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Old 12-03-2012, 01:06 PM   #1
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Last winter I did a little free diving for sheepshead.

I did my first trip of the year today and I forgot how hard it is to swim down with a five mil suit on.

I guess I need a dive belt, but I know nothing about them nor how much weight Id need, etc.

Im mostly in ten to twenty feet of water. I can easily get down twenty feet plus with out the suit. I would like to be able to easily get down at least ten to fifteen feet or so, so how much weight would I need? Im two hundred pounds if that means anything.

Also, I will be free diving from my kayak so a system that makes it easier to put on/off and get in/out of my yak would be great.

I learned an important lesson today, dont wrap your anchor line around a pilling, it will cut loose and youd have to swim after your kayak.

Oh, and I did get a cheap suit but its too big. Not so much in the torso area but in the arms and legs. It kept me plenty warm today with out a hood and booties but it did hold more water at the small of my back then Id like, especially come January so if any one has a five mil suit for a guy that is five eight and two hundred pounds they want to sell let me know.

Last edited by JD7.62; 12-03-2012 at 01:08 PM.
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Old 12-03-2012, 01:15 PM   #2
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I have a dive belt with weights, PM me and well work something out
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Old 12-03-2012, 02:47 PM   #3
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Weight varies from person to person. I am 6'3" 195 lbs. I can take a 5 mil to 30 ft with a little effort, but staying at 30' is a whole different story. Try a belt with 4 lbs on each side. Or 4-6 lbs on your back. Find what works best for you.
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Old 12-03-2012, 02:57 PM   #4
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Yeah, I have seen big people sink like a rock and skinny folks float like a bobber. Just really depends on the person and the suit. It's a trial and error type deal. Get in the water with a certain amount of weight and see if you are neutrally bouyant. If not, at a little at a time till you are.
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Old 12-03-2012, 03:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Telum Pisces View Post
Yeah, I have seen big people sink like a rock and skinny folks float like a bobber. Just really depends on the person and the suit.
I'm 6'3" 235 lbs and I float like a cork without a wetsuit. It really does depend on the person. I second the suggestions here. Just go out and float while adding weights until your get yourself in a neutrally buoyant state.
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Old 12-03-2012, 03:24 PM   #6
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Thanks for the advice guys.

I forgot how fun spear fishing was until today. I am totally jealous of you guys that can dive and do it.

I have another question. My wetsuit is too big. Today I was more then warm enough, do yall think it will keep me warm enough through the winter? Not sure how cold the sound was but Im guessing low sixties and late last winter I was in the water with out a hood in the mid to low fifties in a five mil, but it fit better and it was fine.

I am also guessing the big suit and trapped air pockets arent helping me get down at all.
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Old 12-03-2012, 03:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JD7.62 View Post
Thanks for the advice guys.

I forgot how fun spear fishing was until today. I am totally jealous of you guys that can dive and do it.

I have another question. My wetsuit is too big. Today I was more then warm enough, do yall think it will keep me warm enough through the winter? Not sure how cold the sound was but Im guessing low sixties and late last winter I was in the water with out a hood in the mid to low fifties in a five mil, but it fit better and it was fine.

I am also guessing the big suit and trapped air pockets arent helping me get down at all.
A wetsuit that is too big and lets pockets of water get between you and your skin will not keep you warm. A wetsuit works by using your body to heat that thin water layer against your skin. Put more water in there and it will not work and you will be cold. Get a suit that fits and has no loose areas if you want to stay warm in the coldest of water temps.
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Old 12-03-2012, 03:39 PM   #8
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To determine how much weight you need for your suit. With your suit on, and with the amount of weight you think you need on your belt, wade out to chest deep water. Draw a deep breath and hold it. Pull your knees up to your chest. You will sink but should return to the surface shortly. When you float at eye level, holding said deep breath, and when you sink when exhaling it all, you have found the correct weight for you and that suit
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Old 12-06-2012, 07:49 PM   #9
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I got a proper fitting suit as well as some booties and a hood today. Didnt need to use the hood but the proper fitting 7/5 mil suit that I got was warm warm warm. In fact it was too warm. I once attempted to let in some cooler water and boy was that a mistake. I found out its better to be a little warm then to allow a bunch of cold water to rush into your suit.

I also managed to get the weight belt situated correctly. May add a couple more pounds but I could easily go down fifteen to twenty feet today. The pressure was killing my ears though. I squeeze my nose and blow on the way down, is this correct? It helped some but my ears are killing me right now. I am very sensitive to pressure changes though. My ears use to pop while riding the elevator at my old job up and down from the twelfth floor. Am I screwed?

The fins I have are fine once I am completely submerged but suck at the surface. I have some serious knee issues and the extra force required to push the fins at the surface was not fun. What should I look for in a fin to help alleviate this? Free diving fins are HIGH, any cheaper options out there?

On the plus side I found the mother load of stone crabs. Going back with a net tomorrow, too scared to bare hand them today.
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Old 12-07-2012, 08:17 AM   #10
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My ear clearing can be tricky also. Start clearing at the surface and continue until you reach your max depth. Don't wait until you feel pressure. Do it THE ENTIRE DESCENT. In time, it will become a little easier. If you are like me, your eustacean (sp) tubes ( from your sinus to your inner ear) are small. In time they will "learn" what you are doing. If you are congested, you shouldn't dive. It clogs the sinuses and does not allow pressure to equalize.

Don't use full foot fins. Get fins with straps and comfortable booties. Remember, you get what you pay for. If you are pursuing this as a lifelong hobby, get quality gear. I have several pieces of dive gear that are 20+ years old. Most of them, I still use.
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