Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register
rivermiles.com Missouri American WaterMissouri River Relief Alpine Shop St. James WineryPfefferkorn Engineering & Environmentalladsurfski.com Olathe Ford Lincoln Mercuryprojectathena.orgFarmer's Insurancehealthyriverspartnership.comLewis and Clark Boathouse and Nature Center2013 Stickers
Home Help Search Login Register
 
Page Index Toggle Pages: 1
Send Topic Print
PFD of choice? (Read 2040 times)
11/10/16 at 22:54:28

wcopaddler   Offline
MR340 Veteran
Colorado

Posts: 28
*
 
I'm looking for a new PFD and am wondering what others are using.  I was a BLM Swiftwater rescue paddler (in a ww canoe) for quite a few years in western Colorado and have seen firsthand what can happen when you don't wear a good vest.  I spent lots of time in my bulky Kokatat Rescue vests, and while they are comfortable, I'd like to get something a little (or a lot) more streamlined, but still USCG approved as I still paddle some for work.

I can get NRS vests at greatly reduced prices, and was looking at the Ninja.  Anybody ever use one?  If not, what are you paddling with?  Thanks!
 
IP Logged
 
Reply #1 - 11/11/16 at 07:44:27

Jaybee   Offline
2X MR340 Veteran
Knoxville, TN

Posts: 349
**
 
I'll start my reply by saying that I am a big believer in wearing a PFD - always.  I know that a lot of boating rules and even the rules of some races state that all you need is a PFD on board - it does not need to be worn.  But when you need a PFD you need it right then - making a PFD that is hugging the deck under some bungee cords pretty much useless. 

PFD's that are not comfortable to wear wind up strapped to the deck, making them useless no matter how well they could work.

I've been wearing a Mocke for the last year and have been very happy with it.  It moves with me and doesn't inhibit my paddling motions.  The Mocke stayed comfortable even during the heat of this years MR.  So while I know that there are some PFD's out there that would give more flotation once in the water, the Mocke is comfortable enough to keep it where it should be - on me.

Prior to the Mocke, I used an inflatable vest type PFD. It was very comfortable (even more than the Mocke) as it was almost like wearing a pair of thick suspenders. When inflated, it was a typical type III flotation device that would wrap around your head and keep you floating upright.  But - It was a one-and-done PFD.  Once it inflated it would need a replacement cartridge and trigger core - costing $35 for each use.  That cost factor was enough for me to get something different.

I borrowed a friends Ninja once, and it was fairly comfortable - but not as comfortable as the Mocke.
 

Jim
Boat # 3489
IP Logged
 
Reply #2 - 11/11/16 at 09:07:49

Dinger19   Offline
2X MR340 Veteran
Springfield, Mo.

Posts: 44
**
 
I have both a Ninja and the Mocke.  Both are efficient and comfortable.
For long periods on the water I go with the Mocke.  I just feel it is a little less restricting  around the mid-section.
 

If you continue to do as you have always done, then expect to get what you always got.
IP Logged
 
Reply #3 - 11/11/16 at 10:57:56

wcopaddler   Offline
MR340 Veteran
Colorado

Posts: 28
*
 
Thanks for the replies. I've looked at the Mocke, but my concern is that they aren't USCG approved.  They look great, and I'm sure they are more than adequate for safety.  But, if I'm on the water for something work related, I have to have a PFD that is approved.  I also am planning on racing the 340 next year, and would want to wear whatever vest I've been using.  In reading through some of the back posts, it sounds like some folks are wearing their Mockes in the race, but until they are USCG approved, I don't think I'd be comfortable doing it.
 
IP Logged
 
Reply #4 - 11/11/16 at 12:40:39

DanKC   Offline
4X MR340 Veteran
Gritty Fitty Veteran
Kansas City

Posts: 107
****
 
I've been through a bunch of PFDs the last 4 years, most recently been using the Vaikobi and Mocke.

I used the Vaikobi in this year's MR340 and liked it because it zipped up the front.  This made it easier to pee--just unzip it, pull down pants, and pee into the empty Gatorade bottle.  Then zip it back up so it stays on.  It was comfortable and I have no complaints about it.

I used the Mocke most everywhere else this season.  Anyway, after dumping my surfski during the Quincy 5K in the Mississippi River, and also dumping a kayak during the Race to the Dome in the Missouri River, I can say that the Mocke kept me from ending up on the bottom of both of those rivers.  Just wear it properly, and not too loose, so it doesn't come off over your head when/if you dump.  Dumping into the water during a race (or any other time) is scary, but it doesn't have to be with a reliable PFD.  The Mocke did its job and kept me from getting in real trouble.

True, the Mocke is not Coast Guard approved (because it's from overseas) but I think I remember reading or hearing from someone awhile back that they submitted it for USCS approval...just so it would be easier to sell here.  But I don't know if anything became of that.

I can't say that I have a real preference of one over the other between the Mocke or Vaikobi--they are both comfortable for paddling and quality PFDs.

But I do now fancy myself an expert on dumping into major rivers...not that I ever wanted that expertise on my paddling resume.  Lessons learned...it happens fast, you will be surprised when it happens, and there is initial panic for a couple seconds (and I consider myself a good swimmer).  Your PFD prevents additional panic, and it gives you time to get your wits about you.

Buying a PFD is important.  The decision to wear it is even more so.  Good luck!
 
IP Logged
 
Reply #5 - 11/12/16 at 12:10:27

Ladsurfski   Offline
4X MR340 Veteran
5X Gritty Fitty Veteran
Kawlloween Record Holder
Kawnivore Veteran
4X Kawlloween Veteran

Posts: 1855
****
 
Regarding Mocke PFD's...

The United States Canoe Association has announced at the USCA Annual Meeting in January 2016, that an amendment to the USCA Competition Rules was finally passed to allow the use of PFDs that meet the ISO 12402-5 Level 50 standards.

If interested in purchasing either a Mocke or Vaikobi PFD please contact Ron at 913 four four nine 2434.

www.ladsurfski.com
 
IP Logged
 
Reply #6 - 11/12/16 at 18:45:26

wcopaddler   Offline
MR340 Veteran
Colorado

Posts: 28
*
 
Does that mean they'll be able to be used in next year's MR340, or does the USCG requirement still supercede that?
 
IP Logged
 
Reply #7 - 11/13/16 at 07:46:22

yankeeclipper   Offline
MR340 Veteran
4X Gritty Fitty Veteran
Kawlloween Veteran
2X Ground Crew Veteran
Katy 50 Veteran
Kawnivore Veteran

Posts: 1437
*
 
USCG approval only refers to lbs of flotation that the jacket provides. There is no USCG policy requiring use of pfd in canoe, kayak or shells. See attached. The state regs.and the race director dictate what has to be used.  There are some "approved" pfd's that offer as much safety as a Walmart swim noodle (imho) Aside from the pfd I emphasize to my paddling partners, especially if they are novices to do two things when you go in 1. Keep your mouth shut. 2. Stay with the boat I'll come for you. I believe that all canoes and kayaks have builtin flotation of at least 25#thats a USCA requirement. So you iron boaters that tear out the bulkheads to lighten or trim the canoe should make sure that the same amount of flotation is relocated elsewhere o/w if you think the Titanic when down fast just watch an aluminum sink with no floatation.
 

USGBoating.jpg (210 KB | 101 )
USGBoating.jpg
IP Logged
 
Reply #8 - 11/14/16 at 11:08:00

wcopaddler   Offline
MR340 Veteran
Colorado

Posts: 28
*
 
All good info!  However, while the USCG only recommends PFD use, the state of Colorado is one of those states that mandates that all PFDs be USCG approved: 

33-13-106. Equipment requirements. 
(3) Every vessel, other than a personal watercraft, operated on the
waters of this state shall at all times have aboard:
(a) One personal flotation device of a type approved by the
commandant of the United States Coast Guard in good
and serviceable condition and in a readily accessible place
of storage for each person on board; except that sailboard
operators may wear a wet suit, as defined by the commission,
in lieu of carrying a personal flotation device as
required by this paragraph (a);

and yes, a canoe or a kayak is a "vessel" in Colorado.

(5) “Vessel” means every description of watercraft used or
capable of being used as a means of transportation of persons and
property on the water, other than single-chambered air-inflated
devices or seaplanes.

So...the Mocke and Vaikobe are unfortunately out for me until they get a USCG approval.  Any other recommendations for USCG approved PFDs? Smiley  Thanks.
 
IP Logged
 
Reply #9 - 11/14/16 at 13:27:17

Notorious D.A.D.   Offline
2X MR340 Veteran
Wichita KS/Scottsdale AZ

Posts: 140
**
 
Several years ago I bought an Astral from REI.  It's held up well and I used it in the the 340 with no complaints. 

It's nice and short so it doesn't interfere with the cockpit lip or seat back of my kayak.  It's also not too hot and it has a couple of pockets.

I just looked on the REI website and they no longer show the exact one that I have, but it's very similar to this one.

https://www.rei.com/product/881421/astral-v-eight-pfd
 
IP Logged
 
Reply #10 - 01/01/17 at 11:15:30

SurfRider   Offline
Future Participant

Posts: 15
*
 
Hello ,

you may also consider this vest
http://www.austinkayak.com/products/2299/Stohlquist-Rocker-Life-Jacket-PFD.html.

When the USCG approved label is called upon this vest has helped me out.
 
IP Logged
 
Reply #11 - 01/02/17 at 19:43:44

bobber   Offline
3X MR340 Veteran
SEDALIA,MO

Posts: 47
***
 
I used a Mocke last year.Comfortable and plenty of room to put stuff in the front pocket...The hydro pocket in back is a lifesaver.....
 
IP Logged
 
Reply #13 - 01/20/17 at 20:42:40

wcopaddler   Offline
MR340 Veteran
Colorado

Posts: 28
*
 
Despite all the votes for the Mocke, I ended up with an NRS Ninja.  Unfortunately, the lack of USCG approval ruled out both the Mocke and Vaikobe.  While I'm sure they are excellent vests, until our state laws change, they won't work for me.  I paddle some for work still and can't get around that pesky USCG approval.

Thanks for everybody's input!
 
IP Logged
 
Page Index Toggle Pages: 1
Send Topic Print