A new water sports product could be out on the market in the next few years — a life vest made especially for women, and it started right here in Lafayette.
UL student Kate Brown designed the Comfort Flex Life Vest for her senior industrial design thesis project. »I grew up in Louisiana, » said Brown. « I grew up with water sports. Everyone I know fishes or swims, or does some kind of boating activity. So, I saw a real need to improve especially the female life jacket.
Brown said it was firsthand experience that drove her to re-invent the life vest, for women. »Well first of all, I’m a female, » said Brown.
She aimed to create a life preserver that was form fitting to the body, but still just as safe. »Whether they’re male or female, it’s the fact that they have a seam on their shoulder and a seam on their sides so they lay down flat, » said Brown. « But, the human body is not made that way.
« So Brown made some alterations for a slimmer, more comfortable fit.
« Well right here you’ll see a relief cut under the arm, and you’ll see a smaller hole cut than a traditional hole cut, » said Brown.
Brown’s prototype proved to be a success when it placed top three in the Innovations in Life Jacket Design Competition, an international contest with more than 250 entries from 40 countries.
« It’s given me more confidence, just basically more confidence to carry on the project and I’d like to see it to fruition, » said Brown.