Unified Team Diving

Hi all,

 

I recently got a drysuit and start to use it. I find that I need to add ~20lbs of weight compared with using 3mm or 5mm wetsuit. However, double tank is not so common here and I usually go diving with single tank.

 

I would like to know how you would set up for using Drysuit with Single tank diving? I can put this ~20lbs of weight on my waist with weight belt but they maybe quite heavy for my waist. More, I am using harness, Stainless Steel backplate (7lbs) and bladder that the belts will be overlapped.

 

Can you share with me your setup and how you distribute your weight?

 

Thanks,
Caron

 

 

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Hey Caron,

Congrats on the new DS! Which make/model did u get?

I feel that 20lbs is WAY TOO MUCH weight. Did u exhaust all air out of the suit? Probably, there are some trapped air causing the additional buoyancy. For me, i used about 6-8 lbs initially, then managed to reduce to 4 lbs when diving on a single rig. Oh btw, my single rig is made up of an Alu bp & 30-lbs wing.

I have tried putting on weight belt but found it cumbersome mainly due to the restrictions caused by the harness waist buckle and crotch strap getting in the way. After that, i placed the weights on 2 trim pouches together with my lower tank strap. Really helps a lot in my trim and buoyancy control.

Hope this helps! Stay Safe Always!


Yazid.
Hi Yazid,

Thanks for your quick reply. I've got a Whites Fusion Tech skin. It's quite comfortable and good movement underwater.

Actually, I have 3 dives so far. The maiden voyage of the suit is full of excitment, I started with 4lbs weight and kept adding till 10lbs to descend eventually. Yet, there was current and I also got another new fin b'coz of bigger size so the whole dive was a great learning lesson. In between, there were some rush ascend b'coz of air in suit, also I kept practising roll over and valve techniques.

2nd and 3rd dives, I got thicker undergarment, and I had increase weight till 14 lbs. I could descend and performed better this time on both valve control, weight and buoyancy. However, I still got a bit uncontrolled ascend when I ascended till 5 meters. I did fully released the air in my suit and also my bladder. However, I still ascended relatively quick. I thought that maybe undergarment + insufficient weight issues. I am not sure the suit was not over-inflated coz I got some tiny bruise marks on my arms and chest due to the squeeze of water.

I did discuss with others using neoprene, and shell drysuit divers. It seems they used at least 20lbs of weight and some are close to 30lbs. Thus I am thinking to test again with more weight like 20lbs to test if I can manage the ascend rate better. But I really don't want to put all the weight on my waist. I searched online and found someone using weight harness or another belt with weight pockets, but this will be quite clumsy and heavy on my waist.

Also, I find there's v-weight and tail weight but seems that are mainly for doubles but not singles.

I am now thinking to add two weight pockets to my existing harness / backplate system on both left and right side plus trim bags on the camband to distribute these 20lbs.

I am already using a SS plate which I don't need any weight at all when I dive with 3mm wetsuit.

Thanks again for your reply.

Have a nice day!
I carry 31 pounds of total ballast in Puget Sound (and yes, it's been weight-checked!). I put 20 lbs on a belt, and 6 pounds in camband weight pouches as already described, and I have a 5 lb stainless steel plate. The waist belt of my harness rides below the weight belt and there's no interference except occasionally with my argon bottle, if I don't get things set up just right.

It definitely takes a while to learn to dive a dry suit. You have to anticipate buoyancy changes much more carefully. In addition, the placement of the exhaust valve can impact how easily you can vent the suit -- if it's too far forward on the arm or chest, it can require breaking trim quite a bit to vent. When I was a new diver in a dry suit, I was frequently convinced there was something wrong with the valve. But there wasn't; it was just me.
For Puget Sound (46-54F water seasonally) I am carrying a steel hp100, 6lb plate, 6lbs on the cam bands and 26lbs on the waist. 38lbs total ballast. I can go with 2 to 4lbs less but I won't loft my suit and I'll be freezing at the end of the dive.
Richard:
Thanks for your sharing, wow, you have total 34-38lbs. You usually go shore dive or boat dive? In Hong Kong here, we normally go boat dive so heave weight maybe a bit challlenge especially when we ascend and get onto the boat.THanks indeed for your info.

Lynne:
I totally agree with you regarding the exhaust valve placement. I have 6 dives so far after I get my drysuit. The first 3, I did doubt if valve was working or not, I couldn't feel any air going out of my drysuit. Perhaps there were the reason I carried insufficient weight (around 10-12 lbs) so I didn't inflate much air to my suit. Hence this resulted not much air getting out of my suit. When I added more weight on my 4th-6th dive, I increase my weight to 18 lbs, I put 12 on my camband, 6 on upper and 6 on lower. Then I put another 6 lbs on my weight belt. It seems getting better and I can put my gas to my suit. Like you mentioned, I need to take extra care of my buoyancy. I hope will improve soon. Thanks for your sharing and experience.

Robert:
Wow, million thanks for your detailed info. It helps me a lot. I learn a lesson too! Very good idea and I can't wait to test out the configuration that you mentioned putting pockets on left & right on the waist belt. V-weight is not common here and this maybe a challenge for overseas diving trip. But I hope I will have chance to experience v weight in future. Some drysuit divers here are also using weight harness, but maybe I should try camband pocket with weight belt first. Much appreciated for your wonderful advice of early adoption of exhaust valve. I will bear in mind and practise more.

Cheers! Have a nice day everyone!
Wow. So much for size being an indicator of how much weight you need. Using a HP119 I have a 6lb plate, 2lb STA, 8lbs in the cambands, and 10lbs on a belt for 26lbs total. Some days in the dead of winter I add an extra layer and add 2 lbs.

Richard said:
For Puget Sound (46-54F water seasonally) I am carrying a steel hp100, 6lb plate, 6lbs on the cam bands and 26lbs on the waist. 38lbs total ballast. I can go with 2 to 4lbs less but I won't loft my suit and I'll be freezing at the end of the dive.
Hey Caron.

Couple of weight distribution options for single tank that are out there:
- weighted STA (usually 6 lbs)
- heavier plate (I have seen them come in 14 lbs variety)
- plate weights (like ones here: https://www.deepseasupply.com/index.php?product=118)
- second weightbelt with weights strapped to the tank
- tank cam strap pouches
- harness waist pouches
- weightbelt obviously

Each of above has advantages and disadvantages and almost everyone has personal preference for one over the other. Big picture in mind is offloading your spine while still keeping configuration balanced and floatable.

Regards
Maciek
Smaller people commonly take more lead in a drysuit in cold water, the surface area (and hence air) to total volume ratio is higher. If your only insulation is suit air; its way more buoyant than adipose tissue as well. Bones (Geoff Corveau) carries even more lead than me.

Jake Virnig said:
Wow. So much for size being an indicator of how much weight you need. Using a HP119 I have a 6lb plate, 2lb STA, 8lbs in the cambands, and 10lbs on a belt for 26lbs total. Some days in the dead of winter I add an extra layer and add 2 lbs.

Richard said:
For Puget Sound (46-54F water seasonally) I am carrying a steel hp100, 6lb plate, 6lbs on the cam bands and 26lbs on the waist. 38lbs total ballast. I can go with 2 to 4lbs less but I won't loft my suit and I'll be freezing at the end of the dive.
Is Bones still diving? I haven't seen him in probably 3 years. He was my buddy at one of Bob Bailey's big buddy dives, and a major reason I started looking into DIR style diving. I watched him perfectly trim and level 6 inches off the bottom, swim in under the Honey bear to look at the Octo, then back straight up and turn to me and point under the boat like "Ok your turn." Yeah right, while I'm hanging vertical upside down, trying not to cork. Be good to dive with him again now that I have a few hundred more dives than I did then.

Richard said:
Smaller people commonly take more lead in a drysuit in cold water, the surface area (and hence air) to total volume ratio is higher. If your only insulation is suit air; its way more buoyant than adipose tissue as well. Bones (Geoff Corveau) carries even more lead than me.
I don't think Bones is diving much anymore but can send you his email - maybe you can cajol him into getting out. Although I only have his work email and in this economy who knows if that's still valid. IIRC he used 27lbs of lead intergrated onto double hp130s, we jokingly refered to it as a Cove2 tech rig because it was too beastly to dive anywhere else with.

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