Life jackets?

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Jeffreyheslop9
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Life jackets?

Post by Jeffreyheslop9 »

Ok so I’m still new and I’m sure people will be laughing at me for this. I know with a wetsuit it is good for floating, but does anyone wear life jackets? I’ve been in Shawnigan mostly and there was never any issue. Just curious because I’m wanting to venture away from the lake and get into bigger winds.
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lifejackets

Post by jim mckenzie »

I am one of the very few who wears a lifejacket. I got my brother one for his birthday but he doesn't really like to wear it. They don't look cool and the pros don't wear them. Waterstarts are easier with a lifejacket but many feel it restricts their swimming speed. I managed to nearly drown myself once without a lifejacket so I appreciate their practicality. I know that when my board has blown away and I can't outswim the current I can float around for quite a while in a wetsuit and life jacket regardless of the circumstances or injury, so I wear one.
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Post by juandesooka »

There is little downside to wearing one if it doesn't restrict mobility. In the worst case scenario it may save your life. The rest of the time it just keeps you warmer. The cost is looking kooky. Same with helmets. You don't need it 999 sessions of 1000, then you do. I am not a fan of kook shaming ... nor of smart people making dumb choices because of peer pressure.
Jeffreyheslop9
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Post by Jeffreyheslop9 »

Yes I see that it can be a bit restrictive, but at the same time it can save your life. Thank you for your inputs.
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grantmac
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Post by grantmac »

I use one solo in the winter. But you really need to try it on with your harness, mine works OK with a seat but is totally useless with a waist harness.
A middle ground is an impact vest which doesn't meet the legal requirements for a flotation device, but adds enough to keep you floating.
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voodmon
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life jackets.

Post by voodmon »

I started windsurfing in Ontario in 1980 where wearing a life jacket was mandatory and enforced. Yes it could save your life, however when you do finally get out on the ocean in some serious wind and waves and get separated from your equipment and have to swim after it, you will find the life jacket a hindrance to doing the swim sprint necessary to catch up with your kit. Kiting is a different matter because you are usually still attached. One other thing to remember, the ocean salinity will give you more buoyancy than the fresh water of Shawnigan lake and if you are planning on dipping into the ocean around here, a 5 mil suit for Juan de fuca and a 4 for Georgia for sure. A helmet is the best insurance, since you will at least be conscious!
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JL
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Post by JL »

I wear a helmet & a life jacket 8) I've had a few long swims with my kite gear out here off Gordons & I didn't feel restricted. Self rescue is an important part of kiting in the jet ski free world. Also it's a good idea to have your wet suit hood on In the cold water otherwise your just flushing cold water through your suit :idea:
Thermals are good.
Jeffreyheslop9
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Post by Jeffreyheslop9 »

All very good points. In a different water activity my friends cousin was out on a lake with a jet ski. Took a wave sideways and flipped. It took them a few days to secover his body. He was a big strong guy but if you are unconscious you can’t swim. The person on the back was wearing a life jacket and survived.
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Post by grantmac »

Taking a mast to the noggin happens, I've had my bell rung even with the helmet. Likewise hitting your ribs during the catapult phase of learning happens and flotation can be the difference between discomfort and damage.
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Post by KUS »

Good plan! Yes the harness and swimming is an issue, so is wave riding...it interferes. I wear a full life jacket kiting, collar protects the neck and padding the ribs. Kayak pfd jacket better for mobility but not compliant. I don't wear a pfd wsurfing but think about carrying an inflatable often....don't lose the board! I put my helmet on in bigger waves or when it gets busy like the increased goon factor at the Hatchery where you can literally have airborne collisions :roll: :shock:

Basically you are always sailing alone :!: nobody can help you if you get knocked out or lose your gear in general....exceptions are rare. You might get the odd SAR ride but that's usually an hour + later...tag up at the beach often to avoid long swims esp in winter. Ditch rig early if you have a long way to go, lots of threads on this and winter sailing
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Post by more force 4 »

If you are concerned try an inflatable horseshoe PFD. Try with your harness for fit and mobility. The minimally affect your ability to swim Etc. Far less drag than a harness for instance. It won't help you if you get knocked out because you have to manually pull a tab (or blow into a tube) to inflate it; the life jacket versions have water activated inflation, which is not going to work for wind sports. I do a lot of kayaking and it's odd because expert kayakers almost universally wear a life jacket all the time and a helmet for surfing or playing in the rocks, while it's uncommon for windsurfers and kiters. I figure my 5-4 wetsuit has plenty of float and i wear it kayaking sometimes if im going to spend a lot of time in the water. I find it more comfortable and warmer than a drysuit.
Last edited by more force 4 on Mon Jun 25, 2018 7:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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voodmon
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Life jackets!

Post by voodmon »

So Glad more people have spoken up about the benefits and deficits of them, if you are windsurfing in waves above your shoulder, they are a deficit, flat water, sup ing or windsurfing fine, Don't get out there much anymore, but do have 38 yrs of windsurfing under my belt from north Carolina, the great lakes, Alaska and the Yukon, Lake Mead, Lake Mohave at the Loughlin dam. Hoping that the climate engineers have engineered some wind for us tomorrow!
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Post by MartyD »

We use Mustang watersport PFDs for teaching. They are not too bulky and accommodate swimming well.
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Post by windsurf247 »

There's a big difference between a PFD and a life jacket. A life jacket will keep you face up if you're unconscious while a PFD is only designed for floatation.

A true life jacket is often too bulky for harness use and does restrict swimming ability. Best bet is to try it and see what works best for you.

It is mandatory by law to wear a PFD but is rarely enforced. If Shawnigan has a summer RCMP patrol, I'd wear one. It's a hefty fine if they nab you.

Personally, I just wear a helmet, but do what works for you. Everyone is different.
Jeffreyheslop9
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Post by Jeffreyheslop9 »

Thank you, I didn’t know that it is actually law. I will look into getting one, if not just to try it. Thank you
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