Personal Flotation Device Types – What you need to know


You are required to have one Personal Flotation Device or PFD (US Coast Guard Approved) for every person on your boat that is 16 feet or longer (kayaks and canoes check your state’s regulation). The PFD must be the appropriate size, for your passengers. You are also required to have one throwable device. PFD’s are classified by Type, i.e. Type I, II, III, IV & V. The rule of thumb is the lower the number the better the effectiveness, with Type I being the best. Below is a description of each Type.

Type I

This is considered the Off Shore Life Jacket. It is best for all water types, but especially if you are in rough or remote water like an open ocean, where water rescue may be slow to show up or find you. Type I off shore life jackets are designed to turn the most unconscious wearers face-up in the water,
they are bright usually orange so they are highly visible. The minimum amount of buoyancy required for Type I PFDs is 22 lbs, they are mainly intended for commercial use.

Type I Life Jacket 

Type II

This is you Near-Shore Buoyant Vest. If you have been boating recreationally for any time, you will recognize this type as your typical old school, inexpensive, orange personal flotation device with one strap. Type II PFDs are good for calm, inland water where you will likely be rescued quickly, not for the ocean or rough seas. The minimum amount of buoyancy required for Type II PFDs is 15.5 lbs.

Type II Personal Flotation Device

Type III

The Type III Flotation Aid PFD is also for use in calm, inland waters where you have a good chance of being rescued quickly. Do not use in rough seas or the open ocean. Type III PFDs come in a variety of styles Continue reading “Personal Flotation Device Types – What you need to know”

Boating Safety Checklist – Prepare & Prevent instead of Repair & Repent

boat at marina

Whether you are new to boating or a seasoned boater it is always smart to use a pre-departure Boating Safety Checklist before you head out on the water. The US Coast Guard also offers a complimentary boat examination to verify the presence and condition of safety equipment required by state and federal regulations. A specialist in your area will check out your boat and also recommend helpful boating safety tips. A virtual online safety check is available as well.

Put the drain plug in!

The drain plug goes in, before the boat goes in the water. This could possibly be one of the first mistakes new (and many experienced) boaters make. Not sure where the drain plug is or how to put it in? Here is a video that will walk you through the process.

 Check your weather

Most people today have weather apps right on their cell phones, so make sure to check the conditions before you head out. While on the water if you notice things like the clouds getting dark, or sudden drop in temperature, turbulent winds, be safe and get off the water.

Personal Flotation Devices (PFD) – Wear Your Life Jacket

PFDs (also known as Life Jackets) have to be U.S. Coast Guard approved, and in good serviceable condition. Check all your PFDs before the start of each boating season, throw out ones that are no longer in serviceable condition and replace with new ones. PFDs also have to be a suitable size for each person on the boat. Children on the boat must have properly Continue reading “Boating Safety Checklist – Prepare & Prevent instead of Repair & Repent”

Stand Up Paddle Board Inflatable vs Hard

Purchasing a Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP) is an investment because they are expensive, and now you are faced with a choice, do I buy a stand up paddle board that is inflatable, or a hard rigid board? Some may think that an inflatable SUP will be less expensive, but they really can be just as expensive as a rigid board, if you buy a good quality board.

Most Suited for:

Inflatable: Good for rivers, traveling, easy to transport, dogs, friends who are new to paddle boarding, and they are easy to store.

Inflatable paddle board

Hard Board: Better for paddling long distances, glides better on the water, highly responsive, SUP racing, and easier to SUP surf on the ocean.

Rigid Paddle Board


Inflatable: As hard as it is to imagine, SUP inflatables are actually very durable, you have to think more on the lines of a white water raft material, which makes them a better choice when paddling rocky rivers. They also won’t scratch or get dings in them like a hard board will.

Hard: Although these fiberglass boards are tough, they are more likely to get scratched or dinged, especially If you hit your rigid paddle board on a rock, or you drop it. Minor blemishes won’t affect the integrity of your board, but deep dings or cracks need to be fixed immediately. Your board can warp from any moisture that gets into the core of the board, and a warped SUP will not ride well on the water.  Continue reading “Stand Up Paddle Board Inflatable vs Hard”

Best Wakesurf Boards – 2018

New materials, new designs make these boards some of the best wakesurf boards for 2018.

1. Hyperlite Broadcast Wakesurfer

The Hyperlite Broadcast board is the perfect solution for beginner and intermediate alike, due to the wider belly which creates stability under the rider’s feet. It features a full EVA traction pad that covers the whole deck so that riders can position their feet anywhere the want. The dual concave base, a new minimal rocker design, swallow tail, and rolled edge profile is sure to provide fast responsive ride. It comes is two lengths 4’8″, and 5’4″.

Hyperlite Broadcastorange button

2. Liquid Force Rocket Wakesurfer

This surf style board is for the Intermediate to advance rider. It comes in 3 Lengths; 4″8″, 5’0″, & 5’4″. The fins are a 2+1 interchangeable setup, so you can ride the board as a twin fin for that “fish” feel or as a thruster for added drive down the line. The single to double concave base and winged swallow tail provides maximum stability and float and it glides effortlessly.

Liquid Force Rocket

Orange Button

3. CWB Habit Wakesurfer

The CWB Habit is a low profile Skim Style Wakesurf Board build for high level riders. It features a flat rocker line, 1″ single fin for fast reaction. This board is built for technical riders and those that enjoy a skate like feel. 2 Lengths: 4’8″ and 5’2″

CWB HabitOrange Button

4. Ronix Koal Fish Classic

The Koal Fish Classic is Ronix’s longest running high end surf style board. Features a swallow tail design, with the Ronix tooless Fin-S system; 1-3″ symmetric fins provide the rider with that extra skatey more reactive ride, or choose a mellow cruise with the 2-4″ symmetric fins. The 2018 model has a wider more stable nose design and faster rockerline. 2 lengths” 5’4″ and 4’10”.

Ronix Koal Fish Classic

5. Phase Five Avenger Wake Skimboard

New for 2018. The Avenger is the ‘little brother” to the Phase Five Matrix. It offers the same shape and rides great but comes at a lower price than the Matrix. The Avenger has a 2″ fin for stability, kicktail, a full deck pad for better traction with no slippery spots, and is designed to perform riding in both directions. Available in two lengths 4’8″ and 5’1″.  Continue reading “Best Wakesurf Boards – 2018”

Best Beginner Wakesurf Board – How do I know where to start?

What is wakesurfing and how do you pick the best beginner wakesurf board?

What is Wakesurfing?

Wakesurfing is a cross between surfing and wakeboarding. The wakesurf rider gets up behind an inboard ski/wakeboard boat on the wakesurf board using a tow rope. Once the rider is on top of the water and the boat is traveling about 9-12 miles per hour, the rider finds a sweet spot in the wake where the rope is slack and no longer needed. The rider then tosses the rope in the boat and continues the surf in the boats wake.

Things to know before buying your first beginner wakesurf board.

Below are some of the key things you will want to know about wakesurf boards to make an informed decision as to what is best for you and your family.

Board Style

There are three styles of Wakesurf Boards:

  1. Surf Style – This style is the easiest for the beginner to learn on, these boards are longer, typically they have a board length of 5’2″ or longer, and a wider surface area which makes it easier to keep your balance. The Surf Style board has two or more fins, a long center fin 2″-2.5″ can also help increase stability. The Surf style is more suited for big carves and catching air off the wake. It is also a better ride behind a boat that does not produce a large wake.
  2. Skim Style – The skim style board is for the more advanced rider, it is shorter and typically only has one fin. This style is popular for doing spins, airs and other tricks because it is looser on the water
  3. Hybrid Style – this board combines the speed and push of the surf style slick maneuverability of the skim style. The hybrid style board is become more popular.

Fin Setup

  • Single Fin – This acts like a rudder, it offers stability, and control but doesn’t generate speed on its own like multiple fin setups. This is best suited for larger waves.
  • Twin Fin – This setup has more of a skateboard feel on the water. It performs great on smaller waves.
  • Three Fin – The three fin is the most popular setup choice. The outside fins help generate speed and the center fin helps with stability and control. This setup is good for most any kind of water condition.
  • Four Fin – This Fin setup is all about speed, while still giving the rider control. It is best suited for large waves.
  • Five Fin – The five fin design will offer good control and balance but will slow your board down. The advantage to this type of set up is that the number of fins can be removed, so you don’t have to choose between two, three, or four fins you can have all the options here.

Tail Shape

The tail shape determines how your board carves and turns through the water. Below are the basic tail designs, variations exist depending on the manufacturer you choose.  Continue reading “Best Beginner Wakesurf Board – How do I know where to start?”