Before we start to compare neck weight with the weight belt, let’s make sure everybody understands why we need additional weights.
When a Freediver swims underwater in the swimming pool, he needs to be at 1-2 meters deep and not sink or float up. However, as most people are positively buoyant (float up) at such depth, they need to put some extra weights on to be neutrally buoyant (stay on the same depth without floating up or sinking). This is even more important if you use a wetsuit.
Buoyancy is a unique feature, and two freedivers with similar weights and height may have different buoyancy and need different weights.
If the weights influence the buoyancy in general, then the location of weights impacts the streamline position. And an excellent streamlined position helps a lot in conserving oxygen.
If all your weights stay around hips, then, after a freediver makes a deep inhale and starts swimmin underwater, the chest area will be more buoyant (float up), and legs will be less buoyant (sink).
I am not saying that the weight belt is not practical in freediving – you can see that many freedivers, especially beginners, prefer to use it instead of the neck weight.
First of all, it is more convenient to wear weights on the hips than on a neck, especially if it’s 3-4 kilos heavy. It takes a while to get used to a neck weight and be comfortable with it.
The second reason – is that weight belts are more prevalent in freediving centers because they are more multi-functional and durable, so high chances that you get it if you rent equipment from the Freediving center.
And the third reason – it was not so long time ago freediving brands started to manufacture neck weights. Before, if you want to have a neck weight – you have to make it by yourself.
But what are the advantages of neck weight?
The first one – you can adjust its weight more precisely.
Weights for the weight belt have a fixed amount of grams – 500, 800, 1000, etc. For example, in our school, we use 800 and 1200 grams. In contrast, you can make your neck weight match your buoyancy much more precisely.
The second advantage – location of the neck weight improves body position and provides more streamlined (horizontal).
Nowadays, you have a choice – you can either buy a branded neck weight or make it by yourself as in good old times. All you need for the handmade option is a bicycle tire, some filling, pair of clips, and insulation tape.
This is the cheapest solution, and you can use it both for a pool and the ocean.
But if the water temperature in your pool varies and sometimes you need to wear the wetsuit and sometimes you don’t, you need to adjust the amount of the weights. This isn’t easy to do with a handmade neck weight. What you can do in this case is make several neck weights, which would fit every wetsuit you have.
Or you can buy the adjustable neck weight.
Lobster, at the moment, is probably the most popular brand in the freediving market. This is because they created a very comfortable and good-looking weight system, which spreads the weight around the neck and along the spine. The only minus of Lobster neck weight is that it is not convenient for depth diving, despite the manufacturer still recommending it.
By Svitlana Gaidai