We may never tire in saying this: Kudos to Patagonia.
Not only for creating a self-inflating vest intended to increase safety for big wave surfers, but also for wholly understanding such an invention is the last line of defense in the perilous sport.
For a brand like Patagonia, there’s no substitute for excellent training and practice, which for a big wave surfer means learning how to relax and hold your breath for five minutes and relax during a wipeout. The PSI vest, which was made in partnership with FCD Surfboards, is to be worn under a wetsuit and uses two CO2 cartridges that fill the vest and wetsuit full of buoyant gas to help the submerged surfer rise to the top.
It’s pretty clever, and though Patagonia is allowing other companies to license their patented technology, all of the fees collected are donated to Fundacion Punta de Lobos, a nonprofit dedicated to conserving the Chilean coastline.