Dive Tips

Scuba Dive Training worldwide with Pete Bucknell

11/ Weights

With a 500 psi in your tank and zero air in your BC,
- you should be able to exhale and sink, and more importantly:
- you should be able to hold a safety stop at 15 feet

  • experiment in a controlled environment, with an instructor
  • when sinking, be completely relaxed and still, and exhale fully
  • when your tank has 500psi, it is more buoyant than when full
  • safety stop is when you most need to be able to control buoyancy
  • safety stop is when your tank is the most buoyant

As you trim down your weight, diving will become more comfortable
  • less air needed in BC to buoy up the weight when at depth
  • less air in BC means less change in buoyancy as depth alters
  • with 500psi / 40 Bar, try handing 2lb weights back and forth to your dive master

Tanks vary in weight and buoyancy
  • steel tanks can be heavier than aluminum tanks
  • larger tanks are heavier than smaller tanks
  • your weights need to change as your tanks change
  • ask for advice if a tank is different to what you normally use
The dangers that involve incorrect weighting are:
  • sinking uncontrollably if the BC fails (too much weight )
  • buoyancy problems, (large changes of air in BC needed with too much weight)
  • floating up uncontrollably during safety stop (insufficient weight)

Your weight requirements will change:
  • new or different wetsuit = different buoyancy characteristics
  • tanks differ in their buoyancy depending on size and material
  • your body weight and dive experience change, this has an effect

If unsure, ask an instructor to estimate weight you could start with:
  • perform the buoyancy check: float at eye level with no air in BC and a normal breath
  • you are responsible for knowing how much weight you need
  • can you swim to the surface with an empty BC and a full tank ?
  • maintain neutral buoyancy at 15 ft (5M) at the end of a dive?
  • everybody needs different amounts of weight. Keep track of what you need

Keep a table of “weight, wetsuit and tank size”, salt or fresh water
  • a page in your logbook to record and fine-tune your decisions
  • remember to record tank size and ‘steel or aluminum’
  • thickness and type of wetsuit: 5mm, 7mm Full, Shorty

Read about
Buoyancy Control