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-   Archive through December 14, 2003 (http://www.wakeworld.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=92755)
-   -   Are non USCG approved vests legal in CA? (http://www.wakeworld.com/forum/showthread.php?t=90815)

12-02-2003 7:19 PM

The reason I ask is that I was riding earlier this season and this lake patrol sheriff pulled us over as just a routine inspection and when he found out I was riding in my non USCG approved JP side entry vest he had a major cow. I tried to explain that it was not required, but reccommended, that vests be USCG approved. I was correct in saying that, right?

projectely4 12-02-2003 7:31 PM

if you get pulled over in public waters by police that vest is illegal. it is only legal on private lakes

columbiatch 12-02-2003 7:44 PM

I bet you need a USCG vest in CA but I'm not sure. I know for a fact that in Wisconsin you need a USCG vest for every person on and behind the boat, but you don't have to be wearing it. Weird huh?

lehmur 12-02-2003 8:40 PM

It is illegal to ride with a non-USCGA vest in Ca unless you are riding in an exhibition. That means if you are not in a tournament or some other kind of water show you are supposed to be wearing a USCGA vest. Check the Ca boating regulations it's in there.

levi 12-02-2003 9:21 PM

Mike is right...check the regs to make sure...but I think you can actually take the exhibition thing one step further. If your "training" for an exhibition then you can also wear a nonCGA vest. But for me....it's just not worth the risk. I'm sure there are some nonCGA vests that will float you fine...but I think it is worth it to stick w/ ones you know will float you if you get knocked out.

puckinshat 12-02-2003 10:14 PM

Same laws as Wisc in Minnesota. In the boat but not on. I don't get it, but okay. Anyone know the fine or get tagged for being over weighted? Do cops actually know how heavy sacks are?

ocrider 12-02-2003 10:26 PM

According to California Boating Law, a Coast Guard approved vest must be worn by anyone being towed behind a boat. Here is the relevant section of the law: (and yes, a wakeboard fits the legal description of "similar device") <BR> <BR>658.3. Life jacket requirements. (a) No person shall operate a motorboat, sailboat, <BR>or vessel that is 26 feet or less in length unless every person on board who is 11 <BR>years of age or less is wearing a type I, II, III, or V Coast Guard-approved personal <BR>flotation device while that motorboat, sailboat, or vessel is underway. <BR>(b) Subdivision (a) does not apply to a person operating a sailboat on which a <BR>person who is 11 years of age or less is restrained by a harness tethered to the vessel, <BR>or to a person operating a vessel on which a person who is 11 years of age or less is <BR>in an enclosed cabin. <BR><b>(c) Any person on board a personal watercraft or any person being towed behind a <BR>vessel on water skis, an aquaplane, or similar device shall wear a type I, II, III, or V <BR>Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device.</b> <BR>(1) This subdivision does not apply to a person aboard a personal watercraft or a <BR>person being towed behind a vessel on water skis, if that person is a performer engaged <BR>in a professional exhibition, or preparing to participate or participating in an official <BR>regatta, marine parade, tournament, or exhibition. <BR>(2) In lieu of wearing a Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device of a type <BR>described in this subdivision, any person engaged in slalom skiing on a marked course <BR>or any person engaged in barefoot, jump, or trick water skiing may elect to wear a <BR>wetsuit designed for the activity and labeled by the manufacturer as a water ski wetsuit. <BR>A Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device of a type described in this <BR>subdivision shall be carried in the tow vessel for each skier electing to wear a water ski <BR>wetsuit pursuant to this paragraph. <BR> <BR>Ryan

depswa 12-02-2003 11:26 PM

Anyone been fined for riding with a non-USCG approved vest? I'd like to know how much it would cost?

deepstructure 12-02-2003 11:30 PM

what exactly is a "water ski wetsuit"?

ocrider 12-03-2003 12:53 AM

Chris, <BR> <BR>I think that is just legalese for a wetsuit. Although they do make specific wetsuits that have padding built into them for barefooting so that if you fall you have a little extra rib and chest protection. <BR> <BR>I've never been fined, but I don't wear a USCG vest, although you wouldn't know it by looking at it. <BR> <BR>Ryan

timmy 12-03-2003 6:46 AM

I highly recommend USCG vests. I used to not wear a USCG vest, had one of those thin molded HL vests but switched to a USCG vest mid summer. When I broke my leg (compound tib/fib) wakeboarding in august, it was VERY nice not to have to paddle or put any effort to keeping my head above water. <BR> <BR>Laws aside, it is simply a good idea. They are certified for a reason. And their benefit is definately worth a little extra bulk.

stephan 12-03-2003 8:24 AM

I've ridden for years with an O'Neill Outlaw vest that is not approved. I broke my leg and it floated me well enough that I don't remember it being an issue. The downside is if I were to come out of my bindings and get knocked out so my lungs started to fill with water I know I would gradually sink. i make sure everyone knows this on the boat so they can watch to see if I'm okay. If you are worried about a ticket, get an approved vest and remove the floatation so it's like a Non-USCG approved vest, not the bes tidea but if you want mobility and not getting a ticket it will work.

marcg 12-03-2003 9:04 AM

Be like the old-school wakeboard vids...no vest. <BR> <BR>Kidding of course. <BR> <BR> <BR>(Message edited by marcg on December 03, 2003)

kneebone 12-03-2003 9:15 AM

A friend of mine broke his tib/fib behind my boat 2 yrs ago. He had his outlaw vest on and it was fine. We also used the vest to splint/immobilize the leg....Dual purpose vest! <BR> <BR>Need to have enough USCG approved floatation in the boat for everyone even if you are "training" for an event and wearing you're exhibition vest.

12-03-2003 1:05 PM

Thanks for the info., guys. I guess if I ever get pulled over again I will just have to be "training" for like the pro tour. Hehehe...

tfdhyprider 12-03-2003 2:59 PM

uscg is the only legal vest anywhere. If a lake cop pulls you over its best you have one...Even though once they pulled me over and i was in the water w/ my non-uscg vest on and didnt say a word about it.

oaf 12-03-2003 6:10 PM

Here is a question. Why then do they sell Non-USCG approved vests in states where they are not legal to use them anyway? Correct me if I am wrong but the difference between a USCG vest is that in the case of you getting knocked out the vest will keep you upright and keep your head from going face down into the water. Non-USCG vests will float you just as well but may not have enought floatation material to keep you from going face first into the water.

trickskisrock 12-04-2003 4:45 PM

Check with your local oneil dealers. Oneil found a loophole in the law above which allows you to wear outlaw vests legally in CA while skiing and wakeboarding. They actually received a letter from the Coast Guard stating this. All the local Oneill dealers should have a copy. Don't know how it affects other non USCG vests. <BR>Also, in general, non-USCG vests have much less flotation that approved vests. Stadard Type III USCG vests are approved based upon the level of flotation provided, but I don't think they necessarily have to keep you face out of the water.


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