Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-26-2014   #11
Sumas, Chilliwack, BC
Paddling Since: 2012
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 120
I don't believe a 'full' kit is required at all times but most non rescue vests kinda suck for storage anyways and like someone mentioned before they can rip off during extraction with a rope attached. A knife is kinda mandatory in case your skirt is stuck or you get hung up some how (like your foot caught in your own throw rope) stranger things have happened. A cow tail is useful for steep banks at the takeout as well as a rescue device. When you break down each safety item it does get hard to ignore how important they are. If you are going to spend $$ on a quality vest why not buy a rescue vest?

Dman987 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2014   #12
Hood River, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2163
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 295
Short answer: Yes, rescue vests are worth it if you are doing any paddling that is challenging for you. These vests are extremely versatile in rescue situations, as well as just in day to day use.

If you are mainly at the play park or mellow pool drop rivers, then you probably don't need a rescue PFD. If you are doing anything where folks could get into trouble and the water is challenging for your group, get trained and get a rescue PFD.

David Spiegel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2014   #13
Thronton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 665
For me, it's one of those things that I would rather have and never use than not have and then regret it the time I need it.

Like a few others have said, I do like the design of rescue vests over some others, in terms of storage anyway. I do carry a few items (pulleys, prusik, niners, etc) and have actually used those. My other PFD just doesn't work as well even for those few items.

I've never had to test the stitching in either, but I gotta believe the rescue vests are stronger, as they are intended to hold the extra weight of another person in a rescue situation (and extra forces of current, etc), while a simple PFD is designed to merely help keep you afloat while you rescue yourself....
BoilermakerU is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2014   #14
Laramie, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 171
American Whitewater - -SecurityGadget-explain

This is pretty convincing.
Awoody is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2014   #15
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,097
Originally Posted by themechanicnotthetool View Post
I'm just sayin. isn't it the swift water rescue knowledge that's important and not whether i'm sportin an Astral Greenjacket on the north fork?
Kayaking safely is a combination of knowledge, experience, and gear. All the knowledge in the world won't do you any good if you don't have a rope when someone needs one, if you don't have the ability to live bait when someone needs it, or if you don't have the right footwear to have traction on rocks when you need it. There are tragic stories of folks dying on the river because a piece of gear wasn't on hand.

A rescue vest is not an overpriced fashion outerwear that people "sport'. Rescue vests are technical rescue gear that can be life saving in the right spots. Rescue vests have undergone years of innovation after hard learned lessons.

For class 3 rivers or playboating I could see the rescue vest being a "nice to have' vs. mandatory. For class IV and up or creeky runs where pins and rescues are likely, rescue vests are a key piece of gear and mandatory in my mind.

I can think of a couple of incidents off the top of my head where rescue vests were key to saving peoples lives. Experienced boaters use the quick release strap frequently to back each other up in rescues and safety scenarios. If you are paddling hard whitewater and you don't have the propper gear you are a liability to the folks you paddle with. I once had a guy tell me that he didn't need a specific piece of safety gear that I considered mandatory for a run,which baffled me. That guy is dead now, so you can see where loose logic can take you.

Its true that you could likely rig up much of the functionality of a rescue vest with a throw rope and biners, but improvising something when seconds count is a recipe for disaster and thats why they make the jackets.

The only thing I consider optional on a rescue jacket is the cows tail. I think they are more of a hazard dangling off jackets than a utility unless you are chasing swimmers non-stop down a class II run.

Have a read through this story and think about what having the right gear means to you and the people around you.
deepsouthpaddler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2014   #16
tango's Avatar
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 690
For me the rescue vest is essential. Fortunately I have never had to use the rescue harness for a live bait rescue, but I have been in a few other situations where the features of my PFD were invaluable.

I used a cowtail to retrieve a guy's boat right before it floated into an unportageable rapid in the Infierno canyon of the Futaleufu. When I had to be vertically extracted from a gorged in section of the Rio Cochamo I used the webbing loop in front of my Green Jacket, combined with webbing used as a harness, to secure myself to the rope that was lowered to me from above. Many times I when safety needs to be set, but the chance of falling in the river is significant, I will make an anchor on a tree or rock and secure myself with the rescue harness so I can lean out over the river without falling in.

The benefits of owning a rescue PFD clearly outweigh any perceived disadvantages. I have been creeking on class 5 with one professional kayaker who has chosen not to wear a rescue vest. His technical expertise, precision on the water, and lifetime of experience convinced me that his decision against it was sound. Unless you have invented several modern freestyle tricks and participated in first descents all over the world, you should wear a rescue PFD and know how to use it.

If somebody I don't know shows up to go creeking and has some funky gear that isn't going to help in a rescue, I'm probably going to say something rude and leave you at the put-in.
tango is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2014   #17
GWS, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 133
A rescue vest and cowtail is not optional/overkill. When properly deployed it is an invaluable tool for saving your buddy's gear or life.
Shitouta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2014   #18
dirtbagkayaker's Avatar
Bazzaro, World
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,324
A good PFD like the Green can be very usefully and important if the owner actually knows how to get the most out of the PFD. If the owner does not know what the hell they are doing w/ the PFD then it can quickly become a liliabilty. So, yes its the boater with the knowelge but they need the tools to get the job done! So, if you don't know what you doing, step away from the resue vest!
Bound is boatless man
dirtbagkayaker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2014   #19
B.V., Colorado
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 192
Just this weekend my rescue vest got some use. Towing boats and gear to shore is expedited with a tow tether. As others have stated, be aware of what is down stream, but this has been an invaluable tool I use often.
"Huck Finn?...more like huck-and-swim"
Melrose is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2014   #20
craven_morhead's Avatar
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 747
Send a message via AIM to craven_morhead
I certainly think the rescue vest is necessary for anything starting to push into class IV or into "creeky" rivers. I rarely use my tow tether on creeks anymore though -- they're just too steep and too rocky for it to be of much use. I do, however, keep a few shots of webbing and p-cord in my pfd pocket, enough to rig up a simple z-drag. The set has been very helpful in a number of situations, from tethering somewhere for a better rescue position to unpinning boats. Last spring Ian used a similar setup to tether his boat to a root when he was scouting in a precarious position. It's now become a standard part of my safety vest.

craven_morhead is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Topic Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
A truly Custom Boat - Riot Kayaks DanC Kayaking | Gear Talk 0 08-11-2011 11:09 AM
Truly shocking! mr. compassionate The Eddy 11 05-18-2009 06:30 AM
Astral Rescue Vest cosurfgod Whitewater Kayaking 3 04-18-2005 08:58 AM
Astral v. Lotus Rescue Vest wycoloboater Whitewater Kayaking 17 02-04-2005 04:40 PM
Left Red Extrasport Rescue Vest at Dowd Chute Takeout Alpine Kayak Lost & Found 1 06-13-2004 04:09 PM

» Classified Ads

posted by Rendezvous River Sports


Dagger Nomad Large Blaze

posted by Rendezvous River Sports


Pyranha Burn 3 XL

posted by Rendezvous River Sports


Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:24 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.