Wanting to be at least as cool as Daan, I contacted OB1 about getting one of their belts for a review. They agreed.
Like that other and a somewhat more well-known gift from France, The Statue of Liberty, the OB1 is extremely well-made and classy (albeit a tad more understated). Attention to detail and overall quality is impeccable.
If you’ve never had weights slide off your belt then, unlike some of us, you’ll have to imagine what it feels like when they hit your feet. With this belt, your weights stay exactly where you want them. The rubber is thick and textured to prevent slippage. (A note of Caution – The thickness of this belt may be a little problematic with older weights – like those ancient relics in Daan’s picture – designed for narrow nylon scuba belts)
The OB1 never needs to thread through a buckle, eliminating any chance of it hanging up during an emergency ditch, and making it less fiddly to put on or take off. The aquatic quality velcro that secures the belt is stitched with polyester thread that is UV and saltwater friendly. There is a welded Inox D ring for you to grab when removing the OB1. It’s also handy for the neat variable-weight trick later in the video below.
The OB1 comes in six different sizes. No slack, nothing flopping around, and not too stretchy (no flaring weights during sprints). A little Bungie keeps any overlap out of your slipstream without compromising quick release. *(when in place the Bungie is just behind the D-ring – in the event of the need for quick-release it simply slides down the belt as you pull the ring)
Pretty much all my dive gear can trigger a lengthy and, of course, utterly fascinating dissertation by me. An exception is my weight belt, which has always been, at best, not annoying. Not so the OB1. Not only is it not annoying, everything about the belt, form, and function alike, but is also very well thought-out and uncompromisingly executed with the finest materials and workmanship. Freediving has a strong history of innovation – from technique to equipment its evolution has been driven by passionate individuals coming up with new ways to do things. The OB1 is such an innovation. Clearly a labor of love – manufactured in house in a small shop in France (Read the story here) – it’s absolutely the best Freediving belt I’ve used – and by that I mean it solves every problem I’ve encountered with both of the two other designs on the market, in addition to being superior in materials, ergonomics, and safety.
- OB1 Freediving Belt – €79 EUR