Paddleboarding has become increasingly popular and people are taking this fun activity just about everywhere, from the open ocean to long overnight trips. In most places, like the USA and Canada, the coast guards consider paddleboards as water vessels, which means it is required by law to have a life vest on board.

There are various things to consider when you are buying a SUP/PFD life vest. Vests come multiple features that allow you to move freely as you glide atop the water. Knowing and understanding these features and their individual impact on the overall quality requires detailed knowledge and experience.

To save your time and energy, we have compiled this concise buying guide that will simplify the process of selecting the best sup life vest by pointing out the most important features which make a vest simply the best.

How To Choose A Sup Life Vest / Pfd – Buying Guide



If you are not comfortable with your life vest, then it loses half of its utility. Look for a vest that fits comfortably around your neck and secures conveniently around your waist. The neck is the part of your body that can be chafed, so opt for a vest is made from soft materials.

Freedom & Flexibility

One of the main purposes of a life vest is to save your life, however, there is no point in going out on the water if the vest does not offer you the freedom that you need. The benefit of the best pfd for sup is that it gives your arms, head, and neck a full range of motion and lets you perform various activities by ensuring your safety.


It may sound silly, but make sure that your life vest can float properly in every type of water. Buy a vest which is made of buoyant materials and at the same time support your weight.

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Color is the second thing to look for after buoyancy in a lifejacket. Bright color vests are helpful in locating people who run into trouble and are untraceable.


Paddle board life jackets allow the air through and helps to get rid of sweat by cooling your body. If you can find one which can wick away moisture, then that would be all the better.

SUP & PFD Laws

It is important not to ignore the laws of SUP and PFD. If you have to wear a plantation device, then you should wear it without question. In most places in the US, a paddleboard is described as a vessel, and when you are in a vessel, you need to wear a flotation device.

PFD Types

Type 1 is the most common life jackets for paddle boards. They are basically a big orange rectangle of flotation material which passes over the neck and is secured around your waist with a buckle. Type 2 is more like a mini jacket. Your arms go through it, and it is zipped from the front. Type 3 PFDs are designed to keep the floater upright in the water. They are more of a jacket, and some of them have storage pockets. Type 4 are throwaway PFDs, such as the ring buoys seen on ships. Type 5 has a Co2 canister which inflates the device when necessary.



Q: What Is A SUP Life Vest / PFD?


Paddle board life vests are flotation devices that are usually worn around your neck and cover your torso. They are made from durable and waterproof material and can be filled with air.

If you ever fall into the water, then a life jacket for sup helps to keep you afloat. Some life jackets for sup also come with extras, such as storage pockets, extra life-saving equipment, and more.

Q: Why Should I Wear A SUP Life Vest?


Because it could save your life. It doesn’t matter how good a swimmer you are, mother-nature can be stronger. Some other benefits of life jackets for paddle boarding are;

  • A life jacket for paddle boarding helps to bring you to the surface with ease so that you can get back to your board quicker with a life vest on
  • If you were to fall into the water and hit your head, a paddleboard life jacket keeps you afloat even if you are unconscious
  • A paddle boarding life jacket helps you to rest if you have a long way to the shore
  • A life vest for paddle boarding helps you to get noticed more easily as they are brightly colored

Q: What Type of SUP Life Vest Do I Need?


That depends on the type of paddle boarding you are doing. If you are out on a lake for a relaxing day, then a regular type 1 or type 2 life vest will be fine. If you will be fishing, then you may want to find a vest that has pockets in it for your extra fishing equipment.

Globo Surf Overview

Wearing a paddle board life jacket for your next paddle boarding adventure could mean the difference between life and death. Nobody wants to be limited with how far you can go or the types of waters you can explore, wearing a life jacket paddle board makes sure that you are safe to do so. Therefore, make sure you have one of the life vests for paddle boarding we have covered on our list of the best PFD for sups in 2023.

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Have a life vest on our list? Let us know how it works for you.