New Options for Personal Flotation Devices

What do you think about the new PFD’s now hitting the market?  Paddle Canada as a valued member of Transport Canada’s National Recreational Boating Advisory Council (NRBAC)  is spreading the word, so that paddlers may have a say.  These new devices also are part of a larger North American lifejacket and personal flotation device harmonization (USA and Canada).  The current PFD we use is a Level 70 but the there is now a Level 50 which is less buoyant and less bulky to wear.  It’s marketed as a swim aid and not a PFD.

For the Stand Up Paddleboard market, when leashed to the board, this could be a great alternative to inflatables and bulkier Level 70.  It may have other good applications in the paddling market as well, when in a group training situation, competition and other situations.  You are invited to learn more and have your say at Transport Canada’s Let’s Talk.  You do have to register yourself on the site to participate. There is a May 17 deadline for comment, however the NRBAC members have recommended the date be extended to allow more time and more comments, to which Transport Canada has agreed.

1) Level 50 Buoyancy Aids

New options are available in Canadian standards for a more compact PFD, which is intended for:

  • near shore sheltered waters; and
  • activities where assistance is nearby.

These devices are not as buoyant, are less bulky, lighter in weight, and are intended for those with swimming skills. Boaters are likely to find them more comfortable and wearable.

2) Youth Inflatable PFDs

Inflatable PFDs are:

  • generally accepted as being more comfortable to wear;
  • clearly distinguishable from the foam child devices that young teens may be resistant to wear; and
  • not intended for weak or non-swimmers.

You are invited to learn more and have your say at Transport Canada’s Let’s Talk.