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Buoyancy Aids for White Water Kayaking

A buoyancy aid – also referred to as a personal flotation device (PFD) – is an essential piece of gear for all paddlers. Aside from its lifesaving capabilities, a buoyancy aid also adds warmth to your days out on the river and can give you added storage options.

First time purchasers should be aware that a comfortable and snug fit takes priority when deciding what to buy, in addition to any additional features you might need, such as a hydration pouch or storage pockets for stashing snacks and other essentials. Even if you're on a tranquil lake, calm seas beside the beach or in waist-high waters, a buoyancy aid is a must-have piece of kit.

For all BAs, the standard minimum buoyancy is 50N, although paddling in white water requires 60N or more and often come with added safety features such as pockets and loops for storing a knife and tow line. Some models also come with a throw line belt integrated into the buoyancy aid.

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