This is a required item! There are two important things you need to make sure you check before purchasing a life jacket.
When trying on a life jacket, make sure your child fits within the weight requirement of the jacket. Most importantly, when the life jacket is secured, make sure that the life jacket does not go above the sailor's head when pulling up on the shoulder straps. This maneuver represents what would happen if your sailor would fall into the water.
If you have a younger child and expect them to grow we do not recommend purchasing an expensive life jacket. The pricier ones are recommended to racing students who are required to maneuver a little more fluidly on their boats and to those who are fully grown. As long as the life jacket reaches the two main requirements you are set!
Whistles are pretty self explanatory but most importantly a required item. They are used if your sailor is in an emergency situation. Make sure you have some sort of lanyard for attachment. We recommend purchasing a plastic whistle as metal ones may get hot in the sun.
Our suggestion is the notoriously loud Fox 40 whistle, but as long as the whistle makes a noise you are free to purchase any!
Closed toed shoes are a required item. There are a wide range of water shoes to choose from but we particularly recommend athletic aqua sneakers or for the more advanced kids, specifically sailing lasers, dinghy boots.
The aqua sneakers should not be too hard to find but dinghy boots require an online order or usually a trip to a store that specializes in sailing or marine gear.
Sailing gloves are not a required item. They are beneficial to those who are sailing in the advanced class as they will experience heavier wind. Intermediate 420's could also benefit as 420's have stronger sails.
These specific gloves have cut tips, but there are other options that include full tipped gloves and another that only provides the full tip on the pointer finger.
Waterproof watches are only required for our advanced racing class, but we do recommend that intermediates consider purchasing one for early practice.
A very popular brand is IronMan. These can be found at your local target and are usually on sale. Make sure the one you pick is water resistant/proof and has a countdown timer, especially if you choose to go with a different brand.
Foul weather gear is not required for any class. It is however, highly recommended for our racing class as it maintains racing performance on cold days.
It is important to remember the season of 2019. The water and air temperature was very cold at the beginning of the season. As a result, we followed the 120 rule. This rule stated that the air temperature and the water temperature had to add up to 120 minimum. If we deemed conditions to be near the 120 region, we had students without spray gear not sail. This is something to keep in mind, but yet again not required as we understand this type of gear can be expensive.