View Full Version : Any Suggestions on my Trim Problems..

11-07-2008, 13:37
I still having trim problems, seems I getting close on the weighting with my difference combinations of gear. Here is an example of what I think is a problem.
Warm Water Kit
3 Mil Henderson full wetsuit.
AL80 as high as I can get it without hitting my head
XScuba weight pockets on upper strap with 8 lbs total
Two Dive Rite weight pockets on belt with 4 lbs total
Apollo Bios Split Fins
I was told by one instructor to ditch the Apolloís since they are negatively buoyant. I have tried difference swim styles, body postions and it helps some to bend at the knees but Iím still foot heavy. I considering the Atomic Smokes since they are positively buoyant thinking that my instructor is correct about the Apolloís but before I spend the bucks do you guys have any suggestions. I need to get my warm kit squared away soon.

With my 7 mil Henderson and the above - I have 10 lbs on the tank strap and 12 on the belt Iím still feet heavy to the point of swimming steep angle and not being able to plane out in the water. Navyhmc saw the problem on the last dive on Sunday.

PS Maybe a lift bag for my feet?:smiley36:

11-07-2008, 13:41
Move the AL80 lower... those tend to be more buoyant toward the bottom end. Moving it higher may be counterproductive. Also, if your Transpac has the back/lumbar pad, that's buoyant too. I'd try diving without it.

11-07-2008, 15:39
Matt is right. If you put a Catalina AL80 with a reg down in the water it will sit upside down. I've heard the Luxfers aren't as top heavy.

I don't know your weight but as you're in Kansas you are likely in fresh water. I weigh 170 and am quite comfortable with 6 pounds in fresh water with a full length 3mm, and I've noticed that I get trim problems if I'm overweighted.

11-07-2008, 15:40
A few thoughts:
First of all, are you sure you can't trim a couple of more pounds off? What you are describing for body position is typical for an overweighted diver or a properly weighted diver who has not added enough air to the BC at depth.
Next, try borrowing, not buying, a different set of fins, SP Twin Jets in the light colors are positively bouyant.
Try replacing a couple of pounds with ankle weights wrapped around the tank valve. This shifts the center of gravity forward.
You don't mention what you have for boots - thicker neoprene and thinner soles might help some.
You list less than 25 dives - where do you keep your hands? Keeping them forward tilts you up, keeping them at your sides or even at a "parade rest" position shifts your bouyancy to the rear.
That's the best I can come up with from 1600 miles away.
Good luck!

fire diver
11-07-2008, 16:09
OK, it seems the first couple repsonses are giving advice for floating feet? I read this the post as having heavy feet.

First, with knowing you, it sounds like you are using too much lead to begin with. Do a proper, near empty tank, weight check to make sure the total poundage is correct.

Second, I dont care what kind of fins you use, 10 pounds up high on the tank should put you at a head stand. Ok, so I keep coming back to number 1 here in my thoughts. Something is seriously out of whack for this to be occuring.

OK, try this one.... Put on your full wet suit and weight belt, and carry a bunch of spare weights with you. (do this in a pool or in VERY shallow water, so that you can stand up when needed). Find out exactly what you need to sink just you and the suit. then take an empty tank and assembled BC and regs. Empty all the air from the bladder and add weight to the pockets until the point it can't float. Add these two together and this should be the max weight you need to dive that particular wetsuit. the rest is just figuring out how to distribute the weight to get your bouyancy right.

11-07-2008, 16:26
OK, it seems the first couple repsonses are giving advice for floating feet? I read this the post as having heavy feet.
My advice was meant to help correct heavy feet. You may be reading it wrong.

fire diver
11-07-2008, 16:44
OK, it seems the first couple repsonses are giving advice for floating feet? I read this the post as having heavy feet.
My advice was meant to help correct heavy feet. You may be reading it wrong.

oops, you're right. My bad.

11-07-2008, 17:29
It sounds like you've moved quite a bit of weight to your back, maybe you need to focus on your trim with regards to body position, specifically bending your knees consciously, and the arms forward in front of you as was mentioned before, and assuming the skydiver position - arching your back a bit.

For me, jacking the tank up all the way makes a world of difference, and having an ankle weight around the neck helps. I only use 16 lbs total in my 7mil, but you might just be naturally more buoyant than I am. But, I think it's worth the time to see if you can drop some weight.

I dive with a pair of smokes, they're not going to fix your trim problems

11-08-2008, 08:54
In my 3-mil suit I think I have the weighting close, but with the 7 mil I maybe over weighted and I will tackle and a later date. I did a lake dive at 8lbs and was on the surface at about 1500 psi and could not descend so I added 4lbs and at could stay down all the way to 500 psi but having to really control my breathing under about 800 psi. I did a dive with a 3-mil vest under my 3-mil wetsuit and ended up on the surface at about 1000 psi so I add 2 more lbs with using the vest. I also do a weight check at the end of every dive and note the pressure and my weight. Alteast for now I think I’m close to where I should be maybe as I gain experience I can use less. I have tried body position and that bending the knees and getting in the frog kick position seems to help the most but does not solve the problem totally. I like to keep my hands crossed under me and I haven’t tried to extend them out in front of me – seems like that would be a uncomfortable way to dive. Being new I do catch myself using my hands once in while but I do make an effort to keep them crossed and still.

I weight my Apollo fins using a package scale and they weight 8.5lbs (I have the extra large fins with spring straps), using a spring scale they are show over 4 lbs negative buoyancy in the water. ScubaLab found the Apollo to be 3.6 lbs per fin (7.2LBS for the pair) without springs and medium size and listed them as negative buoyant. I think this is at least part of the problem of feet heavy and having so much weight on the tank strap. I‘m naturally feet heavy and have never been able to float on my back or stomach. I snorkel and if I rest on the surface my feet sink and will put me in an upright position even with light plastic fins. Before throwing more money at the problem I going to try to borrow a set positive buoyant fin or if that fails I will get in the shallow end of the pool without fins and see where my trim is.

Thanks for all the comments.

11-14-2008, 14:37
Ok I now have a set of positive buoyant fins, these fins float at the pool and would probably take a pound to sink them. I can only bring scuba gear to the pool on Fridays so I have to work the next couple of Fridays so it will be the first Friday in Dec. before I will be able to check trim with scuba gear. I will report my findings.

We did swim a few laps with my new fins and my Apollo’s and there is quite a bit difference between the fins. The Apollo’s when swimming on my stomach they are beneath the surface of water and my positive fins are breaking the surface. Being on the surface the do feel difference and are not as efficient as the Apollo’s but that is to be expected so these fins are not good for surface swims on your stomach. Swimming on your back they seemed like they were doing the job till my wife passed me using her Apollo’s and I could not catch her and that was a first. I have always been feet heavy even without fins and with my new positive buoyant fins I can now lay on my stomach and my feet float.

So what do you think my weighing is going to change? I’m taking 8.5 lbs fins (around 4 lbs negative in the water) off my feet and I have 6 lbs in pockets on my waist and 8 lbs on my tanks strap and still slightly feet heavy.

11-17-2008, 19:15
One suggestion is to get a buddy to dive with you in the pool, have him move weights on your body until you get trimmed up then tack them in place and you're good to go. Honestly though, most seriously out of trim divers are overweighted and it is something to consider. Having trouble going down doesn't mean you're light, you could subconsciously be holding more air in your lungs because you're nervous. That's why experienced divers usually have less lead for the same gear config after many dives, they're not as nervous. On the other hand, you got to do what you go to do and a buddy might be able to help out.