Palm have released the ‘Glide’, a compact PFD that is smart to look at and smart in terms of design. Neatly folded inside the belt sits an inflatable bladder that is fed by a small gas cylinder to provide 100N of floatation. Available in red or blue the belt features a zipped pocket and D-ring to keep keys or other items handy. The ‘Glide’ has been designed and manufactured for SUP (stand up paddleboarding) so why would a kayak angler have much interest in one?
Much as I love my kayak fishing I also enjoy self-preservation and life on the west coast of Ireland can sometimes mean that the wild Atlantic lives up to its name! I like pushing the boundaries but I do have my limits in inclement weather conditions and there are times where common sense has kept me off the water. All is not lost in such situations and fishing can still very much be done from the shore. Rugged coastlines and rock hopping can see an angler in some pretty inhospitable places and the peace of mind and reassurance that the ‘Glide’ can provide for anglers. A slippery rock or a foot out of place can mean a tumble when at the water’s edge and the ‘Glide’ is certainly an item that can turn a potentially lethal situation into a mere dunking. As can be seen from the images, the ‘Glide’ is compact and will not weigh the angler down or restrict their movement in any way.
I do also envisage that the ‘Glide’ will be a very useful piece of kit for the kayak. One thing I am looking forward to this summer (I hear it will on a Thursday this year!!) is using the ‘Glide’ when out paddling. Whenever air and water temperatures are warm enough to allow me shed the drysuit the ‘Glide’ will sit nicely around my waist, providing security while enabling me to paddle in a T-shirt and my Ion Pants. As with the rock-hoppers and other shore anglers, the design and fit of the PFD will in no way inhibit paddling or fishing.
Although I have not noticed this trend in Europe, there appears to be a running battle between the ‘Wear a PFD’ camp and the ‘I don’t want to wear a PFD’ camp across the pond. To me this should be a non-argument; everybody should go afloat with a PFD regardless of their planned trip of experience level. One popular argument is that PFD’s are too bulky and uncomfortable. Clearly those making this argument have never experienced the comfort and ease of paddling while wearing a Kaikoura! The ‘Glide’ is perfect for those that think PFD’s are too big or too bulky.
The PFD is easily inflated by physically pulling the yellow tab and rearming kits are available should a replacement be required.
Well made, lightweight and a potential lifesaver for any member of the family, it would be difficult to not recommend the Glide PFD.