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"Don't worry, we'll get your weight down"

Discussion in 'New Divers and Those Considering Diving' started by tparrent, Jan 12, 2006.

  1. Giggi

    Giggi Barracuda

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    I'm also naturally buoyant and I used 22# with a new 3mm on my last trip. It seemed to work pretty well for me, but my goal for my next trip (next month, YAY) is to learn better breathing and buoyancy control and increase my bottom time. These, along with lots of other tips I've been reading about will be extremely helpful.

  2. MikeFerrara

    MikeFerrara Instructor, Scuba

    Your instructor didn't wamt you using the inflator for an elevator button...but of course he did have you plastered to the bottom negative so what would he expect?

    Anyway, assuming you're neutral and horizontal, all you need to do in order to begine an ascent is to arch your back and pull your shoulders back a bit and maybe take a bit of a breath. As you're lungs rise a bit you'll become slightly buoyant and start up. Control your speed with body position and breathing and dump air from the bc as needed to stay close to neutral.
    You don't need to exhale all the way to descend. If you start your descent being neutral at the surface with some air in your lungs, you'll only need to exhale a bit (nat all the way) to start down. This gives you enough control that you can easily slow or halt your descent with breath control. Of course add air to the bc on the way down so as to stay close to neutral (not too negative).

    I actually start equalizing before I start my descent to get ahead of it some.

    Ascents and descents along with correct weighting and trim are some of the things that are usually taught poorly. then folks find out it isn't working so well for them and they make up their own stuff that's almost as strange. While an experienced diver may want to descne very fast you still need the ability to be able to halt the descent at will. A new diver is probably far better off trying to do everything being very close to neutral and going slow. That'll result in the most control.
  3. pasley

    pasley Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Lakewood, CA
    7mm wetsuit with vest and hood and an AL 80 tank. I wear, 20 pounds of lead, but I can do the dive with 16 pounds, or 18 pounds, I just find 20 less effort. In short, you are wearing a lot of lead.

    With experience you will learn to not constantly keep you lungs filled to their maximum volum of air and to quit moving your hands and feet so much. In short, I started diving with 26-28 pounds of lead, but with experience I now dive with 20 pounds and feel heavy at that.
  4. pasley

    pasley Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Lakewood, CA
    DING DING DING, we have a winner here. Excellent explanation.
  5. Mr. Fix

    Mr. Fix Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Cairo, Egypt
    I am used to diving with 3mm suits in the Red Sea. In the beginning I used 12 pounds (6Kgs) but one day when I was diving with one of my friends, an experienced diver and he just insisted that I go down to 8 pounds NOW. I did, of course I had some difficulties at the begining, but it was doable. 2 weeks later, I was using only 6 Pounds. I have set a rule to use 2 pounds for every 1 mm and it works.
    It was all about relaxing and breathing in the right rythm.
  6. ghostdiver1957

    ghostdiver1957 Barracuda

    First, if you're wearing 22 lbs with a 3mm suit, I'll assume you weigh at least 250 lbs yourself. You've got to be a very big person to need anywhere close to 22 lbs in a 3mm suit. If you're a big man, and wearing 22 lbs is right for you, then I might suggest ditching the aluminum tanks and diving with steel tanks. They will make you and keep you more negatively bouyant from beggining to end of your dive. LP 95's are my favorite. Mine start out about 7 lbs negative and are still 2 lbs negative at the end of the dive... thus adding 2 - 7 lbs without adding any additional weight elsewhere.

    If you are not 250+ lbs... you have other issues. Air in your BCD (even if you think there isn't,) you are finning (kicking your feet) while trying to descend, you are anxious (not fully relaxed,) or you're holding air in your lungs (not exhaling completely) while trying to descend.

    As an Instructor, the things I see most often... are any of the above or even some combination of them. Students eventually get comfortable in the pool... but those first trips to open water checkout ... and again the first time they junp into the middle of the ocean... tend to cause the above things to kick in.

    Relax, Breath Out, Lean far right while holding the inflator over your left shoulder to dump air and ensure that your legs are not moving at all. My guess is that with 22 lbs you'll sink like a rock once all of these things are settled...

    Good Luck
  7. vkalia

    vkalia Dive Shop

    # of Dives:
    Location: Andamans (during dive season)
    As everyone sez, 22lb *appears* to be a a bit too much. By way of comparison, in rec gear, I wear 5lb with a 3mm suit and standard Al80 bottles. However, it is quite possible your body type does indeed require you to wear a lot of weight (depends on how big you are, what your body fat ratio is and general bone density).

    I just finished a class with a 68-yr old, and given his body type (quite fit - long distance cyclist, and not too much fat on him), I'd have pegged him as needing 6-8 pounds tops - but he just wouldnt stay down with less than 14lb on him (this is in a shorty). Proper weighting is one of the things I'm anal about, and I spent a lot of time watching his breathing, checking his BCD, etc. Nope. Guy was relaxed, guy was breathing deeply, not finning... hollow bones, I guess.
  8. ghostdiver1957

    ghostdiver1957 Barracuda

    Here is a baseline from an Instructor for most adult students, using AL 80 Cylinders in Salt Water. Keep in mind, many other factors may cause need for adjustment in weighting up or down.

    1mm Suit - Beginning Diver 4 - 10 lbs
    3mm Suit - Beginning Diver 10 - 16 lbs
    5mm Suit - Beginning Diver 16 - 20 lbs
    7mm Suit (1 Pc) - Beginning Diver 20 - 26 lbs
    6/7mm (2 pc) - Beginning Diver 26 -30 lbs

    Experienced Divers generally can cut the above weights in half or maybe even less. Diving with steel tanks should also decrease your weights elsewhere. Stronge surge, saltier water and other factors may cause a need to increase weighting slightly. Fresh water causes a need to decrease weighting.
  9. Shadow

    Shadow Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Vancouver, Canada
    Interesting guidelines. What about diving in a drysuit with sufficient protection for 45 to 50 degree water? Any guidelines for weight needed?
  10. jeckyll

    jeckyll Solo Diver

    ghostdiver: the original poster stated he weight 260 lbs.

    Shadow: What kind of drysuit (i.e. material)? How much do you weigh? What setup for BD/D or wing? What type of tank?


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