Water sports are fun. There is something about the sun shining on the surface and the sound of crashing waves. And not to forget the adrenaline rush of being in the water. As scary as it may seem to some, in the end, it’s all worth it!
But when it comes to water activities, safety goes for a toss. That’s why wearing a life jacket is integral. Since July 2004, there have been 980 deaths during coastal activities in Australia, 70% of which were not wearing life jackets. Ergo, it’s a lifesaver.
Types of Life Jackets
No doubt life jackets save lives as they are equivalent to a seat belt in the car. It helps the person wearing it float on the water. These life-saving vests work on the principle of buoyancy, classified into many different categories. However, in general, there are two types of these vests.
1. Foam or Filled
These jackets look like a vest and hang on floating material to create buoyancy. It’s one of the most popular life vests people use on the water. It’s a little bulky but relatively easy to maintain.
Inflatable jackets have a chamber filled with air. You can fill it out manually or automatically. You may get one with a gas canister installed with it. Such jackets are easy to wear as it’s less bulky for long durations.
Things to Consider Before Getting the Right Life Vest
It’s better to be safe than sorry. So, planning is the key to making your adventure trip more enjoyable and memorable. There is no simple one-size-fits-all formula to picking the right lifesaver vest.
But the below steps will give you a clue on how to go about it.
1: What are You Planning?
Consider the type of activity you are planning to do. What kind of boat will you use? Learn about the water body you’re visiting and what legal buoyancy you need for it. It’s best to go for the minimum buoyancy required for your planned activity.
2: Research and Review Different Options
Research your option well beforehand to know more about the level of a life jacket that suits your activity. Consult an expert if you aren’t sure about it. Price is essential, but you shouldn’t make a choice entirely based on that aspect.
3: Try It on Before Final Purchase
Life vests come in a multitude of sizes, colours and styles. Trying the one you’re considering buying will give you a better idea of their comfort and safety. Some vests must be more suitable on paper. But if it’s uncomfortable for you, it’s not the right one.
4: Proper Fitting is the Key
Freedom of motion is contributing factor too. Ensure your jacket fits you properly without digging into your skin or hanging loosely on your body. These vests also come in various fits according to your weight.
5: Spruce Up with Safety Gears
Some accessories come in handy while you’re on the water. Some examples are whistles, reflective tapes, hook knives, lights, etc. You may need one depending upon your choice of activity and safety needs.
The Right Life-saving Jacket
Pro tip: A life jacket can only save your life if you wear it.
Whether going for river-rafting or surf-ski, wearing life jackets is crucial. Yet, many people tend to overlook its importance. If you’re not among those people, consider the above points to learn about life vests and how to pick one.
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