View Full Version : Non-USCG Approved Vests

09-08-2006, 09:04 PM
Does anyone out there use non-USCG approved vests when they wakeboard. Do they only help you stay bouyant in the water while your waiting to start, or would they keep you afloat if you were get knocked out? Obviously don't count as a vest for boating, but I'm interested in trying for boarding.

09-09-2006, 04:22 AM
I've used one for at least five years. Looks like the real thing but thinner and I haven't got busted yet. They are coming out with better USCG approved jackets that aren't much different than this one. I can't tell much difference as all of the lifejackets pop me up like a bobber. If I get stopped, I would just tell them I bought it in a yard sale and I thought all lifejackets were USCG approved. I'm entitled to be as stupid as anyone else on the water.

09-09-2006, 10:55 AM
I know laws vary from state to state, but in Arizona as long as you have enough uscg approved jackets in the boat for all bodies, it doesn't matter if you use a non-approved one while being towed.

09-09-2006, 02:28 PM
I would never wear a Non USCG vest while boarding. If i get knocked silly/out i would not want to drown or even come close to it. To me its not worth it. I mean you might look alittle cooler but when you sink no one will get to see your vest. To each is on.
Kawasaki F2 (http://www.cyclechaos.com/wiki/Kawasaki_F2)

09-10-2006, 10:59 AM
I'm entitled to be as stupid as anyone else on the water.

Lucikly stupidity is not an excuse that will keep them from writing you a ticket. I think it is a good thing. Fewer stupid people and stupid selfesh actions are needed out on the water.


09-10-2006, 11:50 AM
I know that the application that I would be using it in is legal. I'm really just looking to answer one question before I buy one. If I was to get knocked unconcious, would I stay afloat until the boat came back. I'm pretty sure the answer is yes, or else why even were anything. I'm not looking to float in open water for three hours after I have broken by back which I'm sure is somewhere along the lines of what a uscg approved jacket is supposed to do. I'm not trying to look cool either. After a hard day of boarding, the insides of my arms look like hamburger so I'm looking for something cut a little lower and thinner and the non-uscg approved vest fit the bill.


09-10-2006, 03:12 PM
NOPE USCG vest is to keep you afloat even if your lungs are full of water. The non-CG will not, also at issue is how you float. Face down waiting for the boat turn can be too long.

Liquid Force makes a very thin USCG approved jacket. Whoever makes the Parks is very nice. I wear a bodyglove.

Non USCG life vest oxymoron!


09-10-2006, 05:44 PM
I too had my heart set on a non-USCG SWAT-type jacket...the lady at Tommy's Slalom Shop here in Denver put it real simple..."If you get knocked out, you will sink and you will die!" I had to think about that for all of about 2 sec's...Ended up buying the Jet Pilot USCG approved side entry. Still looks cool...and (hopefully) won't die using it! lol...I've had some pretty bad wipe outs in the last couple of years so I didn't think the possibility of getting my bell rung was that far fetched. Just my .02...Better safe than sorry...cheesy but true in this case.

09-11-2006, 10:51 AM
In answer to what is the difference in wearing a non approved vest and not wearing anything, the non approved vest does provide you protection from most impacts. While it will not allow you to float without assistance (treading water) it does have padded areas that are meant to protect you physically.

I tried on an A-10 and was set to buy it until I looked at the fact that it wouldn't float. I put it back on the rack luckily.

I got knocked out/silly 4 weeks ago and I have to say that I appreciated the fact that I was still floating when I came to face down in the water. I had to command myself to turn over once I realized I was face down. The only funny thing was that I couldn't see and one of the guys in the boat told me to open my eyes. Amazing how much better they work open instead of closed.

09-11-2006, 10:54 AM
Thanks guys. My mind's made up. I was looking at that Jet Pilot USCG approved. It should do the trick. Big cutouts for the arms.

09-11-2006, 11:27 AM
Non approved will keep you afloat if you are knocked out other wise you would have to be treading water before you started each time to board.

09-11-2006, 05:53 PM
I have a Jet pilot vest that is approved, I love it. I have used both approved and non approved. The real difference can be the range of motion but, it isnt that big of a deal... totally not worth risking your life over!


09-12-2006, 03:16 AM
I would say after reading this thread that there is a big difference between non-USCG approved jackets so buyer beware. My non-USCG approved jacket has almost the same floation as my USCG approved jacket except thinner. I never had to tread water or anything else to stay afloat otherwise I would have pitched it. For one, I don't like to sink and two I don't like to swim. My jacket is XXL which may be the difference. I guess I could go down to Oregon where they license their drivers but if your 12 years or older you don't need to wear a life jacket skiing. Go figure. I want my ski belt back!!