Stay Protected With an Impact Vest
Impact vests, also known as comp vests, are what protect you from hard impacts when kitesurfing or wakeboarding. The vests, typically made of neoprene, have a foam core that helps absorb against impacts to your chest area in case of any crashes or accidents. It’s common for kiteboarders, wakeboarders and water skiers to wear a vest. Hitting the water at speed is dangerous, so it can be the difference between a broken rib or just a minor bruise.
There’s a wide range of impact vests to fit your style. Some are designed as unisex while others are gender-specific. They also vary depending on the sport you take part in. Wakeboard vests provide the most protection and have foam that covers your entire torso. Kiteboarding or kitesurfing vests are designed to fit under the harness, as a result giving you less protection in this area but also making sure that they don’t get in the way of your kite gear.
Is an Impact Vest the Same as a Life Jacket?
In short, no. Impact vests are designed for protection, while life jackets and buoyancy aids are made to keep you afloat. Some styles will give you a degree of buoyancy but there is never a guarantee that this will be enough for 100% floatation. However, the benefit of a kite or water ski vest is that they are lighter and provide you with a greater range of motion.
If you are ever unsure about what level of protection or buoyancy the vest will give you, then check out individual the product specification to be certain.