Do you remember one piece of kit that changed the game for your paddling? Receiving a unanimous thumbs up on the launch of the Tika women’s PFD inspired us to dig in the archive and look back at the other iconic womens designs we’ve produced over the years …

Sarah Turner on the all women’s expedition to the Tamur river, Nepal

1992 – Canyon S PFD

Palm’s first women’s product and we believe the first of its kind anywhere. Custom made for the all-female expedition to the Himalayas to paddle the Tamur, it had advanced safety features like webbing strong points, a chest harness and plenty of floatation. What really made it stand apart was the fit. Much lower profile than other expedition style PFDs, for much more freedom of movement. It wasn’t long before male paddlers worked this out and it went on to become as popular for men as women.

Rosie Cripps, freestyle kayak and rafting champ, on the Rauma river, Norway

2004 – Rogue PFD

At the time of its release, the Rogue was the only PFD made specifically for women on the market. Designed alongside the RT Whitewater PFD, the Rogue was among the first PFDs where we shaped the foam panels to create a three-dimensional fit. A no compromise whitewater buoyancy aid, the fit and safety features meant it was iconic with the female chargers of the time.

Martina Wegmann, kayak slalom Olympian at Lake Quinson, France

2011 – Halo PFD

The Halo was a low profile all rounder that saw development of our wrap-around shape into the Flex Form Fit. Focused on reducing volume in the chest area, by keeping floatation low, the cross chest opening is still used on today’s Extreme. It and its Luna whitewater classmate were also one of the first in the range to use non-PVC Gaia foam.

Sara James, teacher, leader and paddleboarder on the Colorado river, USA

2015 – Extrem PFD

An iteration of the earlier Luna PFD and another step forward in women’s whitewater and a change of aesthetic. The challenge with the women’s Extrem was fitting all the safety features (like the failsafe strap system) and front pocket storage into the smaller sizes required. The solution was a development of the cross chest opening system and supporting side panels.

Kate Ingham, SUP Bristol director at Wapping Wharf, United Kingdom

2015 – Meander PFD

Again, developing a product for women led the design process at the time paddleboarding really began to rise in popularity. The objective was to make a good value, easy to use PFD comfortable for paddlers not familiar with using one. Proving simple design is good design, the gilet style foam was shaped slightly taller to keep the aesthetic slim but keeping users buoyant and safe. Combined with the purple Vantage jacket this pairing has outsold the equivalent men’s products.

Erin Bastian, expedition sea kayak guide on her Paddle Pickup campaign

2016 – Peyto PFD

The Peyto is a firm favourite womens touring PFD, thanks to features like the rear hydration pocket and stealth hand warmers. Our team have used it on the first paddle board from Lands End to John o’ Groats and it’s been back and forth to Greenland and Antarctica. When laid out flat the foam takes on a distinctive ‘onion’ shape, which allows the foam wrapping around your torso, moving bulk away from the tummy area. This made space for low profile cargo front pockets that don’t get in the way and also pass the malt loaf carrying test.

Cal Major, paddleboard record holder and campaigner, Findhorn, Scotland

2023 – Tika PFD

Just over twenty years from Palm’s first investment in safer and more comfortable PFDs for women, the Tika’s design makes another leap in performance – we set out to make the perfect fit. The result of really valuable insight and testing by a varied group of paddlers, the key ingredient again is the foam shape. Continuing our wrap around fit we added a cantilever point to the chest, creating a cup and allowing the top to taper towards the shoulders. With six prototypes to get right over a two year period, we dialled in the fit and the result is exactly what we hoped – a PFD that encourages more women to be confident and enjoy being on the water.

Getting more women on the water

We have committed to donating £1/1€ from each Tika sale to the Seaful charity ( to help get women paddling. Keep an eye out later in 2024 for news on this year’s activity.