CHOOSING YOUR BUOYANCY JACKET

A buoyancy lifejacket reduces the risk of drowning, but it doesn’t guarantee your life will be saved. It’s designed for good swimmers close to a bank and the shore, or with help at hand. It is less effective in rough water and cannot protect users for a long period and requires active participation.

Practise using your buoyancy jacket in water at least once a year to decide if it still provides suitable buoyancy. 

Children need to learn how to float using this buoyancy aid to help them understand its utility and how it works. 

People who can’t swim or very young children must wear a lifejacket (minimum standard: 100 Newtons)

When choosing your lifejacket there are two key criteria: safety and comfort. 

 

1 CHOOSING YOUR BUOYANCY AID JACKET BASED ON REGULATIONS:

The buoyancy aid jacket isn’t a lifejacket! You need to know how to swim!

For sailing and kayaking the regulations oblige each person onboard to have their own buoyancy equipment. With a minimum buoyancy value of 50 Newtons for sailing and 70 Newtons for kayaking.

 

buoyancy aid spreadsheet

Types of approved lifejackets

 

Types of buoyancy aid jacket

    

         Plastron jacket

 

     gilet poches

      jacket with pockets 

    

izeber aide flottabilité

          Izeber buoyancy aid

 Zip-up jacket

 Neoprene jacket

 

 

 

2 CHOOSING YOUR BUOYANCY JACKET ON THE BASIS OF STANDARDS:

Choose your buoyancy aid based on your weight – if your jacket is the wrong size this could impact on its performance.

Your buoyancy jacket must bear the CE marking. The jacket is compliant with ISO 12402-5 (for the 50 to 70 N, buoyancy expressed in Newtons)

Worth knowing: 10 Newtons correspond to 1.01 kg of buoyancy force.

 

Choose your buoyancy aid based on your weight

weight newton

 

 

Don’t forget to attach the elastic tether if your lifejacket has one.

It must be sufficiently tight around your waist to ensure it doesn’t lift it under your armpits in case of the boat overturning.

70 N lifejackets must be used in white water by the FFCK for kayaking as they ensure better buoyancy.

 

3 CHOOSING A COMFORTABLE BUOYANCY JACKET:

Don’t forget to test your equipment!

Lifejackets provide comfort and different degrees of freedom of movement depending on the model:

The ones that open up: Thanks to a zip or plastic straps, this type of lifejacket is easy to wear. However, pay attention to the zips as they can get stuck (seawater, sand). Don’t forget to rinse your jacket thoroughly!

The ones you put on: They’re called plastron lifejackets, they’re easy to put on and provide great freedom of movement for your arms.

The ones with pockets: enabling you to take signalling (whistle, reflective glass) or accessories such as a camera in a waterproof pocket. 

The ones in neoprene: provide complete freedom of movement and you’ll forget you’re wearing thanks to its body-hugging cut. The neoprene lifejacket is a little heavier than foam when covered in water. 

The ones you can also wear on land: The IZEBER jackets. They provide freedom of movement, help with buoyancy complying with the 50 N standard, thermal insulation like a traditional jacket with an urban look.

 

izeber buoyancy aid jacket

 

Tip: don’t forget the safety cord connecting each object to your lifejacket in order not to lose them!

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