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Top Stand-Up Paddleboard Laws You Should Know

stand up paddle board laws you should know paddlie with PFD

It’s no secret that stand-up paddleboarding is one of the most fun activities you can do while out on the water. However, in order to engage in this fun and carefree activity, you need to be aware of several laws. These laws are in place to protect your safety and your fun while out on the water, which is why it is absolutely essential for you to understand them. Read on to get a better understanding of the top stand-up paddleboard laws you need to know.

You Must Have a Life Vest While Paddle Boarding

While it may be uncomfortable, wearing a life vest while paddleboarding, or carrying one on board, is the law. Legally, paddleboards are considered vessels, and when you’re outside surfing areas, it means you are required to wear, or carry on board, the same necessary life-saving gear that applies to every other sailing craft. This may seem like a downer, but it is worth noting that more accidents happen on paddleboards than boats due to the lack of railings on paddleboards. Additionally, life vests provide a lot of utility in the form of visibility while out on the ocean, which just may save your life at some point. If you use a standard foam vest life jacket, you can secure it on deck. If you use the inflatable belt pack style PFDs, it must be worn.

Don’t Forget Your Safety Gear

Because paddleboards are viewed as vessels by most law enforcement, it is essential for you to carry other life-saving safety in addition to your life vest. In some areas, and for some paddle boarding trips, this can include flares, water filtration equipment, first aid kits, emergency whistles, navigation lights, VHF radio, and even food rations for a 24-hour period. While this may seem like a lot to bring out on the water, they will keep you safe if you ever get into trouble while out on the water. Having these tools may save your life or someone else’s.

Never Drink While Paddle Boarding

While it may seem like a no-brainer to not drink while out on the water, many people still choose to do so. In many cases, drinking while on the water can lead to serious injuries and even death, as your faculties will be compromised in an already uncomfortable and unsafe area. Other things to stay away from while out on the water include any medications that make you drowsy and any other medications that can impair your coordination or judgment. In short, you need to treat drinking and paddleboarding just as you would drinking and driving.

We hope our article has helped you understand the most important paddleboard laws to keep in mind while out on the water. Knowing these laws will help you stay out of trouble and allow you to make the most of your time on your paddleboard. If you are looking for a first-rate paddleboard shop to get top quality gear, reach out to Green Water Sports today!

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About the author: Julian Kidd
I have been an avid stand up paddle boarder since 2009. I retired from a decade of professional kiteboarding to focus on SUP. Green Water Sports grew from this love of all things SUP. As well as being a keen paddle boarder, I'm a football fan, closet petrol head, web tinkerer, husband and father.