View Full Version : Weight placement on a bp\w

08-16-2009, 21:23
My plans are a bp\w for my bc. I am thinking i need to have the weight to make the bp\w NB then have the weight i need to make me and my wetsuit fins mask and snorkel NB so if for some reason i need to drop my bc. Say due to tie up. So that when i drop the bp\w i do not just shoot for the top. Is this the normal way of doing it. What weight belt system works the best.

08-17-2009, 12:38
It all depends on how much weight you need. I prefer to split my weight between a modestly-heavy weightbelt (12-14#) and the steel backplate (approx 6#), and sometimes will incorporate a weighted STA (single tank adapter, approx 5#). This is with a buoyant 7mm or drysuit with moderately think undergarments. I can remove the bp/w underwater without turning into a dirt dart or rocketing to the surface.

Some prefer to add weight pockets to the bp/w, but that puts ALL of your ballast in one place, and is trickier to deal with if you have to remove your rig underwater.

That said, your OW class will teach you techniques to remove and replace your rig safely, even if all your ballast is on the rig. Still, it's safer to have the ballast split up a bit, IMO, and that means a weight belt.

08-17-2009, 12:50
For clarification, a steel bp is usually already neutral -> neg, depending upon the tank's buoyancy.

08-17-2009, 13:09

Something I didn't mention earlier, DSS makes add on weight plates that would probably be a good idea for you as well.

08-17-2009, 14:05
There are different options for where you put your weights with a BP/W setup. I would agree w/ CompuDude that splitting your weight up is a good idea.

I personally have an aluminum BP since I wanted to keep weight down for traveling. I have a couple XS Scuba weight pouches that go on a tank band, and I put 4 to 6 lbs in there. The remainder of my weights go on my weight belt.

Alternatively you can put ditchable weight pockets on your BC harness directly. It also works, but you will likely be positively buoyant if you had to take off your rig underwater for some reason.

Note: A weight belt typically goes UNDER the BP/W setup, so to ditch your belt you would need to undo both the belt quick release AND the BP harness release (if you have a crotch strap...which I'm guessing you will).

This can be seen as a DISADVANTAGE: More stuff to get undone to ditch weight.

OR as an ADVANTAGE: Much less likely that you will accidentally drop your weight belt, even if the buckle comes undone.

Every BP/W diver I have talked to views this as the latter.


08-18-2009, 01:19
I tend to split my weight.
When diving my 7mm fullsuit I wear a weightbelt with 10 lbs and put 2 pockets on my upper tank strap for additional weight. The pockets can hold up to 5 lbs each. This is while using a 5.5 lb SS plate, mini STA and diving AL80s.
As the exposure protection decreases I decrease the weight in my belt accordingly and remove the extra pockets. I tend to wear a shortie even in tropical warm water and switch to a AL plate so I still have a few pounds of weight in the belt to dump if need be.