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View Full Version : Life Jacket Preference


tall_ andy
09-12-2005, 09:56 PM
Alright out there what Life Jacket do you recommend? I have a cheap 4 buckle nylon, and lately I've been getting schafed under my arm while running the corse. I have been looking at some of the neoprene jackets, but with such a selection it's hard to tell. I do want it USCG approved.

Thanks

stevo137
09-12-2005, 10:00 PM
I have a Ski Warm neoprene. It has a zipper and three straps and fits very well.
It's a bit bulky though.
I have only bruised my ribs once and broke one so far.
Other than that, I really like it...

ski_king
09-12-2005, 10:07 PM
I have a neoprene Jobe that I picked up at Sams or Costco for $40. Zipper and 3 straps, best one I ever used.
Also got a neoprene Obrien for my daughter this year, seems nice also, but a little bulkier.

I would like to try one of the Nevin's with lumbar support, but the price is too high yet.

stevo137
09-12-2005, 10:11 PM
I need one of those body armor deals...
Good thread, glad you started it Andy.
I will be looking in spring.

6ballsisall
09-12-2005, 10:32 PM
Neoprene is the only way to go IMO. I have a non USCG approved vest I have had for years. As a matter of fact, I am a little fond of the vest, it saved my life literally. Bad tubing accident (yes I know :rolleyes: ) 4 years ago, the only reason I still have a right arm is because of this vest. I had just bought it a few days prior and wouldn't let the Emergency Room doc cut it off me, instead made him help me take it off me while my arm flailed around (pretty nasty really :eek: ) I need to replace it but I am kinda attached to this one. It will make an appearance at Mag Fest :D

Well now that you all know my life story ...............

LakePirate
09-12-2005, 11:45 PM
From what I understand the only difference between coast guard approved and non coast guard approved is the ability for it to keep you afloat in water that is below something like 35 degrees. Don't know about you guys but I don't be doing no skiing if the water gets that cold.

I have been looking at the new closed cell neoprene vests. They don't hold water like traditional neoprene vests.

AirJunky
09-13-2005, 01:00 AM
Neo rocks. I can cinch up my SkiWarm 4 buckle plus zipper & still have enough flex that I can breath or lean over to get my feet in the bindings. And no chaffing in the 3 yrs I've had it.
The Jobe from Costco is nice too, especially for the cost.
The body armor looks cool but my beer gut hangs out from under it! :toast:

sizzler
09-13-2005, 03:20 AM
i've got one of these....fits so snug you dont even know its on

http://www.oneill.com/mens-products.php?sport=wake&categoryID=1&typeID=31&seriesID=75&id=269

Kevin 89MC
09-13-2005, 09:34 AM
I've got a Nevin with the lumbar support (and it's CG approved). It is really nice. They are expensive though. I thought the USCG approval meant that it will keep your face out of the water if you are unconscious (more flotation in the front of the jacket), but I could be wrong.
Kevin

Cary K.
09-13-2005, 09:44 AM
I have had the Straightline Ultra vest for 6-7 years now. Still looks like new. It is molded so it does not bunch up like a lot of the neoprene ones do. IMO, I personally think the molds help break up the water better on impact than a flat vest would. It also does not take on any extra water, stays very light. It is a non USCG approved tournament vest.

I don't agree with the USCGA vs. Non-USCGA based on water temps. The approved vest have more foam in them to help float you better regardless of the temps. I know my vest and every other non-USCGA vest I have worn is half the thickness of a USCGA vest.

http://www.straightlinewatersports.com/ski/vests/images/7100.jpg

east tx skier
09-13-2005, 10:10 AM
I'm on my third season with the HO Phantom molded vest. Not USCGA, but offers great protection in hard falls. It'll float you a little bit, but not like USCGA vest. Although HO no longer makes it, it is the same as the Wet Tech approach. Holds no water, doesn't move, and is extremely comfortable.

peason
09-13-2005, 11:54 AM
My wife and I botha have a Hyperlite Parks neoprene vest - which are USCG approved. We love them - they offer very good movement and are comfortable to wear.

erkoehler
09-13-2005, 12:27 PM
I usually just throw on the barefoot suit. Keeps me warm and afloat all at the same time!

jraben8
09-13-2005, 12:30 PM
My wife and I went with O'Neill since we wanted the USCG approval. When we bought them there weren't many neoprene models available that weren't over $100. Granted that was about 6 years ago and ours have held up very well.

RickDV
09-13-2005, 01:02 PM
From what I understand the only difference between coast guard approved and non coast guard approved is the ability for it to keep you afloat in water that is below something like 35 degrees. Don't know about you guys but I don't be doing no skiing if the water gets that cold.

I have been looking at the new closed cell neoprene vests. They don't hold water like traditional neoprene vests.

I believe it also has to do with turning you upright. In most states you are not required to have USCG on skiers, although you must have a USCG floatation device for them in the boat.

I will sometimes wear a wet suit with floatation (i.e. padded barefoot suit). With a trusted driver and observer you should have no problems with non-USCG floatation.

bigmac
09-13-2005, 01:31 PM
We have both the Connelly Wired and the O'neill LAW neoprene vests. I love both of them - first vests I've ever had that didn't slide up to my chin when I get in the water. Both have enlarged arm holes and offer a tremendous amount of upper body/shoulder flexibility.

http://mccollister.info/vest.jpg

Here's some trivia - the O'neill logo is a representation of Jack O'neill's famous eye patch. He lost an eye experimenting with the first surfboard leashes. maybe one has to be a surfer to care about that....

tall_ andy
09-14-2005, 01:37 PM
Just ordered the ski limited Glidskin that is USCG approved. I'll let ya'll know what I think about it soon :D
Thanks for all the replies

jayocheskey
09-14-2005, 04:29 PM
I've got a Jobe as well, really like it a lot. I've also warn a liquid force. IMO, anything neoprene is way better and more comfortable than the alternative.

maristarman
09-14-2005, 04:44 PM
Coast Guard Approved PFD Specifications........


http://www.uscgboating.org/safety/fedreqs/equ_pfd.htm

and this one has a ridiculous amount of detail...

http://www.uscg.mil/hq/g-m/mse4/pfdseldata.htm

SKI*MC
09-14-2005, 04:59 PM
i have the O'niell Out Law, the non USCGA vest, it fites me well, unlike the other 5 vests that i have bought.

bigmac
09-14-2005, 05:01 PM
Coast Guard Approved PFD Specifications........


http://www.uscgboating.org/safety/fedreqs/equ_pfd.htm

and this one has a ridiculous amount of detail...

http://www.uscg.mil/hq/g-m/mse4/pfdseldata.htm

It's interesting that the Coast Guard doesn't require water skiers to wear a PFD and they leave it up to state law (most states don't require it either). All these years, I always thought it was the law...

east tx skier
09-14-2005, 05:11 PM
Not in Texas. Just have one in the boat.

SKI*MC
09-14-2005, 05:12 PM
in WI we have to have the same amount of life jackets as there are people in the boat.

PointTaken
09-14-2005, 05:26 PM
Not in Texas. Just have one in the boat.
Seems dangerous

east tx skier
09-14-2005, 05:31 PM
It's a trade off. The molded vest provides a good deal of protection from hard falls. I took a bad one in it in late July. In another vest, I'm convinced my minor injuries could've been worse.

PointTaken
09-14-2005, 05:40 PM
I interpreted your response as 'don't need to wear one at all' only have it in the boat. That seems dangerous

east tx skier
09-14-2005, 05:43 PM
Oh, gotcha. Actually, that is the law. And yeah, dangerous. Just for the record though, I wear a vest. It is not a floatation device.

PointTaken
09-14-2005, 05:52 PM
Same here. I've been wearing the same neoprene vest for 10 years. Not Coast Guard approved, but it is a vest. Hard to believe the law there is that you can ski without a vest. I've read your star magazine posting, your a lawyer, maybe you should get that changed :)

Leroy
09-14-2005, 06:03 PM
Indiana requires USCG approved vest.

"All persons being towed behind a boat or PWC on water-skis or any other device must wear a U.S. Coast Guard–approved PFD. Ski belts are not USCG-approved."
I just upgraded to Dicks $11 end of season 4 buckle vest. Bigger arm holes, actually very nice!

MasterMason
09-14-2005, 07:48 PM
California doesn't require it either, but I do behind my boat.... :twocents:

parks_jr_55
09-14-2005, 08:19 PM
Mine is not USCG approved but I'm sure you can get some that are.
Jet Pilot. Side entry with sipper and one buckle.
My brothers and I have one and my mom has one but my brothers dont like it that much. Since then they have boughten a Hyperlite vest they is neoprene and they like alot.

6ballsisall
09-14-2005, 09:14 PM
Mine is non approved. There is a difference in floatation. Mine barely keeps my chin above water (it could be getting a little water logged now too though)

When I used to have a stand up jet ski I got stopped all the time by the local water nazis. Here's a hint: take some rubbing alcohol and wipe off the lettering on the vest where it says its non USCGA approved. I still got stopped by the water nazis but they didn't give me a ticket for a non USCGA approved vest.

shepherd
09-15-2005, 07:47 AM
Well, according to the nazi on our old lake, USCG approved is required in Florida (or at least Orange County). There I was, floating in the water with the handle in my hand, waiting for my wife to take up the slack before my first run of the day, when the local deputy on a jet ski pulls up next to me and tells me to take off my vest and hand it to him so he can check that it's USCG-approved. Can't you wait until my set is done dude???!!!? :rant:

He said no :noface:

PointTaken
09-15-2005, 08:12 AM
Never seen a check like that while someone was in the water. Oh, here's my vest officer, BTW, if I sink while your checking my vest, just throw it back in the boat, thanks.

6ballsisall
09-15-2005, 08:47 AM
Never seen a check like that while someone was in the water. Oh, here's my vest officer, BTW, if I sink while your checking my vest, just throw it back in the boat, thanks.

That is genius in the works isn't it?? Take my vest off in the water while you fiddle around with it and I have not additional floation and a ski stuck to my leg? Pure genius from that water nazi!!

H20skeefreek
09-15-2005, 08:52 AM
Jrandol,

a CG approved vest becomes non CG approved if the label is damaged in anyway or if the vest is altered in any way.

east tx skier
09-15-2005, 10:10 AM
I've read your star magazine posting, your a lawyer, maybe you should get that changed :)

I'll leave changing the law to the legislators. ;) And plus, I don't want that law changed inamsuch as I'm in a non-USCG approved vest. :cool:

I got pulled over while on the stick for skiing, unbeknownst to me, in a "no-ski zone." Best water on the lake. Figures.

PointTaken
09-15-2005, 10:25 AM
I'll leave changing the law to the legislators. ;) And plus, I don't want that law changed inamsuch as I'm in a non-USCG approved vest. :cool:

Point taken :D

east tx skier
09-15-2005, 10:47 AM
Well, I'm not really comfortable leaving the laws in the hands of the legislators, but that's the way that goes.

PointTaken
09-15-2005, 10:54 AM
Sometimes they do come up with good ideas I guess. Like making it law in Texas that you can ski without a vest. You can ski, and when you are done (by choice or not :)) you can just take a casual swim without having to get in the boat to take your gear off :)

ski_king
09-15-2005, 10:56 AM
Remember back in the days when this is all you needed. It's all I used when I was a kid.
It's a wonder I survived. I have had more than one rip off of me in a hard fall. I am thankful of the protection the new ones offer.

Found this picture on the internet, I guess you can still buy them, but who would want one?

PointTaken
09-15-2005, 10:57 AM
Nice pic. Don't see those much anymore. Never had one myself.

newfound skier
09-15-2005, 11:04 AM
Are there any good vests out there that have no neoprene in the construction? I am allergic to that stuff.

PointTaken
09-15-2005, 11:07 AM
Are there any good vests out there that have no neoprene in the construction? I am allergic to that stuff.
There are plenty of good vests that aren't neoprene. Check overtons, barts, skilimited, or your local store. I guess you don't use wetsuits to often then :)

betsy&david Harrison
09-15-2005, 11:50 AM
Are there any good vests out there that have no neoprene in the construction? I am allergic to that stuff.
I think my husband is allergic to it too. He gets this splotchy rash that doesn't itch. I haven't heard of the allergic thing yet so maybe that's the answer to the rash question. Thanks! B

east tx skier
09-15-2005, 11:58 AM
I don't believe mine is neoprene.

ski_king
09-15-2005, 12:07 PM
Some vests are now made with EVA foam. (Ethylene Vinyle Acetate)

I believe this is what is sometimes refered to as closed cell. This may solve the allergy issue.

maristarman
09-15-2005, 12:08 PM
California doesn't require it either, but I do behind my boat.... :twocents:

Can you post where you got that info from?

Heres some info from http://www.boatsafe.com/California/index.htm

"Water Skiing:

California law requires a water-ski observer (who is not the boat operator) onboard. The observer must be at least 12 years old. Water skiers must wear a U.S.C.G. approved life jacket"

east tx skier
09-15-2005, 12:48 PM
Some vests are now made with EVA foam. (Ethylene Vinyle Acetate)

I believe this is what is sometimes refered to as closed cell. This may solve the allergy issue.

Couldn't remember. That's it.

newfound skier
09-15-2005, 12:53 PM
Haha, no wetsuits for me. I'll have to look at the EVA vests. Thanks

bigmac
09-15-2005, 01:01 PM
Nice pic. Don't see those much anymore. Never had one myself.

Don't worry - you can still get them from Overtons - with more choices than ever before. :)

http://www.overtons.com/graphics/products/large/11831L.jpg http://www.overtons.com/graphics/products/large/11830L.jpg