Important Considerations When Purchasing a Freediving Belt
- Do not purchase a webbing belt. They may be cheap but do not adjust for changes in depth or allow for diaphragmatic breathing. The belt must be flexible.
- Freediving/spearfishing belts vary considerably in length, width, thickness, material, and quality of buckle.
- Does the length of the belt include or not include the buckle? In our opinion the quoted length should be exclusive of the buckle.
- Generally, the most durable diving belts are now made from silicone. While a little more expensive, they are slightly more flexible than the typical rubber belts and more UV resistant. Some diving belts are made from Latex. Generally, latex belts are not as durable as silicone or even rubber belts.
- Buckles, as a minimum should be 316 stainless steel.
- When purchasing a freediving belt make sure it is long enough for the dive weights you are going to attach. Each dive weight added reduces the length of a belt by about 45mm.
- The number of weights needed depends on the thickness of the wetsuit used and the diver’s body composition. Very generally, for an average person, expect to add three dive weights for a 3mm wetsuit and 4 dive weights for a 5mm wetsuit to achieve neutral buoyancy at about 10 metres. Take these rule of thumb measurements into consideration when determining the length of the belt required.
- We like to use a bungy cord tied with a double reef knot to hold the extra length of belt in place once buckled.
- Some divers cut their belt to length but remember to allow enough length for adding weight or changes in wetuit thickness.