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Old    Anthony Moe (megatmoe)      Join Date: Jul 2007       09-06-2008, 11:18 PM Reply   
Everytime I take a bad fall my vest pretty much comes off. The velcrow pops off and the zipper comes almost all the way off. It fails when I need it the most. Anyone else had this problem? Should I call the company or am I just screwed with a crappy vest?
Old    Jonny (wakeboardlasvegas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       09-06-2008, 11:46 PM Reply   
Just because it doesnt fit you and your body type you are gonna call the company and complain? Come on man......

Just deal with it dude.
Old    Anthony Moe (megatmoe)      Join Date: Jul 2007       09-07-2008, 1:08 AM Reply   
My body type? Im 6'1 195 pounds. The vest size is a large. The vest size is no factor. It fits me perfectly. Im saying when I take a really hard fall the vest totally comes off. Ive worn vests that are too big and too small and have NEVER had one come off on a fall...not ever.
Old    Anthony Moe (megatmoe)      Join Date: Jul 2007       09-07-2008, 1:09 AM Reply   
Just wondering if anyone has had the same issue with their Helium vest or if mine is just a dud?
Old    paul lim (psikt)      Join Date: Aug 2008       09-07-2008, 3:24 AM Reply   
I have the same issue, i'm wearing a helium division vest. on certain hard falls the zip comes all the way down, with the clip or whatever you call it at the bottom the only thing keeping the vest attached to me
Old    Joe Umali (dakid)      Join Date: Feb 2001       09-07-2008, 3:31 AM Reply   
i have the same issues with my o'neill vapor vest. it's not a uscga vest so i just deal with it.
Old    Chris Bolding (chris_b)      Join Date: Feb 2007       09-07-2008, 9:25 AM Reply   
I have the Petty vest and I have never had it come off. Last weekend I landed a backroll head first and it did not come off. Pretty hard crash!
Old    Mark Anderson (puckinshat)      Join Date: Sep 2003       09-07-2008, 11:31 AM Reply   
Same issue with the same vest, bought the flak this spring. Wore it twice and wet back to my jet pilot molded. I am 6'185lbs and still wear the small/med jetpilot to make sure it stays on tight. Helium makes good handles, crappy vests.
Old    Brett Van Hemmen (bvanhemmen)      Join Date: Mar 2007       09-07-2008, 1:06 PM Reply   
Same issue i have with the swat. But i am only hitting a rail in 3 feet of water so i'm not really overly concerned at this point. If i were to ride behind a boat and that happened i'd be concerned.
Old    Trevor (hawk7)      Join Date: Apr 2007       09-07-2008, 1:36 PM Reply   
mine goes over my head on certain hard falls, otherwise same problem on other types of falls, depends on body position when I fall, I just don't have the $$$ for a new vest yet.
Old    Phantom (phantom5815)      Join Date: Jul 2002       09-07-2008, 2:11 PM Reply   
Call the company and let them know what is happening.
If a company does not hear from you people with this issue as such, it only means that they will continue to use the same material on all their products.
Hopefully they can do something for you. If not, go buy some industrial strength velcro and make your own modifications.
Old    Anthony Moe (megatmoe)      Join Date: Jul 2007       09-07-2008, 4:13 PM Reply   
Thanks for all the replys guy. The info was helpful.
Old    JD (jealous_soul)      Join Date: Sep 2007       09-07-2008, 5:31 PM Reply   
i've had it happen on a couple of cable crashes....the zipper may fly down some, but the straps stay connected and thus the vest doesn't actually come off.
Old    A-dub (behindtheboat)      Join Date: Aug 2006       09-08-2008, 7:08 AM Reply   
I bet it only happens with non-approved (super thin) side entry vests...... it happens, it's a comp vest. Hopefully you know how to fall.
Old    Rich (dohboy)      Join Date: Aug 2007       09-08-2008, 5:27 PM Reply   
I have the USCG SWAT and never had it unzip. That would suck. Stupid question but are you putting the zipper back over the velcro piece? Maybe the velcro is wearing out on yours. I would like to think that the MFG would like to know. Have you contacted Helium?
Old    Ben C (dadthedriver)      Join Date: Jul 2004       09-08-2008, 6:24 PM Reply   
The kids that ride with us wear the Oneil Guru and they are constantly swimming after their vest on hard falls.
Old    Anthony Moe (megatmoe)      Join Date: Jul 2007       09-08-2008, 10:06 PM Reply   
I emailed Helium last night and have heard nothing back so far. Rich, I hope the velcro isnt wearing out considering I just bought it 4 months ago. If I dont hear from them tomorrow via eamil, I will call and leave a voicemail OR since their headquarters are one hour away from me I could drive up there and speak to someone in I doubt it will come to that. Like I said before, I love this vest but it shouldnt come off on falls...that just defeats the whole point of wearing a vest at all.

(Message edited by megatmoe on September 08, 2008)
Old    Michael Mueller (sacmule)      Join Date: May 2007       09-09-2008, 1:50 AM Reply   
I have been riding with a CGA SWAT jacket the past couple of years and have never had it unzip or really even ride up, its is the best PFD I have ever worn. And I have certainly put it through many hard falls. The CGA SWAT has buckles on it that will keep it on, it does not appear that the problem jackets have any buckles. Is this correct? The SWAT vest does differ from the other Helium vests described above since it has two buckles in addition the the zipper closure. If my jacket were to come off during a fall it would be the last time I wore it. Although, you could always modify the slippery little buggers with a crotch strap similar to those on infant jackets.
Old    Andy Nintzel-NautiCurl Wake Shaper (andy_nintzel)      Join Date: Sep 2004       09-09-2008, 6:24 AM Reply   

Let me know if you dont get any where with Helium. I can prolly help. Which vest do you have? On the flipside, I have never had any of my helium vests have this problem. I have had it happen with other vests, and if you slap hard enough they will blow open, or come unzipped.
Old    A-dub (behindtheboat)      Join Date: Aug 2006       09-09-2008, 6:28 AM Reply   
Our entire college team wears Helium non-approved vests, and we haven't had an issue with any of the 20 vests.
Old    Michael Israel (izzy)      Join Date: Apr 2007       09-09-2008, 7:57 AM Reply   
Get a USCGA and you will not have a problem! There are reasons that non USCGA vest are not approved by the Coast Guard. I am not a fan of the government enforcing personal safety on adults but on the other hand I think you should have to sign a waiver or something to inform you that a vest is not USCGA and should not be considered a safety device. I do not know all the facts in this case but an inexperienced friend bought a non USCGA vest and was unaware of the safety implications. Many newcomers just trust that “cool looking wakeboard vests” are life jackets. Make your own decisions but make them informed ones!!! (IMHO)
Old    holmes (gb_rider)      Join Date: Feb 2004       09-09-2008, 1:59 PM Reply   
Anthony Moe (megatmoe)

Check your hotmail....
Old    eric (eas)      Join Date: Nov 2001       09-09-2008, 2:44 PM Reply   
i ride a comp vest so maybe i'm not the best person to ask this, but does anyone else here think that helium's response could be "...that's why we call it a 'comp''s not intended to be worn 100% of the time..." ??? that may not be justification for it coming off, but it seems to me that the number of falls taken during my 40 minute freeride set is a little higher than that number during my 40 second comp run. Tomato - Tomotto, but maybe "comp" vest actually means "wear during a competition run".....commence flame!
Old    A-dub (behindtheboat)      Join Date: Aug 2006       09-09-2008, 2:47 PM Reply   
It means you need to have some attentive safety in the boat, and people need to know how to fall.
Old    TigeMike (chpthril)      Join Date: Oct 2007       09-09-2008, 2:51 PM Reply   
Probably one of the reasons it's not USCG Approved.
Old    Jon (jon4pres)      Join Date: May 2004       09-09-2008, 2:54 PM Reply   
A comp vest requires no flotation. There are no rules on how a non USCG vest should work. In theory a company could call a cotton T-shirt a comp vest. I say dont complain about something that is not intended to be able to float you, if it does not work well as a flotation device.

If your USCG vest is coming off then there is a serious problem there.
Old    Sam (wake1823)      Join Date: Dec 2005       09-09-2008, 2:58 PM Reply   
My old Helium used to come off all the time ( comp vest) I'm actually glad it flew out of my boat one day. worthless. I've been rockin the jet pilot baller jacket for the last two years...great non USCGA jacket.
Old    wakemania (wakemania)      Join Date: Sep 2008       09-09-2008, 2:59 PM Reply   
A-dub, will you teach me how to fall, cause sometimes I'm going down only one way; FAST. I would love to know how to change my direction or impact angle in a split second. Thanks.
Old    eric (eas)      Join Date: Nov 2001       09-09-2008, 3:40 PM Reply   
*start hijack*

wakemania: not sure it had anything to do with a vest coming off, but there is some merit to a-dub's response about learning how to fall. of course, everyone will take a really bad hit every now and again, but eventually you should be able to anticipate your hits and avoid the "set-enders". at least it works for me when trying a new trick over and over....the first few might be out of control and break me off, but eventually, if i realize it's going end badly, i know which way to bail out in order to minimize the pain.

*end hijack*
Old    A-dub (behindtheboat)      Join Date: Aug 2006       09-09-2008, 3:52 PM Reply   
I wish I could explain it. I think it just comes from experience, observing others (especially pros), and you eventually just know what to do when. Sometimes you need to roll, sometimes you need to turn, sometimes stiff, sometimes limp, it all depends on whats going on. Randall really knows how to crash...
Old    holmes (gb_rider)      Join Date: Feb 2004       09-09-2008, 4:01 PM Reply   
A-dub - Well Put!

This is no longer about the vest....

I've warn a O'Neill Outlaw and crashed so hard the zipper blew open and I have no complaints... It probably was a good thing the vest took all the impact and not me. It's Part of our sport! It happens.
Old    K.B.C.            09-09-2008, 4:03 PM Reply   
Unfotunately it just seems to be the style these days. Any of the vests out there without buckles around the lower torso are gonna come up on falls.

I have a helim flak, a newer o'neill vapor comp and a 10 year old o'neill outlaw. Guess which one I wear? The 10 year old outlaw, 2 buckles around the lower torso, it NEVER rides up like the others. I decided after my last vest purchase that I won't buy another one without buckles, they just don't stay down.
Old    wakemania (wakemania)      Join Date: Sep 2008       09-09-2008, 7:08 PM Reply   
I've even had uscg vests come unzipped some on hard falls, but the buckles minimized that and keep it from coming up. Like Scott said, now days if you buy a comp vest without any buckles, I wouldn't expect it to stay down on hard falls.
Old    Anthony Moe (megatmoe)      Join Date: Jul 2007       09-09-2008, 8:21 PM Reply   
Wow, alot of responses on this topic! Thanks guys for all your replies. I havent heard anything back from the company itself BUT Chris Holmes, the midwest Helium rep just emailed me and seems happy to help me with any of my questions and problems. I totally understand that the vest im using isnt a coast guard approved vest, I was just wondering if it was a common problem with the type of vest I was wearing. Obviously something was wrong because alot of guys posted that theyve never had the vest come loose or off and alot of people said they had the same kind of problems I was having. The vest I have which is the 2008 Cascade model does have a buckle at the bottom. I will let you guys know what I find out from Chris.

Thank you Chris Holmes, Andy Nitzel, and all you guys for the info!

By the way...I hit the BIGGEST double up in my wakeboarding life today and it felt GREAT! I cant wait to get out and hit some more!
Old    Andy Nintzel-NautiCurl Wake Shaper (andy_nintzel)      Join Date: Sep 2004       09-12-2008, 3:14 PM Reply   
Right on Anthony Glad we could help you out Bro!

Keep SMOKING those DUBS! I stuck a switch pete a few days ago thats got me wishing summer was still ROCKING!


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