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What is the difference between a lifejacket and buoyancy aid?

14 Jul 2023
What is the difference between a life jacket and buoyancy aid?

Lifejackets are designed to turn an unconscious casualty into a safe position with their face out of the water. A buoyancy aid is designed to assist you when you can swim to safety or when there is help close by.

Buoyancy aids are used for many watersports such as Dinghy Sailing, Paddleboarding, Kayaking and Powerboating. Spinlock make a 50N foam buoyancy aid, the WING and FOIL. The WING has a side zip and the FOIL is a front zip.

Spinlock also make the ALTO inflatable buoyancy aid which is 75N buoyancy and there is no inherent buoyancy until you manually inflate the bladder with the pull handle.

- The Spinlock WING and FOIL buoyancy aids are high cut for comfort
- Slim fitting with ergonomically shaped, thin foam for active sports
- The arm holes are designed to allow for freedom of movement
- The pockets are angled to be used in challenging conditions
- The buoyancy aids when ordered from Spinlock can be printed (contact Prosupport)

Spinlock Flotation is designed for performance in high agility sports which ensures the buoyancy aids are comfortable and tough enough to be worn all day, every day by sailing and watersports instructors. Spinlock buoyancy aids are used at many sailing schools and water sports centres such as the UKSA in Cowes.

The Spinlock buoyancy aids are popular item ordered in bulk by sailing schools and water sports centres because they look smart, can be branded on the front and back and fit well for a wide range of ages, heights and sizes both men and women comfortably.

The Wing and Foil buoyancy aids come in a wide range of sizes. 

Extra small fits those weighing 25-40kg and our extra-large size fits people with a 50-inch chest weighing over 70kg.

Read the amazing feedback we have received:


“The side zip makes it so much more comfortable for crouching and bending down, especially when we wear them all day, every day.”


“Front storage pouch, as an instructor is big and roomy, good for notepads and spares.”


“Way more comfortable than other’s I’ve had, they seem softer and mould to my chest really well.”


"We don’t send any back and have had zero failures over the last few years. Considering we use them all day every day for at least 8 months of the year, the zips have all held, the stitching is solid and they’re very slow to fade. As a centre, along with price, these are all very important.” 

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