PFD's for whitewater kayakin? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 06-28-2011   #1
 
Fort Collins, Colorado
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PFD's for whitewater kayakin?

Hey all,

I was wondering if anyone here knew some good information about whitewater kayaking pfd's? I am in the market for one (new or used) and it remains to be seen to me what pfd I should get. Does a basic type III pfd work? Or do I need something a bit more open? How about a type V pfd? Any suggestions on a decent and cheap/moderately priced pfd?

Thanks!

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Old 06-28-2011   #2
 
Beaverton, Oregon
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Go for one that fits right and allows plenty of movement. Don't get too hung up on the type III/V - this is just how the US Coast Guard classifies these things and there isn't a lot of functional difference when you are swimming. If you are new, go for something plain. If you are a creek bomber, I'd insist on you getting a rescue pfd.
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Old 06-29-2011   #3
 
Haley Station, Ontario
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Just did a review for the mag on the NRS Ninja you can check it out here -
Gear Review - NRS Ninja - Rapid, The Whitewater Kayaking and Canoeing Magazine

It's more a 'play' vest in my opinion. I have a stohlquist Descent, Salus Rescue vest, and Kokatat Ronin I use depending on what I'm doing.

Bottom line is to try them on and see which fits you best.

Good Luck

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Old 06-29-2011   #4
 
Littleton, Colorado
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NRS produces functional products, but they have piss poor customer service. A friend of mine recently bought a brand-new dry-top from them, and when the neck-gasket failed, he tried to get warranty assistance, but they said they couldn't help him because the neck-gasket is produced by a different company. Any other company (Stohlquist, IR, and Kokatat come to mind) would have replaced the dry-gear or repaired the gasket.

With that said, I'm avoiding purchasing anything from NRS in the future, even straps. I would rather have Thule straps anyway. I'm ashamed to even use their products that I already own.

Ps. Oh, maybe this post should be somewhat more helpful. I currently use a Stohlquist Wedge-E PFD. I got mine used, and it has at least two seasons under it, still going strong.

Most Rescue PFD reviews indicate to not bother with said Rescue PFD unless you take a SWR course. I see a lot of Rescue PFDs on the river though, and I know damn well they didn't all take a course teaching them how to use 'em.
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Old 06-29-2011   #5
 
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Kendrick- This policy surprises me. I've bought a ton of stuff from NRS over the years, and they seemed to have a wide-open return policy. Never had a defective product, but sent a number of things back for refunds or exchanges and never had a hassle or refusal.
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Old 06-29-2011   #6
 
Littleton, Colorado
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Maybe it's just something quirky with their drygear.

Or maybe my friend got the wrong guy on the phone, at the wrong time.
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Old 06-29-2011   #7
 
Haley Station, Ontario
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Most Rescue PFD reviews indicate to not bother with said Rescue PFD unless you take a SWR course. I see a lot of Rescue PFDs on the river though, and I know damn well they didn't all take a course teaching them how to use 'em.[/QUOTE]

I agree with not using gear/taking gear down the river you don't know how to use (like a blow away belt) as it can get you into more trouble if you aren't sure how to use it. One of my pet peeves.

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Old 06-29-2011   #8
 
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Cheyenne, Wyoming
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Kendrick,

i'm sure there is more to the story than just a NO. In my dealings with NRS customer service all out comes have been great. Case in point: I lost a 2 week old Pilot knife and they sent me a brand new one no questions asked. Any time I call and inquire about a product. The reps are more than helpful.

So maybe, and this is just a maybe considering I wasn't there, your friend took the wrong tact about the situation. Stating that you will never buy a NRS product baased on your friends experience is kind of ignorant. NRS is a great company and I'm sure 85% of the boating community would agree with me.
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Old 06-29-2011   #9
 
Littleton, Colorado
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It's one thing to support NRS based off your own experience, but to call me ignorant for not supporting them for the same reasons is kind of silly.

I personally, will never find myself defending any company with that level of zeal. Fortunately, there other options than NRS for every product they offer, so I have the luxury to voice my disapproval of them and move on. I couldn't honestly recommend their products due to my own experience, it's as simple as that.

(My friend's experience with the company does kind of make it personal.)

Ps. I'm also pretty sure you put stock in your friend's opinions as well. It's not the same as some no-name reviewer on Amazon. I'm talking about a friend I trust my life with on the river. I'm sure you understand.
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Old 06-29-2011   #10
Don
 
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NRS

No one warranties neck gaskets. I've worked with every company in the industry, and no one does gaskets. They buy their gaskets from the scuba diving industry and they are totally out of their control. The reason is they may fail while they're sitting on the shelf. Your buddy could have bought a year old brand new drytop and it could have rotted while it sat for a year on the hanger.

Sorry, but they can only provide service on the things they make and somethings are out of their control.

I feel your pain, but don't shoot the messenger. You should have started with the people who sold you the top and see if they can replace it for you.
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