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Pfd to turn face up
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qwertyjjj



Joined: 09 Jul 2015
Posts: 71

PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:18 am    Post subject: Pfd to turn face up Reply with quote

I'm probably ultra paranoid about this but most life jackets for windsurfing won't turn you face up if unconscious. I sometimes go out in the colder months and there's never anyone else on the water. In the unlikely event that I catapult and hit the board or mast, is there any recommended pfd that isn't too bulky that can "right" a person?
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techno900



Joined: 28 Mar 2001
Posts: 2797

PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 7:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In order for a PFD to keep a person on their back, ALL of the floatation would need to be on the front/chest and under behind the head, that's why you see that style of "emergency" PFD's on boats, ships, planes, etc.

They just aren't practical for water sports.

Or, just wear a helmet, which I do whenever I am in planing conditions. Yes, a little "dorky", but at my age, I don't care and it makes my wife happy.
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qwertyjjj



Joined: 09 Jul 2015
Posts: 71

PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

makes sense but a helmet doesn't guarantee you won't get knocked unconscious.
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lturkevich



Joined: 11 May 2000
Posts: 57

PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 12:44 pm    Post subject: No guarantees in Life Reply with quote

qwertyjjj wrote:
makes sense but a helmet doesn't guarantee you won't get knocked unconscious.


<Rant on> It's not paranoia, but then again there are no guarantees once you enter the water. No PFD "guarantees" it will turn you face-up. As you said, no helmet "guarantees" you won't get knocked unconscious. It's always going to be a judgement call.

I decide based on conditions and my abilities whether I need to wear my windsurfing PFD and/or my helmet, or whether I don't go out at all. (Andy Brandt said it best: don't windsurf out any further than you're willing to swim back in).

Only YOU can assess YOUR risk (i.e., probability) of running into trouble based on your abilities relative to the conditions. Only you can answer your own question. If you're that concerned about sailing in the cold without a buddy, then don't do it, plain and simple.

</rant off>

As for a "less bulky" PFD, you might want to look at the Spinlock Deckvest inflatables, you can disable the auto-inflate: the Offshore version I use for sailboating is very comfortable even in the middle of the summer (might not work well with a waist harness, but then everything in life is a compromise w/ no guarantees).
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techno900



Joined: 28 Mar 2001
Posts: 2797

PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anyone out there ever hear of a windsurfer being knocked unconscious? And drowning? It may have happened, but if it has, in my 33 years in the sport, I haven't heard of it.

If you are going to die windsurfing it's most likely to be something other than a bump on the head.
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GarryW



Joined: 11 Mar 2001
Posts: 136

PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Several years ago my friend Jeff Young drowned out at Three Mile Canyon in part because of blunt head trauma. Since then I wear a vest and helmet at all times.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 18326

PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yup. Abilities, schmabilities, and conditions, schmonditions. $#!+ happens, and I don't plan to let easily avoidable $#!+ end my life or my sailing. I pad or armor my boards, masts, head, face, and ribs every time I go on the water, just as I padded almost every inch of my body when I rode dirt bikes. I am sure this has averted scores of board fractures, many rib fractures, at least two orbital fractures w/crushed eyeballs, and one fatal blow to my temple, and that's just in WSing. On dirt bikes and snowmobiles the count is far higher.

But I draw the line at a face-up PFD. None of my gear interferes with my sailing or swimming, but even if there were a PFD guaranteed to float me face up while unconscious, it would be too bulky and buoyant for practical application in our sport.
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nw30



Joined: 21 Dec 2008
Posts: 4174
Location: The eye of the universe, Cen. Cal. coast

PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

qwertyjjj wrote:
makes sense but a helmet doesn't guarantee you won't get knocked unconscious.

Want guarantees? Good luck with that.
A helmet puts the odds in your favor, the best you can do is increase your odds.

_________________
I don't drink the 'cool' aid, I drink tequila, it's more honest.
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NOVAAN



Joined: 28 Sep 1994
Posts: 895

PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Way back in the day, I was the only guy in the water wearing a helmet. These days, at least where I sail, more and more people are wearing them.
I also wear a PFD. While there are some good arguments for not using this safety device, there is no reason not to wear a helmet. A good pair of eye protection is a darn good idea also.
A month or so ago at my small but windy local lake, three fairly young men ventured on on a 17 foot Hobie Cat. 2 with PFD's one without. The wind picked up above their ability to control the boat and over they went. The 2 men with PFD's made it to shore. The 47 year old man that did not have one died trying to swim for the boat instead of for shore or staying with the guys that had flotation. Lots of people think that their skills are above the need for safety. One more PFD and this man would have returned safely to his wife and kids.
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bluefish1



Joined: 24 Dec 2013
Posts: 930

PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

25 years ago I was windsurfing with an advanced sailer, she came in after a run and told me she "smashed her head pretty good on the board". She said she was really glad she was wearing her helmet. She looked a little spooked. I had never worn one before but ever since I have worn one. I have actually been ridiculed for wearing one. Don't get it. I also wear a PFD. Yea its a lot of stuff but I like the PFD for water starts and I like to float in general. It's quite peaceful floating. I'm only free riding though. The helmet is a no brainer for me. What's the downside? To each their own but I wish I saw more people wearing helmets.

I do have a question for any surfers out there. Does anyone ever get hit on the head with their board on a fall? It seems so probable. I've never seen a surfer with a helmet but I have seen some pretty nasty crashes.
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