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Need to carry extra weight -- Where/how to place it?

Discussion in 'Sidemount Diving' started by stretchthepenn, Feb 19, 2018.

  1. stretchthepenn

    stretchthepenn Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Atlanta, GA
    Okay, hive mind...I had trouble maintaining stable trim during today's dives due to weight-placement issues. Thus, I've got questions about the optimal ways to carry extra weight during sidemount diving.

    First, let me describe the gear and the context:
    • Hollis 75 BCD
    • 6-pocket weight-plate
    • 2 x HOG quick-dump waist pouches (the small size)
    • 20# lead, distributed over all 8 pockets
    • 2 x PST HP120 steel tanks
    • 400-gram DUI undergarment
    • Whites bilaminate drysuit
    The water is pretty chilly (47 F) at depth in the local quarry, where I do most of my winter diving, and my 200-gram undergarment wasn't getting the job done. Thus, I got myself a 400-gram DUI undergarment, which I figured would keep me toasty warm.

    The supa-dupa-fluffy undergarment succeeded admirably at banishing the cold, but the thing is super-buoyant, and instead of carrying 6# of lead in my HOG waist pouches, I had to load myself up with 20# of lead, most of which I had to carry in the 6-pocket weight-plate. All that weight on my back, in turn, led to instability. Basically, if I relaxed, I turned turtle.

    In retrospect, I needed to better-distribute the lead and transfer as much as possible from the weight-plate into the waist pouches. Even so, I think I might've still had problems.

    My question to y'all, then, is about weighting locations and methods. Where and how can one safely and effectively carry more than a token amount of extra weight while sidemounting? (I also have a Hollis 100D BCD, if any of your solutions will apply to that model.)
  2. northernone

    northernone Great White Rest in Peace ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Currently: Cozumel, from Canada
    Hate to say it... But with thick thermals: it's spine weights, chest weights, waist weights and a big weightbelt around middle. A little ballast for the keel.
  3. rick00001967

    rick00001967 Tech Instructor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: canada
    20lbs with HP 120's ? i don't know what body type you are but that sounds like a lot.
  4. stretchthepenn

    stretchthepenn Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Atlanta, GA
    I'm in my mid-40s, have a sitting-type job, stand 6'4" tall, and weigh about 220 lbs. In other words, on the thin side, but with perhaps less lean muscle mass and more middle-age bioprene than I like. The buoyant undergarment is the problem, not my personal fattitude.
    rick00001967 likes this.
  5. Subcooled

    Subcooled Assistant Instructor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Finland
    European units. Volume of gas (at 1 ATM) is litres of cylinder volume times bars.

    I do put 16/18 lbs on my waist belt (sweet/salty) and 0 lbs on my shoulders (front heavy 2x7L/232bar) [and gaitors]
    or 6-8 lbs on my waist belt and 2 lbs on my shoulders (back heavy 2x12L/232bar) [no gaitors]
    depending on tanks beeing used.

    The 7L tanks are shorted and more front heavy. Thus the gators.
    The 12L tanks are longer and more back-heavy. Thus the shoulder weights.
  6. lermontov

    lermontov Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: christchurch
    well assuming you've done a weight check at surface then only you can say if its correct amount of weight - if your rolling over then clearly you need to get it off your back and lower the centre of gravity have you got your tanks adjusted correctly? can you lower them a bit or get or tie some weight to the tank - i think youll have to experiment

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