If you are a beginner scuba diver you will be having a lot of questions with regard to dive weights. You would want to know how much weight you should be wearing on your dive, the type of weights that you can use, where to wear them so that you get proper buoyancy etc.
You need to first understand that it is not any weight that you choose; a lot of factors go into choosing the ideal dive weight for a diver. The factors that contribute to it are, your weight, the type of water you are going to dive in, whether it is a salt water dive or a fresh water dive (FYI, if you are diving in salt water you need more weights in your belt), the equipment that you use, whether it is a steel one or an aluminium one.
Once you have arrived at the dive weight that you need to use, the next is to determine whether you need a weight belt or an integrated weight system.
Weight belts have been in existence since the start of scuba diving. It is simple to use, you just use it like a regular belt around your waist. You can easily add the required lead shot ballast to increase the weight or remove it to decrease the weight. One drawback with weight belts is the risk of it getting released accidentally which can lead to a mishap. The common types of weight belts are the nylon lead block belts, rubber lead block belts and pocket belts. The cheapest option is the nylon lead block belt. The rubber lead block belts are similar to the nylon ones but are considered a better option because they fit better. The new and latest version the pocket belts are even better because you have the option of adding the lead shot into the pockets easily. It is also believed by many divers to be more comfortable while diving than the other two options.
Integrated weight system as the name suggests is already integrated with the BCD. Divers like this system because the weight is distributed evenly and the risk of the weights falling off is lesser. You can also place weights in the pockets provided in the integrated weight system.
A point to note is that you need to wear an integrated weight system as well as a weight belt if you want to get into the water wearing a dry suit.
Keep track of the weight that you use in different dives. Once you have made a note of it, it becomes easier because you know how much you need for future dives. Even if you gain weight or if you lose weight and become fitter you will know what weight is required for your dives.
The most important point for all beginners is to ask for help if you need anything. Every experience diver will be willing to help you but you should ask them for it.