Last week we looked at how to choose a wetsuit. Today we’ll cover guidelines for choosing weights. These numbers aren’t set in stone, but should act as a general guide to start your proper buoyancy check. This is the first step towards perfect buoyancy control.
Naturally, if you are leaner or, um, less leaner you should adjust accordingly.
Women should add 4-5 lbs (about 2 kg) if diving in salt water, or subtract 4-5 lbs (about 2 kg) if diving in fresh water. Men should add 6-7 lbs (about 3 kg) if diving in salt water, or subtract 6-7 lbs (about 3 kg) if diving in fresh water.
|Skin||1-4 lbs / .5-2 kg|
|3mm||5% of your body weight|
|5mm||10% of your body weight|
|7mm||10% of your body weight plus 3-5 lbs / 1.5-3 kg|
|Dry suit||10% of your body weight plus 5-10 lbs / 3-5 kg|
I’ve also heard an additional 5 lbs / 2 kg recommended if diving with an aluminum cylinder, due to how buoyant they become when near empty.
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