Safety lanyards are often overlooked by the beginners in freediving. Some are not aware that this freediving lanyard is very important in safety precaution in in-depth training sessions. Freediving lanyards are made for securing free divers with connecting lines so that in case of emergency, it will be easier to resurface on the water. It can be used in different parts of the body like on the waist, wrist or or ankle that will be depend on which type of dive you are going to do.
What to look for in a lanyard?
Freediving can be easy and simple but again safety should also be considered in this. There will be tons of available lanyards online and some experts do it on their own. But again as a new freediver, choosing the right kind of lanyards that suit you perfectly, safely and tested is really recommended. You can look at the following features in picking your first safety lanyards.
Quick release system
You have to check this feature for an easy or snap release with just one hand that will free the lanyard and carabiner (hook) and leave you with the strap attached.
Choose cord that is covered in plastic materials. As cords without plastic can be bent or twist that with no proper care will eventually weaken and wear out sooner.
Extra D ring
A D-ring is a D-shaped tie-down ring used as a device to hold divers tightly with the cord. So it is recommended to add extra on the wrist, ankle or belt attachment.
Sturdy and Big enough Carabiner
An aluminum, stainless steel or carbon type of carabiner hook is a good feature in looking for a lanyard. You also have to make sure that it is big enough to rotate around the lanyard itself.
Reputable companies offering safety lanyards most likely offer this feature. In buying one, you should test it first before using it underwater. You can tug the lanyard by stepping one side and pulling in full force at the other end. You can also try looping both ends at a bar and hang in full weight. With this you can see if it will be sturdy enough not to snap easily.
Why do you need a freediving lanyard?
Freediving lanyards should always be considered as a necessary piece of diving equipment especially in depth training. And these are the reasons why you need this:
There will be a lot of situations where a current will be imminent and lanyards will help you stop from drifting away. This will also help in a situation when you can tug the line immediately and the people at the surface will be alerted to pull the line up. Some divers also use the current in going down in free fall with the help of the lanyard attached to the carabiner.
Shallow water blackout
This is also called Hypoxic Blackout results from hypoxia (low oxygen) to the brain. This thing could happen so when a diver is attached to the lanyard, this will secure them in one place and rescue will be easier.
If you are wearing a lanyard and you accidentally fill your mask with water or lose it, it will be hard to see underwater, your eyes will force you to squint. In this scenario, you can just easily grab the line whether it is attached to you ankle, wrist or belt.
Where to wear your lanyard?
In choosing your lanyards, you also have to consider what type of freediving you’re going to do. It is not always at the wrist you can attach it. So here’s the best placement of the lanyards based on the freediving discipline:
Constant weight (CWT)
Probably the most common depth version of freediving where a diver must descend to depth and ascend to the surface with the assistance of only bi-fins or a monofin. Most of the time, legs are in constant movement but your arms remain more or less still. So it will be better to put the lanyard on the wrist.
Free Immersion (FIM)
With this discipline, a freediver does not use fins to descend or ascend, just the rope. So the arms this time are in constant movement than the legs. Placing the lanyards at the ankle is recommended.
Constant Weight No-Fins (CNF)
This type of discipline is popularly known as the purest form of freediving and it requires a lot of physical effort without any assistance of anything. This will be complicated in placing the lanyard. Most of the professional free divers doing CNF place their lanyard on their waist. With this, it will be more comfortable, but rescuing will be harder as the pulling will be horizontally and will be focused at the back that might cause injury. You have to weigh in first on the placement of the lanyard. But you have to take note that you should not place the lanyard at the weight belt as this will impede rescue due to counter weight ballast.
Whether you are a first timer, professional or competitive freediver, you have to make sure to get safety lanyards as you buy or rent freediving equipment and use them every time you train. Your safety is your priority!