Buckle Up Buttercup!
Pop quiz, hotshot: What is the invention that made fast cars possible?
You might think it was the internal combustion engine. As astute as that answer may be, it's not right.
Nitrous? Not even close.
It had nothing to do with fuel injection, high performance exhausts, or cooling systems either.
The invention that really made fast cars possible is the brake.
The real trick is not getting a vehicle to move fast. It's getting it to slow back down – quickly, safely, reliably, and in a controlled fashion.
This is especially important when things go wrong. It's important because things go wrong. You need a way to haul it down in an emergency and until you get that problem solved, going fast is pointless.
In the same way, the PFD (a.k.a. life jacket) is the key enabling technology on which all of our kayaking adventures are predicated. All other considerations are irrelevant if you don't have some way to safeguard against drowning. Because things go wrong. All the time.
Sure, PFDs are uncomfortable. They're hot. They're bulky. They get in the way. You may even think they look uncool.
That's all a bunch of baloney compared to saving your life when the shit goes down.
Buy one and wear it.
You wouldn't drive a car without brakes, would you?