing I changed was to use the older style figure 8 snorkel keeper (personal preference).
Erik Y.
Erik, Erik... it's a Farallon snorkel that'l spoil ya! Anything else is diving with a :crutch

Anyways, how much do you weigh and whats' your build, Jonny, those are the questions you need to think about when you wear any suit, SCUBA or not. A rough, a veeeery rough rule is 1/6th your body weight for a 7mm suit, so do the math and halve that for a full farmer john 3mm suit and be prepared to diddle around with your belt a bit.

Here's a little help too... go a tad heavy if you're starting out. As you progree and improve you can get to feel when you need to add or pull some lbs'.

Hi Lee,

I know 1% about freediving but I can tell you what weight roughly you need to cancel the effect of ur 3/2mm buoyancy from ur suit on the surface if u are say 75kg/170cm more or less. This is not including ur own body buoyancy.

The rough guess is 2.5 - 3 kg at 1ATM for ur suit alone... to be neutral, if ur are the height and weight I mentioned. What depth level a freediver need to be buoyant, I leave it to the other expert.... me can't answer that with confidence.

I tell u an easy method. Wet the suit completely, in a pool or bath tub. Tie some string around it to make it compact, make sure no air trap. Dump in to it weight belt in 1 pound increment. It will show when the neutral buoyancy is achieved. Multiply saltwater extra buoyancy...check ur PADi or BSAC book...me forgotten already.

Have fun in Tonga. Any belly dancer there :D.. he he he.
Gu gu Ga ga.

My preferred method is to achieve neutral buoyancy at 1/3 to 1/2 of the depth I dive to . This way I can hover effortlessly while scanning for pelagics , or return comfortably from the bottom .;)
I agree with what Scott said...Weight yourslef positively buoyant at 25-30ft...The reason for this is because of every freedivers nightmare...Shallow Water Blackout. You don't want to be neutral at the surface because if you BO (Blackout) on your ascent you will have some buoyancy to take you to the surface and you chances of surviving a BO is better...if you are neutral at the surface and you BO at 10ft then after you exhale (due to lack of consciousness) you will sink and be gone 4ever. So I say positively buoyant from 25-30ft.

Me been trying freedive too for the past few weeks but sicne I am very slow with equilizing, I am only comfortable at 25 feet now...yes yes...very sad:waterwork. 30 seconds being comfortable while swimming underwater is my time now. I heard the learning curve is tough at first and after a certain stage it will flow well on its own. Even 1 minute surface breath hold is all I can do. I am a train smoker ( "trained" smoker ? ) he he he.
I won't ever be serious freediver, I just enjoy being there...mostly on the surface...burning fats and getting fishes.

I seen the freediving video where they kick just one or two times and they sink so gracefuly to the bottom. Just beautiful. My problem is, I am using a polartec wet suit or just lycra skin suit with zero buoyancy, somehow I feel clausterphobia with any neoprene 2mm or thicker. I don't realy need thermal protection just sting protection here, so neoprene is no no to me....it is just to tight, I hate it. I need one kg to offset my body bouyancy, without it I waste energy to maintain depth.

The question is how do I achieve positive buoyancy at say 15 feet if I do not use neoprene wet suit ? Or how does a non wet suit diver achive this in warm waters ?

Last edited:
Originally posted by Iyadiver
The question is how do I achieve positive buoyancy at say 15 feet if I do not use neoprene wet suit ? Or how does a non wet suit diver achive this in warm waters ?

Big fins.


How come big fins ?

I thought neoprene micro air bubbles which varies its positive buoyancy at different depth is the key to possible certain-depth- positive buoyancy.

I have two 2mm neo wetsuit. One is a full suit ( no hood ) Henderson which lasted only 5 dives and now 8 years old in superb condition. The other is a Seaquest shorty which I only wear if I go to cooler water ( 21-25* Celcius ) in Manado or Bali. This shorty is my second layer after my 3mm Polartec, purposely a bit oversize and doesn't kill me like the Henderson.

You think I should wear this shorty for freedive and take advantage of its inherent positive buoyancy or buy the new 0.5 mm or 1mm Neoprene Skin suits which are now available in the market. The review said it makes u feel naked, like wear nothing.
How my Sultan ? Any idea ?

Still Confused......
Originally posted by Iyadiver
How come big fins ?

Still Confused......

sigh... some things just get lost in the translation...:head

Positive bouyancy is just that- positive. Meaning that you're not sinking, but heading UP, either by wearing something or being motivated by something. Since no matter what you wear, noeporene-wise, will compress as you go down, 5 ft or 50 meters, it means that you're going to have to kick. And the deeper and longer you stay, the more urgency there is to get back up, hence strapping on some big fins.

I'd suggest working on a couple of things. Quit smoking. Work on your lung volume vs. bouyancy vs. time/depth, and wear whatever you need to stay warm or protected. If you have a negative tendency, and are fortunate enough to not have to wear much in the way of neoprene, well, thank your parents. And quit smoking. You'll find that your lung volume will just about match your tendency to sink. I know two people that actually sink regardless of what they do. You aren't one of them.

Hai !!! I See:D :D . Arigato Sven Sang.
He he he. Must be the nitrogen narcosis in my head:D :D
Aloha Guys
My thoughts
Neutral at the depth you will spend most of your time is good (hunting in the kelp, dynamic in the pool)
Neutral at 1/3 of your deepest dive works great
Positive at any static depth (the most dangerous thing for a diver to do, statistically)
Think about the surface. I know of three successful recoveries that were found floating face down. One was still blacked out after five minutes plus, but breathing and OK
If my buddy isn't going to be hand hold distance on surfacing, I leave the snorkel in, clear it before I hit the surface and weight myself to float with empty lungs. If you are too buoyant, try less than full lungs for shallow dives. Living to a ripe old age sounds better all the time. Trust me.

Originally posted by Bill
Aloha Guys

Neutral at the depth you will spend most of your time is good Living to a ripe old age sounds better all the time. Trust me.


Yep! You got that right.

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