Finding the perfect size for your buoyancy aid can be a challenging task, particularly when so many retailers are online. To make the process easier, and safer for you, we have created a simple BA Size Guide to follow, regardless of brand.
Firstly, it’s important to remember that, when paddle-boarding, your board is your primary floatation device. This means that you should always be tethered to your board by a leash, with your buoyancy aid standing as your secondary floatation device. To read up on what kind of leash is appropriate for you, click here: https://gopaddling.info/stand-up-paddle-board-leashes-which-ones-right-for-you/.
When shopping for a buoyancy aid, it’s also important to remember that all types, regardless of brand or size, should carry an ISO 12402 certification and be, at minimum, 50 Newtons. Now, on to the measuring…
Sizing for Adults
To find the right adult BA, you first need to measure your chest size. This is what will determine your sizing, but we aware – size brackets do vary across brands, so check their own measurement guide before buying.
Your buoyancy aid should be tightened firstly at the sides, and lastly at the top (if your chosen model has that option). To know if it fits correctly, pull the shoulders up towards your ears. If it does not move far, then horray! You’re good to go. If it does move up past your chin, however, best to keep looking.
Also make sure to test out your range of movement before committing to a buoyancy aid. You should be able to move your arms freely while clipped in, and should not feel any sort of rubbing or soreness from the vest as you do so.
Top Tip: Choose a BA which is bright and eye-catching in design. This can help you be identified in water should an accident occur!
Remember, a buoyancy aid is a vital part of your Stand Up Paddle Boarding equipment, so make sure you’ve got the right one before heading out on the water, and practice self-rescuing once out so that you know you have full range of movement.