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October 2018    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 33, No. 10   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Some Divers Really Need to Drop a Few Pounds

from the October, 2018 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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We've all been there. Traveling solo, you get paired with a diver you don't know. All is well until you note he's wearing only a thin shorty and going in for the check-out dive with 30 pounds of weights. I remember well, questioning such a person if all that lead was necessary before jumping from the boat, only to find him flailing around on the sand 33 feet below me with his BCD fully inflated.

Why do we need weights? The human body is more or less neutrally buoyant. The weights counteract the buoyancy in our equipment, mainly our wetsuits. If you we start neutrally buoyant at the surface (allowing extra lead for the weight of gas we will consume during the dive), you we should only need to add air to our buoyancy compensating device to compensate for the loss of displacement of our wetsuit as it gets compressed while we go deeper. That doesn't seem to stop some divers from going in over-weighted....

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