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Freeboard

Some of our suits are equipped with back-pillows in order to meet SOLAS requirements concerning the freeboard of 12 cm. The suits with back-pillows (models ARO V20 and ARO V40) offer optimal cold-protection and a high degree of functionality.

They are fixed to the suit and as a result no additional life-vest is needed. This saves valuable minutes in the case of an emergency. The pillow is made of soft PVC foam and placed under head and shoulders. With this a relaxed swimming position can be achieved. The attachment to the suit is secured by two 45 mm wide heavy-duty nylon belts which are capable of being stressed with a maximum weight of 500 kg each. This way a folding of the pillow is efficiently prevented.

Competing manufacturers have chosen different ways to achieve the required freeboard. Some lift up the head without the shoulders while others lift up back and shoulders only. Both positions are not stress free for the user. Furthermore there are reasonable doubts if these approaches really lift up the mouth to the required position and therefore meet the requirements.
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