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The best lifejackets for paddle boarding 2023

2 Feb 2023
Lifejacket requirements 

Whether you are an experienced paddle boarder or are new to balancing on a board it is important to wear a floatation aid also known as a PFD or buoyancy aid. There are foam buoyancy aids, inflatable flotation aids and inflatable lifejackets to choose from.

Here in the UK, you are encouraged to wear a lifejacket or buoyancy aid when paddleboarding on the coast, rivers or lakes. The RNLI have a great article about staying safe when paddle boarding here.

Which Spinlock product you choose depends on where you are paddling. If you are an absolute paddle boarding beginner we recommend this article from Vivida - the top 11 stand up paddle boarding tips for beginners and start hitting the water with confidence.

ALTO Buoyancy Aid (PFD)

The most popular Spinlock product designed specifically with SUP in mind is the Spinlock ALTO, the ALTO is a manually operated, inflatable buoyancy aid for paddle boarding that only inflates when you pull a handle.

The Spinlock ALTO is tested to the same ISO standard as a buoyancy aid, it contains 75N of buoyancy when inflated by a 16g co2 cylinder. Worn like a bum bag or fanny pack the ALTO inflates only when you need it. The ALTO stays comfortably out of the way until you need to inflate it, by simply pulling a toggle and it then inflates into a ring/horseshoe shape which supports you either swimming forwards or sitting back into a relaxed position.

ISO12402-5 approved as a 50N Buoyancy Aid and ISO12402-6 approved as a Special Purpose Buoyancy Aid, the ALTO is approved for adults and teenagers aged over 16 years weighing over 40kg.

Don’t just take our word for it, read the review from the SUP Boarder Magazine here.

Deckvest LITE

The popular Deckvest LITE lifejacket has been worn for years by more adventurous paddlers when perhaps touring or venturing further around the coastline. The Spinlock Deckvest LITE provides much more security with its 170N automatically inflating bladder but can be converted to a manual only operation just like the ALTO.

It is very slim fitting, the design is shaped into the chest to allow full freedom of movement with your arms. LITE sits higher than your waist, on the chest allowing you to paddle, bend and move freely.

The LITE is a lifejacket, not a buoyancy aid, meaning it has been ISO approved to support an unconscious casualty in the water. It is tested to ISO 12402-3 as a 170N lifejacket. With many colours and accessories, the LITE is the ultimate in safety on a paddleboard.

WING and FOIL Buoyancy Aid (PFD)

Are you looking for a foam buoyancy aid for paddle boarding? If you are in and out the water more often, learning or a less confident swimmer, the WING and FOIL buoyancy aids mean that you will always be supported in the water. Designed to be worn snugly around the body with state-of-the-art foam, thinner and more ergonomic, the WING PFD and FOIL PFD have a high tapered cut for action and mobility.

There is even dry coated elastic side panels to reduce water absorption and an internal security pocket for your key. Choose WING for a side zip or FOIL for a front zip.

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