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Old    murrayair            12-02-2003, 8:19 PM Reply   
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?
Old     (projectely4)      Join Date: Apr 2003       12-02-2003, 8:31 PM Reply   
if you get pulled over in public waters by police that vest is illegal. it is only legal on private lakes
Old     (columbiatch)      Join Date: Oct 2002       12-02-2003, 8:44 PM Reply   
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?
Old     (lehmur)      Join Date: Oct 2001       12-02-2003, 9:40 PM Reply   
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.
Old     (levi)      Join Date: Feb 2001       12-02-2003, 10:21 PM Reply   
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'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.
Old     (puckinshat)      Join Date: Sep 2003       12-02-2003, 11:14 PM Reply   
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?
Old     (ocrider)      Join Date: Dec 2001       12-02-2003, 11:26 PM Reply   
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")

658.3. Life jacket requirements. (a) No person shall operate a motorboat, sailboat,
or vessel that is 26 feet or less in length unless every person on board who is 11
years of age or less is wearing a type I, II, III, or V Coast Guard-approved personal
flotation device while that motorboat, sailboat, or vessel is underway.
(b) Subdivision (a) does not apply to a person operating a sailboat on which a
person who is 11 years of age or less is restrained by a harness tethered to the vessel,
or to a person operating a vessel on which a person who is 11 years of age or less is
in an enclosed cabin.
(c) Any person on board a personal watercraft or any person being towed behind a
vessel on water skis, an aquaplane, or similar device shall wear a type I, II, III, or V
Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device.

(1) This subdivision does not apply to a person aboard a personal watercraft or a
person being towed behind a vessel on water skis, if that person is a performer engaged
in a professional exhibition, or preparing to participate or participating in an official
regatta, marine parade, tournament, or exhibition.
(2) In lieu of wearing a Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device of a type
described in this subdivision, any person engaged in slalom skiing on a marked course
or any person engaged in barefoot, jump, or trick water skiing may elect to wear a
wetsuit designed for the activity and labeled by the manufacturer as a water ski wetsuit.
A Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device of a type described in this
subdivision shall be carried in the tow vessel for each skier electing to wear a water ski
wetsuit pursuant to this paragraph.

Old     (depswa)      Join Date: Nov 2000       12-03-2003, 12:26 AM Reply   
Anyone been fined for riding with a non-USCG approved vest? I'd like to know how much it would cost?
Old     (deepstructure)      Join Date: Jun 2002       12-03-2003, 12:30 AM Reply   
what exactly is a "water ski wetsuit"?
Old     (ocrider)      Join Date: Dec 2001       12-03-2003, 1:53 AM Reply   

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.

I've never been fined, but I don't wear a USCG vest, although you wouldn't know it by looking at it.

Old     (timmy)      Join Date: Jul 2001       12-03-2003, 7:46 AM Reply   
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.

Laws aside, it is simply a good idea. They are certified for a reason. And their benefit is definately worth a little extra bulk.
Old     (stephan)      Join Date: Nov 2002       12-03-2003, 9:24 AM Reply   
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.
Old     (marcg)      Join Date: Oct 2003       12-03-2003, 10:04 AM Reply   
Be like the old-school wakeboard vest.

Kidding of course.

(Message edited by marcg on December 03, 2003)
Old     (kneebone)      Join Date: Nov 2003       12-03-2003, 10:15 AM Reply   
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!

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.
Old    murrayair            12-03-2003, 2:05 PM Reply   
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...
Old    tfdhyprider            12-03-2003, 3:59 PM Reply   
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.
Old     (oaf)      Join Date: Jul 2002       12-03-2003, 7:10 PM Reply   
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.
Old    trickskisrock            12-04-2003, 5:45 PM Reply   
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.
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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