Wakeboard Vest Buyer's Guide and Sizing Chart

Choosing Your Next Wakeboard Vest

Choosing the right wakeboarding vest, life jacket, or PFD (personal floatation device) is key part of your boating equipment. A life jacket that is comfortable and performs well will make wakeboarding a more fun, enjoyable experience. We carry a wide assortment of vests from top brands such as Hyperlite, O'Neil, Liquid Force, and Ronix.

"Look Good, Feel Good, Ride Good"

That is the magical formula. You want a vest that looks good, feels comfortable on you, and performs well for you.

What Type Of Vest Should I Buy?

There are two basic types of wakeboarding vests on the market right now: USCG approved and competition vests.

USCG Approved

USCG (United States Coast Guard) approved vests are the more popular option of the two because most states require that you wear them while riding. These vests are typically more bulky than comp vests but they offer better float while in the water. Federal regulations require that there is a USCG approved vest for every person on your boat. For example, if you have 8 people onboard, you will need 8 USCG approved vests on board at all times.

Competition Wakeboard Vest

Competition wakeboard vests, commonly known as comp vests are not USCG approved. Check your state regulations to see if wearing a comp vest while riding is legal. A comp vest is lighter and less restrictive than a standard USCG vest but don't offer as much float. A popular option for more advanced riders, the increased mobility and comfort is helpful as you begin to try more advanced tricks.

Note: You cannot operate a PWC (personal water craft) such as a jet ski while wearing a comp vest.

What Size Do I Need?

Finding a life jacket that fits correctly is very important to your comfort and safety in the water. All too many times I see someone trying to start wakeboarding or wakesurfing with a life jacket up around their ears. This is uncomfortable and dangerous. To find the correct size, measure around the widest part of your chest (see below).

Men's and Women's vest feature different shapes so we suggest wearing the correct vest for the best fit.


Child Life Jackets

Keep the young shredder in your life safe and comfortable while they are out on the boat or in the water.

Infant 0-30 lbs.

Child 30-50 lbs.

Youth 50-90 lbs.

Wakeboard Vest Materials


Neoprene vests are lightweight and flexible. The material is softer, more breathable, and forms to your body movement better than nylon. *Most higher end wakeboard vests and like jackets are made from neoprene.


Nylon vests are cheaper and less flexible than neoprene vests. If you are going to be spending a lot of time in the water we highly suggest wearing a neoprene vest as it will make it a much more enjoyable experience.

Check out our full selection of wakeboard vests and life jackets at WakeMAKERS.com

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