How to Make a Basic Freediving Neckweight & Alternatives
A mandatory part of freediving now, for training and competitions, the freediving neck weight. Without this piece of equipment it would be very hard to realise the lengths that are being made in dynamic freediving today. There are two vital benefits to using a neck weight;
- Neutral buoyancy
- A longer glide
Without these you would exhaust yourself just by keeping yourself submerged and the glide phase in any discipline, no fins and dynamic with fins would not last as near as long.
How To Make A Neck Weight
Below the video shows how you can make a basic freediving neck weight and also introduces some amendments you can make to them and even an alternative. The first couple of minutes introduce you to the parts you will need for the neck weight, these are:
- Inner tube, preferably 2" or thicker (mountain bike inner tube)
- Cable ties
- Lead shot (ball bearings)
- Balloons or small sacks to put the lead shot inside for extra security
- Quick release buckle
- Strapping (Approximately 12")
To go through the process of creating it again we can put it in to these following steps.
- Get your inner tube, the thicker the better and measure your neck length, add approximately 20cm in length so that the tube will fill with weight, expand and still fit around your neck.
- Fill the neck weight with the required weight, make sure to pack it in properly or even use something like balloons. With these you can separate the weight in to smaller bags and it will help make sure the lead shot does not leak out of your neck weight.
- Slip your ribbon or fabric through the bottom of the quick release buckle, double it up and then tie a basic knot in to it, does this on both male and female parts of the buckle.
- Slide the knot in to the neck weight first and make sure that buckle is in the inner tube as well.
- Grab the knot once a few inches in and add a cable tie above it, secure this tightly around as tightly as you can.
- Pull down the excess inner tube so that it sits around the knot and the buckle should now be showing.
- Turn the neck weight around and repeat on the other side.
- Once these are both done, you can now clip your neck weight together around your neck and use for freedive training or competitions.
Variations & Alternatives To The Neck Weight
The second part of the video we introduce a more advanced neck weight, which is much more substantial and has a zipper on the underside. This enables the freediver to add or remove weight when they need to. This means you can practice and train in different conditions and if you don't manage to have your wetsuit with you or want to try a dynamic out without it you can change the weight inside, get your neutral buoyancy fixed and go ahead with a dive. It can be made with a thick fabric rather than rubber and if sewn, the zipper can be fixed to it for ease of access.
Freediving Hump Weight
The final section covers an alternative to a basic freediving neck weight, this is what I call the hump and is something I made last year as an alternative to having the weight around my neck. It does a couple of things that I prefer to a freediving neck weight, these are;
- The weight has been brought back in between the shoulder blades and this helps me with being more horizontal in the water.
- The hump is on my back so doesn't constrict the movement around my neck and head.
- It makes me feel much more free and relaxed.
This too has been sewn, using velcro, one half on the wetsuit back and the other on whatever will be holding the weight. With this the pack can be taken off and on whenever you need it, so the wetsuit is still usable for swimming or depth or any other sort of training were you don't need the weight. If you have a different way of weighting yourself for freediving, we would love to hear.