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Life Vest
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14032

PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LeeD wrote:
Since a face shield is difficult to mount on my naked head

Gorilla Glue?
Frankenstein's monster?
EVA pad?
Spray-on truck bed liner?
Fishbowl?
?
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DelCarpenter



Joined: 06 Nov 2008
Posts: 175
Location: Cedar Falls, IA

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never been in a serious accident so I have not experienced a "need" for 25 years wearing a bicycle helmet, 29 windsurfing seasons wearing a life jacket (on flat water), or at least 43 years wearing an automotive seat belt. I'll always wear those safety devices because no one can predict when I'll be in a serious accident. The one thing I can come close to predicting is what the consequences could be if I'm not wearing a safety device when I'm in a serious accident.

In Iowa where I live windsurfers are not required to have or wear a life jacket. I always wear one anyway because as UrbanFsher's game warden said, "We have never done a body recovery that was wearing a life jacket!"
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14032

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

techno900 wrote:
Protective gear is not essential by any means

It is for me. It both enhances and prolongs my sailing, maybe even my life.
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grayson



Joined: 09 May 2003
Posts: 74
Location: Burlington, VT

PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DelCarpenter wrote:
I've never been in a serious accident so I have not experienced a "need" for 25 years wearing a bicycle helmet, 29 windsurfing seasons wearing a life jacket (on flat water), or at least 43 years wearing an automotive seat belt. I'll always wear those safety devices because no one can predict when I'll be in a serious accident. The one thing I can come close to predicting is what the consequences could be if I'm not wearing a safety device when I'm in a serious accident.
Well said!

And since the topic has veered slightly to helmet use too, I figured I'd chime in with my choice of lid, and why I choose to wear it. I've been wearing a bright orange Predator "Lee" helmet (www.predatorhelmets.com) for a good few years now. See photos. It's designed for whitewater paddling, and that's why I bought it, but I find it to be fantastic for windsurfing; love the brim for sun protection and for visibility in certain situations when the sun's kinda low in the sky.





Anyway, here's why I wear it, in no particular order:

1. Keeps the sun off my head and outa my eyes, and stays attached to my head a lot better than any hat I've ever worn on the water.

2. I'm more visible when I've fallen and/or am in need of assistance (without a rig flying, a windsurfer in the water, or even sitting on his board, is very difficult to see; see story below).

3. Impact protection.

I wore a bright orange baseball cap before I started wearing the helmet regularly. The helmet is actually more comfortable, stays on my head much better, and (oh yeah by the way) has the added benefit of impact protection. The only reason I resisted wearing it initially is because there's a "dorky" stigma associated with wearing a helmet windsurfing. Of course I realized that's completely ridiculous. So now I wear it pretty much any time I sail.

Regarding visibility, I decided I wanted to wear something as bright as possible on my head after a very scary incident at my regular sailing spot on Lake Champlain. Two friends and I were schlogging toward home after the wind died when we heard a thunderous sound out of nearby Burlington Harbor. We looked up to see probably 20 or 30 cigarette boats rocketing straight towards us. As the first wave of them passed (all around us, and some quite close) we had to deal with all their wakes in seriously underpowered conditions (i.e. almost no wind). I somehow managed to stay up, but both my buds fell off their boards. The rest of the boats going by would have had a great deal of trouble seeing them in the water even if they were looking very hard, which I'm quite sure these beer-guzzling testosterone-laden jackasses were not. Thankfully none of us was hit, but could easily have been. So yeah, I like my bright orange lid for the visibility it buys me on the water. And if I'm ever broken down or needing to get someone's attention for any other reason, it's a lot easier to see somebody waving a bright orange helmet over their head than just waving their arms around.

Oh yeah, and it's always easy for my buds to recognize me on the water. Cool
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techno900



Joined: 28 Mar 2001
Posts: 1442

PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
techno900 wrote:
Protective gear is not essential by any means

Quote:
Iso wrote:
It is for me. It both enhances and prolongs my sailing, maybe even my life.


My point is that serious injury or death from a blow to the head/chest/ribs, or drowning from not wearing a life jacket or helmet while windsurfing is extremely rare, especially for the freerider type sailor. Waves, freestyle and more extreme moves or environment may be a different story.

Although I am somewhat conservative with my sailing, I do were a helmet and impact jacket. I also started wearing seat belts in my car in 1964 (my '59 ford didn't have seat belts, so I had some installed), and I have never been in an any kind of accident on the road. Nevertheless, preserving my well being has always been a priority.
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sl55



Joined: 03 Aug 2007
Posts: 73

PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The helmet is actually more comfortable, stays on my head much better, and (oh yeah by the way) has the added benefit of impact protection. The only reason I resisted wearing it initially is because there's a "dorky" stigma associated with wearing a helmet windsurfing. Of course I realized that's completely ridiculous. So now I wear it pretty much any time I sail.

I would worry that a visor that long could yank your head quite violently upon hitting the water causing neck injury.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14032

PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

techno900 wrote:
My point is that serious injury or death from a blow to the head/chest/ribs, or drowning from not wearing a life jacket or helmet while windsurfing is extremely rare, especially for the freerider type sailor.

For me, any injury that costs me a day, let alone a month or a season, of sailing is an injury worth preventing. Rib injuries are very common, and around the landlord a simple bloody nose or lip means get off the water. My armor has prevented scores of those, and much worse, and my sailing is almost all freeriding on lakes.

BTW, that duckbill helmet lacks eardrum protection. That (and the face guards) are why I prefer batters' helmets (with clear tape over the ear holes.)

I've never yet had any of my half-dozen visored helmets hurt my neck. [I've had my strapped-on helmet ripped off my head once or twice, but it was more funny than painful, and I learned to stop doing it; it wasn't THAT funny to anyone but observers. Wink ]
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U2U2U2



Joined: 06 Jul 2001
Posts: 3056
Location: Shipsterns Bluff, Tasmania. Colorado

PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sl55 wrote:
The helmet is actually more comfortable, stays on my head much better, and (oh yeah by the way) has the added benefit of impact protection. The only reason I resisted wearing it initially is because there's a "dorky" stigma associated with wearing a helmet windsurfing. Of course I realized that's completely ridiculous. So now I wear it pretty much any time I sail.

I would worry that a visor that long could yank your head quite violently upon hitting the water causing neck injury.

Most water use helmets don't have a bill like addressed here, I could see a snap towards the neck occurring , the bill could also save the face by impacting first. Of note this is designed for kayaking ..? speeds far different. But whatever works for ya

Its not what I look for in a helmet. I have seen ball cap visors Velcro ed onto helmets to offer the sun/glare protection, but a set of sea spec type glasses work .

Back to life jackets, even a thinly padded impact vest offers some protection, not so much float, and will keep you a little warmer, the key is one that doesn't restrict movement. The NP high Hook is hard to beat as a compromise between a Coast Guard approved device and what works well for us.

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cgoudie1



Joined: 10 Apr 2006
Posts: 1227
Location: Killer Sturgeon Cove

PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Plus it really looks sharp with that orange Ezzy.

;*)

-Craig

grayson wrote:




Anyway, here's why I wear it, in no particular order:

1. Keeps the sun off my head and outa my eyes, and stays attached to my head a lot better than any hat I've ever worn on the water.

2. I'm more visible when I've fallen and/or am in need of assistance (without a rig flying, a windsurfer in the water, or even sitting on his board, is very difficult to see; see story below).

3. Impact protection.

Oh yeah, and it's always easy for my buds to recognize me on the water. Cool
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 5761

PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While I don't wear a floatation or impact vest, I do always wear a helmet. I find the Gath helmet to be the ultimate choice for a number of reasons. Most importantly, it's very light and close fitting. This prevents any bucketing like sl55 mentioned earlier. All the interior padding is non-absorbing closed cell foam, so you totally avoid any mildew or odors. Also, the model I prefer is a full helmet that covers the ears. Even though I always wear earplugs, the protection the full helmet offers is a big plus in my view. Gath also offers a convertible model that offers the choice of wearing ear protection or not. Lastly, for those that want to be seen like grayson, they do come in bright orange too.
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