Sick of a vest that shifts, rides up or chafes? I know the feeling, because that’s what I used to get with my cheap wakeboard vest.
Like any extreme sports product, you get what you pay for. So in this guide, we’re going to cover the best wakeboard life jackets that money can buy. We’ll only be listing products from leading wakeboard brands such as Ronix, Follow and Hyperlite.
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The Best Wakeboard Life Jackets
Our Top Pick: Ronix RXT Capella 3.0
The thinnest CGA wake life jacket Ronix has yet to unleash, the RXT Capella 3.0 gives you the freedom to stay low for style and get high for some big air.
Made with two-way stretch neoprene, the Capella 3.0 can bend in more directions than a Slinky toy, but won’t let you down during a classic face-plant.
Designed for wakeboarding junkies, Ronix pushes the boundaries with its tapered buoyancy, putting extra thick foam around your upper chest while keeping it super-thin around the waist. Not only does this make you look good – it also gives you the freedom of movement you rarely experience with a CGA wakeboard life jacket.
Using a combination of cushion and supportive foam, it’s both comfortable and supportive.
The Ronix Capella life jacket was designed using the principles of traditional tailoring to produce a perfect fit regardless of size. It comes with a slightly longer torso than normal, so your belly button won’t pop out and embarrass you in the middle of a ride.
It even has a water-resistant liner that helps to stop water from seeping into the jacket, making it more comfortable throughout your session.
Such sophistication and safety don’t come cheap, however, and the Ronix RXT Capella 3.0 CGA will set you back $199.99… fortunately, it’s worth it.
Liquid Force Axis Life Jacket
It feels like a competition vest, it looks like something out of the Mission: Impossible wardrobe, but what is it?
Liquid Force’s Axis vest is one of the best wakeboard life jackets you can get your hands on.
With the exclusive Liquid Force V-Flex shoulder pattern and stretchable neoprene fabric, the Axis vest wakeboard life jacket will move with you like a second skin.
Liquid Force’s top-quality products are made from an advanced type of stretch fabric, designed to move with you and take on your unique shape. It’s breathable as well as flexible and ensures you stay footloose and sweat-free whatever the weather.
The stretch-light lining of the 2021 Axis also minimizes water absorption while keeping you warm on those cooler fall days.
When it comes to protection, Liquid Force uses a combination of impact-absorbing foam, and a protective polymer shield, with extra armor panels where you need them the most. Keeping your spine and upper chest protected with these flexible panels, means less chance of serious injury but plenty of scope for movement and creativity on the water.
Most importantly, the Liquid Force 2021 Axis comes with the latest in buoyancy by using PVE foam to boost flotation. In our opinion, it’s one of the best wakeboard life jackets money can buy.
Get a Axis Coast Guard Approved vest and enjoy the protection and freedom of one of the best wakeboarding life jackets for just $139.99!
Connelly Big Promo Life Jacket
Ideal for those on a tight budget, Connelly’s Big Promo life jackets are designed for both men and women and are approved by the US Coast Guard. They may not be quite as sleek as the best wakeboard life jackets on this list, but they do the job in terms of both flexibility and safety.
The Big Promo uses an innovative design that adds mobility while providing support for your back. The shoulder pads are made of Glideskin – neoprene covered with nylon to increase flexibility and minimize water retention.
The front panels also have four different hinge points, so your chest and shoulders can move easily in all directions. The armholes have also been contoured to maximize flexibility. It also has a couple of hidden straps complete with side release buckles leading to a perfect fit.
Both men’s and women’s versions of the Big Promo jacket are priced at $69.99 on BuyWake. So you could pick up a matching pair for less than the price of a single Ronix RXT Capella.
The Best Non-CGA Wakeboard Vests
Our Top Pick: Hyperlite Riot Comp Wake Vest
It may not get the coastguard’s stamp of approval, but it sure gets high marks for design and mobility.
This lightweight vest won’t get in your way, even when you’re performing the toughest of tricks. And it’s easy enough to slip on and off thanks to the front zip that snuggles up to your chin. It’s understated colors and minimalist H/L logo mean it won’t detract from your best performance either.
That combined makes this one the best wakeboarding life vests on this list. Diamond pattern flex zones mean this wake vest will move with you even in the most challenging of conditions.
Like the Connelly Concept, it has a front zip for easy access and is made from lightweight, flexible neoprene. Having said that, it is a little thicker than most other wakeboard vests, but that also means its more effective when it comes to flotation.
Lightweight it may be, but light on the pocket it isn’t, coming in at a hefty $159.99 but for this level of style, flexibility, and flotation, it’s still a bargain in my mind. It’s still one of the best wakeboard vests for the money.
Follow SPR Impact Wake Vest
This nifty wakeboard vest comes with a handy stash pocket so you can keep your valuables safe while getting air. It’s designed to cling to the curve of your body, so you don’t get any unsightly wrinkles or bulges where you least need them.
This wakeboard vest is comfortable enough to wear all day thanks to its TrueFit Liner and super-stretchy neoprene. The feather-weight foam is PVC-free, making it environmentally-friendly while the D-Mesh Glideskin repels water as efficiently as a duck’s back.
Follow’s diamond pattern is smaller than most, giving greater support to those areas that need to be the most flexible. It has a cinch belt for extra security around the waist and to prevent it from shifting during a hard crash.
Two side flex panels have been added in to improve mobility and make the vest more easily adjustable, so you can get it to fit like a glove.
That’s a wrap, our guide to the best wakeboard life jackets, ranging from $70 upwards.
Want to read more? Check out our guide to the best wakeboard money can buy!