On the Water

What You Need to Know About PFDs

Who will be using it and how determines which style of life jacket is the right choice
By John Neporadny, Jr.
Published: May 12, 2014
Astral V-Eight kayaking PFD
Photo by Astral
You’re a strong swimmer and you have life jackets stowed on board, so why should you have to wear one?

The life jacket gets in your way when you’re trying to cast your rod or paddle your kayak, and it’s too hot to wear in the summertime. Besides, wearing one of those old-fashioned orange life preservers makes you look like a nerd.

These are some of the excuses I hear boaters use for not wearing a life jacket when out on the water, but there’s one important reason why they should always wear a personal flotation device (PFD). The U.S. Coast Guard reported in 2012 that 85% of drowning victims in recreational boating accidents were not wearing a life jacket.
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