The average person is neutrally buoyant in a costume in a swimming pool. We need to add weights when we dive because we have put on a wetsuit…this is ultimately the same as wrapping yourself in bubble wrap and trying to swim! The wetsuit is what makes us incredibly buoyant. The number of weights required on the weight belt is the number of weights it takes to sink your own personal wetsuit – thats it.
Of course a larger person, will have a larger wetsuit and so will require more weights to pull the wetsuit down – however this is NOT determined by how much the person weighs.
The biggest issue with diving today is that the average diver is diving with FAR TOO MANY WEIGHTS! This leads to countless more issues on the dive itself.
1) You have too many weights, so once you get passed 5m and the wetsuit compresses – you start to sink like a stone. Now you need to add more air to the BC in order to achieve Neutral Buoyancy.
2) By adding more air to the BC, you have just increased your “drag” factor in the water. It now means you have to work much harder and extend more energy to move in the water.
3) Because you are using more energy trying to move in the water – You USE MORE AIR.
4) The worst possible solution now becomes…”Let’s give you a Bigger Cylinder too last longer”
You’ve now added the additional weight of a larger cylinder and increased your Drag and the vicious cycle continues…
To learn more about how many weights you should be using – Join us on Our Advanced Buoyancy Course.
You get plastic and stainless steel the choice is yours with no great advantage either way.
There are compensating buckles that are really, really great … they are spring loaded and take up the slack caused by wetsuit compression.
The standard Fabric Webbing is the usual weight belt webbing you will find.
However if you are a very large person, look at getting a full rubber stretchy belt. You could use std webbing with a compensating buckle.
You want to be balanced and stable in the water so the weights should be bunched in the front like the keel of a boat.
The weights that spread around the body are not a great idea.