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Lifejacket or no lifejacket?

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Re: Lifejacket or no lifejacket?

Postby knot_moving » Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:19 am

Always wear one in the gulf & mostly wear one in shallows on bay. Too much can go wrong too fast in gulf and I want the floatation if I need it. bayside the padding is nice when I am stupid :)
+1 for Neilpryde high hook

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Re: Lifejacket or no lifejacket?

Postby Manuel V » Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:25 am

I use Dakine Surface Vest it is and impact/flotation Vest, and is waist or seat harness compatible vest.

I'm 41 and have been surfing on/off for 25 years but only one year kitting
I feel a lot safer wearing the dakine surface vest when practice jumps
because I don't want to get injured, it have a lot of cushion.
When I'm kitting in deep waters or in the waves, if something goes wrong is a
lot safer to swim wearing a vest.
dakine.gif (12.93 KiB) Viewed 3422 times

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Re: Lifejacket or no lifejacket?

Postby RickI » Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:04 am

Dyyylan, there are lots of good reasons to wear one even for strong swimmers. Stuff happens that you may not anticipate, even here. The wind shifts direction, happens with most fronts that pass through, when thermals turn off too. Lets say you're doing a downwinder, your kite goes down, something breaks and you get washed offshore in the rip out of Boca Inlet around low tide. You injure yourself, pull a muscle, tendon, get skegged, line cut, bad Portuguese hit, if you get wrapped up in a good sized one it can mess you up or you just need to self-rescue, it is good to not have to work to keep yourself afloat as aggressively while you sort things out. I must have self-rescued 75 times or more since I have been kiting, it really helps and speeds things along. Say your lose your board in overpowered or underpowered conditions, it can happen even here particularly if winds are side shore. If you ride in other areas, the Keys, parts of Miami, getting blown out by an outgoing tide becomes even more possible. There are even more reasons than this particularly in hypothermic conditions, areas with strong rips, etc. etc.. Swimming miles isn't problem even towing gear, done it before. Despite that I've worn impact vests for many years, these days a Neil Pryde High Hook vest. In the early days I wore them mainly for impact protection and warmth but the minor flotation is always there as a convenience or if things really go south. You forget you have it on in minutes, so if you aren't aware it is even there, what is the harm? There are people that would likely still be here if they had worn a simple impact vest, it is worth thinking about carefully.

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Re: Lifejacket or no lifejacket?

Postby celly » Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:11 am

Alright well you all scared me into getting one :o just when I thought I was DONE buying equipment! lol looks like I have another purchase to make... All the impact waist harness ones seem to be around 100 bones

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Re: Lifejacket or no lifejacket?

Postby RickI » Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:23 am

There is no intent to scare anyone. It is just a choice like anything else. Still, I believe wearing a good impact vest is an important choice to make for kiters, even strong watermen.

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Re: Lifejacket or no lifejacket?

Postby edt » Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:44 am

i've never wear a lifejacket, and never found myself wanting one tho I understand why people like them. I'm not completely anti safety I do wear a helmet (a snowboarding giro, because all the water helmets suck).

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Re: Lifejacket or no lifejacket?

Postby pmaggie » Fri Jun 01, 2012 12:47 pm

Neil Pryde High Hook. Pocket in the front (I always carry a cell phone in an aquapac with me), hook hole, optional camelbak (fantastic during summer).
Where I live, the lifejacket is mandatory. Anyway, I think it's really useful if something goes wrong and it works like an impact jacket too.
Don't forget your helmet!!!!

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Re: Lifejacket or no lifejacket?

Postby rtz » Fri Jun 01, 2012 5:49 pm

I've got one of these and I totally recommend it. ... est&cat=21

In rough water; it's nice not having the waves run over you. Also one doesn't get so exhausted trying to stay afloat. Another benefit is when falling; most of the time one doesn't go completely underwater. Plus the cushioned impact to the (hard)surface of the water. One tends to bounce/slide on it.

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Re: Lifejacket or no lifejacket?

Postby Bille » Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:27 pm

It should be a personal decision if you weair a PDF, but
for the guy that doesn't want a bulky life jacket but Does
want a back-up just for emergency there are ((inflatable PDF's)).

Google search :
inflatable PFD

Here's one that is manual or CO2 but there are Others : ... escription

Personally though, the main reason i use a Stearns ski jacket is so i don't
break a rib when i Screw-Up a trick and hit the water Hard ; and even with it
i've hit hard enough that everything went kinda Fuzzy for a few moments ,
but nothing got broken except my Pride !!
I always get free Beer from the beach onlookers when that happens ...


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Re: Lifejacket or no lifejacket?

Postby frankm1960 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:12 pm

dyyylan wrote:
frankm1960 wrote:
A LEI kite with it's LE in water will pull you hard down wind and there is zero upward force. You have to fight to keep your head above water until you can relaunch and this could take a while if your lines/bridals are tangled.
Really? because I crash my kite like this all the time with boots on and lie back while relaunching my kite. and i live in florida, so i'm only using the flotation from my boardshorts and harness.
Just for the hellofit ... at your local shallow water location... in 15kts, LE down on the water straight down wind... no board on your feet... let the kite drag you for a bit and see. As soon as you go to launch your kite from there the kite pretty much stops pulling... but until then it's pretty powered up and will drag you and you have to try pretty hard to keep your head above water. There is no upward pull at all. You'll need both hands to keep your head up. Try it.

This isn't a normal situation ... but it did happen to me once when starting out... couldn't launch the kite (tangles in lines), seperated from my board, winds picked and it was dragging me pretty hard downwind...I was having a hard time keeping my head out of the water whilst trying to untangle the mess and re-launch. It was about 2min worth of dragging and the whole time wishing I hadn't forgot my pfd.

You never know when you're gonna need it except for the times you forget it... then it's pretty much garanteed that you're gonna need it :)

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