Wakeboarding offers a special feeling of adrenaline rush. Aside from the excitement, wakeboarding also exposes you to the thrill of keeping your balance, or else you will see yourself in water. Falling from the board and hitting the water at a high speed can be unpleasant and rough. It can also be dangerous at times. As such, a life jacket is a very important part of your gear. It does not make sure that you stay afloat, but it also works in absorbing impact.
With so many options on wakeboard life jackets available, selecting the best one needs research and doing your homework. In order to help you out, we have rounded up the best wakeboard life jacket options out there. Each of them offers a unique set of features, pros, and cons. Browse through the options now!
1. O’Neill Men’s Slasher Comp Life Vest – Best for Performance-Oriented Wakeboarders
- Type: III
- Material Used: Nylon, NytroLite Foam
- Weight: 15.84 ounces
- Special Feature: Competition wakeboarding
- Designed for Competitive Wakeboarders
This wakeboard life jacket is made specifically for competitive wakeboarders who are looking for dependable protection from impact. Even though this life jacket is focused on absorbing the hit, the use of NytroLite foam in its construction offers an on-point buoyancy too. This material composition makes it usable for competition wakeboarding and waterskiing.
- NytroLite Foams
The use of NytroLite Foam in this wakeboard life jacket makes it three times lighter, 10% more buoyant, absorbing 15 to 20% less water compared to a regular PVC foam. It also combines together segmented foam core with anatomical flex points which allow for unrestricted movement.
- Slim Design
This wakeboard life jacket is one of the slimmest options out there, which means that you can comfortably wear it and do not even feel that you are wearing it. In order to offer you free movement, this wakeboard life jacket comes equipped with a segmented foam core and a lot of anatomical flex points.
- Single Zipper
The design of this wakeboard life jacket features a single zipper. Despite its design, the fit of this jacket is highly performing that it will not even move an inch even though you may end up hitting the water hard. The use of a front zipper that does not have buckles is also ideal for reducing bulk while ensuring easy entry and exit.
- Ideal for performance-oriented wakeboarders
- Lightweight and fit
- Front zipper for reducing bulk
- Some issues with being a single zipper
2. Airhead Men’s CAMO Cool Kwik-Dry Neolite Flex Life Jacket -Most Stylish Wakeboard Life Jacket
- Type: III
- Material Used: Kwik-Dry NeoLite
- Weight: 1.8 pounds
- Special Feature: Zippered closure
- Sturdy Features
This life jacket is considered among the best in terms of sturdiness. It can easily fit on a user even with a weight of over 90 pounds. Its sturdiness is also a result of the use of a 200-Denier Polyester material which is satisfactory when it comes to offering durability. It is also UV and stain-resistant. There is no doubt that this life jacket is built to last, which means that despite being a bit pricier than others, it is still a good investment because of its overall durability.
- Quality Foam Padding
This wakeboard life jacket is also very comfortable to use. It features Kwik-Dry NeoLite material with quality foam padding. These materials offer a hassle-free performance since it does not feel heavy, even when wet. Regardless of the amount of movement required, you can easily move without feeling uncomfortable. If comfort is what you are looking for, then there is no doubt that this life jacket is a competitive option on our list.
- Unique Design
Another interesting feature of this jacket is its unique design, loved by many. It offers a manly feel which can boost the confidence of any wakeboarder. Also, it comes in different sizes, giving options to customers for an excellent fit.
- Zippered Closure
This wakeboard life jacket is also preferred because of its zippered closure. Two hidden straps are available, measuring 1.5 inches. There are also two quick-release buckles that can be used to secure the jacket further into the body while wearing it.
- Ideal for users over 90 pounds
- Unique design and style
- Comfortable zippered closure
- Quite pricey
3. Draftline Comp Vest – Very Comfortable to Use
- Material Used: Aero-Jet Foam + Flex-Lite Neoprene
- Weight: 1.55 pounds
- Special Feature: Multi-Flex Pattern
- Aero-Jet Foam
This wakeboard life jacket uses aero-jet foam in its construction. This material makes this life jacket light, soft, and pillow-like, offering amazing durability. Another thing that makes this jacket a preferred option is that with the materials used, it is designed for minimal water absorption.
- Flex-Lite Neoprene
The Flex-Lite material is just flexible, lightweight, and soft. When it comes to materials used for life jackets, many would agree that this is the best option to add to the material list. The jersey is very smooth and soft, while the inner foam is light in weight, holding less water compared with other foams.
- Multi-Flex Pattern
This life jacket also features a multi-flex pattern, made possible by its use of segmented foam pockets that provide a better, and more engineered fit. This ensures improved comfort and increased maneuverability. It also features a stitch-through design that keeps the foam from moving or being displaced from between the neoprene through time.
- PK Reversible Zip and Zip Lock
This jacket is also equipped with a durable and high-quality reversible zipper. It also comes with a zipper and a zip head with a Velcro zip lock.
- Impact Side Panels
It also comes with a super stretch segmented foam for its side panels, which also ensures safety. It is responsible for providing extra protection against impact, especially when falling into the water.
- Neck Loop
This waterboard life jacket uses a nylon neck loop which may be used in hanging your vest for drying. Because it is not just left out anywhere, this also gives protection to the vest, making it more durable.
- Amazingly flexible
- Minimal water absorption
- Increased durability
- Single color and design
4. Hyperlite Indy CGA Wakeboard Vest Mens – Best Value for the Price
- Type: III
- Material Used: Segmented Foam Panels
- Weight: 1.5 pounds
- Special Feature: Superior Drain Ability
- Stylish Design
The Hyperlite Indy CGA life jacket is often considered one of the most stylish wakeboard life jacket options currently available on the market. It is popular, not just among pros, but even among beginners. It features a good combination of smooth black neoprene, along with an easy to see blue or red accent, making people see you right away even on the water.
- Segmented Foam Panels
This wakeboard life jackets feature segmented foam panels which makes movement while engaging in your favorite sport a whole lot easier. In order to stay secure and attached to your body, it features a strong zipper, along with two extra buckles located in the middle.
- Durable Materials
The use of these powerful combinations of materials makes it possible for this wakeboard life jacket to dry easier compared with other jackets. The bonus is that despite these wonderful features, it is affordable, making it one of the preferred choices among wakeboarders.
- Good Fitting and Proper Floating
This wakeboard life jacket is an amazing option for those who are not searching for all unnecessary features. It is designed to focus most on the important factors – proper floating and good fitting. The concealed straps give it a low-profile, but it provides the basic features that are needed for a good flotation device.
- Real value for the price
- Dries fast
- Modern look
- No clear indication whether this is coast guard approved
5. Mens Neoprene Wakesurf Comp Vest – Designed Exclusively for Watersports
- Type: III
- Material Used: Staylite Foam
- Weight: 1.7 pounds
- Special Feature: 4-Way Stretch Neoprene
- Staylite Foam Material
The use of staylite foam material in the construction of this wakeboard life jacket makes it very absorbent. It absorbs up to 30% of water compared with other foams, decreasing the overall weight while offering 10% more buoyancy compared to a regular PVC foam. This provides the assurance that the jackets dry faster, allowing users to stay comfortable all throughout the entire day.
- Light and Comfortable
With the surf fit feature of this life jacket, the foam is removed in the critical areas, designing this vest to be both light and comfortable. This will easily allow any user to move better when doing their favorite water sport, including wakeboarding. It fits the body just like a glove in terms of comfort.
- 4-Way Stretch Neoprene
The use of 4-way stretch neoprene makes this life jacket the softest and most comfortable option out there in the neoprene jacket category. This also allows the vest to stretch up to four directions, making sure that it has the capacity to fit all types of body securely and properly.
- Proper Fitting Life Vest
This life vest makes time while doing watersports more enjoyable. While this is primarily designed for wakesurfing, it is also amazing for all types of watersports activities. This is not just recommended for professionals, but also for beginners who are still learning the ropes in wakeboarding.
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Softest neoprene material
- Proper fitting life vest
- Not approved by the US Coast Guard
Buyer’s Guide – How to Choose the Best Wakeboard Life Jacket
Are you planning to choose a wakeboarding life jacket for yourself? The thing is, there are a lot of things that need to be taken into consideration. This information is not readily available for beginners. To help you out, here are some features that you can take into consideration:
The size, including the fit, of your wakeboarding life jacket, is very important when making a decision. If the life jacket is way too small, it will be uncomfortable for you, restricting you from moving properly. Also, if the size is too large, it may easily get in the way, even coming off easily if you fall on the water.
It is often a good idea to check the product specifications, carefully measuring your chest even before ordering. You may notice that many models come with a universal size, but they may not be good if you are either particularly petite or large, which is the way it is very important to get the size that is right for your size.
Another very important thing that needs to be taken into consideration is whether you want a buckled or zippered life jacket. There is a difference between these two when it comes to performance.
For this reason, it is important to make an option based on your personal preferences. There are some zippered models that feature quick-release buckles, though some only feature one or two just for protection.
Even though style and appearance is not the most important factor to consider, other people usually pay attention to how your jacket looks. This is the reason why manufacturers go the extra mile in making life jackets look stylish and easily noticeable on water.
Among the most commonly used materials for wakeboard life jackets include nylon, polyester, and neoprene. They are durable and strong, and lightweight at the same time. Most models also use PE foam core for the fill, except for life jackets that are higher-end, which often feature lighter alternatives.
The wakeboard life jackets included in this list are made out of high-quality materials, but selecting the most appropriate one highly depends on what you are looking for. If comfort is your priority, then it is recommended to choose one that is made out of neoprene. Also, if you prefer durability above others, the better option is choosing a nylon vest.
1. What is a wakeboarding life jacket?
A wakeboarding life jacket offers both impact protection and buoyancy. Unlike a normal life jacket, it is designed for intense water sports, protecting against injury the moment that you hit the water at high speed. Also, some wakeboard life jackets are segmented, allowing for free arm movement.
2. What are the differences between a wakeboarding life jacket and a jet skiing life jacket?
By design, wakeboarding life jackets are designed to be less bulky, offering better protection against impact. Note, however, that there are some models that can be used safely for both wakeboarding and jet skiing that you may not really notice the difference.
3. Is a wakeboarding life jacket designed to keep wakeboarders floating after falling off the water?
One thing that makes a wakeboard life jacket different is that it is not only designed to provide protection but also serves as a tool for buoyancy. The models that are included in this list are very buoyant, not allowing you to just sink. Note, however, that in terms of buoyancy, they may be rated as either type III or V, meaning that they are not designed for you to turn face-up.
4. What usually happens if you don’t wear a wakeboarding life jacket?
Without a wakeboarding life jacket, you could easily go underwater. If you are not confident being a good swimmer, foregoing the use of a life jacket may only endanger your life. Even if you are a good swimmer, but without a wakeboarding experience, it is highly recommended to wear a life jacket since your feet will be tightly secured inside the boots, restricting you from swimming efficiently.
Without a life jacket, it may be challenging to spot you right away, which is why a quick rescue may not be expected when an emergency comes. This is why a wakeboarding life jacket is highly important.
5. What is the advantage of using a life jacket while wakeboarding?
A wakeboarding life jacket will keep you safe and floating in the water. If you have previous experience in wakeboarding, then you know that wearing the boots will make it difficult to swim and safely get on board. A life jacket will help you stay afloat.
In this article, we have highlighted the best wakeboard life jacket options currently available on the market days. Note that a good life jacket is very important in making sure that you stay safe while enjoying your favorite sport.
Wakeboarding is a high-intensity activity that easily exposes you to potential scenarios that may leave you unconscious or injured. Choose one of the life jacket choices available to give you the needed protection when these unlikely events happen. With the information provided in this guide, you are now in a better position to have access to the best wakeboard life jacket that will enable you to focus on the fun.