I recommend BoVest to all windsurfers for whom the freedom of movement is essential. Its buoyancy can also be an advantage when taking-off from water.
I used it in Croatia in Viganj, with an 8.4m Diablo sail at approx. 5 BF. No problems, and once inflated, taking-off from the water was pure pleasure. Then I used it in Egypt at the Pro Center Tommy Friedl in Jasmine. My setup included a JP Super Sport 124 Pro and an 8.2 Hornet. Bo Vest exceeded out boldest expectations. I estimate its buoyancy to be between 20 and 24 litres. Super light, well balanced, keeps an upright position, good protection against excessive sun exposure (just make sure you choose the right colour). I also use it with a shorty of full wetsuit, instead of a floatation device.
The vest dries quickly, its comfortable and pleasant in touch. Technologically very advanced, made using top quality materials. It can be inflated to the maximum, and once deflated it goes back to its original shape. I love this vest and its versatility.
Marek Rowninski sr.
Master Mariner, former Vice-President of the Polish Kiteboarding Association PZKite.
My results of testing.
I’ve been using BoVest for a couple of days. Initially I was testing it out of curiosity, but now I’ve gotten into a habit of putting it on over my wetsuit. For a number of reasons.
1. It does not get in the way. Even when fully inflated. I initially though it might impede movement – I was wrong. Even the underarm chambers don’t bother at all.
2. It’s going to be there when you really are up the creek – I don’t know how much air it takes, but I’d guess it’s a dozen litres or so.
3. Inflated improves thermal comfort. When in the water, it certainly doesn’t drain your heat reserves as other lycras do. On shore in keeps you nice and snug. Kolobrzeg in May is a perfect thermal training ground – water 10 degrees and the air temperature probably the same. I usually start shaking 10 minutes after leaving the water. With Bo Vest I could be on shore for longer breaks without feeling usual cooling down effects.
4. Impact protection – it acts like an air bag in a car. Today I crashed with full power onto my back from 7 meters. I only got wet. However BoVest won’t help with pointy hit but it’s great with flat beats.
The vest should be worn under the harness! On the first day I did not know it and in the result the vest was underneath my arms at every crash.
When I crashed, the tube would slip out from under the lycra. I moved the valve about 15 cm above the original location and voila! – problem solved. When I crashed, I lost the neoprene cover for the valve. Now you can’t see it on the picture.
Also, cut off the tag – it whistles in the wind!
My vest is an XL, even though I’m rather short. It’s worth trying it on before buying.
I saw yellow and black vests. I heard that it is possible to order any colour and design you like.
Generally speaking – I’m keeping my fingers crossed for this one. I have a feeling it will stay with me for some time to come.
I still don’t know where you’ll be able to buy it and for how much. I know that Bo Sport is involved with this.
A life-vest and a life-saver are things of the past now.
Piotr „Globus” Golba
VDWS International Instructor
I first heard about Bo Vest in spring 2014. Maciek Boszko mentioned something about an inflatable floatation vest for water sports. That got me interested, as both my passion and profession mean that I am often windsurfing and kitesurfing in all sorts of conditions.
In April 2015 I was about to take part in rescue training organised by VDWS International Association of Water Sports Schools and I suddenly remembered it. The 3-day training was to be held in The Netherlands, in hellishly cold waters of the North Sea.
Bo Vest test:
Venue: VDWS Lifeguard Workshop – The Netherlands, Brouwersdamm (The North Sea)
When: 20 – 21 April 2015
Air temperature: approx. 10 degrees
Water temperature: approx. 8 of degrees
Wind: 15 – 18 knots
Training objectives: How to deal in practice with difficult and complex rescue situations in the sea, subject to maximum realism of the scenarios played out.
When we were playing the “victims”, we were thrown out of a motor boat into the ice-cold water approx. 500 – 700 meters from shore and we had to wait until our friends from the “rescuers” team find us and bring back to the shore 🙂 As there were a number of victims in the water at the same time and in different places, sometimes we had to wait up to 20 minutes to be rescued.
Impressions / observations:
Worn over a wet suit the deflated vest looks just like ordinary lycra and does not impede movement in any way whatsoever. I had a windstopper jacket on top as well.
Inflation is quick and effortless.
It provides excellent buoyancy once the front and rear chambers are inflated.
You don’t have to move at all to stay on top of the water.
The body remains in a comfortable position and your head is not submerged.
I also enjoyed the fact that when inflated the vest kept provided extra insulation and it felt much warmer in the water.
Opinions from my team mates:
When out of the water, the vest inflated under my jacket made me look a bit funny 🙂 Large chest and a hump on my back drew gazes of people on the peach. At first, they found it a bit funny, but after I explained what’s what, they liked the idea.
In my opinion, BoVest is an interesting option for those doing the water sports. It is very simple to use. When fully inflated it gives a safe buoyancy and keep a body in the safe position in the water, yet it feels just like an ordinary lycra when deflated.
For me, personally, it seems most suited to surfing in the sea, particularly in conditions when breakers are reaching far into our home Baltic Sea 🙂
Piotr „Globus” Golba VDWS International Lecturer
Jurek " KAMIENNY" Makowiecki
We tested Bovest with my 13-year old son. He is just moving from a twintip to a directional board – thus he knows what waves and breakers are, he’s been worked and underwater for a bit too long too. The vest helped him to become familiar with the environment in a stress-free way. Usually it was inflated just a little bit, we really just wanted to get the feeling that there is “something” there which will help if things go awry, he knew that at any pointy he’ll be able to further inflate the vest and unclip from his equipment if he really needs to. After training for 2 weeks at Cabo Verde, the boy is not shy of any surf, and he handles them quite well. I think that top a large extent it’s down to the feeling of safety which Bovest gives him.
Apart from the safety features, the Bovest inflatable flotation vest has one major advantage – when “at rest” it is just an ordinary lycra – a t-shirt far from uncool. And for many, particularity younger riders, this is of paramount importance… as you can look cool on the beach with the vest deflated and only inflate it where no one can see you. ☺
As an experienced wave rider, I can honestly say that BoVest is simply sensational. Once partly inflated it does provide enough buoyancy to keep me afloat in a shorebreak and at the same time it does not restrict freedom of my moves. ... and you don’t have to look like a gorilla on steroids ☺