“How much lead do I need?”
This is one of the most common questions in the recreational diving community. Considering all the variables that affect the amount of weight needed can be overwhelming, especially when the diver is still developing their basic skills and building experience. Unfortunately, being overweighted can make diving harder than it needs to be. Buoyancy control is more difficult, gas consumption can go up noticeably, and hauling around a bunch of lead blocks that you don’t really need can get old fast.
There are many, many different methods available for determining how much weight a diver needs. Several of these make things more complicated than necessary, while some result in the diver being significantly under-weighted or over-weighted.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be complicated at all. Regardless of what method you use to calculate how much weight you need before the dive, the best way to eliminate the guesswork is by conducting a proper weight check.