The "ideal" or "safest" way to do something. This is often one of those "do as I say not as I do" situations. It is a good idea to always wear a PFD
but some people think they don't need to. Usually the rational goes something like: "I've been doing it this way forever and have never had a problem, why should I change now.".
Other kayaking best practices:
People can usually come up with innumerable rationals for not adhearing to "best practice", and occasionally their reasons even make sense. But, there are often good, solid reasons why the best practice developed and varying from them should only be done with GoodJudgement and [common sense]?.