Early on, this left the Coast Guard with an influx of new watercraft, but few tangible ways to regulate use and safety. They have enacted various laws to combat this problem and maintain order on the water, the most notable of which is classifying SUPS as "vessels". This means that, when beyond the limits of a swimming, surfing, or bathing area, federal Navigation Rules apply.
Below we have congregated laws that will keep you and others safe, and free from legal fines as well, when beyond the surf line or designated swimming areas.
- All paddlers 12, or younger, must wear a USCG-approved life-jacket (PFD).
- Paddlers over 12 must have a USCG-approved adult life jacked either on, or fixed to the board and available to use if needed.
- All life jackets must be the proper size for the rider.
- All life jackets must be in "serviceable condition" - no tears or other damage that would impact performance.
- All riders must have a whistle or other audio signaling device.
- If out after sunset, paddlers must have a flashlight or other light signal to warn other boaters of their location.