would a lower profile pfd help

in doing self rescues etc…it dawned on me that for people that have trouble re-entering their boat might have an easier time if the front of the pfd isn’t to thick. i have the lotus and it’s quite thick, i haven’t had any problems w/ this, but when you put stuff in those pockets it does make it more difficult. has anyone else found that their pfd just feels like it making things harder than they need to be. have you found another pfd you like better? does this even make sense?

ya think
try doing a re-entry w/o a PFD on. EZ as pie.

anything you put on your upper torso is going to make slithering back up on-deck harder.

steve (low profile, slip-on PFD)

Well there’s irony
Wear a pfd in the boat, take it off when you fall in the water.

I find my pfd to restrict my roll somewhat by getting in the way a bit during set-up and layback, but it helps by the added buoyancy it provides.

i will be wearing my pfd…
the question is about lower profile pfd’s. i don’t want to do any rescue or rolls or anything w/out. that goes against all my instincts and violates the safety aspect.

lower profile…

– Last Updated: Aug-19-09 3:08 PM EST –

Always a good idea to try on before buying..

i agree
my lotus was my first one…we all learn as we get into it more what we would have or should have done differently…that’s what so great about p.net we can share and learn from others. what a relief to have something so valuable.

To Pocket or not to Pocket…
…that is the question…whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune(Needing an item one has not), or take arms (Load the Pockets)against a sea of troubles and by opposing end them…

Remember, just because you have a pocket you do NOT have to stuff everthing but the kitchen sink in them.

take the middle road…use the pockets but reduce the item count in each.

I said 'try it’
and see if it answers your question. NOT saying to paddle (or do anything in your boat) w/o a PFD BUT…

I know folks who use inflatable PFD’s for this very reason… NO bulk.


Stohlquist women’s Cruiser
I have a Stohlquist women’s Cruiser. I bought it in part because of its low profile and simple construction. It’s the most comfortable pfd I’ve ever tried. My previous one was covered in bells and whistles and very bulky.

Inflatable PFD
I’ve been very happy with my Astral Buoyance Hybrid PFD. It has 7.5 lbs of buoyancy with an inflation tube you can blow up to ~24 lbs. The bladder in front lays flat until/if inflated. The 7.5 lbs keeps me afloat like a lazy seal and I have never had to inflate. Check it out and good luck :slight_smile:

Yes but
Stuff in pockets, thicker PFD all can make you have to pull harder and better to get your torso over the boat. They also increase the number of opportunities to snag a bungie as you scurry around back there.

But - the stuff in the pockets may also be the things you want to make sure are on your person should you ditch and lose contact with your boat, or need for ready access in a less severe situation. Whistle, reflector mirror, strobe light, laser or other small flare, compass for using a chart on deck, knife or sea snips or similar, some Gu type stuff or a nut bar for quick energy, small medical stuff, roofing material or similar in a ziplock bag for patching a boat… some of this is thin like the roofing patch and can be placed in the pouch behind your the water bladder. But most of it is stuff you’ll want in front.

So, it’s a balancing act. A smooth PFD, like a smooth deck, is easier in some situations. But it wouldn’t be very prudent to leave a spare paddle behind because it made your front deck more lumpy…

Deal with it

The difference the pfd makes to the rescue is not significant compared to the other issues like wind, waves, experience of the rescuer for an assisted rescue, etc.

Yes try to minimize the possibility of snags but for me the main one is the vhf antenna, and I want that with me, where I can reach it.

The most important skill is to learn to get horizontal on the water and seal-slide up onto the deck. If you do that the only lifting your arms have to do is to get the lumpy pfd over any obstacles and it’s not too hard do do that.

I think my new PFD will sink
It must weight 20 pounds with all the stuff I’m supposed to carry.

I have a radio and have found it to be very useful over the years so this year I got a new smaller one but it is still heavy.

I’ve been told I must carry a knife on the PFD to cut my way out of trouble. The Water Tribe requires them so who am I to argue with these experts. I’ve never used one.

Whistle - required on most club paddles and very handy. I’ve used it often and it’s worth it’s weight in gold.

Mirror - never used but told I should have it. Doesn’t weigh much and takes up very little space.

Matches - never needed them from the PFD

Headlight - the cheap ones from Walmart Last longer than the $80 models that are supposed to be waterproof, so I often have one or two of them.

$20 very handy about once every year or two. Takes up no space.

Flares - Someone told me they are a Coast Guard requirement, but the Coasties have never asked to see them. And I’m not buying another set until someone shows me the regulation that they are required for kayaks. The old ones I’ve tested almost never worked.

Orange Day signal Flag - I think these are actually require if I’m reading the day regs right but I’ve never been checked. It doesn’t take up much room but would other boaters even know what a black square and circle stand for when I wave it on my paddle? At least it lasts, always works, takes up little room, and is cheap! I’m getting a new one as the old one is worn.

Strobe - I think these are far more important than flares. If you are in the water, get one that will float so you can un-pin it from your pfd and tape it to your paddle to hold it higher out of the water. By the way duct tape does not work well when wet. Have some first aide tape, gorilla tape, or electrical tape on your paddle as well.

No wonder PFD’s must be worn at all times these days. I often carry a snorkel vest for extra buoyancy.

My boat is my PFD
surf naked!

Try using a stirrup to help get onto the back deck. Paddle with someone who had this same issue. Don’t think it was the pfd that prevented her, I think she just didn’t have the strength and force to get herself onto the back deck. We tried a stirrup and viola it was a cinch.

Maybe skip the stirup
This year I was shown the heal hook rescue. It uses lower body strength which is much easier for most folks.

Once you learn this technique you may find that the stirup is just another thing that you don’t need.

heal, hook?
not sure what you mean by this?

i have done an assisted rescue by hooking my ankle/shin up in the cockpit.is that what you mean? i meant on getting in alone w/ no assist. and it’s not me…i have an lv and i have no problem…i was talking in general, something i observed in watching other in a group. that’s why i thought maybe if their pfd was to puffy in front maybe it was making it harder for them.

Probably is but…
As I recall you have been trying to put together groups of women to paddle, and when you started talking about transport and meetup you ran into things like women having trouble loading their rec boats. Do I have that right?

If that is so, you may be looking at a very mixed group where, for some, the first stop should be a lower profile boat or more time spent developing some strength. Sometimes there is only so much you can do… The stirrup is an idea that will help if the issue is strength, but comes with some serious ability to trap a foot as well. So it may not be apt for some of these folks if they are not very comfortable swimmers.

yes , you are correct
that’s me… some of us have split off into a weekly paddle techniques class…we have all learned a lot. it’s this group that i was referring to. and some people are experienced + brushing up on stuff and some like myself are doing these things 1st time out. i have a new this spring, p+h scorpio lv…if you follow most of the post you might remember that i started out in mid may not even being able to paddle this craft straight. i took a couple classes, bought a diff. size paddle and have paddled this boat 35 times already (yes in rain even) and now am climbing up and in and out with ease and confidence…i love my boat and now i know how much i love an lv boat.now the ladies that don’t have one want one. i don’t think the ladder is something we would do w/ some in the group anyhow…but i like to try anything at least once just to familiarize myself w/ it. it will be a sad day when it gets stored for the winter.headed to the coast tomorrow.yippee!