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Choosing A PFD

Welcome to Next Adventure, the favorite retailer in Portland, Oregon, and also online. We're here today at our paddle support center to inform, outfit, and excite you on what gear you're going to need to get out on the water, and stay safe, have fun, and have some sweet adventures.

Different PFDs for Different Waters 

First things first, we've got to stay safe. And we're going to do that by getting on our PFD or life vest. PFD stands for Personal Floatation Device. Or as we like to say in the industry, "Prevents Flipping Drowning". First thing you want to do in thinking about what PFD you want to take today, is where you want to go and what you want to do. A man here like Mr. Patrick, as you can see is a class five crusher, going to go shred some gnar including in our store, and it stay safe. And for what he wants to do, he's going to have what we call a Type V PFD. Some features being a rescue harness that has been reinforced, reinforce shoulder straps so that you know Mr. Coast Guard or Mr. Lifelike, can lift Patrick out of the water. Some quick release action, so that we can go... And he has that helmet accompanying him.

PFD Features 

Other things to be thinking about when you're thinking about where you want to go, what you want to do is how much you want to carry with you today. So let's start off with in the where you want to go, what you want to do something clean, easy, simple. What I want to look for when I'm choosing a PFD is a couple of key safety kits. While all PFDs, they have been rated by the US Coast Guard, they're going to be safe. I'm a big fan of having what I call redundancy. Some sort of buckle, and a zip, or multiple zips and buckles. A good sign of a PFD is going to be how many straps are going to be on there to adjust it closer and tighter to your body? And what kind of pocket features you got? So this one's nice and simple has a little spot for a flashlight or potentially a little phone, got a little pocket over here. Great for just a simple day, getting out on the water, and enjoying yourself in the sun.

Say though you want to be a sea kayaker or touring kayaker, even just be an awesome fisherman, and you want a little bit more pocket space. Something like this guy here is going to be a lot more feature rich and give you a lot more versatility. First off, something like this might have multiple adjustable pockets with two to three little individual pieces, lots of little lash tabs for you to be able to attach knives, whistles, anything, glow sticks, whatever you want to be carrying with you. And even then, it still have good easy access to your safety features, and a nice comfortable fit on the side. Cool ones also kind of some of these higher end will also have things like a space for you to put a little hydration bladder right into the PFD. But I will say guys, it's really easy to get dehydrated while you're out on the water. Surrounded by it, you just don't drink.

So good examples of, kind of more feature rich ones to meet your needs of where you wanting to go, and what you wanting to do. But let's talk now about how to adjust a PFD.

Fitting a PFD Now it's time to show you guys how to fit a PFD. We're going to show you how we fit PFDs and where we like PFDs to sit. If you ever have any questions and when you are fitting your PFD, please consult a paddle sport professional on proper fit, and whether or not sizes are right for you. Don't try to think about one particular size in your brain, find what feels good. So we're going to do a front zip style PFD. So first off, put it on like a vest.

Next, you're going to buckle the buckles. This particular one has two separate buckles, another great redundancy. Zip it on up.
Patrick, locate your belly button for me. Ideally, that's where you're going to want to have this bottom strap situated. So if you act like you're at the beach going through TSA, but a lot friendlier, we're going to go ahead and anchor these bottom straps first.
What this does is really cemented in place and gets the PFD properly in place. Next, arms down. We are going to do the shoulders.
So now, what we're really looking for is that all the slack is gone, and just a little bit further. We don't need to choke ourselves up, but we want to make sure that we're getting a nice snug fit.
Then finally, we do all the rest of the straps. Arms up again. This one has two side straps.
And we're looking for, yeah, all the slack gone, and a little bit further, so that when we need to pick Patrick out of the water, he'll stay nice and safe. Right there. But a well fitted PFD even when you're in the water, should stay pretty well anchored to where you put it on to your body.
And it feels like a nice little hug.  Nice little hug, not a death grip.

Inflatable PFDs 

So if you want to be fashionable, feel less restricted, then inflatable is a great option for you to have. Wear them down by your waist, so you can have a bit of range of motion with your arms, but you're still free to be there. Pull this too, and it'll inflate. After inflate it, you put it around your neck. Cinch it up, now we're safe to go. I can float away, continue to be the beater.
So we've now talked about PFDs, informing, outfitting, and exciting you guys. Remember, it's a combination of where you want to go, what you want to do, and making sure the PFD fits right.
I'm Michael. I'm Patrick. We'll see you on the water.

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