I'm 15 pretty new to slalom skiing but I've improved a lot this year and I need a new vest. Right now I have an O'brien CGA vest, I like it alot but I just don't feel like I can move very much. Anyway it's to small and I need a new one. I want to get an impact vest but I'm worried about how well they float, I've been trying them on at stores and I've heard different things from people. Some people said they float ok and then others said that they're not very good. I'm a good swimmer and I'm pretty light weight(not sure if that makes a difference) but I'm worried if I take a hard fall ,am I going to float if i get injured with an impact vest. Should I stick to CGA and if so any suggestions on a good life vest that will float me good but I can still be flexable in?
Thank you for your help,
I decided on the Strada Impact Jacket. Absolutely love it and it has plenty of flotation in my opinion. I wanted flexibility, protection, and flotation and that's exactly what the Strada gave me. I wasn't sold on the flotation capabilities of a lot of the other low profile vests.
FYI, although it floats really well, it'll put you face down in seconds if you're unconscious, hence the non-cga approval.
In my opinion, whether or not you can go with a non-cga vest depends on the site you are skiing. On a big public lake, I would opt for a vest with more flotation. Hyperlite has a couple of tweener vests: catalyst, the five. They are non-cga vests, but just barely. They are thinner and more flexible than your normal coast guard approved live vest, but you'll float like a cork compared to something like the HO Point vest.
This is what my daughter uses at our slalom lake - Girls MVP/SE Comp - https://store.jetpilot.com/jetpilot/pro … /?catID=56
This one is also a very good choice -http://www.oneill.com/#/women/americacanada/collection/women/wetsuits/wake/comp_vests/outlaw_comp_vest/enamel/
In my opinion, whether or not you can go with a non-cga vest depends on the site you are skiing. On a big public lake, I would opt for a vest with more flotation.
I'll second that and add one more thing. It also depends on who you are skiing with. The question is, if there is only one other person in the boat, can they get you back in or to safety if something happens where you can't do it yourself? This is more important on big water but is a consideration anywhere. I am a great swimmer but I don't think that my wife could handle me if I were unconscious or immobile. It really isn't about swimming.
Last edited by Deke (Thu, Aug 19, 2010 5:27 AM)
none of the watersports vests out there will float you face up if unconscious AFAIK, CGA or otherwise. The biggest difference is they are vests the OEMs have sent to be tested. Impact resistance is more important than flotation in our sport IMO.
Most type 3 PFDs (foam vests eg. http://www.mustangsurvival.com/products … &mc=10 ) will even need some kind of assistance by the users to float them face up. only type 1 and 2 life jackets or pfd's will float you face up when unconscious & nobody's wearing them while skiing.
I have used o'neil vapor for 3 years with great success..but they have replace it with the checkmate i think. The outlaw is also a sure bet. I had ribs issues and the o'neil protected me very well. I would also trust the radar strada vest. Sizing is the biggest factor to consider....once wet they all feel bigger ! Happy shopping. The strada at 99$ is a very good deal check it out. At 15 price is important.
Last edited by jerrysnow (Thu, Aug 19, 2010 7:52 AM)
I try to be careful when talking about this subject, because one can get confused for the other. Generally speaking what you see as a life-jacket is a type-III. It has to float (I can't recall the standards), but face-up is not a requirement. This is fine when rescue will be relatively quick: as in turning around an I/O boat versus a cruise ship.
Those Hyperlite vests I referenced do not conform to the Coast Guard standards for floatation, but only by a hair. I keep one around for public lakes or deeper tournament sites. I have 100% confidence that it will take me back to the surface without my help. I usually ski in an A-10. If I exhale deeply, I'll go under. In the even t that I am completely incapacitated, I'll only be slightly more buoyant than the air left in my lungs.
Try to borrow one of the thinner ski vests if you can so you can experience what it's going to do for you. If you can't, I would err on the side of more floatation.
I'm mildly new to slalom skiing and started off with show skiing on a team. i've used my show vest which was very thin and small, however its what most girl skiiers on my lake use. i'm not sure of the company or name but i'm pretty sure its for show skiing, it is not CGA and i'm fine with that. although the zipper broke and none of the other vests we have fit well enough. i would very much like a new one and have looked at all of the ones mentioned on this thread although from the pictures it is very hard to tell what they really look and feel like. i am turning 17 and am around 120lbs. i just need help finding a vest which doesn't need to keep me afloat, i'm used that and like that, also is very thin and form fitting, if anyone could give me an idea for a vest which would be good for me that would be great. thank you!
Looks like H2osmosis has the Oneill Outlaw on sale. If they've got one small enough that would probably be similar. Also sunandski.com looks to be having a little vest clearance going on too. If your vest is still in decent shape it could be worth looking into just getting the zipper replaced.
Last edited by HO410 (Thu, Aug 19, 2010 2:57 PM)