For a while the only way to get a neck weight for freediving was to build your own with a bit of trial and error and praying that it never burst in the pool. In the past few years there have seen a few manufactured weights coming to market all with different properties and advantages. So i figured it was time to get on board and recently purchased a new popular model the lobster weight to use at the coming pool nationals.
the lobster consists of a flexible 2.5kg polyurethane coated lead collar with soft silicone pads on the underside for comfort. this allows the wearer to bend and shape the weight to the neck while offering a minimal and comfortable fit.
The “tail’ consists of several locking pieces that can be arranged to suit your own customized weight up to 4kg. these pieces come in 500,400,300,200 and 100gram segments. these pieces join by a notched t-join and are secured with a rubber stopper to prevent any segments coming back out of their notches. the design itself is very sleek and conforms to the upper shoulders and back without feeling too bulky.
The design itself lends itself as being more hydrodynamic and balanced with buoyancy than a conventional weight while also providing a relief to the necks of many heavy weight carrying divers by sharing the load over the upper back.
I tested the weight in both no fins and dynamic with a monofin, i used a Salvimar Fluyd 2.5mm pure swim for the suit with a full 4kg setup on the lobster weight
Dynamic no fins – straight away from the push off test you notice the reduction in drag as well i was hitting slightly above my average for a push off ( average from 5 push off tests was 15m).
During the swim the weight does a solid job of holding down the back of my suit preventing anymore drag and the lack of a clip on the front of my throat means my neck doesn’t feel enclosed. it did however take a few swims to get used to feeling of a solid object around the sides of my neck but you do get used to it over time. the only issue with the collar is that if you squeeze on it too tight it may feel constricting around you neck and will have to be bent away with your hands, take some time to figure out what shape suits you. A bonus though is there is now a reduced load on my neck and i hardly notice the weights on my upper back.
Dynamic – very much the same feeling of streamlined smooth swimming was experienced. i found the lobster worked much better during dynamic as it sits firmer against the shoulders and you begin to really notice how well it cuts into your hydrodynamic profile. not much else to report on other than to be careful on your turns. the weight grips well enough that you wont lose it but can shift around if your turn is too aggressive.
-Great for reducing drag and boosting streamlining
-well made design and simple to use
-will never have to worry about a neckweight falling apart in the pool
-customization means many potential weights and suit combinations can be had without having to make separate weights.
-can feel rigid around the neck if squeezed too tight
-will shift around a bit if your turn is too aggressive
-price is 150 euros for a complete set and up to 70 euros for shipping
-cannot be used for depth