Adventure Family

SUP Boarding 101: All About Personal Flotation Devices

The most important thing to consider when engaging in any kind of sport is safety. You must always make sure that you are safe and secure and while standup paddle boarding may be a relatively safe board, you can never really be too sure when you will be forced into harm’s way. It is always important that you wear the right gear and the proper protection in order to maximize your safety as you enjoy the engaging in the water sport. And when unfortunate circumstances do occur, you must be able to determine the right course of action.

When it comes to SUP boarding safety, personal flotation devices are a requirement. In the United States, the US Coast Guard recognizes standup paddle boards as vessels and because of this you are required to wear personal flotation devices or PFDs.

PFDs are available for all ages from adults to children and are also available in gender specific types. It is important that when you buy PFDs, they must be able to fit you nice and tight. Your weight does not determine what size you should be wearing; all that depends on the size of your chest. Furthermore, PFDs are also available for pets.

There are many different types of PFDs.

  1. OFFSHORE LIFE JACKETS. Also called Type I PFDs, these jackets are specific for rough or remote waters. These jackets are bulky but they also provide the best buoyancy. Type I PFDs are perfect for situations where you would have to wait for rescue for a while.
  2. NEAR SHORE VESTS. Also called Type II PFDs, these jackets are perfect for fast rescue situations and are less bulky than Type I.
  3. FLOTATION AIDS. Known as Type III PFDs, flotation aids offer freedom of movement and are also the most comfortable to wear. This type is suited for situations where fast rescue is possible.
  4. THROWABLE DEVICES. Also called Type IV PFDs, these could either be cushions or even ring buoys that can be thrown to a person who is in a life-threatening situation.

The quality of the gear is also important that is why you should make sure that you get high quality inflatable star board SUP.