PADDLERsmart! Canada Knowledge Base

Module 02 - Boating Equipment


When choosing a life jacket or PFD, you should consider the following:

  • Check the label or stamp to confirm that the flotation device is Canadian-approved
  • Choose one that suits the type of boating activities you will be doing. Will you be wakeboarding? Operating a PWC? Fishing?
  • Verify that the life jacket or PFD is appropriate for your size and weight- It should fit snugly but allow for freedom of movement
  • If you’re purchasing a life jacket or PFD for another person, you need to be sure that it will fit them properly.

If you are in a smaller, open boat (such as a small fishing boat), other boaters may find it difficult to see you. Choosing a brightly-coloured flotation device will help to make you more visible to others. 

If a boater falls overboard when wearing a PFD that is too small, it may not support the weight of that person however, if it’s too large it may slip over the boaters head. Always be sure that your life jacket fits properly!


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