Well written. I am staying on the side of caution since many of us are not spring chickens. All the things you mention are true. It. Is why I want to wear the smallest functional pfd i can find…. Remember, you won’t ever need it, until you need it. Thanks.Greenturtle wrote: ↑Sun May 30, 2021 2:06 pmI have a pile of about 15 pfds all streamlined designs from many years of whitewater paddling and outfitting groups so it was pretty easy to pick one out that worked well on me for kiteboarding. The one I use has supple / more flexible foam that also is rather thin and flogged out, the foam is pretty much only an inch thick. It does work well with a waist harness too at least for me (I have a real long torso) and I daresay it even helps a bit to keep waist harness down. Useful pocket on front to stick gloves in etc. and of course it has a river knife attachment point so I keep a slim knife handy that is much better than a standard tiny hook knife.
Flotation-wise I would not give it to someone for serious river use any more, but it is perfect for kite application.
Impact-wise I must say it helps soften the smack.
Mobility-wise it certainly hinders some (depending on what movements) compared to wearing nothing, but I have seen too many people struggling for air including myself to not wear it.
The thing is - it doesn’t matter how fit you are, you can be an endurance swimming god - But when you end up with an injury, like a dislocated shoulder or just knocked senseless for a minute, the list of possible injuries is long, you name it, you WILL need help keeping your head above water, let alone make it back to shore when you’re way out. You cannot rely on the board or kite to be there to float you. The water may even only be knee deep or less, but when you are injured and shit is fucked, you will drown without flotation, and maybe still even then, but at least your chances are improved with flotation on, by a lot.
Maybe your riding style is so soft and lame that you think you’ll never get injured kiting. Think again boys. You go out enough times and its going to happen, and when it does you will thank YOURSELF for putting it on all those times just in case. Random health things happen too like virtigo/delirium , strokes/minor heart attacks , even global amnesia (seen it happen) that just cannot be predicted, and flotation will make a huge difference in whether that event turns into drowning or not.
That said, do whatever you want of course. I think this sport clearly attracts risk takers. But if you have a family dependent on you , or you just want to kite again another day, it is the responsible choice to wear flotation.