PFD's are not only your lifeline in case you come off the yak, or are knocked unconscious by a motorised boat strike, but they're also a great storage spot for fishing gear, cameras, and the like.
Most AKFF members wear PFDs at ALL TIMES.
Try and find a PFD that is designed for paddlers - otherwise, chaffing is likely to result.
There are a number of different models of PFD and each state has its own regulations in regard to use.
A question that is often asked on the forum relates to inflatable PFD's. The general concensus is these PFD's should be avoided for kayak use. A self inflating PFD will automatically inflate when coming in contact with water, not much good if all that has happened is you have come off during a surf launch or taken a wave across the bow. Likewise a manually inflated PFD is no good should you fall off your kayak and find yourself unconscious in the water due to a boat strike or if you have come off during a surf landing and been whacked by the kayak.
Most members use a PFD2. These model provide a combination of good floatation, come in model designed for paddlers and also come with pockets and the like to attach fishing tools or other safety devices.
Some of the more popular brands are:
- MTI Riptide
- Ultratrek PFD2