View Full Version : Pull over vest for wakeboarding

06-30-2009, 04:10 PM
I need to get a new vest and I really like the pull-over style. They are really comfortable, and I think they look better too. However, all the ones I have seen are Non-USCG approved. So wouldn't that mean it's illegal to board with one? If that is the case, then how are they so popular and legal to sell? Sorry for my lack of knowledge about this kind of stuff. Also, are there any pullovers that are CG approved? Just to be clear, I'm talking about this kind of vest.


06-30-2009, 06:02 PM
no, you can wakeboard with a non-uscg approved jacket if you want. I have the Oneil Checkmate pull over non-uscg vest and wouldn't trade it for nothing. Doesn't give me a rash and doesn't rub anywhere. Soft material and keeps me floating. :)

06-30-2009, 06:09 PM
I don't think it's illegal but was told that vests that are not approved can not be counted as a vest on board when being inspected. In other words, if you have 5 people, they want you to have 5 vests. They will not count a non approved vest as one of them. I do not know that for a fact though.

06-30-2009, 06:14 PM
This depends on the state. In the great State of Washington a Non-USCG vest while skiing buys you a $130 fine if you get caught. I know from experience. :(

06-30-2009, 06:36 PM
my son wears a side entry jet pilot jacket that is uscg approved.

i would not let anyone ride behind my boat with any jacket that is not. two years ago my son got knocked out while wakeboarding. i had to dive in after him. if it was not for having a approved jacket who know what could have happened.

06-30-2009, 07:15 PM
Good points! When I was learning raleys, I crashed so hard at times that it would knock the wind out of me sooo much that I couldn't catch my breath. While trying to retain air again, I couldn't because it got knocked out very hard. After waiting to get my breath back (and didn't), I blacked out and then woke up 2 seconds later having a panic attack in the water. I started swimming away from the shore and boat in a panic attack and almost drowning myself because my non-uscg jacket barely kept me floating. Almost took me about 15 seconds to come out of it. Pretty scary stuff when you are not in control of yourself and you are in the water.

It seems like it only makes a difference when you have your board strapped to you as well. When I crashed, I got ejected out of my bindings and was less buoyant.

06-30-2009, 07:21 PM
Let me beat the dead horse.

Comp vests, such as the pullovers you described are super comfy and stylish. Now, put one on, jump in the water, blow all the air out of your lungs (which happens the majority of times some one is knocked out while riding) and see how long takes you to submerge below the surface. I give you you < 5 seconds, unless you are small and wearing a large comp vest. Unless you board in crystal clear water with 20 ft visibility, your friends will not be able to find you when you are not on the surface.

But do not worry, your bloated body will resurface in a few days.

I float great even with no vest, when I am conscious and breathing. Different story with no air in my lungs. Therefore, I wear a CGA vest. The jet pilots are great.

06-30-2009, 08:19 PM
But do not worry, your bloated body will resurface in a few days.

:eek: Touche.

Well, you guys have made great points, as you do with all my questions. I'll do some more looking in to the USCG approved side entry vests. Thanks!

06-30-2009, 09:29 PM
The closest thing to the pullover CG approved would be a side-entry.

07-01-2009, 11:16 AM
Here in NC, you don't even have to have a vest on to do anything behind the boat, provided there is an observer in the boat, or a mirror for the driver.

Now that is silly, I would never wakeboard without a vest, just mentioning the legality.

07-02-2009, 10:05 AM
Interesting to see how other state laws vary. In Louisiana, they are very strict about CG approved vests. Where we board, there have been at least 3 deaths in the past couple years from boarders with non-approved vests, due to drowning.

We use the CG approved side entry..


07-02-2009, 11:38 AM
Who needs vests lets go back to the ski belt......it worked for dick pope.....

Just kidding guys, I personally prefer an impact style vest USCG approved........to keep my ribs in tact when i decide (or am compelled) to do those 50MPH crossing the wake face plants. The pullovers are great for those who don't fall though.

07-02-2009, 03:44 PM
dammn, i remember, must have been '86 or so, slaloming with the yellow belt. aaaah, the memories.

07-02-2009, 11:59 PM
dammn, i remember, must have been '86 or so, slaloming with the yellow belt. aaaah, the memories.

That made me think. I do not remember wearing any life jacket when we slalom skied as teenagers. I hope it is just my bad memory and that we were really not that stupid. But, I do remember getting bad road rash on your chest with a high speed fall.

I also distinctly remember falling while learning to ski at around age 7, and floating head down, feet up, while wearing a ski belt. Damn those things were dangerous!

07-03-2009, 12:04 AM
i have both, but since im learning backrolls, i keep the non-cga to surfing.