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Old     (otiswunguy)      Join Date: Apr 2002       10-15-2006, 1:54 PM Reply   
I have always ridden with a life jacket as well as a drysuit until this season. I have not worn one the last few times out. I still feel just as much floatation as with a life jacket and no drysuit so I was just wondering what everyone else does. I understand the dangers and don't really care to get a lecture so please save it unless you have tried with and without and have a legitimate reason for or against. thanks
Old     (jzd)      Join Date: Jul 2005       10-15-2006, 1:57 PM Reply   
I'd use a vest if for nothing else, the padding.
Old     (electricsnow)      Join Date: May 2002       10-15-2006, 3:30 PM Reply   
Yes, I've ridden both ways as well, and originally, I didn't think too much about it. but then two years ago when I was going to hit a rail I decided to wear one in case I should fall funny and have that thing rip or something. As it turned out, I didn't 'fall but it was a huge ass dry suit, so the seals were not flush (though I didn't notice this because it was around my neck--some sales rep pointed it out to me before I went out) and had I fallen without a vest...well, I don't really like to think about it.

So hopefully you don't take it as a lecture, it's just a life experience. nowadays (for myself), I don't have any reason not to wear a USCGA vest. peace
Old     (fifitrixabelle)      Join Date: May 2004       10-15-2006, 3:37 PM Reply   
Never have worn one under a drysuit, but yesterday one foot came out of my bindings and somehow my board got me right across the back. Had I worn my vest I assure you no pain today. I think I will from now on plus the extra warmth.
Old     (bill)      Join Date: Feb 2001       10-15-2006, 4:00 PM Reply   
I wear an approved vest normally but under my drysuit i wear and old comp-Non approved vest both for padding and also if the drysuit breaks or something i need the time to get out of the water before i sink :-)

wearing an approved vest under the dry is to bulky and over kill IMO..
Old     (eaglejackson)      Join Date: Oct 2004       10-15-2006, 4:19 PM Reply   
FWIW, the cops still require a CGA approved vest under a drysuit. Even though the drysuit gives extra flotation, if you're stopped, they won't accept a comp vest. (I speak from first hand knowledge).
Old     (otiswunguy)      Join Date: Apr 2002       10-15-2006, 4:38 PM Reply   
thanks guys. good info.
Old     (stephan)      Join Date: Nov 2002       10-15-2006, 6:22 PM Reply   
I've never worn a vest under a drysuit. Just a fleece top. Also I haven't worn a CGA vest since I was 12. FWIW. The only downside I've found is that when you eat it head first its little bit of a ba$tard to get the air from your legs to your chest and upright floating. Cheers.
Old    murrayair            10-15-2006, 6:34 PM Reply   
I wear one under my drysuit for padding and for flotation, since I open my neck seal a little to let all the excess air out once I get into the water.
Old     (jjakober)      Join Date: Apr 2002       10-15-2006, 7:46 PM Reply   
I've gone with and with out, but ever since I have been married and have a kid I always were a vest under my dry suit.

FYI: Water floats in water,so if your dry suit fills up with water you will not sink.

Old     (deltarat650)      Join Date: Sep 2006       10-15-2006, 9:38 PM Reply   
no vest for sure..
Old     (stephan)      Join Date: Nov 2002       10-16-2006, 9:21 AM Reply   
yeah basically if your suit were to puncture and fill with water you would be neutrally buoyant and would not sink. Its all about an Under Armour top and a Northface thin fleece.
Old     (chaser)      Join Date: Sep 2006       10-16-2006, 10:22 AM Reply   
haven't ridden in a dry suit, but the comments about not sinking if/when the suit fills up is very interesting. I've been fishing before where my hip boots have filled up in the stream and sunk me to the bottom. Good thing it was only a little over waist deep there. Still scary though. The things felt like cement blocks on my legs. Can't imagine you'd be able to swim with them on? Hip boots are probably heavier than a dry suit though, huh? Has anyone ever filled their dry suit up and tried to swim/float with it? Would be a good experiment to try in shallow water during the summer.
Old     (bog)      Join Date: Sep 2002       10-16-2006, 10:26 AM Reply   
my friend actually got a ticket for not wearing a life vest under his drysuit. I was surprised the cop even noticed.
Old     (otiswunguy)      Join Date: Apr 2002       10-16-2006, 2:47 PM Reply   
i had a zipper break on me in 47 degree water. It just fills up very slow and doesn't drag you under. You also have the buoyancy from the board as long as you don't come out. We had a cop bothering us about the whereabouts of our riders life jacket, It was funny to explain to him how it makes more sense to where it inside so it doesn't get wet either. I think he felt like an idiot after he thought about it for a few seconds.
Old     (electricsnow)      Join Date: May 2002       10-16-2006, 4:31 PM Reply   
Well, this lady will admit that she has a vivid imagination. :-) I also end up thinking back to a "letter to the editor" (from wbm or something) where some dude tried to make his own wetsuit out of duct tape and plastic and he totally failed...granted, that's a REALLY bad example...and it kind of makes me laugh...only because it's a bad idea...

anyway, I've just had enough crappy falls to where I wouldn't want to have to struggle to stay afloat (or what have you) if something bad happened.

Old     (closer)      Join Date: Oct 2006       10-17-2006, 7:09 AM Reply   
I live in the Canary Islands and get very jealous looking at the conditions you guys enjoy in lakes around the world, however listening to you all talking about dry suits makes me feel a little better. We have to board in the atlantic so often can only go for a couple of hours in the mornings before the wind picks up and things get blown out. The other day reminded us though why it ( Tenerife) does have its plus points. We were boarding last wednesday until it went dark. It was mid october the sun was setting behind Gomera which is a neighbouring island and we were all boarding in just board shorts. The water was 23 degrees and like glass. It does not happen often but it was a beautiful session.


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