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1st August 2011 11:19 PM

Ok, so just to be clear, i wrote PFD cos i cba to write lifejacket.
Just to clear things up: I'm in bulgaria, which is generally quite hot, the sea is also really nice during the summer (pretty warm as well, so i generally ws without a wetsuit) and the wind here isn't really that strong...
I'll practice my beach start when there's more wind and less people in the water. So far i'm still getting used to footsteering, windsurfing faster and moving back on the board.
The lifejacket or PFD or whatever is a mixed issue, but so far i've been advised not to use a lifejacket at this stage because i don't have to and it might just get in my way. anyways, i never get separated from the board even when i fall and for the paddling issue the first 2 times with a shortboard (this IS the first shortboard i've used) i paddled back to land. The wind is 95% of the time onshore (sideshore sometimes, and offshore only when there's not any wind =3) so getting back to land isn't a problem.
My parents DO want me to use a lifejacket tho, but unless i borrow my brother's one to practice waterstarting, i really don't want to buy one... xD
1st August 2011 08:07 PM
Floyd I think life jackets will ,in the event of you becoming unconcscious ,float you on your back with your mouth out of the water. A PFD/bouyancy aid will simply keep you afloat, not neccesarily face up !!!

Didnt realise there were any laws insisting on anything been worn anywhere in Europe. Must be difficult to enforce. an impact vest,many harnesses and all wet suits offer some level of bouyancy.

Been a couple of times I wished I`d worn impact vest; two broken ribs could have been avoided !!!
1st August 2011 02:12 PM
nakaniko Sorry my english is not so good, I was meaning that a lifejacket EN50 is a good help, I don't know the difference with a personal flotation device.
In Italy a windsurfer should always wear a EN50 Jacket (they are thinner compared to EN100 made for boats); otherwise he could get a not so low ticket by police or better coastal guard.
1st August 2011 01:20 PM
Floyd Take my comment back then Del !!!

I could never see point in wearing PFD/bouyancy aid (for WS;its different in Dinghy sailing/canoeing)

A certified life jacket will give safety benefits.
1st August 2011 06:54 AM
Del Carpenter Oops, I'm sorry I used the term PFD. A certified life jacket is what I always use.
1st August 2011 01:25 AM
nakaniko Remember is 14th and I suppose living in England, so not learning in a warm sea or a quiet lake. Imho a PFD can help, even their parents to leave serene him go windsurfing.
31st July 2011 05:22 PM
Floyd Just to play devils advocate here !!!

A PFD simply keeps you afloat ; which I`m pretty sure I do (most people??) in wetsuit and harness. (Try going under water in a wetsuit/harness ???)

Only time any flotation device would be of use is if you are knocked unconscious;in which case you are as likely to lay face down anyhow in a PFD??? A certified life jacket becomes the only viable help (ie one that floats you automatically on your back) I have never seen any windsurfer wearing such a device ???? (Not sure what the new numbers are but it used to be to BS 3595; PFD/Buoyancy aids do not meet standards)

IMO the best safety advice is never sail in conditions beyond your capabilities ; wear a helmet and suitable wetsuit/shoes and dont sail further out than you would be comfortable paddling your board back from?? Have a go at laying on board paddling. Its an essential self rescue skill.

I carry a length of rope and a spare UJ/Pin. (Bolts direct to fin box) If I`m sailing alone I take my mobile phone out (In aqua pack)

I`ve windurfed for 30 years and never been in a situation where a PFD would help ???? Had plenty of bruises on head; stood on urchins/rocks ???

Lets face it a board is a much better safety device than any PFD ????
How many instances have there been where PFD`s /Buoyancy aids have saved windsurfers ???
I dont know of any ?
31st July 2011 05:11 PM
nakaniko PFD for sure, can avoid you a lot of... salt water drinking. I mean in the first times of waterstarting in deeper waters you will obviously do a lot of mistakes and PFD will help you a lot.
Second, a PFD can also save your life in some situations, like loosing consciousness after a mast or board hit (it can happen in waves so there are riders wearing helmets also).
31st July 2011 09:58 AM
Del Carpenter "And should i go windsurfing with a PFD to try waterstarting?",
Dante, my advice is: always wear a PFD while windsurfing (unless you are jumping...and I would still wear one even then). I've windsurfed twice as many summers as you've been alive and I've never actually needed a PFD, but I always wear one, just in case. If we live long enough each of us will make plenty of stupid mistakes. I try to take advantage of the simple safety measures that will lessen the harm to me from my inevitable stupid mistakes. I hope you will too.
30th July 2011 05:44 AM
Roger Dante,
You can't have it all....all at once.
If you are uphualing alot, work on staying on top of the board with the rig in your hands
alot more.
When you only have to uphaul occasionally (like if you goof on one out of 10 tacks and jibes)
THEN work on your planing, and jibes.
Work on your beachstarts as much as possible.
A Beachstart is simply a shallow water waterstart.... where you don't use up all your energy trying
to position the rig in deep water.
Work on moving your board around in all directions by pushing on/manipulating the rig... in knee deep water (whatever depth clears the rear fin off the bottom) .
When you can steer your board into a slightly downwind alignment using only hands on the boom (perhaps one hand on the mast if you like, but both on the boom is better) from any direction, then begin to work toward doing the same thing in deeper water.
Deep water waterstarts will come with practice.
Remember to work on your techniques for a little while, then stop and go sail to have some fun, then
go back to working on your techniques.
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