The Mocke Life Vest

The Mocke Life Vest

Almost every surf skier is wearing a Mocke life jacket, and there are good reasons for that.  It is definitely one of the most comfortable life jackets around, and all three size S/M, M/L, and XL have a great deal of room for adjustment.  The XL will even fit over a wetsuit and paddle jacket on a guy with a 50 inch chest. I know, I’m the guy!   The fit is easily adjusted with the straps on both sides.

The high-vis orange makes it probably the most easily seen jacket on the market as well.  During a recent downwinder on a dark, drizzly day my crew got spread out a bit, but it was easy to find that blob of orange somewhere in the waves.  At night the reflective tape really pops out when hit with light.

The rear pocket of the vest is a great place to keep a water bladder, and the optional Mocke 1.5L fits perfectly.  The front pocket is cavernous, with plenty of room for all the necessities you might need on a paddle.

It’s very popular with the competitive crowd, and they’re in stock at Virginia Beach Paddlesports.



One thought on “The Mocke Life Vest

  1. My view on PFDs is a bit like my view on helmets for bicycles and motor cycles, don’t tell me I have to wear it, let me make my own decision. I’ve gone through a host of different PFDs in the last 5 years during my 5 years of paddling that started with the participation in “WaterTribe” challenges that required PFDs and an extensive list of required gear needed on or in a PFD. I started off with a traditional PFD with gear strapped all over it (Knife, Whistle, PLB, and small hypothermia kit). Depending on conditions it would end up on the back deck or stuffed into the cockpit, I hated the restriction on movement required for proper paddling. I’m always looking a more effective system that minimized restriction on movement and reduced core body heat generation. I’ve used inflatable suspender PFDs, new innovative systems like the Swimit ( The issue with the suspender system is the cost of practicing with the auto inflator (replacement co2 cartages are expensive) and the inadvertent inflation if you go over and don’t need the buoyancy). The Swimit works but some race directors won’t approve regardless of its buoyancy capacity. Where everything came together for me was during the 2014 North Carolina 100 mile challenge! The race conditions were challenging to say the least; waves off the beach were 3-4 ft short interval waves, 20 kt wind. I made the conscious decision to wear a traditional PFD. 3 miles into the race I was paddling through swells 4-6 ft off the beam and I went over. Boy did I learn a lot in the next 3 hours! My traditional PFD with all the required equipment was an absolute impediment to re-entry. In those 3 hours I came out of the boat 7 times with multiple re-entry attempts. Postrace, back to the drawing board; what had I done wrong (besides not staying upright), was I using improper self-rescue techniques? After close introspection and inspection of the boat, I figured it out. The cock pit coaming was cracked from where my knife was getting caught hindering my self-rescue. Back to the internet to find a better PFD solution, that 1) wouldn’t hinder re-entry, easy to use for practicing self-rescue training, 2) dissipate heat effectively, 3) highly visible and 4) good gear/equipment carrying capacity without creating snag hazards. The Mocke racing PFD has met my requirements. This time I practiced the skills, experimented with the loads in the pockets to ensure re-entry wouldn’t be impeded. 1st test was the 300 mile 2015 Everglades challenge. In the front pocket I carried a PLB, knife, whistle and snacks, the rear pocket stored a hypothermia kit, small 1staid kit and cell phone. Once again start conditions were sub optimal which eventually led to the coast guard canceling the event 4 hours into the challenge, but I learned some very interesting things about the Mocke; after the crossing I was in front with the race leaders and came across a fellow paddler that needed assistance. My paddling partner passed me and had gained about a mile on me but because of the Mocke’s visibility I never lost sight of her and we were able to reconnect. Also during this time the USCG was pulling folks who looked less than competent off the course, I was approached by the USCG and was waved on, I contribute this to the Mocke, I looked safe!. These days I rarely go for a paddle without it, of course everyone says the driving factor is that I love to eat and the Mocke is the only PFD that can carry all of my snacks.


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