Weighting Guide

Last week we looked at how to choose a wetsuit. Today we'll cover guidelines for choosing weights. These numbers aren't set in stone, but should act as a general guide to start your proper buoyancy check. This is the first step towards perfect buoyancy control.

Naturally, if you are leaner or, um, less leaner you should adjust accordingly.

Women should add 4-5 lbs (about 2 kg) if diving in salt water, or subtract 4-5 lbs (about 2 kg) if diving in fresh water. Men should add 6-7 lbs (about 3 kg) if diving in salt water, or subtract 6-7 lbs (about 3 kg) if diving in fresh water.


Exposure suit Weight Skin 1-4 lbs / .5-2 kg 3mm 5% of your body weight 5mm 10% of your body weight 7mm 10% of your body weight plus 3-5 lbs / 1.5-3 kg Dry suit 10% of your body weight plus 5-10 lbs / 3-5 kg


I've also heard an additional 5 lbs / 2 kg recommended if diving with an aluminum cylinder, due to how buoyant they become when near empty.