Boom Vest Review by Gaël Espeche
A few years ago, I had an unfortunate accident while kitesurfing downwind and trying big strapless airs in Cabarete, Dominican Republic. I damaged my ribs pretty bad and that was the end of my trip. I was out of the water for 4 months while I recovered. Rib injuries are the worst, yet they’re pretty common in watersports. There’s not much you can do, and most of the time you have to just wait for them to heal.
After this accident, I was determined to get the right vest to protect my ribs from heavy impact on the water or even from my own equipment. I wanted something that would help me gain the confidence I needed for aerial tricks and also keep me safe as I dove headfirst and progressed into the new sport of wingfoiling.
Then I got my hands on Manera’s Boom Vest, and since then, it’s been my go-to accessory at my home spot in Miami Beach and while exploring new locations for kitesurfing and wingfoiling.
The Boom Vest is super protective, comfortable and offers a bit of floatation at the same time. Its Shotgum foam is shock absorbent, soft and lightweight, and it uses the same stretchy and durable X10D neoprene as Manera’s wetsuits. It’s also super easy to get on and off due to the jacket-style zipper up the front.
Since I began wearing this vest, it’s given me more confidence to try new tricks and worry less about the impact. For wingfoiling it’s ideal as we are always very close to the board and foil which may make contact with our upper body at any time, especially after a big wipeout in the waves. On top of being an unbeatable shock absorbent vest that’s both soft and lightweight, the large air cells also provide a bit of floatation which is very helpful when recovering after falling in the water or while swimming back to your board.
Like all of Manera’s wetsuits, the Boom Vest features Manera’s X10D neoprene which has incredible stretch, durability, softness and UV resistance. My vest still looks brand new after countless sessions under the harsh tropical sun.
Also, the Boom Vest features a special inner anti-slip material that’s printed all around the waist of the vest. This material is sticky but soft and flexible, and prevents the impact vest from riding up when moving or crashing.
Manera has made sure to provide a ‘harness zone’ around the midsection of the vest with no foam panels so your harness will fit around around your waist area without any discomfort. This is ideal if you are wearing a harness for wingfoiling and perfect for getting the protection you need for kitesurfing.
Now part of my everyday kit, the Boom Vest goes with me no matter whether I’m wingfoiling, kitesurfing or foilboarding. Hands down, the Boom Vest is the best investment I’ve made in my safety in a very long time.