Take the 2-minute tour ×
The Great Outdoors Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people who love outdoor activities, excursions, and outdoorsmanship. It's 100% free, no registration required.

On my last couple of dives, I've noticed that my feet tend to float up during the 5m / 3 minute safety stop. It seems to be more of an issue when doing a safety stop using a line to ascend, but I've noticed it to a lesser extent when floating freely for the stop.

During all of these dives, I've been wearing a weight belt. I believe it has always had the appropriate amount of weights on it (varying depending on the tank or wetsuit worn), and I've had no problems achieving and maintaining neutral buoyancy during the dives. During the main part of the dive, I don't have issues with my feet floating above me.

Is there a common reason for why my feet may be floating up during the safety stop, and is there a way to avoid it?

share|improve this question

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

This should sound more generic than only for a safety stop during a dive. I had this issue that during the swim as well, that I had to constantly fight to keep from rolling to one side, or to keep my feet from floating towards the surface.

The two most typical problems with swimmers/divers that I saw were :

  1. The feet looked to have a tendency to move towards the bottom while their upper body moves toward the surface, meaning, that the center of gravity would be so low on the body that, some of the weight needs to be re-positioned towards the shoulders.

  2. Or the other way round: such that the feet kinda had a tendency to float towards the surface.

The second is your case I guess. You need more weight closer to the lower half of your body in order to balance the center of gravity. Should you be using ankle weights? 2 lb may be?

One quick notes: If you are in wet suit, and if you think that you are concerned that there is air in your booties,ensure the boots are outside (are not tucked inside) the wet suit leg.

Also, rather than investing in ankle weights right away, before you do so, try a dive with very little gas inside your suit. And, Use your BC to maintain neutral buoyancy. Actually you can practice diving with a minimum of gas inside your dry-suit, It may cause the floaty-feet problem to be solved.

Or another quick solution to try can be: A pair of Aqualung jet fins. I have heard a friend who had resolved the issue with that. But I personally believe more in classic-style to resolve such an issue rather than finding a work-around solution.

P.S.: The re-positioning of the weight should be such that you don't also start experiencing the first problem noted above.

share|improve this answer
Isn't there a problem with putting weights on your ankles making it harder/more effort to swim? Also, does that explain why it's only happening during the safety stop, and not at depth? –  Gagravarr Jan 3 at 11:48
@Gagravarr: Isn't there a problem with putting weights on your ankles making it harder/more effort to swim? You may want to refer to P.S. Note part of the answer, and also the Also, rather than investing..... part of it. –  WedaPashi Jan 7 at 4:59
@Gagravarr: And, with reference to does that explain why it's only happening during the safety stop, and not at depth?, refer to first paragraph of the answer. I had this problem that reflected in a manner that I had to constantly fight to not to roll, you may have been experience any of such a symptoms over that long time and didn't realize what go wrong, and just fight it or may have developed own ways to ensure that those dont trouble you any longer... –  WedaPashi Jan 7 at 10:40

Ankle weights is only a good solution for beginner divers - remember feet floating is not a problem, when your whole leg floats then you have a problem.

Get heavier fins, use thinner wet suit boots, practice leg muscles and use them to keep legs down.

having your feet float a bit is no problem, you will see most technical divers float the feet with knees bend.

Floating feet are only really an issue when your feet float up and your head down and this you correct by moving the weight belt lower on your body and moving your cylinder down as well.

In a dry suit you would use straps to help keep air from going in your boots.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.