WEIGHT BELT IN SPEARFISHING: MORE IMPORTANT THAN WE THINK
A common mistake is spearos do not taking care about the weight belt. Not only when they are starting in spearfishing. People who has been for many years in our sport do not understand how important can be.
The weight belt is key in: proper ventilation (increasing our diving time), right position on surface while we are resting, avoid problems in our back or even injuries, safety avoiding tangles with lines or kelp…
Unfortunately many times is just carry weight, not thinking about all these other situations.
In this article I am going to explain why is so important. How to wear the belt. The best weights and belts… And improve our ventilation, comfort and technique.
HOW THE WEIGHT BELT MUST BE
In spearfishing the weight belt must be elastic. Forget about nilon belts like the ones we can see in scuba diving. And it is because how must work and where must be positioned (we will see a bit later) A elastic belt allow us to adjust it properly to our body and not moving while we are diving.
Depending on the amount of lead should be a bit more or less elastic. If we need to carry a lot of weight we must not use belts too elastic, like silicone or thin rubber.
Of course fast release buckle (when we open it it releases the belt completely) Classic or marseillese. Classic models I prefer plastic because they do not brake easily, are cheap and do not shine or make noises when you touch rocks or other parts of your equipment. I don´t recommend Stainless Steel buckles (are OK but they have some disadvantages as I explained) Marseillese has not this problem, can be metallic or plastic.
HOW THE WEIGHTS MUST BE
Not all the weights are the same. Not remotely. Good, anatomic weights are much more comfortable and safe than big scuba diving weight or homemade imitating these last ones. And the weight is very important too. In spearfishing we must use 1kg or 2kg max. Never more than that. We are going to explain it later.
A good, anatomic weight adapts to our body. Almost being part of the wetsuit. This will improve our hydrodynamic, comfort and will be much more complicate to get tangled with a line or kelp, because there is no space between weights and body. And the shape do not make it easy. With other bigger leads, with different shape (square) it is much easier. Everything goes there, like a magnet.
Weights must be well finished, without any sharp parts that can cut the rubber.
Another important detail is that some homemade or scuba diving weights does not caer about the amount of belt surrounding them. So a lot of belt is used in each weight, se we couldn´t fit the amount we need in 1kg leads. That is why in scuba diving or using bad weights we need heavier ones in 2kg or even more.
It is really important. Where and how must be distributed. That is why we recommend all in 1kg all along the belt.
If we do not do that, we can have the weight with a bad distribution, heavier in one side than the other, so that will make us rotating in the water. When we are resting on the surface that will make us turning to one or other side, so we can´t rest properly and we will need to use our hands and fins to stabilize. We won´t rest properly, having less bottom time and being more tired.
That is why we do not use 2kg weights in one side and 1kg in the other. That will make very hard to have a good distribution.
We can see in this image what happens (sorry I am bad drawing)
It is important distribute the weight all along the belt. If we need just 4kg or 5kg we won´t put it all together in the belt, in our back. We should distribute it all along the belt, at the same distance one to other and surrounding us. Like one in the back, and 2 in each side of the hips.
If we need to use some 2kg weights we should do it symmethric. With a good distribution of the weight. And avoid charging it in our back, at the centre of our back. If we must use them is better use 2 units. One in each side of the hips. And all the other ones 1kg.
WEAR THE BELT IN THE RIGHT POSITION.
This is a key point. Really important. And this is where the belt must never goes.
When we are thinking in a belt we associate it to our waist. And this is the biggest mistake in spearfishing.
The belt must be low, in our hip. In the upper part of our ass. As down as possible. There we can adjust it over our bone. There are several reasons:
Will help us ventilating. In spearfishing we must do a complete ventilation, using our “belly” The ventral ventilation is very important, not only using our chest. And the belt in our wasit wouldn´t let us do that because it would be pressing. Our apnea would be shorter.
Will hold in the right position, not moving. In the waist when we are diving the belt use to go “up” to our chest, moving and messing around. If it is in our hips and tense, when we are diving it will hold there, not moving. We will gain in comfort, safety and diving time.
It will prevent injuries and pain. Having the belt in our waist will press our lower back (lumbar) while we are on surface. If we are for a long time we will start feeling pain. And after years, our back can be injured (common in spearfishing) But if we have it in our hips, in the right position, we will avoid these problems.
We can see that the belt and weights are important. They can make the difference and increase our comfort and technique. Sometimes just that can increase our apnea much more than other things. These part of the equipment don´t brake easy and will last for a long time.So my recommendation is not try to earn money on something like this, as the difference in cheap and bad ones from good ones is not very big.