How much weight are you using when you dive? The chances are it’s way more than you need. When you’re learning how to scuba dive, you’re often told that you need to load up your belt with lots of lead weights to get it right. In fact, that’s not the case. Removing weight from your belt can make your dives easier and more enjoyable. Most importantly, they can make them safer.
Read on to find out why you should stop overweighting for your dives.
1. It Doesn’t Teach Buoyancy Control
Some scuba diving instructors overweight their students to make sure they can comfortably stay at the bottom of the pool or sea while they’re training. While this may seem like a helpful tool during courses, it’s actually counterproductive. Some even say that it’s downright lazy. Instead of using this quick fix, it’s best to teach proper buoyancy control techniques right from the beginning. If you take the shortcut of weighing students down, you’re doing them a disservice. Teach them the right way from the start.
2. It Can Mess Up Your Ascent
Using too much weight can make it difficult for divers to stay in a horizontal position, especially during their ascent back to the surface.Divers add air to their BCD jackets to get their buoyancy just right. Overweighting requires divers to add even more air, to the point where it becomes excessive.To remedy this, divers often press the deflator button on their low-pressure hose while trying to swim further down. However, it does little to help. Instead, the deflator button causes the expanding air to collect in the base of the jacket, meaning that the diver ends up ascending in a feet-first position.
3. Overweighting Wastes Energy
Divers who wear excess weight have to expend more energy. They usually find themselves bobbing up and down, and have to keep adjusting the inflation of their jacket in an attempt to control it. Too much weight forces divers to work harder just to get around underwater. As a result, they use up their air faster. The more weight you use, the higher your air consumption will be.
4. You Won’t Float
One of the most enjoyable parts of scuba diving is the feeling of weightlessness as you float around underwater. That’s why people visit float clinics for therapy. Why would you want to miss out on that? When you strap heavy weights around your hips, that’s exactly what you’re doing.
Get Better Buoyancy
Instead of weighing yourself down, learn how to achieve perfect neutral buoyancy instead. You’ll use less air and have a better dive overall. You might be thinking “but my dive instructor always told me to use a lot of weight”. The truth is, even professionals get it wrong, and overweighting is a hugely misunderstood issue. The good thing is, you can learn how to rectify it. Its important to have these skills intact especially before attempting to dive off the coast of NJ.
To do just that, check out our blog and see our 5 tips for better buoyancy control.