Page 1 of 1

PFD requirements

Posted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 6:10 pm
by Patrick
hi all, new to kayaking. just bought my first a month ago (not the greatest, but it floats.) now, i'm buying an AF expedition and stuff, and am naive to all the rules so i have a question,

do i really need a PFD? i plan on using this kayak in waters that i normally swim in; calm or rough. so, is it a requirement for these things? not to sound arrogant, but if the Coasties pulled up to me and asked where my pfd was, i would fall overboard, pull the deck rope around my waist and swim back to shore. if i have to have one, i will. if i have to wear one, i will (of course i won't like it, but it's a weird phobia i have that makes no sense) if i just have to have something in the boat, that's cool, but what type then? is type 3 the norm? can i have one of these inflatable ones? i could deal with that. not to heavy and/or constricting.

just thougth of a second question- i have seen the expedition advertised as a 32 and a 34 inch wide craft. my current ride is 30 and seems wide. what is the best length/ most comfortable paddle that anyone is using? i am getting the one that comes in the "kit" since i will be getting it in the states and shipping it to europe later so it is easier, but is there a preference in lenght and maybe material design?

Posted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 10:17 am
First off, you will want to check with local parks and services or authorities, which ever set regulations for the waterways as to whether or not they have specific rules regarding PFDs.
Now many places do not require that you have a PFD but it is always a wise choice no matter how good of a swimmer you are. If for some reason you where knocked unconscious from an out of control boater or something to that effect, you would still be kept afloat. Hopefully face up!
Many manufactures have changed the designs and overall comfort of PFDs. They have become much smaller and lightweight compared to the old bulky "lifejackets" from years ago.
My suggestion would be to try quite a few out and hopefully find one that fits you great. But, it is of course completely up to you.
The outer dimension of the Expedition is 32" wide but the inner dimension is about 14"-15" wide. A paddle that is between 230cm-240cm should suffice. Try some out and see what is most comfortable to you. There are so many diffent types that it can be a little overwhelming.. You will want to find one that is is between that length and also one that doesn't feel shaky when you hold it as well as not heavy. There are basic paddles, whitewater paddles, touring paddles, you name it. The one that comes with your kit may be great to start out with but after awhile you may find that you want to upgrade.
I hope that this aids you in your paddling adventures.


need pfd

Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 9:03 pm
by PJohanson
Do you need a PFD? Well, the federal laws in Canada say all small boats must have a PFD for each person, bailer or pump, 50 feet of rope, a whi stle, a propulsion device (paddle or engine) and (on salt water) a flashlight. Boats bigger than these inflatable kayaks have to have flares, too. I bet the federal laws where you are are similar.
The PFD should be worn, not strapped to the deck or stuffed under or behind you.
I know some PFDs are uncomfortable. A friend who is obese can't get one to fit. But really, there are lots of styles which are more comfortable, styles which suit women or men or plump people as opposed to skinny. You might try an Orbit from Kokatat -- it leaves lots of room for your arms to move freely. The Mustang is expensive but some people love how it inflates from a slim collar to a full float.
Try several styles on. Don't settle for a cheap one at a thrift store or a hardware store or Wal-Mart, not if it doesn't fit you or it makes you feel choked or a phobia.
You'll probably want one with a "touring back" (no padding below the shoulderblades). Mine cost $120 and it's worth every cent. In my paddle group of ten people we have ten different life jackets that cost $60 to $150.
We joke that the PFD's purpose is not to save our lives. It's to make it easier for the search party to retrieve us when it's much too late.
All jokes aside, though -- get a PFD that fits, wear it and help yourself believe your phobia is meant to help you be SAFE. It's very disorienting to fall out of a boat, and the PFD will help you.
And even if you believe you will never ever need one (try a Mustang and just look cool but never inflate it), or if you believe that it's your life and no one should make you wear a PFD or bike helmet or car seatbelt, remember your kids are watching you.
Even if you're not a parent or uncle/aunt, there are kids watching you.
Be a good example.

Posted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 10:14 am
Well Said!


PFDs and kids

Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 11:43 am
by PJohanson
Kids really do watch people do sports and things, you know. The kid can't tell who is a great swimmer or expert in this boat, or knows the bay like the back of his hand. The kid just sees an adult and will want to do things the way the adult does.
My pal with no kids thought he had no responsibility because of that. But then he realized that other people's kids see and admire him, and he decided to be admired while doing things right.

Posted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 8:13 am
by Rookie4570
Deep.... :lol:

deep enough

Posted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 9:54 am
by PJohanson
Yeah, easy to go on and on about it.
But hey, the majority of boating deaths happen simply: Guy found drowned in a lake or calm saltwater bay. PFD behind the seat with empty beer cans. Zipper open. :oops:

Posted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 10:31 am
by Reddog1
I have to ask, which zipper?


Posted: Thu May 31, 2012 3:48 pm
by dsnotgood
I don't wear it when its calm water or hot. But if I go in the surf at the beach...I wear it. Govt needs to mind their own business and stay out of our boats.

Also I am young and a great swimmer and and the water is pretty warm where I go. If it was cold water I would wear it.