Paddle boarding is a popular water sport that requires a lot of physical effort and balance. As with any water activity, safety is of utmost importance. It is a widely accepted norm to wear a life jacket while paddle boarding.
However, some paddle boarders, particularly women, choose to go against this norm and opt for a different type of flotation device – the paddling jacket women’s.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the reasons why some paddle boarders prefer paddling jackets over life jackets and the benefits they offer.
Reasons Why Paddle Boarders Choose Not to Wear Life Jackets
Paddleboarders don’t always have to wear life jackets by law. The US Coast Guard says you must wear one on a stand-up paddleboard if you’re not in an area specifically for swimming, surfing, or bathing.
Some people don’t think wearing a PFD is necessary because the board itself can keep you afloat, but it’s important to remember that you need to wear a leash so you don’t lose your board.
Some paddle boarders find life jackets uncomfortable or restrictive. They may believe that life jackets get in the way of their movements or prevent them from fully enjoying their paddleboarding experience.
Some paddleboarders simply don’t consider the risks of not wearing a life jacket. They may not be aware of the dangers of drowning or the importance of safety while paddleboarding.
It’s essential to educate yourself on the risks involved in paddleboarding and to take appropriate safety precautions.
The Importance of Board Leashes
While wearing a life jacket is crucial for safety, it’s also important to use a board leash. A board leash attaches your board to you and prevents it from drifting away.
You should use it in any condition where you will have a hard time swimming back to your board if you fall off it.
Using a board leash can also affect the decision to wear a life jacket. If you are wearing a leash, you may feel more comfortable without a life jacket.
However, it’s important to remember that a leash is not a substitute for a life jacket. If you become separated from your board, a life jacket can be the difference between life and death.
Inflatable Belt Pack PFDs – An Alternative
If you’re looking for an alternative to traditional life jackets, inflatable belt pack PFDs are a good option.
These PFDs are lightweight and easy to wear, making them perfect for conditions where you don’t need a PFD but are legally required to have one.
To use a belt pack, you have to pull the inflator cord to blow it up and then put it on. However, it’s important to note that if you are knocked off your board and drowning, an inflatable belt pack PFD does you zero good.
Coast Guard Regulations
If you’re a stand-up paddler 13 or older, the US Coast Guard has rules for you. You need to have a life jacket that’s been approved by the USCG.
It can be a Type I, II, III, or an appropriate Type V jacket. You don’t have to wear it, but you need to have it with you.
Kids 12 and under must wear a USCG-approved life vest at all times. If you’re not in a “swimming, surfing, or bathing area,” you must have a USCG-approved life jacket for each person on the paddleboard.
Some states may have different regulations regarding the use of life jackets while paddleboarding. It’s essential to be aware of these regulations and to follow them to ensure your safety while paddleboarding.