Divers need to adjust their weight when diving in order to stay neutrally buoyant.
If you’re wearing too much weight, then achieving neutral buoyancy becomes challenging.
If you’re wearing too little weight, you won’t be able to sink at all.
So the question is how much weight do you need for scuba diving?
The answer is different for every diver, so that’s why we’ve created this calculator to help you figure out the amount of weight you need for diving.
How To Use The OtterAquatics Weight Calculator
All you need to do is input your weight, in either lbs or kgs, and a little bit about yourself, your equipment, and the type of water you’ll be diving in.
Press calculate and viola!
Our weight calculator will tell you how much weight you need to wear when you go diving with that setup.
It’s a great starting point, but a weight calculator will never be able to give you the precise amount of weight you need for scuba diving.
So we highly recommend that you conduct a buoyancy check when trying the results from our weight calculator. From there you can easily add or subtract to find the optimal amount of weight you need for your dive.
There are several other factors that will affect the amount of weight you need for diving that weight calculators don’t take into account.
How To Conduct A Weight Check
You can complete a buoyancy check at the surface by following these steps:
- Full gear up with your estimated weight and enter the water to where it’s too deep to stand.
- With your mask on and the regulator in your mouth, take a normal breath and hold it.
- Hang vertically in the water and fully deflate your BCD whilst holding that breath.
- If you are correctly weighted you should float at around eye level. As a test, you should slowly sink as you exhale.
- If you’re already sinking whilst holding the breath you’re overweighted. If you’re unable to sink down to eye level then you’re underweighted.
- Add or subtract weight until you can float vertically at the surface at eye level.
Keep your legs and arms as still as possible. If you kick or tread water this will push you upward and you won’t be able to determine the correct amount of weight you need.
But remember you want to be slightly overweighted at the beginning of your dive to compensate for the buoyancy shift of your tank during the dive.
No matter what material your tank is made of, as you use up the compressed gas inside, the tank will get lighter. And therefore it will become more buoyant towards the end of the dive.
So it’s also worth repeating this weight check at the end of the dive to give a more accurate reading of the amount of weight you need.
So now you know why it’s so important to be properly weighted for diving and how to figure out the amount of weight you need.
Have you tried out our weight calculator? Did it give an accurate reading for you?
Let us know your experience in the comments. We’re always looking to improve our calculations so we’d love your feedback!