10 Best Wakeboard Life Jackets And Vests In 2022

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If you’re a fan of water sports, chances are high that you must have thought of trying wakeboarding. While the thrill of going at high speeds and acing different tricks is incomparable, you need the best wakeboard life jacket to stay safe. Wakeboard life jackets offer safety and protection to help you stay afloat even as you take the hardest hits. They feature foaming to work as floatation devices, and the buckles and straps on them keep you secured to your jacket.

With several options available, you can explore our list of top-rated wakeboard life jackets for a safe wakeboarding experience.

10 Best Wakeboard Life Jackets

1. Best US Coast Guard-Approved: Airhead Trend Life Vest

Go wakeboarding or surfing while ensuring safety with the US Coast Guard-approved Airhead life vest. This wakesurf life jacket has a less bulky design and allows a larger range of motion to ensure unparalleled comfort and protection. Since it is close-sided, you can expect the life jacket to fit you well and stay in place as you pursue your favorite water sport. The quick-to-open side buckles stay secure, and the 200-denier polyester material feels lightweight and cozy.

Pros

  • Trendy design
  • Lightweight and UV-resistant
  • Useful for general boating safety
  • Follows USGC-determined sizing

Cons

  • May ride up past the shoulders

2. Best Security: O’Brien Women’s Impulse Neo Life Vest

Surf in style with the O’Brien wakesurfing vest that boasts sturdy construction, made from 1.5mm neoprene outer. It has a zip closure and two belts, ensuring the vest stays in place as you move. The zippered front closure and multiple hinge points on the front and back ensure a snug fit. Additionally, you can confidently go for this wakeboard life jacket as it is Coast Guard approved. Watch this video to know more about the product’s features.

Pros

  • Offers enhanced security
  • Feels comfortable against the skin
  • Stretches to fit well
  • Available in several sizes

Cons

  • Might chafe arms

3. Best Versatile: O’Neill Men’s Reactor USCG Life Vest

Opting for the O’Neill Reactor USCG life vest can ensure fret-free wakeboarding, tubing, waterskiing, or swimming experience. The water sports life jacket features a segmented foam core and anatomical flex points, allowing unhindered movement. The quick-release safety buckles make it easy to put it on and take it off. Adding to the design are its expansion panels that make the wake surfing life jacket comfortable. This video talks more about the product’s features.

Pros

  • Relaxed fit
  • Minimal bulk design for complete mobility
  • Multiple sizes to suit your needs
  • Available in several colors

Cons

  • Hidden straps may get tangled

4. Best Quick-Drying: Airhead Men’s Camo Cool Kwik-Dry Flex Life Jacket

The life vest by Airhead comes in a beautiful combination of black, blue, gray, and white shades with attractive patterns. Its US Coast Guard-approved design and side-release buckles and zippers make it a safe choice. If you’re shopping for children’s wakesurf life jackets, this life vest is equipped with a crotch strap for added safety when you pick a small size. The two additional belts keep the jacket secured to one place, and the neolite construction makes it comfortable to wear for hours.

Pros

  • Offers a larger range of motion
  • Less bulky design
  • Super soft material
  • Quick-drying

Cons

  • May run small

5. Best Lightweight: Hyperlite Men’s Indy CGA Wakeboard Vest

The neoprene life vest is a life-saving device approved by the US Coast Guard and Transport Canada. It has superior drainability, ensuring your floatation device dries quickly as you spend your time in the water. Available in two color combinations – blue and black and red and black, you can choose per your preference.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Features segmented and anchored foam panels
  • Features a zipper and two belts
  • Easy to wear

Cons

  • Might be a little lumpy

6. Best For Women: Hyperlite Women’s Indy Wakeboard Vest

The Hyperlite Women’s Indy wakeboard vest features segmented and anchored foam panels to keep you comfortable. The buckles are made of high-quality PVC, and the belt loops keep the vest secured to give a snug fit. Made to be lightweight and durable, the life jacket zips up easily and offers enough space for free movement. Additionally, it does not ride up, which is one of the common concerns that many wakeboarding life jackets pose. Here’s a video review to help you know more about the product.

Pros

  • Harmonized approval
  • Easy to wear
  • Available in various sizes
  • Superior drainability

Cons

  • Padding may get displaced over time

7. Best For IJSBA Race: Jettribe Hyper Series Life Vest

Various water activities, such as fishing, kayaking, wakeboarding, and snorkeling, are made safe and convenient with the best wakeboard life jacket from Jettribe. With a strength rating of 100 MPH, this is among the best life jackets available that meet the standards for Jet Ski race organizations. It features open sides for comfortable side entry, and three 38mm buckles with webbing ensure proper closure.

Pros

  • US Coast Guard type 3 vest
  • Comes with a removable flag patch on the shoulder
  • Available in several colors
  • Designed for men and women

Cons

  • Might run small for some

8. Best For All Body Types: Swell Wakesurf Women’s Comp Vest

Designed exclusively for women who love wake surfing, these neoprene life jackets from Swell boast superior construction and have incorporated staylite foam into the design to ensure 30% less water absorption. Since it is free of conventional foam most brands use, it does not feel bulky or lumpy despite being adequately padded. Additionally, the neoprene material stretches in four directions to ensure a snug fit for every body type.

Pros

  • 10% more buoyant than PVC foam
  • Quick-drying material
  • Easy-to-wear front zipper design
  • Features a stash pocket

Cons

  • Not approved by US Coast Guard

9. Best Strap-Free: CWB Connelly Team Comp Neoprene Vest

Among the best wakeboarding life jackets is this one from Conelly, made from premium-quality four-way stretch neoprene material. It gives you a slim profile and assumes an X-shape with its thoughtfully-designed rear panels, offering increased mobility. The contoured armholes ensure that your underarms feel comfortable without chafing while allowing you to move freely in all directions.

Pros

  • Strap and buckle-free design
  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Snug-fitting material

Cons

  • May not be US Coast Guard-approved

10. Best Long Torso Design: Ronix Paramount Yes CGA Life Vest

Ronix’s Paramount life vest has a longer torso, keeping you safe and comfortable in the water. It features a Manhattan tailored fit to ensure a flattering fit without adding bulkiness to your profile. The life jacket’s material is water-resistant, so the life vest does not absorb water or weigh you down. Its oversized arm holes allow your arms to move without restrictions, and the cushion CGA foam imparts adequate protection.

Pros

  • Features supportive foam
  • Approved by CGA US and Canada
  • Two-way stretch material
  • Has two sturdy buckles

Cons

  • May not come in different colors

How To Choose The Right Wakeboard Life Jacket?

The following factors can help you choose the best wakeboard life jacket.

  1. Material: Consider lightweight life jackets to move freely without the life vest weighing you down. Look for materials, such as neoprene and nylon, that do not absorb water. Additionally, while foaming is required to keep you floating and offer protection, ensure it is designed to dry quickly. It is best to avoid heavily padded vests.
  1. Size: Life jackets should offer a snug fit, and it is recommended to avoid the ones that feel loose. The zipper and buckles should keep the life jacket well in place, preventing them from moving when you speed up. Check the size charts and ensure the life vest fits tightly but does not suffocate or restrict your movements.
  1. USCG-Approved: The US Coast Guard has certain guidelines for designing life jackets for different water-based activities to offer maximum safety. It lists different personal floatation devices and specifies the minimum buoyancy to ensure the life vest helps you float in an emergency. When you opt for a USCG-approved life jacket, you get the assurance that it is designed keeping these considerations in mind.

Why Trust MomJunction?

Choosing the right life jacket for water sports is crucial to ensure complete safety. Our writer and reviewer, Wedetso Chirhah, has reviewed the best wakeboard life jackets in this article to help you choose the right one per your needs. His reviewing process involves selecting products based on different criteria and specifications by referring to trusted sources. He has also provided a detailed buying guide and answered some common questions to help you make an informed decision. The products mentioned in the list have been chosen after considering user ratings across multiple platforms to provide you with the best options.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the difference between a wakeboard and a jet ski life jacket?

Wakeboard life jackets and jet ski life jackets differ in terms of their design, material, and function. Wakeboarding requires more arm mobility and rising above the water. Therefore, wakeboarding life jackets are designed to endure high impact and resist the water force.

2. Why should I wear a life vest when wakeboarding?

Wakeboarding requires you to slip your feet into boots on the wakeboard. Therefore, you cannot completely rely on your feet when you hit the water and crash. A wakeboard life jacket is crucial as it ensures you stay afloat in case of a hard crash.

3. Can I wear a jet ski life jacket on a wakeboard?

While it is best to opt for life jackets specifically designed for wakeboarding, you can also choose a jet ski life jacket if it is designed for both jet skiing and wakeboarding.

4. What will happen if I don’t wear a life vest to wakeboard?

A life jacket is meant to save your life when you have a high-impact crash while wakeboarding. In certain circumstances, such as another boat cutting your path or being unconscious while wakeboarding, not wearing a wakeboard life jacket can prove to be life-threatening.

While capable of giving that much-needed adrenaline rush, wakeboarding involves a fair amount of risk from high impact and speed. Therefore, wakeboard life jackets should never go by the wayside as they are designed to help you float and regain your balance if you fall or crash. When choosing these life-saving vests, focus on the size and ensure the vest fits you snugly to keep you secure. Life jackets for wakeboarding are safer when they feature several buckles and straps, thus ensuring they don’t come off no matter how impactful the crash is. So, we hope our list of the best wakeboard life jackets can help you understand the options for an enriching experience.

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Wedetso Chirhah

Wedetso Chirhah holds a masters degree in English Literature from Mangalore University. He had written content for more than 15 B2B websites and edited school books before joining MomJunction as an editor. Wedetso ensures the articles meet the highest editorial standards. He enjoys making content understandable and relatable to readers, and he is a big fan of the versatile em... more