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Impact vests, also known as wakeboarding vests or wake vests, are specialized pieces of waterwear designed to provide buoyancy and protection for riders during wakeboarding and other water sports. Here are key features and information about impact vests:

Purpose:

Buoyancy: The primary purpose of impact vests is to provide buoyancy, helping the rider stay afloat in the water. They are designed to help the rider maintain a natural swimming position, making it easier to recover after falls.

Impact Protection: In addition to buoyancy, impact vests are constructed with protective materials, such as foam padding, strategically placed to absorb and distribute the force of impacts. This protection helps reduce the risk of injury during falls or collisions.

Materials:
Foam Core: Impact vests typically have a foam core that provides buoyancy and impact protection. The foam is usually lightweight and buoyant, allowing the wearer to stay afloat.

Coverage:
Torso and Chest: Impact vests are designed to cover the rider’s torso and chest area, providing essential protection for vital organs and upper body areas.

Flexibility:
Flexible Design: Impact vests are engineered to be flexible, allowing for a full range of motion during wakeboarding maneuvers. They do not restrict arm movement, ensuring that riders can execute tricks and stunts comfortably.

Fit:
Secure Fit: A properly fitting impact vest should be snug but not excessively tight. It should stay securely in place during falls and rides. Many impact vests feature adjustable straps, buckles, and closures to achieve a secure fit.

Activities:
Wakeboarding: Impact vests are commonly used in wakeboarding to provide buoyancy and impact protection. They are also suitable for other water sports like waterskiing, kiteboarding, and wakesurfing.

Safety Considerations:
Certification: Some impact vests are designed to meet specific safety standards, such as CE EN 13138-1, indicating that they provide a certain level of buoyancy and impact protection. Riders may choose certified vests for added safety.

Visibility: Impact vests are often available in bright and visible colors to enhance rider visibility in the water, which can be helpful for safety and rescue purposes.
Maintenance:
Regular Inspection: Riders should inspect their impact vests regularly for signs of wear, damage, or degradation. Damaged vests may not provide adequate protection and should be replaced.

Impact vests are essential for wakeboarders of all skill levels, as they offer both buoyancy and impact protection. They are especially valuable for riders who engage in tricks, aerial maneuvers, or cable park wakeboarding, where falls and impacts are more common. Wearing a properly fitted impact vest can significantly enhance safety and enjoyment on the water.