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There are a few options when it comes to weighting yourself for the purpose of freediving and spearfishing.
By far the most popular is the rubber weight belt but it is a little more expensive than the nylon versions.
Nylon weight belts:
While the nylon versions certainly get the job done on a budget, they do have some down sides. Firstly the actual weights are more prone to sliding out of position while out at sea. It’s not a huge problem but does get annoying after a while. You can however purchase ‘spacers’ separately that combat this.
Rubber weight belts:
The biggest benefit of a rubber belt is that it has elastic properties over its ridged nylon counterpart. This is handy for a few reasons.
Firstly during the ‘breathe up’ process before you dive, you don’t want anything restricting your ability to take your maximum breath. A nylon belt has no flex, a rubber belt will stretch with you a little aiding your dive.
It also reduces the belts tendency to slip up your chest while diving south. Your body compresses the deeper you go and having that elastic property reduces this annoying habit. If it continues to happen then you can purchase a belt loop which connects to the front of your belt, passes down between your legs, up and back on to your belt.
Remember that all belts are worn low, around the hips so it doesn’t restrict your breathe up.
There are largely 2 types, the cam-lock buckle and the tradition Marseillaise belt style. This can come down to personal opinion more than anything. Both are considered quick release. The Marseillaise style should have a spring loaded centre pin so all you need to do is pull the lose tag end to one side and it should all fall away from the body instantly.
*Never be scared to drop your weight belt* If you are ever feeling panicked on your way to the surface, just drop your belt and deal with the situation after you are rested and composed. At the very least pop it off and hold it one hand, that way if you do pass out then you will naturally drop it and should become positively buoyant. This however is no substitute for having a skilled dive buddy. Consider joining us on a course to learn more.
We sell several versions of the rubber weight belt. A lighter cheaper, version by Riffe and Picasso, and a more heavy duty version by Rob Allen in the belt buckle style. All these belts are fantastic and we use them all for ourselves and the courses. Durable yet with the right amount of stretch to be effective.
Made from neoprene like the wetsuits, these are handy for people who like to spread the weight distribution to more points on the body than just the hips. Some people get back ache having everything on the belt so this is a great solution. It can also help if you struggle to duck dive as there is more weight on the upper part of your body.
A potential down side to weight vests is that some are not quick release so this should really be checked before purchase or keep the weight in them to a minimum.
The Espealon vests also come with a whistle and section to put a knife (not included) on the shoulders, seriously worth checking out!
Purist free divers often wear neck weights to help them glide down through the water at the best angle without having to assert any energy to correct their body position. We don’t sell these and most spearos don’t use them but for completeness we though we’d pop them in to 🙂