Best Wakeboard Life Jacket/Vest

Best Wakeboard Life Jacket/Vest

Best Wakeboard Life Jacket/Vest

If wakeboarding is a sport you adore, you’re in the same boat as me. I have enjoyed the sport for as long as I can remember. I know from experience that the waters can be quite daunting, especially if you are just starting.
Read ahead to find a buying guide where I can help you pick the best wakeboard life jacket/vest that puts your safety first.

A Guide for All Your Wakeboard Life Jackets/Vests Queries

As you go out on the waters and wakeboard, a life vest can ensure your safety. It will also support your upper body to damage any internal organs if you crash. There is no excuse for not wearing a vest. Besides, it has made me so much more confident as I experiment and have fun wakeboarding.
Read ahead to find out what you should look for in a wakeboard life jacket/vest.

What Are the Types of Vests/Jackets Available?

There are two kinds of vests available on the market. You can pick of these depending on your wakeboarding experience and state regulations. I will describe each type to you in detail.
  • United States Coast Guard Approved (USCGA) Life Jackets
I recommend this life jacket for everyday wakeboarding purposes. This life jacket has been put to the test repeatedly to see if it is effective at keeping you afloat. These come with nylon straps and buckles that are sturdy and keep the vest wrapped snugly around you.
This is designed to keep you floating on the water, whether you’re conscious or unconscious. Most states require you to wear a USCGA life jacket whenever you do wakeboarding.
It is also a good option for those of you that are amateur swimmers or can’t swim at all. If you’re thinking about the aesthetics, many of these life jackets today are designed to look very stylish.
  • Competition Vests
There are large variations when it comes to competition vests. Their floatation depends on their manufacturer and style.
These are thinner and more flexible compared to USCGA life jackets. They also keep you warmer as your wakeboard. Hence, they are popularly used by wakeboarders who compete professionally. Professional swimmers also use them.
During competitive wakeboarding, you will be out on the waters in a controlled environment. You will have safety personnel who will watch you and come to your aid if there are any accidents.
I will not recommend this vest for a beginner or even intermediate wakeboarder who is recreationally taking part in the sport.
  • Disclaimers of Competitive Vests
Here are some of the disclaimers you should keep in mind when wearing a competition vest.
  • You could injure yourself or drown while wearing the vest.
  • It does not conform to USCGA standards.
  • It should only be worn under supervision and constant observation in competitive environments.
  • The vest does not have sufficient buoyancy or distribution to keep conscious or unconscious people afloat.
  • It has not been designed to offer impact protection to wakeboarders.
They are also not approved by several states. Hence, I recommend this vest only if you plan to compete as a professional wakeboarder. Make sure that you pick one that fits you just right.
As a professional, even if you are not wearing a life jacket, a competitive impact vest is a must. Here is a video to help you understand why

What Features Should My Wakeboard Life Jacket Have?

Your life jacket can save your life as your wakeboard. Read ahead to find the features you should keep in mind when purchasing your wakeboard life jacket.
  • Fit
Buying a well-fitting jacket is crucial to your safety. It is a good idea to ensure that the jacket you buy fits you in an extremely snugly manner. There should be no air between your body and the life jacket. If you fall when you are wakeboarding, any air between the jacket and your body can cause it to rip. From my experience, I also know that these wakeboard life jackets tend to expand in water. For this reason, I recommend that you buy a life jacket that fits you so tight that it pushes against your skin, and you can feel your breath. In water, this will then be the right fit for you. Manufacturers have a weight range and chest size attached to each wakeboard life jacket. Pick one that goes best with your chest size. Ensure that it fits your arms, chest, and torso just right so that it has no chance of coming off.
  • Style
It is possible to look stylish while wearing your wakeboard life jacket. You just have to pick an entry on your life jacket that suits your signature style. One of the options available to you is the front zipper style. You can wear your life jacket like a shirt and zip it uptight with this classic. You can also opt for the front buckle that lets you adjust the life jacket to fit your body the right way. A style many people opt for is the pullover vest. You can simply slip into it like you would with a t-shirt. It may feature zips in the back or the side. They will fit you extremely snugly. While these look very stylish, it may be a little difficult to slip in and out of them. Today, many life jackets are also made sleek and compact so that you won’t have to worry about the bulk.
  • Material
I suggest that you pick a material that makes your wakeboard life jacket strong and durable. My favorite materials are nylon, neoprene, and polyester. Most of these jackets are filled with PE foam. If comfort is your priority, neoprene may be the best option for you. If durability is your go-to feature, look for life jackets made out of nylon.

Top 5 Wakeboard Life Jackets/Vests for You

You now know what you should pay attention to while picking the right wakeboard life jacket or vest for you. Here are my top 5 picks for the best wakeboard life jacket/vest in the market.

Hyperlite Indy Neo CGA Wakeboard Vest

Hyperlite Indy Neo CGA Wakeboard Vest

Harmonized Approval (U.S. Coast Guard and Transport Canada approved)

Segmented, anchored foam panels

Secure belt loops

Check Price in USD

I like this jacket because of just how affordable it is. It is a great option if you are just a beginner at wakeboarding. It is made of neoprene material and will last for a long time. It has a V-back flex panel design that will fit you fabulously, whatever your body type. It is also very flexible. I prefer this as it allows you a range of movement as you wakeboard. Its segmented sections in the front and back enable this. It also remains lightweight in water as its glideskin side panels prevent water absorption. It is one of those vests that come with front zip and two hidden adjustable belts. Once you find the right size, you can pull it snugly around your body to fit you well.

Pros

  • Can fit several body types well.
  • USCG approved.
  • Segmented foam in the front and back to increase wakeboarding mobility.
  • Glideskin that keeps excess water away and dries quickly.
  • Oversized armholes for a better fit.
  • Great value for money.
  • Zip in the center and two hidden adjustable side buckles.

Cons

  • Sizing may be different from the description.

Liquid Force Hinge CGA Wakeboard Vest

Liquid Force Hinge CGA Wakeboard Vest

PVX & PVE Foam Hydrid Vest Lightweight, Soft, Stretchable

Minimal Waist Taper for an Accommodating Fit

Coast Guard Approved (CGA)

Check Price in USD

It’s a versatile wakeboard vest that can provide you with some much-needed flexibility. If you’re done wakeboarding for the day, you can use it for wake-surfing or even just running about the waterpark. I picked this vest because it is lightweight and feels like a second skin. This is because of its material foam and Neoprene, making this perfect pick. It also sits very well on your body. I understand that your safety comes first, and this vest is both USCG and Transport Canada approved. To add to this sweet deal, it is designed to keep your head floating above the water if you happen to fall.

Pros

  • Comes with a 1-year warranty period.
  • Will keep your head above the water if there is an emergency.
  • Contains buckles that will fit you just right.
  • USCG approved.
  • Versatile.
  • Lightweight.

Cons

  • May not keep you very warm.

O’Brien Flex V-Back Neoprene Wakeboard Life Jacket

O’Brien Flex V-Back Neoprene Wakeboard Life Jacket

Split V-Back stretch panel for a more accommodating fit

Soft, lightweight, breathable and eco-friendly material

Zip closure and 2 concealed, adjustable belts for security

Check Price in USD

The right fit is crucial for any good wakeboard life jacket. This one from O’Brien fits the bill because of its adjustable fit. It has two webbing straps that come with buckles so that you can adjust them to fit your body snugly. You won’t find any air pockets between the jacket and your body. I recommend this life jacket because it keeps you flexible while wakeboarding. Its biotite construction makes it very light, and its v-back neck makes it rather flexible. It also has wide armholes for a better range of motion. I also like how the wakeboard jacket looks in its silver or yellow options. This keeps you looking stylish and visible on the water.

Pros

  • Flexible vest with a v-shaped back.
  • Lightweight.
  • Durable due to Biotite construction.
  • Comes with secure zipping and buckling options.
  • Very comfortable.

Cons

  • Sizing may be a bit tight.
  • May ride up with the extra movement.

Hyperlite Domain CGA Life Jacket

Hyperlite Domain CGA Life Jacket

Segmented Foam Panels

Independent Segmented Rib Panels

US Coast Guard Approved & Transport Canada Approved

Check Price in USD

I find that this vest works very well for anyone looking to get the best range of motion from a life jacket. It has segmented rib panels that give you spectacular comfort and performance. It has a zipper in the front to keep it fitting you very well. It also has good quality PVC buckles and belt loops that can keep it from slipping off as you are wakeboarding. I also find that this jacket dries rather quickly once it leaves the water.

Pros

  • Combines competitive performance with life vest security.
  • Superior Drain-Ability.
  • Features segmented rib panels that are independent.
  • Good sizing.

Cons

  • Not very stylish.

Liquid Force Squad (Grey/Black) Comp Vest

Liquid Force Squad (Grey/Black) Comp Vest

Power-Flex Neo – Supportive And Fits Like A Second Skin

Advanced 18-Panel Flex-Architecture Design

Tapered Waist and Wide Arm Openings

Check Price in USD

If you are a good swimmer, this may be one of the best wakeboard vests for you. Constructed from PVX, it is extremely lightweight and flexible From my experience, I know that it fits me like a glove. It has an 18-panel design with a bio-spine and flexes ride rib panels to keep your performance high. It is very comfortable and is made of power-flex neoprene that ensures this. This vest also offers ample arm room through its large arm openings for a good range of motion. It has a secure zip on the front so that it fits you snugly.

Pros

  • Lightweight with PVX foam.
  • Large arm openings for movement.
  • Very flexible.
  • Reversible for two styling options.
  • Impact protection.

Cons

  • Not USCG approved.
  • Does not offer good visibility.
  • Not very affordable.
  • Only suitable for experienced swimmers.

Top Pick

All of the wakeboard life jackets or vests that I have picked has some wonderful features. However, safety is the priority. For this reason, I think that the Liquid Force Hinge CGA Wakeboard Vest is the best option on the list. It comes at an affordable price and will keep your head above the water if there are any mishaps. It is also very lightweight and will let you perform well on the water. Using its buckles, you will also be able to get a much better fit than most other vests. To top it all, it is USCG approved.

Endnotes

The main purpose of every life jacket is safety. Whether you are wakeboarding recreationally or in a competition, a vest is simply a must. Even if you are excellent at wakeboarding, a good vest can save your life. I recommend that you pick a USCGA vest, especially if you are just starting. In my opinion, bright colors on your vest will let your friends know exactly where on the water you are. With the right fit, you can wakeboard your way with confidence.