Here is a repost from another forum on this subject:
August 11, 2002
Ideally I would say a Coast Guard Type I or possibly Type II
device. A Type I is designed to fairly reliably turn you face up
automatically most of the time. A Type II is designed to do this only for some
people. So if you lose consciousness you have a better chance of
coming through in one piece with a Type I or II device. For more
on this see:
The problem is that most Type I and II devices that I have been
able to find so far are dangerously bulky for kiteboarding. The neck
floation section can create a nice fulcrum for serious injury. Also
they are generally too bulky for ease of use while kiteboarding.
So for now, you may have to be satisfied with a Type III impact pfd.
Most impact vests are not Coast Guard approved. Some are however
including the Neil Pryde Impact Vest - 5000 Series that is popular in
wakeboarding and to some degree in kiteboarding. This design WILL NOT
automatically float you face up. I used a cumerband type flotation
device very similar to the Bump and Jump device for a couple of years.
Although it won't float you face up automatically and isn't a Coast
Guard approved Type III device, it may do the job for kiteboarders
almost as well. The Bump and Jump device is certainly better
constructed than the model that I used and is worth looking into.
So advice to kiteboarders, bite the bullet, stay warmer, protect your
ribs, etc. and get an impact pfd. Wakeboarders tumbled to this and now
commonly wear them. Lots of pro kiteboarders have busted ribs and may
not have if they had worn an impact PFD. The device you find will probably
be a Type III but hopefully Type II impact designs are in development. I heard that
RipCurl is working on one to address new Australia regs for mandatory
use of a PFD by kiteboarders. When Type II designs come out that are
suitable for kiteboarding, it would be good to upgrade to one.
--- In kitesurf@y..., "sierrawells" <dougwells@a...> wrote:
> Any thoughts on a good impact PFD that I should consider? I am a
> newbie and need to purchase a PFD, so I might as well get a good
> impact one. Any drawbacks to an impact PFD vs a standard one? What
> do they cost and what is a good source for buying it?