-- Last Updated: Jan-27-14 5:09 PM EST --
Been reading the second Deep Trouble book "More Deep Trouble" book. Seems like I often read people not wearing the PFD's but instead putting them under there deck bunjees.Now I get it when some dont wear a PFD paddling down a creek were you can stand up in the creek. I still wear mine but many dont under those conditions.
BUT in open water do you ALWAYS wear your PFD?? I do. Just curious about others.
Side question, if you bring a VHF or PLB were do you keep it, on you? On me for my answer.
Deck Rigging Gear
Touring Kayak Paddles
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First, you have to assess the degree of |
Posted by: g2d on Jan-27-14 5:19 PM (EST)
risk associated with not wearing your life jacket, and then, you must decide what level of risk that you, personally, are willing to assume.
depends on what you call open water|
Posted by: pblanc on Jan-27-14 5:49 PM (EST)
I have paddled in fairly close proximity to shore on a warm water lake without a PFD now and again as I have on a straightforward and relatively narrow Class I stream.
Open water for me|
Posted by: sweeper on Jan-27-14 5:50 PM (EST)
would be a lake and yes I wear it
I always wear mine.|
Posted by: Yanoer on Jan-27-14 5:56 PM (EST)
I'm never in "open" water.
probably wouldn't save you|
Posted by: pblanc on Jan-27-14 6:38 PM (EST)
Only a Type I PFD, which virtually no recreational boaters wear, has much of a chance of floating you with your airway out of the water.
I wore a life jacket and, much of the |
Posted by: g2d on Jan-30-14 1:12 AM (EST)
time, a helmet while wading and swimming the 25 miles of the Chattooga Headwaters. As it turned out, I never had a serious fall, but even though the river was very low, there were pools that were over my head.
My PLB is attached to my PFD|
Posted by: kayamedic on Jan-27-14 5:59 PM (EST)
and that is attached to me. No doubt in anyones view the Gulf of Mexioo is open water. We did 11 miles today off Cedar Key ..in a fog with 100 ft visibility. Losing anything was not an option.
Posted by: Celia on Jan-27-14 6:10 PM (EST)
Posted by: thebob.com on Jan-27-14 7:02 PM (EST)
Posted by: pirateoverforty on Jan-27-14 9:38 PM (EST)
An area kayak shop had a picture of one of their salesman out on the gulf and it appeared he wasn't wearing his PFD. So many people commented they posted a caption saying he had on an inflatable belt type PFD
First question: no, not always|
Posted by: jackl on Jan-27-14 7:03 PM (EST)
always - feel naked without it|
Posted by: Peter-CA on Jan-27-14 7:09 PM (EST)
I always wear my PFD. Feel naked without it. Even wear it when SUPing.
Posted by: jonsprag1 on Jan-27-14 7:30 PM (EST)
I always wear my pfd---and when I have my vhf, it's in the pocket on the pfd
PFD is a habit|
Posted by: willi_h2o on Jan-27-14 7:52 PM (EST)
I ALWAYS wear my PFD|
Posted by: tdaniel on Jan-27-14 8:10 PM (EST)
well, I did go on a cruise a few years ago and didn't wear it on the ship. I wear it on whitewater, flatwater, lakes, river, saltwater marsh, creeks, and swamps- in a canoe, a kayak, a duck, or a raft.
Posted by: Andy_Szymczak on Jan-27-14 9:25 PM (EST)
It's become second nature and a wise habit.
Posted by: booztalkin on Jan-27-14 10:32 PM (EST)
1. I was a man overboard one time, in the middle of the Chesapeake, and all I had was my shorts. A passing boat picked me up after I survival bobbed for a few hours. A few hours by myself, during which my survival odds were dwindling, made an impression, and that's an experience I will never repeat, because I wear that PFD all the time, even on power boats.
It saved my life.|
Posted by: randy_morgart on Jan-27-14 10:51 PM (EST)
See pg 251 of More Deep Trouble. I made enough stupid mistakes and assumptions that day that my survival margin was razor thin. A Dr. told me later I was within minutes of losing consciousness.
Posted by: vk1nf on Jan-27-14 10:51 PM (EST)
...if I'm out on the water, it's on me.
ALWAYS! my rule is lifejacket on |
Posted by: alpalmer on Jan-27-14 11:03 PM (EST)
WHENEVER I am on the water, openwater, closedwater, shallowwater, deepwater.
Posted by: rjd9999 on Jan-27-14 11:11 PM (EST)
and I don't paddle with people who don't. I've had to do enough rescues in cold, and sometimes moving, water that I've learned a healthy appreciation for floatation.
Posted by: tjalmy on Jan-28-14 12:00 AM (EST)
What works in the cold waters of the Great Lakes, or the coast of Oregon may not be what works for the shallow Gulf coast paddling with warm water and a hot sun. Even here in the warmth, I'd lean toward using it in what I'd consider open water.
Posted by: bmach1 on Jan-28-14 12:36 AM (EST)
Always on no matter what type of water we paddle.
another mostly, but only don't when|
Posted by: OptiMystic on Jan-28-14 7:05 AM (EST)
The air and water temp is quite warm, I am in a group, conditions are calm and the water is often only waist deep. In the sounds of NC, those conditions come together more often than you might think. But most of the time I am very vigilant about it.
Posted by: adeanast on Jan-29-14 6:32 PM (EST)
This is an important point. If you have on your PFD and someone in your party doesn't - if something happens, all of a sudden it's your issue...and you are at risk for someone else's poor decision.
Always, no exceptions.|
Posted by: BNystrom on Jan-28-14 7:24 AM (EST)
My VHF radio is always mounted on the shoulder strap of my PFD. Here's how to do it:
how long does your VHF last?|
Posted by: gnarlydog on Feb-03-14 12:50 AM (EST)
how long does your VHF last like that on the shoulder of the PFD?
Posted by: andy on Jan-28-14 7:46 AM (EST)
when kayaking in pool, creek, stream, river, inlet, bay, surf, ocean. Even before reading DT the first time some years ago. I prefer this to remain my choice and not govt mandated.
Most of the time|
Posted by: jmyers on Jan-28-14 8:28 AM (EST)
Except in hot summer weather when I'm paddling close along shore. I see it as a relative risk. I also ride a bicycle several thousand miles each year on New Jersey roads and that is many times more dangerous than a summer paddle on Barnegat Bay. But when I get down to Barnegat inlet with its fast running currents and big motor boat wakes, the PFD goes on regardless of the temperature and humidity.
Posted by: paddlemore on Jan-28-14 8:22 AM (EST)
If I am on the water (even in a pool) I wear one. Its easy to put on and since I wear it all the time I don't notice it.
Posted by: c-runner on Jan-28-14 10:01 AM (EST)
I always wear my PFD while on the water, just as I always wear my seatbelt while driving my car. I've found that life becomes so much easier if one just develops certain good habits--like always wearing the PFD while paddling. You arrive at the launch site and automatically put on the PFD, rather than engaging in some sort of debate with yourself whether today is a PFD day or not. It's always a PFD day, so one can concentrate on other, more important issues.
In my younger years|
Posted by: magooch on Jan-28-14 10:26 AM (EST)
I spent a lot of time sailing and never wore a pfd, but then I was also invulnerable. To some degree I brought that attitude to kayaking, but not when I stepped up to sea kayaking. Maybe it was part of the aging process, but also I think it was part of the sea kayaking motif in that it is part of the uniform. Finally, acquiring a really good pfd that is so comfortable and comforting, it has become my security blanky.
Always, no question|
Posted by: elcarajo on Jan-28-14 10:05 AM (EST)
I have not VHF or PLB, though, which is probably something I should fix.
yes, other than some races.|
Posted by: beanboy on Jan-28-14 10:39 AM (EST)
All of the time while not racing, 90% of the time racing.
Only Open Water?|
Posted by: wildernesswebb on Jan-28-14 10:46 AM (EST)
Akin to wearing a seatbelt only when you're driving out on the interstate IMHO. I paddle primarily streams you'd have no trouble throwing a ball across. Every year we come across and assist a few folks in trouble, and they are the ones who rarely have a PFD on.
Glad to see|
Posted by: dc9mm on Jan-28-14 11:01 AM (EST)
Glad to see people wear there Life Vest. I guess the ones I read about in the two deep trouble books are exceptions to the rule. Plus alot of those stories are from several years back too.Maybe things have changed over the years.
Posted by: Emanoh on Jan-28-14 12:07 PM (EST)
Celia, I saw and thought the same thing in the Eddie Bauer catalog that showed up in my mail box. I posted the same thing in a couple of facebook groups I belong to. I also love the caption at the bottom of the photo that lists the "professional" guides names and then says "paddling the shark infested waters...." The caption adds just a hint more to danger factor.
Posted by: slushpaddler on Jan-28-14 12:31 PM (EST)
Always on the sea but not always on lake|
Posted by: pikabike on Jan-28-14 2:00 PM (EST)
Posted by: c-runner on Jan-28-14 7:38 PM (EST)
Pikabike's post demonstrates that "deciding" thing at the launch site. All those factors..... Easier (and safer) to just develop the PFD habit, and be done with the deciding ritual.
The decision isn't hard|
Posted by: pikabike on Jan-29-14 5:43 PM (EST)
No need to make a mountain out of a molehill.
I missed the ritual part|
Posted by: slushpaddler on Jan-31-14 9:36 AM (EST)
Candles, prayer, maybe some trail mix?
Ritual reserved for prepping trailer|
Posted by: pikabike on Jan-31-14 1:20 PM (EST)
I have two rituals (PLEC and BATHS) when using the trailer, both intended to prevent creating a hazard for anybody else:
Posted by: jbernard on Jan-28-14 6:38 PM (EST)
Always. vhf is in the chest pocket.
I'm in Jackl's boat.|
Posted by: jaws on Jan-28-14 9:33 PM (EST)
I will wear one most of the time but not always. If the temps are high and I'm paddling flat water I leave it on deck.
Posted by: mcimes on Jan-29-14 12:58 AM (EST)
Posted by: RubricOfRuin on Jan-29-14 4:31 AM (EST)
In the boat = wearing PFD. And will not paddle with anyone not wearing one (that fits them properly).
Why Is It?|
Posted by: c-runner on Jan-29-14 9:37 AM (EST)
Why is it that people who state that they always wear their PFDs only need a sentence or two to explain why it makes sense to them, whereas the "deciders" need many paragraphs to help us understand all of the many, many factors and variables at play in the decision-making process? I hope they don't go through those agonies while figuring out whether to brush their teeth!
It is really very simple|
Posted by: pblanc on Jan-29-14 11:54 AM (EST)
If conditions are such that I would have no trepidation whatsoever to jump in the water and swim, I might take off my PFD. I have even (horrors!) gone swimming in lakes and the ocean without a PFD. And it is possible to slip getting into a bathtub, strike your head, and drown, and I don't wear a PFD while taking a bath either.
No agony involved|
Posted by: Guideboatguy on Jan-30-14 12:28 AM (EST)
Ever forget to pack your PFD?|
Posted by: jaybabina on Jan-29-14 9:43 AM (EST)
I did once. I was paddling by myself too and I felt so uncomfortable without it. I was in LI Sound but just stayed along shore. (I'm a good swimmer and roller too)
Posted by: ppine on Jan-29-14 11:09 AM (EST)
In the West the water is usually cold, so it makes sense to always wear one. I insist that everyone on my trips wear a PFD. I paddled with a guy recently that always had some excuse like, "I changed clothes and forgot to put it back on." That was on a trip in Feb. I no longer paddle with that guy.
I carry an inflatable as a spare NM|
Posted by: paddlemore on Jan-31-14 8:20 PM (EST)
Well, I Don't Consider It the "Police"|
Posted by: wildernesswebb on Jan-29-14 11:47 AM (EST)
Always. I meet a lot of new paddlers|
Posted by: string on Jan-29-14 12:30 PM (EST)
and I have grandkids watching me on the water. One picture is worth....
Posted by: dc9mm on Jan-29-14 2:51 PM (EST)
Posted by: mobrien on Jan-29-14 12:44 PM (EST)
Posted by: markk on Jan-29-14 5:08 PM (EST)
yep, Idiot would not.
Hope you never show up at..|
Posted by: jackl on Jan-30-14 6:31 AM (EST)
a USCA sponsored race with that attitude!
Of course exceptions|
Posted by: kayamedic on Jan-30-14 8:05 AM (EST)
Some races and our FreeStyle exhibitions Which are ACA sanctioned do not require PFD wearing.
I don't know Kay|
Posted by: jackl on Jan-30-14 8:21 AM (EST)
Go back and read all the responses.
Always wear a pfd and it saved my life|
Posted by: harlingford on Jan-29-14 6:21 PM (EST)
Ended up in the water in a cold Atlantic ocean and unable to re-enter because it had gotten too rough. After nearly exhausting my energy in trying to re-enter multiple times, I was just barely able to stay functional long enough to swim the kayak into shore against an out-going tide (while my buddy was in the same situation out of sight 1/4 mile away.) Without the flotation of the pfds to help conserve some energy, I doubt either of us would have made it to shore. Stupidly, we both had VHFs but had them stashed in drybags in the hatches, which made them impossible to get to. (“If we need them we’ll just raft up and get one out.”) Ever since, my VHF goes on my pfd every trip, even on glassy August days. It’s been years since I capsized unintentionally, but a heart attack could come any time.
And there you have it...|
Posted by: rjd9999 on Jan-30-14 10:22 AM (EST)
Conditions and health change. Ever been paddling with someone who gets injured (person complained about elbow pain early in paddle - an hour later, they are incapacitated)?
Posted by: Waterbird on Jan-29-14 9:36 PM (EST)
It keeps me warm in spring and fall and, interestingly, keeps me cool in the summer. If you get one with the right cut around the chest it doesn't interfere at all with paddling. So there's really no reason not to wear one.
It's a Habit!|
Posted by: c-runner on Jan-30-14 9:27 AM (EST)
Maybe those who have gotten into.....|
Posted by: jaws on Jan-30-14 12:14 PM (EST)
trouble while wearing their PFD need to get into the habit of staying off the water if there is ANY chance of them being in conditions they cannot handle!!!! Or are they willing to take the risk that they like those who sometimes don't wear their PFD's are willing to take?
The habit of thinking|
Posted by: pikabike on Jan-30-14 1:58 PM (EST)
One-size-fits-all rigid rules do not require any thought. Your blowing up the decision to make an exception for the few times they occur suggests that you are the caterpillar who suddenly cannot walk because he doesn't "understand" how his legs work.
I Do Now on the Advice of my Doctor|
Posted by: clydehedlund on Jan-30-14 2:52 PM (EST)
Because too many elderly paddlers like myself collapse, for some reason or other, while paddling out on the ocean, and on a surfski, it's instant immersion. So I listen to my doctor. Sure, there's no guarantee that I'll survive, but at least I'll float?
Posted by: kfbrady on Jan-30-14 3:09 PM (EST)
My Best Example|
Posted by: c-runner on Jan-30-14 7:24 PM (EST)
So what your saying c-runner is ....|
Posted by: jaws on Jan-30-14 9:04 PM (EST)
Posted by: Guideboatguy on Jan-30-14 11:28 PM (EST)
Are you serious? If it's an attempt at humor, it's just, well, strange, though it IS funny in a different kind of way. If you are serious, and if this is how you interpret Pika's and others' remarks about recognizing benign conditions, surely it means you must go through hell yourself when deciding between wearing a winter coat or just a long-sleeved shirt, as dictated by the weather outside. Maybe even deciding between a winter coat and a swimsuit is enough to drive you bonkers. It appears possible.
Posted by: Celia on Jan-31-14 9:53 AM (EST)
I know and have paddled with pikabike, and in some interesting conditions. Suggesting that she is somehow paralyzed from making decisions because she might leave the PFD off to laze near shore in quiet water on a hot day is about as far from reality as you could go.
Making mountain out of molehill again|
Posted by: pikabike on Jan-31-14 1:28 PM (EST)
Very much my thought...|
Posted by: Celia on Jan-31-14 10:25 PM (EST)
Reading the responses here.|
Posted by: roanguy on Jan-31-14 6:23 AM (EST)
I think three quarters of you are so paranoid about it being a must to wear your PFD, that you would be a lot safer if you gave up paddling and just never went near water.
Posted by: kfbrady on Jan-31-14 7:08 AM (EST)
Paranoia doesn't come into it. Safety, common sense and intelligence does.
Inevitably these "discussions" rot|
Posted by: kayamedic on Jan-31-14 7:42 AM (EST)
into stupidity and silliness.
Kayaking, PFDs, and Non-Sequiturs|
Posted by: c-runner on Jan-31-14 9:22 AM (EST)
Jaws, I'll reply to your question with one of my own: Do you expect your non-sequitur "question" to be taken as serious argument? Please try again. Ditto Guideboatguy and Roanguy (are you twins?)
It's just an analogy|
Posted by: Guideboatguy on Jan-31-14 1:09 PM (EST)
Posted by: c-runner on Jan-31-14 2:00 PM (EST)
Some responses to my posts I can easily dismiss, not as replies, but rather as involuntary spasms. Others, though, become so tortured as to cause actual pain, probably both to their authors and to the readers. Guideboatguy, I suggest that you carefully re-read your post--talk about crippling decision/indecision syndrome! Why not just buckle your seatbelt or put on your PFD and cut the Gordian Knot. Break Free! But it may be that "What we've got here is failure to communicate. Some men you just can't reach."
what is clearly most important here|
Posted by: slushpaddler on Jan-31-14 9:41 AM (EST)
...is finding crap to pick at in the people whose opinions oppose yours.
Posted by: c-runner on Jan-31-14 10:07 AM (EST)
The thought that a serious discussion of an issue should break out! To wear or not wear a PFD while paddling open water (Always), and then to discuss all the infinite gradations and variations of when to wear or not wear the PFD--what if (horrors) there should be differing opinions on a serious matter?
An academic, right?|
Posted by: Celia on Jan-31-14 11:09 AM (EST)
well when you're ready then lead the way|
Posted by: slushpaddler on Jan-31-14 2:33 PM (EST)
Posted by: c-runner on Jan-31-14 7:27 PM (EST)
Slushpaddler, I'm disappointed by the thinness of your skin when it comes to discussing this PFD issue, one you wholly agree with me on. You and several of my other critics flail away at me with ad hominem nonsense, rather than robustly defending your various points of view. I've actually been called an "academic", an "engineer", somebody with close ties to the PFD industry--Oooo, the pain! Of COURSE I have opinions about PFD wearing that are at variance with some of your friends (not you, as you well know), but I thought, obviously wrongly, that you were up for vigorous discussion. I was wrong.
"PFD industry" does not equal "industry|
Posted by: pikabike on Feb-02-14 1:11 PM (EST)
If you're going to argue, at least get your quotes correct.
We Both Failed.....|
Posted by: c-runner on Feb-02-14 7:37 PM (EST)
Speak for yourself (nm)|
Posted by: pikabike on Feb-02-14 8:53 PM (EST)
Posted by: fatelmo on Jan-31-14 1:17 PM (EST)
I always wear|
Posted by: andrewbolton on Jan-31-14 9:18 PM (EST)
my PFD. Despite being a good swimmer and having never capsized in a multitude of years of shoreline paddling, I always wear it to avoid the most certain overzealous torrent of wrath and judgement to ensue.
I always wear a PFD|
Posted by: eckilson on Feb-01-14 5:55 AM (EST)
Everybody I paddle with always wears a PFD, and there is never any discussion about it - everyone just puts it on. Fortunately for me its not an issue.
I sincerely hope|
Posted by: sissy103 on Feb-01-14 9:38 AM (EST)
the Groundhog does not see his shadow tomorrow.
Ya think? :-)|
Posted by: Celia on Feb-01-14 11:15 AM (EST)
No one posting here has drowned|
Posted by: Glenn_MacGrady on Feb-02-14 1:49 PM (EST)
So, whatever the current posters here are doing with PFD's, it must be working so far.
It is probably because....|
Posted by: Celia on Feb-02-14 3:13 PM (EST)
those of us in the north have had limited chance to actually get on the water outside of a pool since the launches froze over. Though people have drowned in a bathtub, so maybe it is just luck. :-)
The ones who drowned|
Posted by: sissy103 on Feb-02-14 3:54 PM (EST)
would be posting: Wear your frackin' PFD!
It isn't entirely clear |
Posted by: andrewbolton on Feb-02-14 8:05 PM (EST)
The other 20% - good article|
Posted by: eckilson on Feb-03-14 6:18 AM (EST)
Most of the time|
Posted by: yakfisher on Feb-02-14 5:45 PM (EST)
The only exception is if it is really hot and humid and I start sweating underneath it and it gets miserable I will take it off and put it under the deck bungees.
Posted by: kybishop on Feb-03-14 8:11 AM (EST)