your guide to choosing the right pfd

"10 out of 10 SUPers agree – PFDs are the sexiest piece of water apparel you’ll ever own. So, stay safe and take a personal floatation device (PFD) with you during each SUP session."

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what's a pfd?

A personal floatation device (PFD) keeps you afloat in the event that you fall into the water. Below are three types of PFDs that SUPers can wear during SUP sessions.

types of personal floatation devices

Life jackets, buoyancy aids, and waist PFDs are three of the most common personal floatation devices. All will help you float, but there’s a difference in how and where they should be used.

Life Jackets. Life jackets are life-saving gear designed to keep you afloat. They have a high buoyancy rating with most of the floatation located in the front and collar to always keep your face up in the water in an event of a fall.

Buoyancy Aids. Designed with mobility in mind, buoyancy aids allow paddlers – such as stand-up paddleboarders, canoeists, and kayakers – to move freely and comfortably while on the water.

Waist PFDs. Manually inflated PFD is suitable only for flat and calm waters. Designed to be worn like a belt, a waist PFD is perfect if you’re looking for a compact and unrestrictive alternative.

do you really
need a pfd?

The short answer is yes. When you’re out for an adventure with your board, whether that’s on the lake, ocean, or river it is always recommended to have a personal flotation device with you.

things to consider
when choosing your pfd

PFDs come in all shapes and sizes and are usually classified into adult and child varieties. Ensure that your PFD has a snug fit, but will not constrict your movement. Always test your floatation devices before going out into the water. Wear your PFD, get into shallow waters or a pool, then see if your PFD not only keeps you afloat, but is snug and not restrictive. Don’t forget to inspect your PFD for holes, tears, or disintegrated foam. A PFD that’s gone past its useful life will need to be disposed of. HowStuffWorks has some good advice on discarding worn or torn life jackets.

our recommendations

HIKS Typhoon Amrok Adult Buoyancy Aid

HIKS Typhoon Amrok (50N) Buoyancy Aid is perfect for a wide range of recreational watersports with an ergonomic design for maximum comfort, flexibility, and movement.

HIKS Typhoon Filey Childs Life Jacket

Paddling with your kid? Ensure their safety with HIKS Typhoon Filey (100N) Life Jacket. Made from a durable 300D PU coated polyester outer fabric, PVC inner foam at the front and back for inherent buoyancy. It offers your child extra safety support and superior comfort while taking a ride on the water.