Most people float, which is great if you like to stay at the surface. However, scuba divers want to descend and need a weight system to help them offset this tendency to float. You want just enough weight to allow you to sink slowly. Having the right amount and proper distribution of weight allows you to fine-tune your buoyancy. Visit your PADI Dive Center or Resort to get advice about weight systems.
- Lead weight in various increments – molded to fit a weight belt, plain or vinyl coated, or lead shot in pouches.
- Quick release that allows you to quickly drop enough weight to float.
Weight System Styles
Weight belts have existed since scuba diving began.The most common is a nylon belt with lead weights threaded on to it, though you can get fabric belts with pockets for more comfort.
Integrated weights systems are built into your BCD. Two weight pockets on either side allows you to divide your weight. Many BCDs have trim pockets to place small weights to fine-tune your balance in the water.
Trim weights are small lead shot filled tubes that easily clip around your ankle or wrap around your valve for added trim adjustment.
How to Choose
Choose your weight system based on your BCD.
- If your BCD has weight-integrated pockets, then you already have your weight system – you just need to get the appropriate weight increments and amount.
- If your BCD is not weight-integrated, then explore different weight belt styles – nylon belts, fabric belts with zippered pouches, or neoprene belts with VelcroTM pockets.
a. Try the belt on with the amount of weight you’ll use to scuba dive.
b. Position the weights for comfort. Ask your dive professional about weight keepers to hold weights in place on nylon belts.
c. Make sure you’re comfortable with fastening and releasing the buckle.
- If you wear a dry suit, you may want both an integrated weight system and a weight belt. This redistributes your weight more evenly for maximum control and comfort.