yesterday my kite bailed out on my (QR accidentally released and safety chord broke) while I was out in some heavy surf (water is about 6 C / 42 F right now) and I had to fight my way back to the shore. Wasn't that bad and I'm a pretty good swimmer, but still it made me realize that I should have had a life vest, especially in such cold waters, also because the current can get quite bad.
So, essentially, I'm looking for a life vest, with decent flotation. I've seen a lot of discussions about impact vests also having some flotation, but I'm really looking at a lifevest that give me a decent amount of flotation, especially in the surf and colder waters.
What decently wearable vest/jacket are you wearing, what would you recommend. I frequently wear some of the sailing jackets (that inflate if you pull the little tab/tap), which are quite okay and ideally would like to have something lean.
Maybe look at a paddling pfd. I use a Lotus (patagonia) Lowrider (pretty sure it's not available anymore) that works fine with my waist harness as long as the shoulder straps are tight. Unrestricted movement and not too bulky...
Neil Pryde has the "High Hook" flotation/swim vest and it will also protect from impact due to the foam. The vest is 50N CE approwed. I have it my self in an Black/Grey color combination without the red.