How to choose a good Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP) personal flotation device (PFD)

SUP Rules And Regulations for PDF's:

Some amendments and changes have been made in the laws and regulations regarding SUP that one must be aware of. When going to the paddleboard, it is compulsory for one to carry safety equipment with him. The list of the safety equipment that needs to be carried out includes a source of light, a personal floatation device, and a device to produce sound.
Therefore it is needless to say that having a PFD is very important. There is a variety of PFDs that are easily available in the market. But the decision of which one to pick depends on one's needs and requirements.

Types Of PFDs:


Type I PFD

The simplest type of a personal floatation device is the Type One PFD. They are shaped like a rectangle and have a buckle to hold them in place. They are generally bright yellow or orange.
The Type One PFD ensures that the upper body of the person remains above the surface of the water. It has a buoyancy limit of around twenty-two pounds.



The second category of PFDs is the Type Two PFD. These are similar to a jacket and come with two to four straps that can be adjusted to ensure a perfect fit. They have a buoyancy level of 55.5 pounds and are commonly used by people who are a fan of water sports like stand up paddleboarding or kayaking.



The Type Three PFDs are undoubtedly the ones that are the best in terms of comfort. They are also designed in the shape of a jacket and have the same buoyancy as the Type Two PFDs. The difference between Type Two and Type Three PFDs is that Type Three PFDs have pockets and additional straps that ensure that the jacket remains in place and its design makes it a lot more comfortable.



The Type Four PFDs are the ones that are commonly used on boats and ships. These are shaped like a donut that floats on the surface of the water while the person sits on top of the device like a cushion or wears it around his torso. These are usually PDFs that are thrown into the water for someone to grab hold of. They also typically have a line attached to them so the rescued person can be pulled back to the boat. They have a buoyancy range between sixteen point eight to eighteen pounds and are sometimes also available in a square shape.


Type V PFD

The last type of personal floatation device is the Type Five PFD. They come with an automatic inflation system that triggers the device as soon as a certain water level is detected. It is very lightweight and does not hinder the movement of the person wearing it at all.

These devices can also be inflated manually if needed. Most of the Type Five PFDs come with an indicator that shows the status of the carbon dioxide cartridge and indicates whether it needs to be changed or replaced. It can keep one vertically on the surface of the water and prevent drowning.


Pick The Right Size:


The four main categories in terms of sizes of PFDs include the devices that are made for adults, youth, children, and pets. The most commonly used jackets for boating are the Type Two PFDs. This type of jacket can be zipped, and a buckle ensures that it fits right.

When choosing a PFD, it is essential to pick the right size. The PFD should neither be too tight nor too loose. The shoulders of the jacket should be aligned with the shoulders of the person wearing the jacket.

Always try the jacket before purchasing it. Take your time and check to see if you feel comfortable wearing the jacket. Jackets with straps and buckles are always recommended as the straps and buckles help one adjust the jacket, so it hugs the body perfectly.

Speaking in terms of comfort, the Type Five PFDs are the ones that are most comfortable and do not hinder the movement of the wearer at all. PFDs are available in a variety of colors, so one can look stylish and fashionable even when paddleboarding.


Sizing For SUP Personal Floatation Devices:


You should be comfortable wearing a PFD jacket. If you are unable to zip or buckle the jacket comfortably, then it is an indication that the jacket you have tried is too small for your size. The majority of the jackets are unisex and can be used by both men and women.

But sometimes, the unisex jackets are not comfortable for women as they do not cater to the physique of the women’s body properly. If this is the case, women can try jackets and vests that are specifically made for women.

The vests that are for children are smaller in size and can support weight within a range of thirty to fifty pounds or fifty to ninety pounds. The ones that are made for toddlers also feature a neck rest to support the child’s neck and a strap around the crotch so that the jacket can stay in place.

There are personal floatation devices for animals as well, but their use is not made compulsory by the regulatory authorities. The sizing guide is the same for animals as it is for children and adults.


Check For Floatation:


The main purpose of a PFD is to ensure that the person remains afloat in water. Therefore, it is essential that the type One and Type Three PFD you choose can float. The vest should have a buoyancy level of at least twenty-two pounds for adults and eleven pounds for children.

In the case of a Type Five device, the buoyancy level should be at least thirty-four pounds. It is essential to take into account the bodyweight of the person who will be wearing the device when buying one.


SUP Floatation Device Rules And Regulations:


Every state and region has its own rules and regulations in terms of PFDs. But generally, every state requires one to carry at least a Type Four PFD. If one has a child under the age of twelve years, then the child must be wearing a life jacket. Whereas the age limit is reduced to six years in some areas.

No matter how old one may be, it is important to test the device as soon as possible. When buying a PFD, also ensure that the one you pick is certified and approved, so you do not get in trouble with the authorities.


Things To Keep In Mind While Purchasing A PFD:


There are a number of different types of personal floatation devices that are available in the market. Other than a comfortable fit, the device you choose should serve the purpose you will be using it for. Also, always pick a device that is made of high-quality material so that it does not tear or get damaged.

Assessing your needs is also important before you go ahead and buy a jacket. For instance, if you are someone who loves to jump in the water, picking an automatic jacket that inflates when submerged in water would be a poor decision.


SUP PDF Maintenance Is Important:


Finding a good personal floatation device is not as simple as it may seem to be. But it is important to ensure that you find one that fits comfortably serves its purpose and is high-quality as well. But maintaining your PFD is as important as buying one. Make sure that you rinse the jacket after every use and then hang it up to dry.

The carbon dioxide cartridges should be checked regularly and changed or refilled as necessary. If you take care of your personal floatation device properly, believe it or not, it will last you for years to come. Also, examine the jacket every now and then to make sure that there are no scratches or cuts on it. Your safety could be at risk, even if your jacket is slightly damaged.

There is always a risk of accidents when using a stand-up paddleboard. It is important that one is prepared beforehand and has a PFD so that safety can be ensured. A life jacket is also important as it may help you save someone else in case of an emergency. The use of life jackets and PFDs is very important as our lives depend on them.