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A rubber weight belt for freediving is a standard piece of your freedive equipment that has several advantages over classic nylon weight belts. This guide explains the reasons why you should use rubber weight belt and what are the best models to choose.
Why you should get a rubber weight belt for freediving
The primary purpose of wearing weights is to offset the buoyancy of the freediver and her/his neoprene wetsuit. If you are wearing a freediving wetsuit, it makes you float because the neoprene material is technically a rubber willed with air bubbles. Therefore, you need weight that helps you sink and makes swimming down and staying underwater easier.
Freedivers can choose different weighting systems including weight belt, freedive neck weight and weight vest, but the classical setup is a weight belt and small weights combo that is used by most recreational freedivers.
The advantages of a rubber weight belt
Elasticity is the main reason why a rubber freedive belt for freediving is the best choice! Normal nylon belts are tight against the stomach, therefore restrict your breathing. While the elastic rubber provides snug fit! They expand and contract to the water pressure when diving providing maximum comfort when descending and ascending.
Stays in place
A rubber belt always stays in place thanks to the material’s characteristics. A freedive weight belt should be worn around the hips. A nylon belt becomes loose the deeper you go and could fall down to your armpits as you descend. You can easily solve this problem if you choose a rubber weight belt for freediving that won’t slip up around your chest!
Weights cannot move on it
On a classical nylon webbed weight belt you need to fix the weights using weight stops to keep them in place. But you can forget about this problem if you use a rubber weight belt for freediving! Your weights will stay where you put them without adding any accessory!
The best rubber weight belts for freediving
What is the most important feature of weight belts? It has to be easy to get rid of it when needed! If there is any emergency situation and you need to take it off underwater, it needs to be done with one hand. Always be completely familiar with the quick release system of your belt and with your buddy’s belt too!
Rubber weight belt with plastic buckle
Budget weight belts for freediving usually come with plastic buckle. The practical clasp makes adjusting easy because you can tighten the belt exactly how you want it. Most feedive gear manufacturers offer this type of freediving belt at affordable prices.
Rubber weight belt with stainless buckle
Offers the same advantages like the plastic buckle weight belt, but a stainless steel buckle is it is easier, smoother to unclip and more durable.
Marsellaise weight belt
The classical weight belt model with stainless steel buckle and holes on it. It is very easy to open but it might be more difficult to set the exact length because you can use only the pre-drilled holes, so it might be a bit lose or tight.
Silicone weight belt
The newest freedive belts are made of silicone. Although rubber weight belts are the most common among freedivers, silicone ones have some extra advantages. They are slightly more stretchy than rubber, therefore ensure superb comfort and perfect fit. The material is more resistant to UV, ozone, salt, chlorine and heat (silicone’s working temperature range is -60°C to +315°C /–76 F to 599 F/), however they are expensive.
Where and how to wear the freedive belt?
Freediving weight belts should be worn around the hips in order to provide efficient breathing without restricting the breathe-up or causing discomfort. An other technical reason why you should place your freediving weight belt around your hips that like this, it seals up the bottom of your wetsuit jacket stopping water flushing through it (in the case if you wear a 2-piece wetsuit). The best is to use small weights on it that you can place evenly for maximum comfort. For more information on the proper weight setup, check out how much weight you need for freediving!
Freedive weight belts are usually „one-size fits all”. Usually they are too long when you buy them. Don’t worry, you can chop if off, but don’t do it too short! Leave a longer, comfortable tail, consider you might wear it with thicker wetsuit too! Some brands are offering them in different sizes. If you see that there are more sizes available, measure yourself to get the proper size! Remember, you always can make I shorter but longer not!
Other freediving gear articles:
- What type of snorkel to buy for freediving
- Freediving mask buying guide
- Freediving computer buying tips
- Fins buying guide
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