The function of ballast systems is to compensate for the great buoyancy power of the isothermal suit and allow the diver to find a perfect balance in the water (hydrostatic balance).
The main feature of a ballast belt is to have a secure, quick-opening buckle. The buckle has to be easy to open with one hand, it has to open only when the diver needs it and has to allow the belt adjustment in a simple way during the dive.
The weights used are knitted with various values (0.5kg, 1kg, 2kg, etc.) in order to achieve the correct ballast. Ballast can also be formed by shot (lead grains).
The belt may be in textile fibre, nylon, rubber, or any other material, but must not allow the weights to slip easily from their position, so as not to alter the diver’s buoyancy conditions. To avoid this inconvenience, there are devices to fix the position of the lead meshes.
WEIGHT BELT WITH BAGS
There are weight belts with bags, where lead meshes or shots are introduced. The shot ballast allows a more homogeneous and comfortable distribution of weight around the diver’s waist. Usually, these belts are in neoprene or nylon fabric, and the bags are closed with “velcro” or quick zip (zip/éclaire).
BCD WITH INTEGRATED WEIGHT
There are diving vests on the market that already feature an integrated weight system.
This system consists of bags where we can put granulated wright or the lead meshes, which in turn we will fit into the diving vest. These bags depend on the model of the BCD and may feature various weight options and fitting locations in the vest.
The weight belt must not be carelessly thrown to the ground to prevent lead meshes from suffering deformations that prevent them from being removed in case of need.
Like the rest of the equipment, after diving, it should be washed with plenty of freshwater to remove the salt that is in the texture of the strap and that will reduce the duration (especially in the textile fibre straps).