Need help with weight belt use

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TMHeimer

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Interesting! I was unaware of dive suspenders. That may be a good option for me.

ETA: Not too worried about needing to drop weight in an emergency in this situation, so this may be the way I go.
I don't know how common they are since I bought mine in about 2006. The pouch belt (bought about the same time) has lasted as well, though the zipper tags have broken off and I had to sew it a little twice. Just rinse them both off after each dive.
 

John C. Ratliff

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There are a few tricks that few mention about wearing weight belts to prevent rotation. First, several have mentioned the rubber belt, and I’ve been using one for maybe 30 years now. The tightening buckle also would work, but there are other things to consider.

First, the belt needs to be symmetrically loaded with weights. That means that each side needs to have the same weights in the same location.

Second, those weights should not slip on the belt itself. With a web belt (nylon 2 inch webbing), you can thread the weight half way through, make a 180 degree turn in the webbing, so that it crosses itself, then thread it back through, ensuring that it is precisely where you want it (this probably doesn’t work with pouches). You can also secure them in place in a lead weight with a screw, or you can place a stainless two-slot keeper over the weight. The idea is that once it is on the belt, it stays there. You’ll need to make a space for the tank too.

Now one other thing; the person in charge did not give you good advise about over-weighting yourself. Wear what you normally do to maintain neutral buoyancy throughout the dive, and use that amount of weight.

One other thing; the weights need to be jettison-able. You need to be able to dump them. A harness may not give you that option, depending upon how it is worn and what is over it.

SeaRat
 

rx7diver

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Rubber Weight Belt With Wire Buckle

This is the type I've been using for over 30years. Once it is adjusted properly, it stays where you put it.

If you are underwater with more weight than you can float with, it behooves you to have easily dichable weight for you safety. Drowning happens in a lot shallower water than you are in, minimizing the risk is foolish.

+1


There are a few tricks that few mention about wearing weight belts to prevent rotation. First, several have mentioned the rubber belt, and I’ve been using one for maybe 30 years now. The tightening buckle also would work, but there are other things to consider.

First, the belt needs to be symmetrically loaded with weights. That means that each side needs to have the same weights in the same location.

Second, those weights should not slip on the belt itself. With a web belt (nylon 2 inch webbing), you can thread the weight half way through, make a 180 degree turn in the webbing, so that it crosses itself, then thread it back through, ensuring that it is precisely where you want it (this probably doesn’t work with pouches). ... The idea is that once it is on the belt, it stays there. You’ll need to make a space for the tank too.

Now one other thing; the person in charge did not give you good advise about over-weighting yourself. Wear what you normally do to maintain neutral buoyancy throughout the dive, and use that amount of weight.

One other thing; the weights need to be jettison-able. You need to be able to dump them.

+1
 

Belzelbub

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Now one other thing; the person in charge did not give you good advise about over-weighting yourself. Wear what you normally do to maintain neutral buoyancy throughout the dive, and use that amount of weight.
For the most part, I agree with you, but will say it depends. I’m not sure how much weight the OP normally dives with, but I would say that 20 lbs may be a bit much. However, I have had to bump up my weight a bit when diving the aquarium vs ocean dives. I started with what I would usually carry when using an AL80 and 3mm wetsuit, but needed a touch more.

While minimal weight is definitely the goal in most dives, you want to be a bit heavier when scrubbing an aquarium. Otherwise, it’s tough to get the leverage needed.
 

Diverlady13

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There are a few tricks that few mention about wearing weight belts to prevent rotation. First, several have mentioned the rubber belt, and I’ve been using one for maybe 30 years now. The tightening buckle also would work, but there are other things to consider.

First, the belt needs to be symmetrically loaded with weights. That means that each side needs to have the same weights in the same location.

Second, those weights should not slip on the belt itself. With a web belt (nylon 2 inch webbing), you can thread the weight half way through, make a 180 degree turn in the webbing, so that it crosses itself, then thread it back through, ensuring that it is precisely where you want it (this probably doesn’t work with pouches). You can also secure them in place in a lead weight with a screw, or you can place a stainless two-slot keeper over the weight. The idea is that once it is on the belt, it stays there. You’ll need to make a space for the tank too.

Now one other thing; the person in charge did not give you good advise about over-weighting yourself. Wear what you normally do to maintain neutral buoyancy throughout the dive, and use that amount of weight.

One other thing; the weights need to be jettison-able. You need to be able to dump them. A harness may not give you that option, depending upon how it is worn and what is over it.

SeaRat

Just to address a couple of your suggestions, which are very good. The belts currently provided have pockets for the weights, so there's no issue with the weights sliding on the belt. It's the entire belt that slides around unless I pull it really really tight which then results in my feeling nauseated, so not a great solution. I will look forward to trying out the Mako belts that @MAKO Spearguns has so generously sent. That may be the solution that I need! I've also contacted our dive coordinator and will be making a donation so that she can purchase some other upgraded equipment. I know there have to be other divers that are having the same problems.

I do load the belt symmetrically. Most of them have 5 pockets, so I either load 2 5# weights on each end or put 5 4# weights in each pocket. If there are 4 of us diving at the same time, then it's a take what you can get situation, but I always balance the belt. If I end up going the route of the harness then I'll look for one with ditch-able weight pockets so that I have the option for using it for other diving if I want to.

We dive on hookah, so there's no tank to worry about.

Still, I appreciate your suggestions as I'm always interested in learning. I'm particularly interested in gear configurations as I'd like to improve my own. Plus, there are avenues of diving that I'm interested in pursuing that will require different configurations. Cave diving, for example, but I don't know if I can interest my husband/buddy in full cave. We love cavern diving, but he's a bit claustrophobic, so full cave may not be an option.
 

Jcp2

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Can you make “suspenders” with regular harness weight belt material for the pocket belt? I'm imagining two belts with triglides on each end making loops to put the pocket belt through. Cross the suspenders front and back like drysuit suspenders.
 

Diverlady13

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Can you make “suspenders” with regular harness weight belt material for the pocket belt? I'm imagining two belts with triglides on each end making loops to put the pocket belt through. Cross the suspenders front and back like drysuit suspenders.

That's an interesting idea. I'm going to try the new weight belts when they arrive and then go from there.
 

edoralive

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Looks like you've got it sorted, but I'd +1 the DUI harness. I tried one on a dive in Seattle and immediately purchased one for myself. I've struggled mightily with weight belts. The harness is expensive but was a game changer for me. No sag, no problems with it being too loose, and the weight stays put. You can also ditch everything in an emergency.
 

Diverlady13

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Looks like you've got it sorted, but I'd +1 the DUI harness. I tried one on a dive in Seattle and immediately purchased one for myself. I've struggled mightily with weight belts. The harness is expensive but was a game changer for me. No sag, no problems with it being too loose, and the weight stays put. You can also ditch everything in an emergency.

Thank you! I'll definitely look into it.
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/swift/

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