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Old     (to_blind)      Join Date: Mar 2007       09-10-2008, 1:35 PM Reply   
Let me start by saying that I almost always wear a vest...99% of the time anyways....

Anyways, there is always a huge push for all athletes in our sport(s) to wear life jackets, approved or not...I've been riding for 14 years and am lucky to say that I have never "required" a life jacket to save my life. My question is, why don't the public/media/athletes/etc.. put the same pressure on surfers? I have never seen a surfer in a life jacket, have you? From my surfing experience (Oz, NZ, Fiji, Tofino, Costa Rica) I have had a few sketchy situations where I didn't know if I was gonna make i to the surface or not. Not to mention when surfing I have never had a boat full of people 100 ft., which is more dangerous?? rolling down the windows on a meaty double-up, or getting tossed into the cycle by a double overhead wave??
Old     (jason_ssr)      Join Date: Apr 2001       09-10-2008, 1:41 PM Reply   
Because the public has a need to protect their fellow idiots from themselves. The public can relate to recreation behind a boat because every weekend warrior does it, even those il-equipped to handle it. The public at large does not surf, therefore the public doesnt relate to them. Those who surf are not seen as potentially ilequipped to handle the perrils of surfing. Those idiots do not to be saved from themselves. Most have no idea the risk involved in surfing.
Old     (stephan)      Join Date: Nov 2002       09-10-2008, 1:43 PM Reply   
Just think how many times you'd get "tossed into the cycle" while surfing if you had a vest that just kept you bobbing in the impact zone. Not being able to duck dive would be a major issue especially on those double overhead days.

I think they are two separate things entirely. Surfing you should have a very floaty board attached to you, which will do nothing if you get smacked unconscious. If you could wear a vest and still navigate a lineup it would be great but it's certainly unreasonable. Now with wakeboarding the vest does not have the same limitations, maybe a little more restrictive but the double is not going to swallow you up and spit you out for wearing a vest.
Old     (02ssv)      Join Date: Aug 2007       09-10-2008, 1:47 PM Reply   
I would have to say that the first time you surf you are not going out into conditions that would warrant a life vest. You are more that likely to surf smaller waves and not in rough conditions. When I started surfing I didn't take the falls that I took when learning to wakeboard. It's really easy to get ko'd when learning to wakeboard. You can learn to wakeboard on a world class wake, but you are not going to learn to surf at a world class break.
Old     (fly135)      Join Date: Jun 2004       09-10-2008, 1:49 PM Reply   
In addition to what Big Heavy said... surfing is an individual sport. You kill yourself and it's your own fault. Die behind a boat and the boat owner is the person that people look at to hold responsible.
Old     (innov8)      Join Date: May 2005       09-10-2008, 1:51 PM Reply   
I surfed everyday of my life for 30+ years, Big Heavy is spot on, can't duckdive with a life vest.

Old     (to_blind)      Join Date: Mar 2007       09-10-2008, 1:52 PM Reply   
GOOD POINTS GUYS...i feel totally comfortable when i'm surfing, no matter how gnarly it gets, and can't imagine having to duck-dive in a vest...yet, on the few occasions that I have wakeboarded w/o a vest, I feel like I am missing something (might just be what i'm used to)
Old     (fly135)      Join Date: Jun 2004       09-10-2008, 2:07 PM Reply   
That's another reason why I like the non-CGA vests at the cable park. You do need to duck every now and then if you don't want a whack in the head from another rider or sometimes a rope handle going by.
Old     (jtnz)      Join Date: Sep 2007       09-10-2008, 7:38 PM Reply   
The big wave tow in guys wear vests. Obviously they don't duck dive and need the buoyancy to bring them back up to the surface after getting nailed by a 50 foot monster.

A wetsuit offers quite a lot of flotation on its own due to the air cells trapped in the neoprene, but when you're surfing you have a floatation device strapped to your leg, you just have to get back on it, which can be tough at times...

I always wear a vest wakeboarding, but never when surfing.
Old     (proho)      Join Date: Aug 2005       09-10-2008, 8:10 PM Reply   
How much surfing experience do you have derek? I mean it seems like common sense why you don't need one surfing. It would be a pain to paddle and duck dive and you are in salt water and wearing a wetsuit so you float plenty.
Old     (to_blind)      Join Date: Mar 2007       09-11-2008, 7:22 AM Reply   
I have lots of surfing experience...i wasn't asking why ppl. don't wear life jackets surfing, I was asking which sport had the higher risk of drowning, etc..
Old     (timmy)      Join Date: Jul 2001       09-11-2008, 7:45 AM Reply   
Not all surfers can duck dive...I ride a 10'6 log hahahaha


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