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Thoughts on pfd/impact vest for SUP surfing.

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Created by rgmacca Thursday, 15 Aug 2019
rgmacca
78 posts
Thursday , 15 Aug 2019 3:56AM
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been older (55) and not the strongest swimmer, was after ppls thoughts on floatation if things go wrong in decent waves with a long swim in.
Ie loost board.
Do ppl wear pfds, impact vests, in surf? Not a cool look but safe?

Read loads on should be a competent swimmer, wish I was, but unfortunately it's not happening.
Thanks for any input.

Fitzsup
NSW, 86 posts
Thursday , 15 Aug 2019 7:02AM
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Hi,Naish make an impact vest $150 pretty comfortable.Im learning to foil saved a few nasty falls and injuries.It will float you but I wouldn't be solely putting my faith in it

Gboots
NSW, 703 posts
Thursday , 15 Aug 2019 11:41AM
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Is this the one ?
www.naishkites.com/product/defender_vest

FRP
294 posts
Thursday , 15 Aug 2019 10:33AM
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Rgmacca

I don't go out SUP surfing with out an impact vest. These boards have a lot of mass which is of concern even in small surf. The two I have are a Gooru and a Patagonia. Mostly I have been using the Gooru vest but last week shifted to the Patagonia suit. I took the padding out of the legs of the Patagonia suit. An impact vest has definately prevented significant injury a few times every year. (I get out surfing perhaps 100 times per year and mostly early morning and alone). It does provide a bit of floatation and I wish I had one on five years during a long swim following a broken leash. I wear them under my wet suit. For sure size up if you go Patagonia. I am 5'9" 70 kg and can just barely squeeze into a medium. You have to crawl in through an arm hole. The small I could not get on. The medium Gooru no problem on or off.

Cheers

Bob

micksmith
VIC, 1317 posts
Thursday , 15 Aug 2019 12:50PM
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Yes you're older than those under 55 but I wouldn't put you or me in an old category just yet. I would suggest building your swimming endurance for a start, being able to swim at least 2k's. If you're not competent or confident don't go out

Browy
QLD, 4 posts
Thursday , 15 Aug 2019 2:36PM
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PFD's are designed to keep you afloat.

They are a bitch to swim in.

Fitzsup
NSW, 86 posts
Thursday , 15 Aug 2019 3:08PM
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Select to expand quote
Gboots said..
Is this the one ?
www.naishkites.com/product/defender_vest


Gboots mines the older version,it bloody hard to duck under waves with it.

Gboots
NSW, 703 posts
Thursday , 15 Aug 2019 4:10PM
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Select to expand quote
Fitzsup said..

Gboots said..
Is this the one ?
www.naishkites.com/product/defender_vest



Gboots mines the older version,it bloody hard to duck under waves with it.


That would make it dangerous . You would get washing machined trying to get out

colas
3311 posts
Thursday , 15 Aug 2019 2:47PM
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Select to expand quote
rgmacca said..
Do ppl wear pfds, impact vests, in surf? Not a cool look but safe?


The most important thing to do is learn some techniques, and prepare yourself.

- dont panic. If you panic you will consume all your air in seconds and get exhausted immediately. This is the most important: learn to relax and not struggle with the wave movements: do not try to get upright for instance, let you go with the flow and be tumbled about. What would have seen like minutes underwater would then feel as seconds. A PFD or flotation vest will be of no use if you panic or even are too stressed.

- learn how to swim in the ocean while conserving energy: for instance using your legs consumes 5 times as much energy as tour arms, so try to use only your arms. Swim with you head above the water and rotate your shoulders, etc...

- reading techniques for swimming in open waters will help somewhat, but most tutorials are written for fit racers. You need to adapt these techniques to find ones where you spend as little energy as possible, so train a bit in chop. An impact vest will help spend your energy only for propulsion and not for staying afloat, so it will help quite a bit.

- learn to asset your environment and prioritize things: ditch the paddle, you can always buy a new one if you stay alive. Choose between going to your board or to the coast. Learn to see the rips, and try to get out of the outgoing rips or use the inbound ones, ...

riverider
TAS, 940 posts
Thursday , 15 Aug 2019 5:32PM
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I wear one of these for Downwinding, might be what you are after ?

515
256 posts
Thursday , 15 Aug 2019 4:08PM
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Agree with Colas on so many points, especially not to panic.
Big waves for me started with windsurfing Taranaki, New Zealand. To survive I did work out to get fit in both cardio and weights (high rep but lower weight) but also swimming lengths.
When suddenly you go down with half a breath its so important not to panic under water especially when you dont know which way is up ( no leg rope on windsurf). Yes you hear big wave surfers talk about this and at the start your thinking they are talking cr@p but believe it!
But when you do get to the surface swim as fast as you can to your gear with purpose to get out past impact zone.
BIG wave surfers now wear inflatable vest but the waves they are riding are next level and safety team on hand to collect on jet ski. The waves I'm riding now still have power but don't want to have vest when you can't get under waves.
Always remember the adrenalin when you catch the set wave and shred it

Seajuice
NSW, 468 posts
Thursday , 15 Aug 2019 8:33PM
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Yes wear one. Simple & effective. I wear one only for foiling. But I have busted a rib & copped some cuts & head knocks from my SUP too. So good to wear a helmet too. And being over 50, who cares what you look like.
You will stay afloat without getting exhausted from trying to keep your head above water. The worst is from being held under for a long time by a wave. It can make your legs feel very weak from lack of oxygen it is then when I concentrate on keeping head above water to to be able to breath until the weakness passes. Then I will concentrate on my slow controlled swim to shore.
And oh, I dont ditch my paddle It floats & in my mind I feel secure holding it. But if it makes one feel uncomfortable then go ahead & ditch it.
Yes. Dont panic & relax. Use the chop & whitewash to help boost you towards shore. Dont fight it. Go with it. Eventually you will make it to a shoreline as sometimes a rip will take you away from the shore that you want to swim to.
If in doubt. Dont go out!

Merrick10
5 posts
Friday , 16 Aug 2019 7:13AM
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I'm 58yo and my wife believes I have gills behind my ears. I am comfortable in the water but that only came from swimming lessons, practice and training. Water, especially surf is too dangerous to find yourself floundering. Controlling the feeling of panic is vital and I would always recommend an investment in improving swimming skills and water confidence. I always wear a pfd downwinding but I also carry a PLB, phone and signaling mirror. But in surf the need to duck dive is an important skill as is comfort in being rolled a few times. IMO pfds are there to help should you get in to trouble, not to stop you from getting in to trouble. A small investment in a lesson and training will add to safety, confidence and greater enjoyment in this awesome sport.

Fitzsup
NSW, 86 posts
Friday , 16 Aug 2019 9:52AM
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Select to expand quote
Seajuice said..
Yes wear one. Simple & effective. I wear one only for foiling. But I have busted a rib & copped some cuts & head knocks from my SUP too. So good to wear a helmet too. And being over 50, who cares what you look like.
You will stay afloat without getting exhausted from trying to keep your head above water. The worst is from being held under for a long time by a wave. It can make your legs feel very weak from lack of oxygen it is then when I concentrate on keeping head above water to to be able to breath until the weakness passes. Then I will concentrate on my slow controlled swim to shore.
And oh, I dont ditch my paddle It floats & in my mind I feel secure holding it. But if it makes one feel uncomfortable then go ahead & ditch it.
Yes. Dont panic & relax. Use the chop & whitewash to help boost you towards shore. Dont fight it. Go with it. Eventually you will make it to a shoreline as sometimes a rip will take you away from the shore that you want to swim to.
If in doubt. Dont go out!


That's the crux of the entire thread,"if in doubt don't go out".Dont put yourself or anyone else in danger.floatation vest are a back up not your first line of defense.Wear one to save knocks and falls by all means,but don't get over confident with it.

GizzieNZ
3896 posts
Yesterday , 19 Aug 2019 12:10PM
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Have nearly reduced the second 0'Neill "techno vest" I have owned to shreds.....gives an "average swimmer and surfer" a big big survival advantage if you lose your board in biggish scary stuff. Forget that macho "you weak pussies you need an impact vest" stuff.
Surfing is about having fun .....and feeling vaguely safe while you are doing it ?

warwickl
NSW, 1194 posts
Yesterday , 19 Aug 2019 6:12PM
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73 next month and since starting kite foiling at 70 I have worn an impact vest.
I rarely go in surf over 1.5 head high waves faces and no issues in easily popping back up.
I also have a 50 rated life jacket which is also designed as an impact vest.
Both are a big benefit in keeping warm as old blokes get cold quicker.

Slab
920 posts
Today , 20 Aug 2019 1:57AM
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I've used one for DW but also general surfing mid winter as they keep you toasty. I tend not to surf big waves but I like the fact I can duck under waves but still pop up a little quicker too. Been a while since I've worn mine....but make sense mid winter....our water gets 5 degrees C and minus air temps.

JEG
VIC, 1210 posts
6 hours ago , 20 Aug 2019 7:46AM
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I would wear the impact vest for SUP surfing rgmacca base on your comments as your safety is no.1 if that make you feel comfortable. I wear pfd on 14ft dw and sometimes I wear impact vest for SUP surf foiling.

warwickl
NSW, 1194 posts
4 hours ago , 20 Aug 2019 8:56AM
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Recently bought this as designed to be rated 50 life jacket and an impact vest with side pads.
Also has pocket for knife for kiters with high cut to fit harness.
No restriction for paddling or swimming .
For old blokes it's nice to have the word Forward on the front



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"Thoughts on pfd/impact vest for SUP surfing." started by rgmacca