Boating Professionals

Life Jacket Selection

The very best life jacket is the one a person decides to wear! The decision to wear that life jacket begins with making the right choices at the point of purchase. If a boater purchases an uncomfortable life jacket or one better suited for a different activity, it is more likely, that they will not wear it. 

It is also important to realize that a single life jacket may not be comfortable or USCG approved for all the activities a boater may participate in. Life jackets are like shoes in that a person would have different shoes for work, dress, running, golf, and bowling for the best performance and comfort. Likewise, for a boater to achieve the best performance, comfort, and experience, different life jackets should be considered for powerboating, waterskiing, paddling, fishing, sailing, or other watersports. 

When choosing a life jacket, here are some things a boater should consider. 

  • the legal requirements where they are boating
  • the honest assessment of their physical abilities
  • the demands of the activity for which they intend to use the life jacket
  • the environmental conditions they expect to encounter while wearing the life jacket 
  • the amount of time it will take to get rescued, if necessary

Learn about some key points and options to consider when purchasing a life jacket. Depending on the activity, these items are a benefit or a deterrent to wearing the life jackets. Understanding various characteristics of life jackets will help a boater choose a life jacket they will wear.

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