Neck weights are an essential tool for freedivers who are serious about training for dynamic, constant weight, or free immersion. Proper weight distribution is essential in pool disciplines, where it is difficult for a person to be neutrally buoyant and absolutely parallel to the bottom of the pool with only a weight belt, especially when training no-fins. Regarding depth, neck weights make the freefall more efficient and streamlined; in fact, some freedivers use only a neck weight and remove the weight belt altogether. There are a few different types of neck weights on the market that are available for purchase, or if you would like to make one yourself, plenty of guides and videos on how to make your own. Let us take a look at the four most popular types of neck weights.
Classic, do-it-yourself neck weight
The classic neck weight is the one that you think of when someone makes one themselves, although there are some that are available for purchase online through retailers. These neck weights are usually made by placing lead in a rubber bicycle tire tube with tape sealing the tube and a snap clip. This option is good for depth, as it makes a closed loop and will not slip off on accident. Having an adjustable strap is a great option for your students if you are an instructor.
Some negatives include not being able to adjust the weight of the neck weight in the pool, where buoyancy can vary greatly, even month to month, due to our ever-changing physiques. Adding or removing extra weight on your weight belt might throw off your no-fins performances, so in this case, having an adjustable-weight neck weight would be more useful for pool disciplines. A loose neck weight can also become frustrating in-depth disciplines if it is constantly slipping over your chin during the descent.
The Lobster neck weight’s claim to fame is the fact that the “tail” of the neck weight goes down your back. This is excellent for dynamic performances, as it evenly distributes the weight down your back and towards your lungs, which is the center of buoyancy in our bodies, while also placing less stress on the collarbone and the neck itself. The extra weights are flexible and vertebrae-shaped and are also easily adjustable, which eliminates any future problems with changes in buoyancy.
The Lobster neck weight is designed specifically for freedivers, which means that the shape and material are designed for ease of movement and built to be hydrodynamic, with a wide variety of colors to choose from. Some negatives regarding the Lobster neck weight system is the cost and the fact that it can only be used for pool disciplines.
Chabaud has a wide variety of neck weights to choose from and is specifically designed for freedivers, which means that all of the designs take comfort and hydrodynamics into account. They are less expensive than Lobster neck weights but more expensive than the classic neck weight. A great thing about Chabaud is that they specialize in both neck weights for pool and for depth with many styles to choose from. Certain styles even have the option of adding or subtracting weight to them.
Apneautic designed a highly customizable neck weight that encircles the entire neck, with an adjustable strap and 300g (10.5oz) segments of weight that can be added or subtracted in a matter of seconds. This is excellent for instructors who need an adjustable neck weight for students, freedivers who often train in and out of wetsuits, or for those who train for both pool and depth disciplines. The Apneautic neck weight looks a little bulky, but there is no doubt that this neck weight is incredibly useful for instructors, and much more cost efficient than buying varying sizes of neck weights for different students.
Do you use a neck weight? If so, which one? Let us know in the comments below!