Friday, October 22, 2010

A PFD is now mandatory for kitesurfing

It's happened folks.  We are now legally required to use a Type 1, 2 or 3 Personal Flotation Device (PFD) for kitesurfing [link].

Type 1s are a full lifejacket - but you can get inflatable versions that are slim until inflated (but make sure you don't get a water activated version!)  Using a manually inflatable Type 1 is of no benefit if you crash and end up unconscious, as you won't be able to inflate it.

Type 2s (buoyancy vest) and Type 3s (buoyancy garment) are not lifejackets and are less restrictive to use.  They won't keep an unconscious persons  head out of water, but they do provide ample buoyancy for floating if conscious.

Note that some wetsuits are inherently buoyant to the same standard as a PFD 3.

Virtually no kitesurfer around Melbourne (or elsewhere for that matter) seems to be using a PFD.  I wonder when the Water Police will starting issuing infringements?

I am still using this vest, mainly for impact protection.  It adds some warmth over the cold winter months too.

See also:  Marine Safety - Wear the right gear to prevent injury


Boris T said...

Wow so they've gotten to Oz with these laws too.

ozone kites said...

Regulations are important to maintain the safety of these kinds of activities. It's good the government knows it's part.