Most people will have forgotten or haven’t heard about the pro rider from Discovery Bay, California, who lost his life in Texas on May 6, 2000 – while not wearing a vest of any kind. His early passing was a huge wake up call to everyone involved in the sport and we noticed a difference. WAKEBOARDING Magazine (now TransWorld WAKEBOARDING) even implemented a vest policy, which was summed up by “no vest, no shot in the mag.”
Since then, wakeboarding has diversified greatly, which is great for the sport. Cable parks, winches and PWC’s are now a great alternative to riding behind the boat. Through this diversification, there is a huge grey area regarding the use of vests.
Even Body Glove’s own Bob Soven struggled with the concept, “For my latest cover with TransWorld WAKEBOARDING, I chose to ride with a shirt over my Vapor pullover,” Soven said. “I guess I was going for a ‘street’ look, but I now realize I was promoting a bad image to the youth and every other rider out there. Fact is, staying safe is number one, having fun is number two (and red hair is optional). I can’t say it enough to encourage you to wear a vest no matter what activity you are enjoying. If you’re feeding birds in a bird pond then you are excused, but anything else, throw on that life vest and consider a USCG approved PFD. I thank Body Glove for showing us what’s most important -- staying alive and keeping those around you safe to enjoy another summer.”
(Bob Soven in his Body Glove PFD)
For more information about PFD's and where you can buy them, visit our site here.