“A cheap and comfortable solution to make you a lot safer when chasing heavy waves”

Price: $149.99
Link: https://www.ripcurl.com.au/mens/wetsuits/jackets/big-surf-paddle-wetsuit-jacket.html

I used the new Rip Curl paddle vest for the first time last week and was really impressed with how well it performs. It incorporates non-approved buoyancy segments which are mainly across the back panels, meaning that you get plenty of extra flotation without any thick sections under your chest that would hinder paddling. The result is you pop up a lot quicker when getting worked under water and float nicely when off the board so if you break a leggy and have to swim your life will be a lot easier or if you get knocked out you will stay on the surface. I had to bail a few times while wearing the vest and despite this extra flotation it’s still easy to swim down in. Additionally, the extra layers provide some impact protection which has great when you hit the water hard after wipe out.

The soft lycra material means that its really easy to slide a steamer over the top of the vest if you’re using it in cold water but is a tight enough fit to wear with boardies too.

All up, due to the comfort half the time I forgot I was even wearing it and it’s a great safety feature to give you some confidence when pushing yourself in bigger surf.


  • Super comfortable to paddle in
  • Extra buoyancy gets you to the surface quicker
  • Doesn’t prevent you swimming down if you bail
  • Might stop you drowning


  • Wearing it under a steamer makes you look pretty fat
  • It’s a nightmare to get off – I’d recommend having a buddy to help

Blogged By: Tim