“Salus Marine Wear Gjoa PFD”
I don’t have breasts, not even flabby man breasts, and definitely nothing you’d mistake for pectoral muscles. Anyone who’s met me is now nodding because they know I’m built more like a drinking straw than an hourglass. Most PFDs fit me, so I don’t know first hand what all the complaining is about, but put a bunch of women together in the same shuttle vehicle and sooner than later the conversation turns to “does your PFD squash up your boobs?” You may find yourself already penning a how-crude-of-me letter, but ask any woman paddler and you’ll realize this is a serious issue.
Steve Wagner, president and designer of Salus Marine Wear doesn’t have breasts either, but gruelling anatomical research produced the clever cut of the new Gjoa; a PFD that fits women like a Wonderbra. The Gjoa (pronounce YO-ha, the name of Roald Amundsen’s ship which was the first to navigate the Northwest Passage) is a full-bodied, side-zip/pullover, Canadian Coast Guard approved paddling vest. The contoured princess seams divide the front of the PFD into three hinged panels that wrap your torso, while the chest foam thins to reduce bulk, and accommodate and support. “We almost released the Gjoa as a woman-only PFD, but so many men found it comfortable we didn’t want to pigeonhole it,” said Wagner. Salus uses Nylon webbing throughout, Drylex mesh lining, and Cordura outer fabric, making the Gjoa strong enough for a man. But really, it’s made for a woman. Gold, red, and moss green.