Regarding that whole topic of laws mandating that a pfd must be worn while paddling--while I believe the wisdom of wearing a pfd cannot be challenged, I am not in favor of laws that require it.
John Kerry said in America we have a right to be stupid. That might be the only thing I agree with him on, but nevertheless, he's right. There will always be do-gooders and know-it-alls who think they know what is best for everyone. The right to be stupid is often the essence of freedom and liberty.