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Life Vest
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UrbanFisher



Joined: 01 Nov 2012
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 11:41 am    Post subject: Life Vest Reply with quote

Hey All,

Another newbie question. Do you guys wear life vest when windsurfing? In most of the videos and pictures I see the sailors are not wearing life vest.

I must admit that I am a very confident swimmer. I use to swim competitively and was an activer surfer. I also know that when a rig falls (or a sailor falls) that the kit will not get blown away at too rapid of a speed (as in a sailor can easily swim back to his board for flotation help). It also looks like areas or weather when a wet suit is needed, they too can offer some flotation help.

I guess my concern is local laws. Here in Texas if you are in a boat that floats, you have to have a life vest aboard. I use little kayaks all the time and I have to have a life vest in it each time I go out (don't have to have it on, it just needs to be in the boat...one for each passanger). But I am not sure if that applies to windsurfers or SUP's (cause many times I don't see them wearing life vest). I guess I can check the local laws on that one.

But this leads to my next question, if you do wear a vest, what is the best for windsurfing? The ones I use for kayaking are rather bulky around the waist and shoulder area and I don't think they would work well for windsurfing (they would make clammering up on the board pretty difficult). Are there life vest designed just for windsurfing applications or use?

Thanks in advance for any help.
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bred2shred



Joined: 02 May 2000
Posts: 617
Location: Jersey Shore

PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In NJ, they are not required by law as the law considers windsurfing to be a form of surfing. Since they are not requried for surfers, they are therefore not requried for windsurfers. Other states are different, so check your local reguations.

I personally don't ever wear a true USCG approved lifejacket while windsurfing since they tend to be quite bulky and are not required by law where I sail. However, I do occasionally wear a "float jacket" on extremely rough days. Float jackets are specifically designed for windsurfing. They are less bulky and don't ride up or interfer with your harness hook nearly as much as a regular lifejacket. They also don't provide as much flotation as a true lifejacket, but IMO, they are more than adequate for anyone who's a decent swimmer.

sm
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zirtaeb



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 2147

PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Flak jackets that float 14 lbs are waterski vests, which are shorter and less bulky than PFD 17 lbs floaters. There ARE some windsurfing vests, with windsurfing labels, which are basically waterski vests.
Wear them if you feel uneasy about where you windsurf.
Getting pinned under the sail in a twisted fall is the best reason to wear a life jacket. Besides long swims, of course, in cold water. Jackets make you westuit warmer.
A full winter wetsuit, 4/3, floats your head out of the water, so maybe 10 lbs of float. Keep this in mind when selecting a life vest.
Surf, good for small waves that you laugh at, but can be dangerous in overhead surf that windsurfer's call "logo high". Tow in big wave guys wear them, but usually the CO2 kind like diver's use.
They protect ribs from breaking, either from the water or from landing on your rig.
Like a helmet, not a bad idea.
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zirtaeb



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 2147

PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh Texas and inland waters....
Few wear them for coastal sailing, either PI or Corpus.
Something about, in windsurfing, your BOARD is your floatation device, never leave it. But some Ranger's and CC might not be educated, so follow local rules.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 13294

PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've tried only 15-20 vests, but so far my second most favorite is DaKine's Matrix impact vest. It does everything I want from a vest and nothing I don't want. They have a newer one I've not tried.

You don't want to know what my first choice is, as it's overkill for your purposes and rough on a budget.
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U2U2U2



Joined: 06 Jul 2001
Posts: 2976
Location: Shipsterns Bluff, Tasmania. Colorado

PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

these are very popular, not Coast Guard approved.

http://www.bigwinds.com/kite/category/59/product/1851



or

http://stores.wetsuit.com/-strse-Accessories-cln-Wind-fdsh-Kite-Vests-%26-PFDs/Categories.bok

the zippered ones work great, the slip over good luck getting out

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4Boards....May the fours be with you

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manuel



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
Posts: 96

PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I miss mine at the waterstart... it was very easy to push the mast up and have the sail lift up instantly as opposed to me going underwater.

However, it was impeding my sailing and interfering with my harness and hook some.

These are probably nice enough for what we do, protecting ribs is a nice thing: http://www.the-house.com/dk3ma04bk10zz-dakine-windsurf-vests.html
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zirtaeb



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 2147

PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike, let me guess....
Motocross flak vest, by Oneal, Fox, or Thor....
I used a waterski Oneill vest my first 3 years, not in the surf though. It was warm, it protected my ribs, it gave me confidence to try new spots and new moves, it looked weird, it made waterstarting easy, and it didn't seem to impede anything I would try on a windsurf board. My then g/f took it from me and used it her first year on a short board.
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noshuzbluz



Joined: 18 May 2000
Posts: 749

PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This one works really well for me. It doesn't get in the way at all.


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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 13294

PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

zirtaeb wrote:
Mike, let me guess....
Motocross flak vest, by Oneal, Fox, or Thor....

Think ballistic kevlar professional bull riding and motocross vest custom made for me by these guys: http://motoxvest.com/motovest_information.html .
Far better coverage and impact protection than any other sports vest I've ever seen, with light weight and probably 8-10 pounds of flotation. I suspect I'm done breaking ribs and bruising vital organs.
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