Home Safety Surf’s Up: Essential Tips About Life Jackets That Could Save Your Life

Surf’s Up: Essential Tips About Life Jackets That Could Save Your Life


Australia has some of the best spots for water sports. From kayaking in Queensland to jet skiing on the Gold Coast, there are plenty of options for you to choose from here.

Yet, before you decide on your preferred activity, you must know a few essential tips about wearing gear, such as a life jacket. Now, none of these has to do with how you choose them. That’s entirely up to you.

Instead, this is more about how you ensure that you’ve made the right choice. 

Regulations and safety standards

Every country has a different standard regarding personal floatation devices (PFDs). While these are subject to change at any given moment, you must take the time to cross-check whether your jacket meets the requirements.

Australia, for instance, just updated its policies regarding PFDs. And most of it is how such wearable devices offer more buoyancy to the user. So, for safety and adhering to legal regulations, it’d be best if you at least looked things over.

1. It’s meant to be a little tight

PFDs vary based on user size and weight. The only constant is that each brand-new jacket is meant to fit your exact proportions. 

A simple tip is to check whether you can lift a life jacket to your ears. If you can, then you need to look for something else. 

Still, you don’t need to be concerned about suffocating in the water. In fact, after wearing a PFD a couple of times, they will stretch slightly on their own due to being exposed to the water.

2. Colours can make or break

Black is always an appealing option when it comes to any apparel. However, you aren’t wearing a PFD to make a fashion statement. It’s to save your life if it ever comes to that.

And bright colours are the simplest way to achieve this. Orange, red and yellow shades will be your best bet here as they increase your visibility in the dark.

It also helps if your jacket has a supportive collar for your head and straps to make it easy for people to drag you to safety.

3. Wear it once before you take it out

Try on the jacket in your home before you use it for an activity. That will enable you to check for defects, including rips, faulty buckles and broken fasteners.

While you’re at this, it wouldn’t hurt to add some reflective tape along the peripherals. You can get them at any local hardware store. But remember, the same rule with colours applies here as well. In short, the brighter it is, the better it will be for you. 

Still, if you decide to make any such modifications, cross-reference them with the local regulations.

Making A Splash

Always remember to purchase a life jacket from verified vendors. That will automatically ensure that the product adheres to local safety policies. In addition, if you’re placing an order for a PFD online, try it out once it gets delivered.

Besides that, always go for bright colours and your exact size. After all, there’s no such thing as ‘growing’ into a PFD. It either fits tightly or it doesn’t.

And, as obvious as this may sound, wear them. There’s no point if you decide to take your jacket off the moment you’re out of the lifeguard’s sight.

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