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Life Jackets

Inflatable Life Vest - Tow in & Big wave Gear

Quiksilver and Aqua Lung: Two companies founded by legendary watermen who have helped shape the face of modern ocean sports. Collaboration with a single mission: to create a new generation of inflatable life vests that represents a major breakthrough in water safety. Now in its final testing stages, the first edition of our QUIKSILVER X AQUA LUNG inflatable life jacket is the culmination of two year’s development and intense real world testing on some of the biggest waves on the planet. Welcome to the beginning of a new era of safety in water sports.

A life Jacket developed by the big wave surfing elite

Our first manual inflatable life vest has been developed in response to the growing demands of surfers seeking to increase personal safety in big wave, high-risk surfing environments. Featuring several improvements on existing inflatable life jacket technology, pre-production models of the vest have already helped save the lives of more than one big wave surfer, while at its February 2016 debut at the Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau invitational at Waimea Bay, Hawaii, the QUIKSILVER X AQUA LUNG life jacket ushered in a new benchmark in water safety at the iconic big wave surfing competition. Other world-class big wave spots where the vest has been successfully tested include: Todos Santos (Mexico), Mavericks (California), Peahi/Jaws (Hawaii), Makaha (Hawaii), Nazare (Portugal), Belharra (France), Cow Bombie (Western Australia), Tavarua (Fiji) and Teahupoo (Tahiti).

How does the inflatable life jacket work?

Developed in collaboration with Aqua Lung, the global leader in professional and recreational scuba diving equipment, our first edition of the QUIKSILVER X AQUA LUNG inflatable life vest is the culmination of two year’s research and development, and represents the cutting edge of big wave surfing safety technology. Worn over the top of any type of wetsuit or as a standalone vest, this next-generation user-deployed PFD (Personal Flotation Device) is a reinforced neoprene self-inflating life vest designed to rapidly and safely lift the wearer to the surface in a heavy hold-down situation.

Not just a life vest for big wave surfers

While this technology was created to meet the demands of athletes seeking greater safety in high-risk surfing environments, the benefits are applicable to anybody who wishes to enhance their security in the water. In fact, legendary windsurfer/kitesurfer Robby Naish has already field-tested the vest at Peahi, Hawaii, approving of its harness-friendly design. So, just as F1 safety innovations trickle down to production cars, we believe the technology currently being developed will trickle down from elite paddle-in and tow-in big wave surfers, SUP paddle boarders and long distance swimmers all the way through to beginner surfers and recreational swimmers.

This inflatable life jacket is part of a holistic approach to ocean safety

If there is one thing we can learn from professional big wave surfing, it’s that no safety strategy working in isolation will save you from drowning – a life vest needs to be worn as an integral part of your overall equipment, fitness and preparation. But, will the popularisation of inflatable safety vests and PFD’s in surfing lead to inexperienced surfers getting, literally, out of their depth? Not according to Peyo Lizarazu, big wave surfer and head of Research & Innovation at Quiksilver: “This isn’t about encouraging people to take bigger risks: you don’t automatically drive more recklessly when you strap on a seatbelt. It’s about minimizing the risks we take every time we put ourselves into an inherently dangerous environment like the ocean. And that means taking all the necessary steps to stay safe, from training and developing your swimming skills and fitness, to practicing with and thoroughly understanding your equipment.”