ASB MAGAZINE: Patagonia will release its Patented Personal Surf Inflation Vest for Big Wave Surfers just in time for the Australian winter. Patagonia has spent more than 5 years researching, developing and testing its Personal Surf Inflation (PSI) Vest for big wave surfing, and in 2014, received a United States patent for the innovations included in the PSI Vest. The vest is being brought to the Australian market this Autumn for surfers who have met certain qualifications, and Patagonia will share the technology with other manufacturers in exchange for licensing fees that Patagonia will donate to help save Punta de Lobos, an iconic and endangered Chilean surf break.


In 2011, with ambassadors and friends paddling into continually bigger waves, Patagonia’s R&D team began developing the PSI Vest as an additional tool to help keep surfers safer in extraordinarily dangerous conditions. Patagonia’s innovations were tested by more than 400 of the best surfers in the world and feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. The U.S. Patent Office awarded Patagonia a patent on its innovative PSI Vest technology in 2014.


“Big wave riders all over the world are pushing the limits of what’s possible – surfing the biggest waves in the most powerful surf the oceans can offer. The PSI Vest has already played a huge role in giving surfers the confidence to take the sport of big wave surfing to the next level.” said Jason McCaffrey, Patagonia’s Director of Surf. “We invested heavily in testing and refining the PSI Vest, and sought feedback from hundreds of the best surfers in the world, in order to bring to market the best product possible. The PSI Vest will help reduce the risks involved in riding the world’s biggest waves, and I’m excited that licensing fees from our extensive R&D work will be another tool we can use to help protect coastal ecosystems.”


Knowing that the PSI Vest has helped save lives, Patagonia’s surf team is making its patented technology available to the industry so that others can bring their own variations of the vest to market. Patagonia is donating all patent licensing proceeds to Punta de Lobos Por Siempre, an effort led by Save the Waves and Chilean surfer and Patagonia ambassador Ramón Navarro to protect Punta de Lobos.


In conjunction with the launch of the PSI vest, BWRAG is bringing its safety curriculum to Torquay for the first time this Autumn, co-hosting with Patagonia Australia a Level 1 & 2 Summit on the 14th and 15th of April. Hosted be Australian Surfers Dan Ross & Zeb Walsh and instructed by Brian Keaulana, Pat Chong Tim & Greg Long, this course will provide those who complete the course with Level 1 & 2 & PSI vest certification. The PSI vest is available for sale in the Patagonia Torquay store to surfers who have a Big Wave Safety Certification.