Life Vest (PFD) - withouth question the piece of equipment you will not want to forget is your life vest. There are many rafters that say they can swim very well but when it comes to strong river currents even Michael Phelps would have a hard time getting to where he wants to go. The life vest is commonly known as a PFD (Personal Flotation Device). The idea behind the life vest is to keep you afloat at all times. If you fall out of the raft in a big rapid there is a chance you will submerge for a second or two but with our 25lbs flotation life vest you will surface quickly out of the water and into your river floating position. These life vest are universally sized and are made to fit chest sizes from 30 inches - 58 inches. If you are joining us for kid rafting then we have smaller life vest that will fit the children.
There is also a pillow on each life vest of our clients where in the case that you fall out in the river you just simply lay on your back and the pillow keeps your head afloat. Life vest should be worn whenever playing in a river that has whitewater. Before your rafting trip your guide will go over what you need to know about the lifevest during the safety instruction talk. There are a few clips on the life vest that you will need to know how to operate to keep it snug for the duration of your trip.
The life vest first came on to the seen in 1928 and as many rescue and adventure gear was first used by the military in navy rescue operations. In 1928 the name given to life vest was Mae West which was given by the inventor Peter Markus. During this time the Mae West was very simple and made out of cork and chunks of wood. Not very comfortable imagining yourself flowing down a Costa Rica river with chunks of wood strapped to your chest.
There is an irony of rafting in Costa Rica with a piece of equipment that has been referred to as a "Mae West" only because the word "Mae" in Costa Rica is often used among locals as a slang word for "dude".