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Old    xtremebordgurl            06-10-2003, 11:46 AM Reply   
I just went to my local shop[ and bought an O'neil Vapor life vest, and me being the oh so bright one didn't realize that the vest wasn't lifeguard approved. The vest will be used by myself and my brother and we ride in the ocean. Should I be worried about it not being coast guard approved? Also I have a hard time getting the back to zip all the way down, my fat arse gets in the way anyone else have this problem with the vest? Does anyone else have the vest if so what do you think of it?
Old    crash_and_burn            06-10-2003, 12:00 PM Reply   
Well,, If the local depuity water hogs check for floaties on board, that life vest would not count as a coast guard approved one.
Old    xtremebordgurl            06-10-2003, 12:06 PM Reply   
but will it keep me afloat!
Old    crash_and_burn            06-10-2003, 12:24 PM Reply   
Ya,, they all do. I still can't figure out why this is such a biggie with the coast guard. I have 2 vests, one is coast guard approved and the other is not. The one that's not is more comfortable.. You can ride with either, but again, the coast guard approved one is the only one that counts in your boat.
Old     (columbiatch)      Join Date: Oct 2002       06-10-2003, 12:33 PM Reply   
Yeah, my Jetpilot side entry isn't approved, but it keeps me up no problem. I've even tried the exhale-all-of-my-air-and-play-dead test, and I still floated.

What they're saying is that if you have three people in the boat and you're behind, you'll need 4 USCG Approved vests in the boat.
Old    crash_and_burn            06-10-2003, 12:37 PM Reply   
Get this,, never invite a deputy water hog on board of your boat if he is not wearing a vest and u have only on board the # of vests to the people on board.. The ow lifes can then write u a ticket because u don't have the corrent # of vests to people. And yes this has happened on the delta.
Old     (wakeworld)      Join Date: Jan 1997       06-10-2003, 12:49 PM Reply   
Have you tried the fill your lungs with water test? It's much more difficult to do, but gives a more accurate reading of flotation. :-)
Old    crash_and_burn            06-10-2003, 12:50 PM Reply   
No, just beer
Old     (jarrod)      Join Date: May 2003       06-10-2003, 1:23 PM Reply   
Whether you float or not, you should keep an approved vest handy, in the event the one-time rolls on you. I don't know if it's illegal to use a non-approved vest while riding. I just know you must have one approved vest for every body on the boat.
Old     (columbiatch)      Join Date: Oct 2002       06-10-2003, 1:35 PM Reply   
Touchee Mr. Williams.
At first I just figured that, since water is neutrally bouyant and I expelled the majority of air from my lungs, the actual difference would be negligable.
But then thinking about it, perhaps water sealed inside a container is no longer neutrally bouyant--thus adding weight to your body. The human lungs can hold a little less than 4 liters; therefore if you fill your lungs completely, you'll gain about 8 pounds.
So next time I'm out with my vest, I'll bring a ten pound weight too just to check it out. :c) Until then, I'll withdraw my statement that my non-USCG Approved jacket is safe.

And I know in Wisconsin, you do not need an approved jacket while riding, you just need to have one in the boat.

(Message edited by columbiatch on June 10, 2003)
Old    wakelvr            06-10-2003, 1:44 PM Reply   
"And I know in Wisconsin, you do not need an approved jacket while riding, you just need to have one in the boat."

what ever happened to Logic?
Old     (lehmur)      Join Date: Oct 2001       06-10-2003, 2:04 PM Reply   
California requires a Coast Guard approved vest while riding. The only exception stated in the regulations is if you happen to be performing in a contest or exhibition.
Old     (columbiatch)      Join Date: Oct 2002       06-10-2003, 2:12 PM Reply   
I always wear a jacket while riding. I think it would be idiotic to go without one. And even though my current jacket isn't CG approved, it provide lots of flotation. And like I said above, I'm going to test out my vest to see if it will hold me up with the added weight. I may even go as far as to test it while holding as much weight as possible, to test it's limits. (Dave, that might be a fun article for WW--testing vests somehow).

My jacket has two buckles, a zippers and a little velcro latch on it, so I doubt it will fail on me. Therefore if flotation is the only reason this vest is not approved, but it is able to hold my unconscious, drowning body afloat, then I see no problems.

I actually have a bit of experience with conscious and unconscious drowning victims, and even a unconscious spinal victim. In my 5 or so years of lifeguarding experience, I've learned that bodies can sink very quickly and they are very heavy. So don't worry, if I thought I would be risking my life by wearing a non-USCG approved vest, I would be the first person to throw it out.
Old     (wakeworld)      Join Date: Jan 1997       06-10-2003, 2:24 PM Reply   
Actually, water is neutrally buoyant whether in a container or not. However, my point is that it is impossible for you to evacuate your lungs of all air just by doing a big exhale. Taking the weight with you is probably a better approach, but I'm sure there are many other factors to consider that I haven't even thought of. I know for a fact that people have drowned and sunk to the bottom of the lake while wearing non-approved vests. Perhaps your particular vest would not allow this, but it's tough to tell without a proper test. I just hope that you never have to put it through a real life test to find out.

I don't think it's something that we'd want to test via WakeWorld cuz that's got liability written all over it. I know that it costs many thousands of dollars to get a vest tested and approved, so I think that's a little out of my league. :-)
Old    lukeh2owalker            06-10-2003, 2:59 PM Reply   
bess i have the vest i float fine i am not gordo though. the vest is more likely not going to save your life if you take water in your lungs. its so comfy though. the only time my zipper came up was when i crashed once but no other probs love the thing i'd where it snow boarding to protect my ribs its that comfy.
Old     (slipknot)      Join Date: Aug 2001       06-10-2003, 9:27 PM Reply   
i have vapor and its floats you fine, no worries unless you cant swim.

unless your water patrol goes around checking tags on vests you should not have problem.

and by the way it is the most comfortable vest I have ever put on.
Old     (noneya)      Join Date: Apr 2002       06-11-2003, 5:38 PM Reply   
Whether you float or not depends on your weight and fat content, thats why they do the fat % test by weighing you in a vat of water. My friend had a non-approved vest, floated him just fine right at neck level, flaoted me at eye level
Old    6more            06-12-2003, 5:29 AM Reply   
HairbandDude - it's great that you know how to swim, but what about if you've been knocked unconscious? You would have probably had the wind knocked out of you too, so no air in the lungs to help keep you afloat.

I've had the wind knocked out of me during a hard crash. The body goes into a reflexive gasping reaction. I had a USCG approved vest on and if was hard enough to keep floating with it on because the only thing my body wanted to do for those first 5-10 seconds was gasp for air. I was certainly in no condition to swim or help keep myself afloat during that time. If it hadn't been USCG approved, I'm sure I would have had a much bigger problem.

I personally will not wear a non-USCG approved vest since that experience.
Old     (rootc)      Join Date: Aug 2002       06-12-2003, 9:22 AM Reply   
I rode with a straight line vest (non-USCG approved) for years and the floatation wasn't even close to a USCG approved vest. I now use an approved vest. The only reason I changed was because approved vests are getting lighter and smaller and I realized the vest size and weight really doesn't make a difference in my riding.
Old     (timmy)      Join Date: Jul 2001       06-12-2003, 3:05 PM Reply   
I have been using a non approved vest for a few years and am currently awaiting arrival of my new uscg approved vest. I am getting old, and my desire to try new tricks and lack of confidence in my non approved vest pushed me to decide upon getting an approved vest. i.e. if I get knocked out trying that raley, I want my friends to be able to get to me on the surface of the water.
Old     (lzyboy)      Join Date: Jun 2001       06-12-2003, 3:16 PM Reply   
1 word: CORDELL ( Corey Kraut )

It has been said over n over, but if it saves 1 life I will say it again, ALWAYS WEAR YOUR VEST!!!

Unknown Author:

It's hard to truly understand the impact of silence. The blank water is still fresh in my mind.

It's great to hang out with good friends and other wakeboarders, watching guys from the boat who are going all out and make it look so easy, fun and effortless. Guys pulling off stuff most of us just dream of. Even when you're not on the water, if you're just hanging out on the dock you're having fun listening to stories. Wakeboarders love to have a good time. That's what it's all about. We love the water. Some of us have withdrawals if we don't at least get a short set in. Like most loves, it makes us feel comfortable. We relax when we feel safe and warm. Just thinking about it right now, I bet most of you can feel the warm summer water holding you as you wait with handle in hand. How can something we love so much hurt us?

Most people will never understand the true meaning of quick. The blink of an eye, we've heard it. It's cliche. Flipping a light switch. Not fast enough. Here, then gone. Instant. Forever.

That's it. The lake we love with all our lives will swallow us whole. Instant. Forever. There is no struggling for breath. There is no last hand or foot up on the top of the water. There is nothing. When you hit the water and get the breath knocked out of you, you sink. Fast. One minute you're pulling off a sick spin. The next you are gone. In an instant, forever. Two boats with 11 guys can't get to you. Diving into the water to look for you doesn't help. The water is dark and deep.

I dove off the front of the boat and went as deep as I could, looking up through the murky water, searching for sunlit silhouettes. I saw nothing. Time and time again, I saw nothing. Neither did any of the others who dove in. The view from underneath the surface, while almost out of breath will never leave my mind.

There was not one thing any or all of us could have done. We were helpless. It's not like in the movies. There are no bodies to find. There are no heroes giving CPR to save the day. You can't do CPR if you can't find the person. You just disappear as if the lake grabbed you and put you in its pocket. Here, then gone. Happiness, then chaos, then...silence. Just a board floating alone.

Then reality kicks in. Cops, fire trucks, ambulances, park and wildlife boats all surround you and you are forced to relive the experience again and again and again. Retelling the sequence of events and unfortunately having to show it over and over on videotape so that the search teams can get a location is brutal. I can't get it out of my head. I go to sleep thinking about it. Not one day has gone by that I haven't thought about it. I never will forget it.

You always hear the stories about someone who was on the last run of the day when they went down. It's always the last run and for some the last run ever.

To this day, Corey was the last person to pull me boarding. When I think of what happened, I am deeply saddened. When I think of him, I smile. I remember every time I tried to pull off a trick, even if I didn't make it, I got the horn honk from the boat and some encouraging words from Corey. I remember watching him bob his head to Dr. Dre and Eminem as we went across the lake. At the RV he made sure people were getting sandwiches and drinks and felt welcome (he did think that the bottled water in a can was kinda funny though). I remember how much fun he was having on the tour. Yeah, the carbon monoxide in the RV thing wasn't too cool, but everything else was great. He loved it.

Like Greg said, sometimes we forget. Maybe we are in a hurry or we just feel really safe and comfortable. Just think of how many people have jumped in with their sunglasses on. In the latest video release Corey was in, he was wearing a vest. We have to remember. Our lives depend on it.

Every time I ride, I will be riding with thoughts of Corey. His love of life, his love of the sport, and his overall positive outlook will make me ride the way he did; for fun, pure fun.

I will never forget him.

-= peace =-
Old    sickboy            06-12-2003, 4:01 PM Reply   
Thanks for posting that again Aaron
Old    wakeboardertexa            06-27-2003, 12:43 PM Reply   
I wrote that, years ago.
I still have nightmares. The cold water. The wind blowing. The sound of silence under water and then popping up for air to hear people frantically screaming to try and help. You never forget. I can be driving down the street in the middle of the day and think of the impact I saw and my head jerks back as if I were bracing for the hit. My heart racing, muscles tense and terrified. Once again, this happens while Iím driving in the middle of the day or lying down to sleep at night or at times you would never expect. I think because I had to sit on a Texas Parks and Wildlife barge/dragboat for hours and show them video of the crash over and over and over right there on the water after it happened, as they throw out drag hooks looking for someone who moments ago was with us having a great time, made a huge impact on my life. You just canít forget. The images are nightmare. I still have the video. There is a bunch of great riding on that video. There is also some stuff from earlier that day of Corey just hanging out telling stories about the tour. I watched it once a few months after the accident. As soon as I see Corey start riding, long before the crash, I feel it all over again. I said ďfeelĒ it again. You donít just remember. You feel everything all over again. Worry, panic, heart beating explosively, fatigued, all the dayís events wrapped up in a second just from the sight of a video that was to keep memories to share. I donít need the video. I remember the fun before and the tragedy after. I canít forget. I havenít watched it since.

At the end of last summer, I was riding with some friend on a lake next to where Corey was riding. I was having a great run and sticking everything. I was really on, inverts on both sides of the wake, air rolls, you name it. With my Cordell sticker on the tip of my board, my last trick, a simple spin, took me under. When you spin and the board catches an edge, you get slammed into the water. And usually your head and ears take most of the damage. When I hit the water, I heard bones crunch, muscle in my neck tear and felt my chest almost collapse. I was gasping for air. I saw a huge flash of white, then everything turned red, then faded to black. The next thing I remember I woke up floating face up in the water next to the boat. I wasnít able to stand and I passed out again once my friends got me on the boat. I went to the ER and had CAT scan and everything else. I dislocated my jaw, ripped out my eardrum and tore muscle in my neck. Remember, not an invert or anything wild, just a simple spin. You canít swim when youíre unconscious. What took Corey down almost took me. There was only one difference, a life jacket.

Now my nightmares are worse. I now have been through the impact I see on the video. I have felt the pain, I have seen the darkness and heard the silence. Now my memories have a pain of memory and a savage pain of reality. Both pain for the loss of Corey and physical pain from my crash. The random episodes of memory I mentioned earlier, while driving or going to sleep or whatever, are more vivid and painful. My head jerks back bracing for a hit that happened to Corey that I replay in my mind and the hit that took me down. The hit doesnít come, but the memory doesnít fade.

This might sound stupid, but if you donít want to wear a jacket for yourself, do it for your friends, family, your mom, your dad, everyone who loves you. You do not want them to live with that memory. I wish I didnít.
Old     (lzyboy)      Join Date: Jun 2001       06-27-2003, 12:50 PM Reply   

Thnx for sharing Jim, I know that wasn't an easy thing to do. Your stories have not only touched many lives but SAVED em. Thnx Bro -


-= peace =-
Old    wakelvr            06-27-2003, 12:52 PM Reply   
Jim: I don't even know what to say. I am SO SORRY for your loss, well, everyone's loss for that matter. Thanks for taking the time to write again. I'm hoping that your message will really make people who don't wear vests, think twice about it. You can never be too safe.

I know about death. I lost my father at age 16. You NEVER get over death. Yes, you learn to deal with the loss and hopefully move on, but the memories (good and/or bad) are with you always.

Best of luck and love to you, your family and friends for the future....
Old    flipside            06-27-2003, 1:26 PM Reply   
I used to board w/out a life vest on from time to time. It was just so comfortable. I'd never try any tricks...not a single wake jump when I didn't have a life vest on. But, I would ride nonetheless. After reading this, I'll never ride w/out a coast guard approved vest...ever again. Thanks for the eye opener. I really didn't plan to ever ride w/out a vest again, but still, this was definitely a good shock for me!

May Corey rest in peace...he is and will be missed.


(Message edited by flipside on June 27, 2003)
Old     (auto)      Join Date: Aug 2002       06-27-2003, 8:34 PM Reply   
Jim so sorry, a very compelling and well thought essay. I used to trick and wakeboard w/o a vest, would never dream of doing it presently. I do not remember seeing this in the Dallas paper. My home lake is Lavon, where did this terrible accident occur on the lake?
Old    demi_barbito            06-28-2003, 7:21 AM Reply   
Don't skimp!

Water sports are a nice little hobby of mine. When it comes to "vests" I am usually talking about "bullet proof" vests. There different levels of protection but even the highest level is very light and thin so there is no reason to go lower.

Get the best you can afford. Always use a USCG vest. USCG means that it may not be as "cool" as some others but it's actually made to "save your life".

Old    wakeboardertexa            06-28-2003, 10:09 AM Reply   
It happened over by the dam. The current took his body several miles away from where it happened. They didnít find his body unit about a week later. There is a white cross in the rocks as a memorial to Corey.


Greg Nelson at memorial for Corey.


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