This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Geoff 9 months ago.

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  • #4819

    Larry Swindell

    This has probably been brought up on the forum already but I did not see it going back through all the posts.  What is the ruling on PFDs and windsurfing in the Finger Lakes?  I am looking to get back into the sport after a 10 year hiatus and I remember the law was that you had to have a PFD on board.  we used to strap them to the base of the mast etc.   Is this still the case?  If so what is the preferred setup?  Do some people use the inflatables?  Also curious if that law also applies to SUPs.


  • #4825


    Hi Larry,


    Glad you found the website and joined the discussion on the forum.  Welcome back!

    As far as I know, the rules have not changed regarding PFD’s on the Finger Lakes.  You need to be wearing one, or have one on board.  The windsurfers are split (informal observation) on who wears one, and who does not.  I wear a NP Flotation vest (not Coast Guard approved PFD) that is similar to a Kayak style Life Jacket.  I don’t even notice I have it on.  For may of the regulars that wear PFD’s this is the preferred model. Low profile, big arm holes, a strap that goes under your waist harness to keep it from riding up. Some of the kite guys wear them as well.  Helps out a bunch with water starts and gives significant buoyancy.  Some of the guys don’t wear vests at all.

    Hope that helps ya out.  See ya on the water.


  • #4828


    Doug is correct.

    Floatation vests are not USCG approved, and if you were ever stopped by the CG it wouldn’t save you from a ticket. But it looks pretty good and I’ve never heard of any windsurfer being stopped. I have the same basic one and like it very much.

    Kayaking rodeo jackets are probably the best call if you choose to have a real Class III PFD, because they’re high waisted and provide some room for the harness hook. I used to use one of those, before NP came out with their jacket.

    I will not get into the debate here on whether one should or shouldn’t. I’d note that the rower who died recently (was in the news a few weeks ago) had a PFD in the boat but not on his body when he drowned. But a PFD won’t add significantly more floatation than the board it’s tied to (which is already floating you), so I don’t see the rationale for tying it to the board (other than compliance).

    Oh, and another plus for wearing one is that when you fall and get launched onto the boom, the padding helps prevent rib fractures (which I’ve done on multiple occasions).


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