In the mesmerizing world of freediving, where every breath counts, the right equipment can make all the difference between a successful dive and a missed opportunity. Among the essential gear for freedivers, neck weights have quietly evolved over the years, offering improved comfort and functionality, especially for those venturing into the depths or training in the pool.
In this blog post, we take you on a deep dive into the fascinating realm of freediving neck weights. Join Linda Paganelli as she looks into the traditional designs, uncover the latest innovations, and learn why choosing the right neck weight is crucial for every freediver.
In the pool, we need a lot more weight, so normally we have a different kind of system. For depth, we usually need less weight, and therefore we have a smaller or different neck weight. Historically, the neck weight was invented by some guy who took a piece of bicycle tire and filled it with lead shot, then put a clip. This is how we've been using neck weights for more than 20 years. This is what we see most of the time. Yeah, and this is also what we use for our students because it's really easy to make, it's cheap, and it's really easy to make and use. You can make it bigger or shorter depending on what you need. But then in recent years, there has been a little development, and a couple of companies came up with different ideas to make neck weights that are better for depth, especially for deep diving. The main problem with the normal neck weight, which I'm going to take because we have one here, is that once you put it on like this and then you're going upside down, they tend to move and they tend to slide up, being quite uncomfortable.
Two years ago, Alchemy came up with this beautiful design that it's basically lead that is molded, and there is this silicone case where the lead is put inside. It's really easy to change in terms of shape, and it has the advantage because of the silicone is actually quite sticky, and because, especially for deep diving, we tend to use wetsuits that are in smooth skin, and once you put it on, the silicone in contact with the smooth skin is really sticking together, and this has the advantage that the neck weight doesn't move up and down, and it becomes really comfortable, and you hardly feel that it's there when you have it. The company is making three different sizes. This, for example, is the smallest one, which is 40 centimeters, which is what most girls would use because we have smaller necks. Then there is the 45 centimeters, which is this one, and there's even a bigger one, which is 50, like for really big guys, yeah, like if I would have a 50, what would happen is that it would move, so it's not recommended.
The advantage of having longer ones is that they are also heavier, so some people want heavy neck weights because maybe they are still diving with thicker suits, and then you want a slightly heavy neck weight or alternatively, you will have to put a half kilo on your belt and deal with that, yeah. For really deep diving, we are diving usually in warmer water, so we have a thinner suit, and the shorter one is between one kilo and 1.20, which means that it is enough for a thin suit, yeah. Most deep divers wouldn't use so much lead weight anyway. But I also heard, I don't know if it's still a secret, it's not going to be any longer a secret, I know that Alchemy is now making a newer model that has thicker lead inside, which means that they're going to be available in heavier sizes!