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Your diving weight belt correct size, its buckle, the material, and the weight distributions are fundamental features to consider when choose one. That is the reason why we have dedicated this article to the diving weight belt and those aspects that you must take into account to hit the nail on the head when you choose yours.
The Diving Weight Belt; Its Importance.
As we considered in article 3 Secrets of Buoyancy Control to Dive as An Expert Diver, there are positive buoyancy elements that will condition our dives. Positive buoyancy elements make us ascend. For that reason, we have to add weight to our gear if we want to dive.
Among these positive buoyancy elements, we find the human body. It has an approximate density of 0.95 kg/liter and, therefore, it floats. The best way to compensate it is to distribute weight throughout our body. The diving weight belt is part of the gear, which will help us in this task.
Reading that article, we also saw that the human flotation center is located about 7 cm. / 3 in. below the sternum, and between 10 cm. / 4 in. and 15 cm. / 6 in. above the navel.
In addition, during the dives, we load with quite heavy diving cylinders, so it is necessary to compensate the weight to align the body in a horizontal position.
The correct size of the diving weight belt and its position are the solution, or at least one of them. You already know there are other ballast systems such as BCD integrated ballast, clamp systems, ankle weights, etc.
Types Of Diving Weight Belts And Their Parts.
In general, a diving weight belt consists of a strap to which different pieces of lead are attached (usually 1 or 2 kg / 2 or 4 lb. each).
If we pay attention to the diving weight belt material, we distinguish two types:
The polypropylene or nylon straps diving weight belt: This type of strap is very common. It is because this material is resistant and durable.
The rubber diving weight belt: These straps have a shorter lifespan because this material is not so resistant as nylon. However, it has an advantage, neither the ballast nor the belt will move position, but at the same time, inserting the ballast and removing it will be more difficult.
As you know, talking about diving weight belts, one of the most important aspects is the quick-release buckle. It allows divers to remove the belt quickly with a simple right-hand movement. The buckles can be made of metal or plastic. We recommend the metallic ones for their resistance and durability.
On the contrary, Marseilles diving weight belts have holes in the strap and buckle hook to insert into them. These belts their disadvantage is that they are more complicated to release.
Regarding ballast distribution in the diving weight belt, we can find two different types of belts: Classic ones, and the pocket ones. The ballast pieces usually weight between 2 lb. /1 kg. and 15 lb. / 6kg. They have two slots to introduce the strap and slide them through it. However, classic belts have a drawback, weights can get upset on the hips.
On the other hand, pocket diving weight belts have numerous bags sewn to their straps to carry inside the weights. These belts’ main advantage is you will not have to take out all the weights to modify the ballast.
Only take the weight bar out from the pocket and change it for a greater or smaller one. Besides, they feel better on your body because the pieces of weight are in the pockets. In addition, you will be able to use both weight bars and ballast bags, which are a soft form of weights.
What Is The Diving Weight Belt Correct Size?
We know, wearing a dry suit with 12 kg / 26 lb. at the waist is not the same than diving in the Caribbean Sea with a 3mm wet suit. In the first case, the belt should allow you to swell the suit without fear of letting it go. For this reason, keep in mind what type of diving you are going to practice the most, to choose your diving belt, or have more than one type for more than one purpose.
If you have decided on a pocket diving belt, then follow the manufacturer’s measurement guide and choose the one that best suits your size.
On the contrary, if you opt for a nylon belt, measuring your waist wearing your diving suit is the best way to know the correct size. Then, add an extra measure taking account of the amount you need to pass the buckle and your hand size. That will be the right size for your diving weight belt.
In this way, you will be able to pull the strap left over and get rid of the belt easily. Notice leaving too much extra nylon could be a mistake. It could be an annoyance for you and oblige you to tuck or fold it away, which would make it more difficult to get rid of the belt if necessary.
As you can see, knowing the correct size of the diving weight belt is about safety, so if you have doubts, contact us.