All About Impact Vests
Although we all think we are invincible on the water, the reality is that big accidents happen to everyone, even pros. When you’re pushing the limits to become a better rider, it’s easy to cross that line and end up wiping out in a fantastic fashion.
Here's why I love impact vests. They will keep you safe and help prevent injuries from the impact.
You can make progress in any water sport: whether you are foiling, kiting, wakeboarding, surfing or any other. You'll have more confidence in your abilities if you have an impact vest on.
Impact Vests: The Pros and Cons
Remember that impact vests, also known as "comp vests" and "competition vests", are not the same as a life jacket. Because they are sufficiently buoyant, they are usually not Coast Guard Approved by the NCGA.
An impact vest's purpose is to protect you in an accident, but not keep you floating. However, they can provide some buoyancy.
The advantage of impact vests is they are much less bulky than life jackets to the point where they won’t get in your way or interfere with your performance on the water. They fit on pretty tight and snug, and once you’re on the water you forget all about that.
A vest that protects your chest and offers a safer ride will make you feel more secure. Protect your ribs whether you're falling on something hard or hitting the water hard. This could make the difference between laughing at your fall or being out of the water for weeks with a fractured rib.
Impact vests made from neoprene are most common. This means that they will provide extra warmth on the water, which is a great benefit.
How to Choose an Impact Vest
Today's impact vests offer a more comfortable and mobile design than life vests. There are vests made specifically for women that can be tailored to provide better protection and comfort.
I will be focusing on these 4 key points:
If you are doing an activity like windsurfing, kiteboarding or other similar sports where you will be wearing a harness, make sure that the impact vest does not interfere with your activities.
People claim that the greatest drawback to an impact vest's restrictive movement is its restricted mobility. Even though vests are thinner and more flexible than ever before, this is still the case. Flexibility is key.
You'll most likely need to replace your impact vest every other year. Therefore, you want a vest that is durable and can withstand the harsh elements and winters out on the water.
Lightweight vests are best for riding because you won't feel too heavy.