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Weight! How much is enough?

It is so often that divers/guests show up at the boat to dive and have no clue as to how much weight they need!  You get a solid, blank look, saying, “well,  I have no idea.  You are ‘pose to know”.

In fact, knowing how much weight you wear is very, very important.  It means several things:

  • you probably keep a log book/record of what you do diving wise
  • you are comfortable in the water
  • you have an understanding of buoyancy
  • and you most likely are an avid diver


Is there any “right formula” for figuring how much weight you need to wear?  Some say “yes”, others say “no”.   I remember reading in one agency manual that you take “x%” of your body weight and add seven (7) pounds. There is also the “buoyancy check” where, on the surface, with no air in your BCD, you should exhale and float at eye level.

At Off The Wall Divers, we use (as a guideline) “5% of your body weight” and then take into consideration all of the following:

  • diving level (newly certified, experience, etc.)
  • wetsuit or not?  Size of wetsuit?
  • percent of body fat

The Off The Wall Divers staff will then work with you to get just the right amount of weight, so that you can have an enjoyable dive. (If you are only diving one /1/ day with us, we usually will not mess with your weight.)

Some of the things we try and do is remove one (1) pound at a time from your weight set-up.  If we have you diving with us for several days, we can usually accomplish this.  If you are a cruise ship diver, and we only get to dive with you for the day, we will not mess with your weights (however, we will make strong recommendations if needed).

Breathing:  relaxed breathing; long, deep breaths; comfort on the surface. . . . all of these things will help you make a comfortable decent.  Too much activity on the surface is not good.  Relax. You often hear at Off The Wall Divers, “minimize movement, minimize breathing”.



A weight-integrated BCD is a standard of today’s diving industry


Most importantly, ask for help.  Take the advice/recommendations of your local dive staff and learn, learn, learn, why these recommendations are being made.  Safe diving to all and we hope to see you in the near future at Off The Wall Divers.

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I have been lucky enough to dive many places in the world and with lots of different dive operations. Off the Wall Divers is BY FAR the best operation for many reasons! …Their gear, which I used all week, is top notch! The boat only takes out a small number of divers so you always feel like you are getting a private dive tour! Tom, Kelly and Meghan are all amazing and quick to point out unique fish and little critters that would have been missed otherwise. …Dive with Off the Wall Divers. I promise you will be happy you did!

Lisa B.

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