Paddlers love their PFDs. At Outdoor Retailer’s Summer Market 2016 Salus Marine’s Steve Wagner offered some basic tips to help newbies find their match for safe, on-water fun.
First, you want to make sure the PFD won’t ride up. “There are three ways to keep a PFD from riding up,” he told the Adventure Kayak team. “First, you can use a crotch strap. Second, you can wear a typical watersports vest, which rides high under the arms. Or, third, you can use a belt along the bottom of the PFD to prevent in-water ride-up.” Option one and two are out for paddlers, especially because paddlers need large armholes as they’re constantly moving, he adds.
Wagner also recommends looking for a PFD with good adjustment options, including on shoulder and side straps. It’s important to sit on the ground since you’ll be sitting while you kayak, Wagner adds. “What feels comfortable when standing might not be comfortable when sitting,” he says, adding that paddlers can mimic the movement of kayaking to get an idea of how the vest will feel while on the water. Of course, nothing compares to actually being able to test the vest while in your personal boat if the option is available.
Finally, look for a flexible fit that will contour to your body’s curves—especially important for the ladies.
Watch to hear more tips from Steve at Salus
Stay tuned to Adventure Kayak and our social media channels as we bring you all the newest gear and products from the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market August 2-5 in Salt Lake City, Utah.