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09.30.2019 Jeff Raney

Top 5 Kiteboarding Vests on the Market

In this blog I'll share with you the Top 5 vests for Kiting and one bonus vest that is putting tech in a vest.  But first I’d like to talk about how important it is to protect your upper body from high impact wipeouts and discuss some of the top impact vests out on the market today. As you should already know, kiteboarding is an extreme sport and whether you are using the power of the kite out on water, the snow, or on land, wipeouts can hurt and in worst case scenarios...send you to the ER! There are some people in the sport that think its not cool, but you only have one body so you should take care of it and wearing an impact vest is a great way to make sure you don't get hurt.

Not only do impact vests help protect your upper body, but they also offer some amounts of limited buoyancy and all the way up to CGA (US Coast Guard Approved) flotation. But the more buoyancy a vest offers, the bulkier and thicker they can get! I’ve tried both non approved CGA impact vests and approved CGA and personally, I prefer the less bulkier impact vests that are slim and fit like a glove. Some impact vests fit too loosely which enables the vest to move around and up and down your torso crawling up into your neck area.

TOP 5 KITEBOARDING VESTS

#5 LIQUID FORCE - VORTEX KITE CGA

Cost: $60

This first vest is the only CGA vest on the list and won't necessarily help your performance out on the water. But what it will do is provide the most safety.  The Vortex Kite is a 100% US Coast Guard approved personal flotation device. The Vortex kite incorporates a Lycra stretch panel that expands over the harness for a seamless fit and is the best CGA vest for Kiting. 

I would only recommend this vest to be used with seat harnesses as It is too thick and bulky to wrap your waist harness around it. If you attempt to wear it over your waist harness, then the vest will get pushed up into your neck area resulting in discomfort.

 

#4 NEIL PRYDE - HIGH HOOK ELITE

Cost: $120

The high hook design enables you to slip a seat or waist harness hook through the provided slit located at the bottom of the vest, which is very convenient. I like this vest for all skill levels. There's a good amount of buoyancy, which means safety and peace of mind whenever you are going into the water. This vest is made of durable material and the design isn't flashy but it gets the job done. High hook vest will enhance your performance, protect your chest and give all the additional warmth needed in cold, windy conditions.

 

#3 NEIL PRYDE - IMPACT SIDE ZIP

Cost: $120


This Neil Pryde impact vest is a solid choice for Kiting. It is a very simple vest, which I like. It comes with a side zipper allowing for more flexibility and a snug fit. The foam has a nice soft feel to it and is a comfortable fit while also providing the necessary protection.  The overall style of the vest I think could be improved, but for a basic vest this does a great job.

 

 

 

 

#2 RIDE ENGINE - EMPAX VEST

Cost: $139

Essential flotation and impact protection for Kiters and windsurfers, designed to be worn comfortably under your waist harness. Non CGA approved. This vest is good quality, nice fitting and can be worn for both seat and waist harnesses.

The design of this vest is awesome for a nice sleek look. The segmented foam panels have a great cut protecting your upper body from falls and a perfect fit for the waist harness.

 

 

 

 

#1 LIQUID FORCE - STACKED

Cost: $150

The Stacked impact vest is a minimalist dream. Just enough protection to take the hits yet not inhibit any range of motion. Easy entry side zipper, Liquid Forces exclusive no slip grip and a tailored fit that will keep the vest in place during the hardest hits. Waist and seat harness compatible.

I prefer this one over the rest because its thin and fits tightly, this provides one of the best fits for a waist harness to fit right over the bottom section of it.

 

 

 

MOST INNOVATIVE KITE VEST: GROOVE VEST MUSIC IMPACT VEST

Waterproof Speakers

Cost: $299

The Groove Vest is an awesome new invention coming to Kiteboarding in 2020, it is an impact vest for watersport athletes who want to listen to music while enjoying their extreme sport! Groove Watersports has integrated 2 small powerful speakers in the shoulder area of the vest with control buttons on the chest. Yes, this is the first of its kind and creates a phenomenal experience out on the water. I've been lucky enough to be one of their testers and let me tell you, this vest will change the Kiting industry.

This vest is both seat and waist harness compatible. Even though there is bottom panels on the vest, they are thin enough to wrap your waist harness around it and it helps to keep the waist harness low and not ride up to your upper torso area. Below is a video showing how the The Groove Vest adapts nicely with both waist and seat harnesses. I personally love the safety this impact vest provides and its super comfy! Not to mention, its high powered integrated speakers play over 1,000 of my own songs while kiting...I love it!! Plus, this vest makes you look like you have a 6 pack...chicks dig it!! The Groove Vest isn't coming to the market until 2020 but you can pre-order the vest at a discount right now.

 

Published by Jeff Raney September 30, 2019
Jeff Raney