Safety requirements

More
12 years 8 months ago #8580 by Draftbuster
Watching the discussion on PFD's unfold :) Laws and Bylaws aside.
What should the minimum requirement be set at by race organizers?
Should they be a suggestion?or should they be an enforceable rule?

Personally I believe that all ocean ski events should have the minimum requirement of a PFD and a leg leash.And depending on the length of the race the carrying of fluids should be required.

The wearing of a PFD and leash is easily enforced,DQ anyone that crosses the line without one repeat offenders will have their entries rejected at future races.The carrying of water will be more difficult to enforce but the capacity to carry fluids can at least be checked.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
12 years 8 months ago #8584 by Rightarmbad
Replied by Rightarmbad on topic Re: Safety requirements
Wearing a PFD on a hot race can be just as much a negative safety factor as carrying not enough water.
I think think they should be recommended but allowed not to be worn if it is really hot and a short race where help is at hand.

If paddling down the coast past undeveloped areas, then they should be mandatory.

I think water should be your own option, you gain nothing by not carrying anything for a longer event and carrying none for a shorter event carries no associated risk.
Let paddlers make their own decision.

I think a leg leash should be mandatory and a paddle leash as well unless it is relatively calm.
I always have them in open water, even though I mostly don't wear a PFD much.

Long events along open coast should carry radio/phone.

Anything more serious and I think the organisers already have a handle on it.

I really think that we should be considered adults and let us make our own decisions unless there are particular not normally considered risks identified.

Freedom is a major part of surf ski, don't taint one of the basic reasons people get into the sport.

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
12 years 8 months ago #8585 by Dicko
Replied by Dicko on topic Re: Safety requirements
All very sensible RAB and would have agreed totally a couple of years ago. The problem is, trouble doesn't care if it's flat or lonely, hot or cold. In my case I decided to develop a heart arythmia 2 kms out to sea on a lovely day, in a built up area.
It could just as easily have been a muscle strain or dislocation or broken paddle. The PFD is security for you and the guys paddling with you. A surfski is the crappiest piece of rescue equipment ever. It just doesn't work.
Wearing the thing was a hassle for 2 weeks, now it's like putting on a seatbelt, I just do it and it doesn't feel right without it.
I just figure now that the day I don't wear it is the day I'll need it, cos you don't get to pick and choose when you will need it.
The best thing is there's a race tomorrow and all my mates are bitching about their PFD's and for me it's no different.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
12 years 8 months ago #8586 by Kayaker Greg
I agree with you Dicko, I wear a PFD all the time and just don't notice it, would feel strange not to wear one and if not wearing one where would my communications gear be kept? Seems common sense to wear it. Most races here require that one is carried in the ski if not on the body, this makes no sense to me either cause if you really need to be wearing one are you going to be able to put it on if the need arises? And if its tied to your ski what is the point if the ski is lost? Having said that, I kind of also resist the mandatory wearing of one, like seat belts, helmets, how is the human race going to evolve further if we keep protecting those of the lesser intelligence from themselves? :laugh:

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
12 years 8 months ago #8588 by Rightarmbad
Replied by Rightarmbad on topic Re: Safety requirements
My only complaint is that PFD's are hot, maybe I should fall in more often.
I would simply like the choice of evils.

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
12 years 8 months ago #8591 by mckengmsurfski
I wear a PFD everytime I paddle. But that's my choice.
Personally, I think everyone (every adult that is...) has the right to make their own decision on the subject. I feel the same way about mandatory helmets, seatbelts, etc...
I raced bicycles for 20 years, and trained 6 days a week without a helmet for 15 of those. I can recall being yelled at and lectured to by many a cyclist, bike shop owners, sponsors, etc... I told them that their reasons were logical and mine likely were not, but it was my choice, not theirs.
Interestingly, I have been stopped by the authorities here while out training and asked to remove my Mocke PFD for them to examine. Since the Mocke is not USCG approved, they've threated me with $465 (USD) fines. Whether I'm right or they are is a whole other story, but the bottom line is that even wearing a PFD is not good enough; it has to be one that the federal government has earned $$ from through the costly USCG approval process. So, now people who don't even know what a surfski is are trying to tell me which PFD is best for paddling one.
Once you start mandating things in races, on group paddles, etc.. the bureaucracy is sure to follow, and the lawyers will follow that, then before you know it, it's not our sport anymore.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
12 years 8 months ago #8592 by Kocho
Replied by Kocho on topic Re: Safety requirements
Have you guys tried the Astral V8 PFD? I got one and I feel it is probably the coolest PFD available with several neat tricks up it's sleeve to keep you cool (of course, it's got no sleeves -;) And it is also one of the lightest. The only thing cooler would be a belt type inflatable, I gather.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
12 years 8 months ago #8593 by Red
Replied by Red on topic Re: Safety requirements
For everyone who may think regulations such as those for PFDs (or any other mandatory safety device for that matter on water or off) are an intrusion on your freedom, spare a thought for those people who have to come to your aid when it goes bad (of which I am one). These people risk their lives to save yours. Make their job a little easier, swallow your pride and use the safety equipment.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
12 years 8 months ago #8595 by mckengmsurfski
Red, point taken and also something I heard over the many years I rode around without a helmet on my dumb skull.
I do think the my point extends beyond that though. It is not about pride or lack of respect for others, it is about where do you draw the line on the regs and who is making these regs.
Like I said, I've been threatened with large fines while wearing a PFD b/c it hadn't been through USCG testing, not because it was inadequate or woundn't do the job, by people sent out to enforce a regulation that they don't even know (again, I whole other side to this issue). They are out there to protect and 'come to your aid' right? Instead, they're handing out fines and nit-picking regulations when there are bound to be more pressing safety issues right at their feet.
So, in the end the PFD I choose to wear isn't good enough, even though I wear it everyday and it has been proven in real world surfski situations time and time again.
Funnier still, if I stuffed a USCG-approved PFD under my bungees and paddled without one on my person but on my boat, I was told I would be legal... So, as one of those who 'risk their lives to save yours.', I ask you which is better? The PFD that's hot, uncomfortable, lacks features, and thus goes under the bungees on my boat (but has that all-important USCG stamp). Or the one that is cool, wearable in all weather, that can hold a cell phone and flares in its front pocket, but that lacks a government stamp?
Do I think you are right, that everyone should wear a PFD? Yes.
Do I think that it should be regulated? I guess that depends on who's doing the regulating. As it stands over here right now, I'd say no.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
12 years 8 months ago #8598 by Rightarmbad
Replied by Rightarmbad on topic Re: Safety requirements
Bike helmets were a problem for cyclists with getting hot being the same sticking point.
If PFD's up the design to be cooler the problem will also go away.

I always cycle with a helmet because they are comfortable and no longer a heat machine.

Being able to stuff your PFD under the bungies shows me that there has been little thought for the actual use and conditions that authorities are wanting to regulate for.

Any law deserves a similar disrespect until it is well thought out and appropriate.

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
12 years 8 months ago #8612 by AR_convert
Replied by AR_convert on topic Re: Safety requirements

Rightarmbad wrote: If PFD's up the design to be cooler the problem will also go away.

I always cycle with a helmet because they are comfortable and no longer a heat machine.


Had to paddle in an Adventure race on the weekend with a helmet, this stipulated by the event organisers because the race takes us out through a river mouth and the swell meeting the outgoing river current quite often see's many ski's being capsized and the concern was for people being cleaned up in that surf.....the good helmets are so well designed you don't even notice them on, and as I was having to transition to a bike leg after the paddle it was one less thing I had to worry about ;)

The organisers this year also stuffed me with my PFD, I bought an inflatable PFD just for this race to clip around the waist , which had been allowed in previous years but they now want those to be worn over the neck, couldn't understand that, I know if I was having a heart attack I'd be able to get it over my neck no worries :whistle:

Always looking for the next boat :)

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
12 years 8 months ago #8614 by Rightarmbad
Replied by Rightarmbad on topic Re: Safety requirements
If I had a heart attack driving or riding my bike, I don't think that a seat belt or helmet would save me.

I don't think that PFD's should be expected to save me from anything but what the environment I am in will present to me.

It should save me in a case of a dangerous immersion in the water where other help is not available.
Nothing more.

It should not hinder my primary safety to remount, it should not put me into a hyperthermic condition where not having one would not have.
I would also like the option of tethering it to myself on a string to allow me to remove it so as to swim effectively.

Bicycle helmets worn by drivers of cars would save many head injuries, way more than any other activity, why are we not legislating for this to happen?

It could easily be argued that a helmet and an inflatable PFD would be extremely safe as it guards from head injuries in the surf zone amongst other boats and a very low profile inflatable jacket could be made extremely cool.
I would be much happier for that to be enforced in a race situation.

Now even though it is alright for a yachty going in a major race to wear an inflatable, we are not allowed.

Put some real common sense into the thinking and I will follow the rules.
Until then, I will protect myself to my own list of considered dangers with the best equipment I can find for the job.


My wish list would be for a pfd mounted with velcro on the boat tethered to myself by a string that would allow me to fall off and reenter without dislodging it or at least being very easy to reattach.

That way I can swim, I will never loose it and it will not hinder my normal activity.
If it is deemed that a head injury is to be likely, then give me a helmet, I need to wear a hat anyways and a helmet is no hotter, possibly even cooler.

Without a head injury, I can put on the PFD if it is required.
A head injury, which is really the only argument for having the jacket worn and not simply available, will be far less likely with a helmet.

Should a head injury occur when wearing a PFD, unless there is somebody there to rescue me anyways, all it does is just show up where the body is to go look for.

If I am unconscious, it just ain't going to save me by itself.

So I will happily wear a helmet in conditions that a race organiser deems a potential head injury circumstance, but let me choose the PFD I want and how to use it, as I simply do not want to compromise my primary safety of being mobile, cool in hot weather and able to chase down a runaway ski, something that is far more likely to occur than a heart attack or other weirdness.

In the surf zone where a leash is generally not worn, or big wind conditions where a leash may break under stress, a helmeted swimmer trailing a floating PFD has a far greater chance of reuniting with their ski.
An unhelmeted one even more so.

With a helmet, getting clocked by a paddle or boat is far less risky.


Somebody please tell me where my reasoning falls down.......

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
12 years 8 months ago #8622 by Draftbuster
Replied by Draftbuster on topic Re: Safety requirements
Some interesting points :)I agree with Red :) Spare a thought for the people who go out and rescue and the people who work in the emergency and ICU'S.These people risk their lives for us.They have to watch us die on their tables and they have to tell our families that we have died.Some of life's tragedies cant be prevented :( but some can.
If you don't wear a helmet on a motorbike or a pushbike...consider yourself as a future organ donor.
Don't wear a life jacket/PFD (and there is a difference) and the potential for being a drowning victim is increased.
Its all about reducing the risks.
There are a few suggestions that PFD's are to hot! Get a cooler one.
Inflatable over the neck ready to go, there light not that expensive and not that hot.
Anyone who thinks they can put their PFD on whilst in the water,when tired,when its rough...In my opinion is dreaming.And an you do it one handed?even if you don't lose you ski whilst putting on your PFD who's going to hold your paddle?This may be relatively easy on a flat day with no wind or current,but we don't usually fall in and get into trouble then.
And sometime,hopefully never,when we lose a paddler in a race I just wonder what the coroner will say?And what will the insurance company say.And how will the race organizers and paddling community feel?Especially if found to have been preventable with the use of safety equipment.
Yacht racing changed after the Sydney Hobart tragedy.Surf life saving changed after Ausie champs tragedy.
Lets change our practices before we have a tragedy.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
12 years 8 months ago #8631 by Rightarmbad
Replied by Rightarmbad on topic Re: Safety requirements
I always use a paddle leash, it is tethered to my knee at the same point as my boat leash.
I now have two hands free.
I don't understand why everybody doesn't do this, there is no downside and quite obvious benefits.

We are not allowed to enter races with an inflatable PFD, that was one of my gripes.

I always wear my bike helmets when riding and would prefer to do this on my ski as it provides protection against a head injury in the first place, not merely the hope that I might float face out and be found in time if unconscious.

Having the entire field of paddlers at risk of overheating as in a popular race last year is stupid when you are guarding against a one in a million event.

If there is a legitimate danger of head injury, then lets wear helmets.
Nothing but having people nearby will do you any good in the case of a heart attack or similar.


So let us develop a true surf ski paddling specific PFD.
Don't try and lump us in with everybody else, we have clearly different requirements in a PFD as we are often working at our maximum.

Inflatable PFD's may even be the way to do it, but currently, we are not allowed to race in them, thereby stifling development of a truly specific product that will be safer and more comfortable for us all.

Let's stand up for ourselves and pen some new rules regarding which PFD's are allowable.

Let's allow continuing development of great new products by using common sense judgment of weather a PFD is safe enough for the job that day, and not rely on only partially suitable products simply because they have certification for a use that remotely resembles our own.

Then someday in the not too distant future we will have great surf ski specific products that can then be ratified into a new standard that benefits all.

At the moment, we are worrying about a problem that is more fear than statistically significant.

How many deaths have there been in ocean surf ski racing that could have been prevented by a current allowable PFD?
How many people have pulled out of Molikai mainly because they have overheated and become dehydrated?

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
12 years 5 months ago #9940 by portmanm
Replied by portmanm on topic Re: Safety requirements
Hey Kocho, did you purchase a Astral V8 PFD ? If yes, what's the verdict ? I've seen a few reviews where people are overall happy with comfort and cooling, however the pockets are less than desirable.

Bio
- 90kg, 183cm, paddling 90+% in ocean conditions for 5 years. Prefer downwind.
- Epic V12 1G, V10 1G/2G, V10 Sport, V8 & V8 Pro
- Stellar SEI 1G/2G, SES 1G/2G, SEL 2G, SR 2G & S2E
- Vadja Hawx 43/46/52
- Think Evo II 2G, Ion 1G
- Fenn Elite S, Swordfish S
- Nelo 560M

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
12 years 5 months ago #9943 by Kocho
Replied by Kocho on topic Re: Safety requirements
I got the V8 together with my ski last spring and it has been my go to PFD since for all my paddling. I have several others, but this is by far the most lightweight and cooling of the bunch that I have. My other PFDs are for sea kayaking (with a couple more pockets for radio and stuff) and for WW rescue (with a quick release tow belt). Another one I have is really light but it is of the $15USD variety for recreational paddling and while comfortable it is not cool at all and has no pockets either - but packs well with the inflatable SUP for travel so I use it for that.

The V8 I think is light and cool compared to anything else out there that is a full-size (as opposed to a belt-type inflatable). I wore it in the summer including on some races and it is very cool.

Comfort is good too. The pockets are small but useful enough for most of my paddling. I can stick a small waterproof camera, or a bar or two in the small pocket on the left and a few more items in the main pocket on the right (half a dozen gells for instance). No space for a radio or bulky items though. If I do decide to go for one of the longer races again this year, I will sew several hooks for gell packs. The pocket opens very easy - just pull the tab. Closing requires a bit of a fiddle, but even if not closed with the click-button things will stay put in it as it is elastic mesh and the top overlaps on top of the pocket opening so things won't fall out easy even if the pocket is unbuttoned.

I prefer not to wear water on my back, so the lack of a pocket for that does not matter to me.

When I got it I was concerned that it sticks out on the sides a bit more than some better conforming PFDs. But that is not an issue in use. It never bothers me and it is so light that I don't notice it. I usually wear it with a shirt under and have no chafing issues. Without a shirt the mesh lining that helps keep you cool has on occasion plucked a hair or two from my chest, whcih I did not like too well :blush: (in contrast my WW rescue PFD is softer and more conforming and better to my skin without a shirt but is much heavier and not cool on hot days).

The V8 also has good buoyancy so it actually works when needed (in the water).

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Latest Forum Topics