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Big wave surfing is a level of surfing only practiced by those who are the wildest, strongest, most disciplined in the water. The dangers of riding big waves are extensive; you can drown from a long hold-down, you can be knocked unconscious, you can be smashed on the reef or rocks. In a big wave wipeout the surfer can get pushed under the water 5-15 meters allowing the surfer only about 20 seconds to get to the surface before the next wave crashes.
Now, a new technology is making their surf sessions a lot safer.
Big wave surfers such as Laird Hamilton and Darrick Doerner have pushed things to the limits by riding waves as big as 50 feet since the 1990s.
Introduced in 1992, tow-in surfing involves the implementation of jet skis and which allows surfers to access waves too large and steep to paddle on to.
With the use of jet-skis, surfers have the ability to move to smaller boards, opening up the possibilities for surfing larger, heavier waves. But tow-in surfing also puts surfers like Hamilton and Doerner at greater risk.
Above is a photo of the new inflatable life vest made specifically for big-wave surfers in use. The vest was designed with maneuverability in mind, so surfers won't sacrifice skill for safety. It also has options for deflation and inflation right on the vest for situations where less buoyancy is needed. Over time, big wave surfing has pushed boundaries and set records that were once thought to be impossible, and now this new life-saving technology for big wave surfers is pushing the limits even further. With this new vest, surfers will be able to ride taller, faster waves without all of the risk.