• Whats SUP?

    Stand Up Paddlers will have to follow the same rules as others when it comes to saftey equiptment
    as theis article in SUP Currents indicates"

    Here is the write up of regs on SUP Currents from the Coast Guard:

    “The Coast Guard determined that SUPs (standup paddle boards) are “vessels” when operating “beyond the narrow confines of a surfing, swimming or bathing area.”

    A vessel, according to 1 USC 3 “includes ever description of watercraft or other artificial contrivance used. Or capable of being used, as a means of transportation on water.”

    What does this mean to a boarding officer?:
    It means that if you (officer) see an SUP operating:

    A. In the surf or swimming/bathing area, leave it alone.
    B. On other waters, treat it as a kayak or other paddlecraft.

    What Boating Safety regulations apply to a SUP?
    Like any paddlecraft, a SUP operating outside a surfing or swimming area is subject to the NAVRLES, carriage requirements for PFDs, VDS, sound producing device, navigation lights and accident reporting.

    What Kind of Lifejackets are required on a SUP?
    Just as with other boats, children (12 years old and under in CA) must wear a lifejacket. Adults must have one onboard. PFDs must be Coast Guard approved and either Type I, II, or III.
    Note: For people 16 years and older, who can swim and are comfortable in the water, a good choice is an inflatable lifejacket. They are less cumbersome and come in suspender style and belt –pack style.

    What kind of sound producing device is required on a SUP?
    A whistle will suffice for a sound-producing device.

    What about Navigation Lights?
    As with any rowboat, kayak, or other paddlecraft, the operator of a SUP need only carry a flashlight that can be shined in enough time to avoid collision. They are not required to have installed navigation lights.

    What about Visual Distress Signals (VDS)?
    For boats in CA, VDS are only required when operating offshore. If a SUP is operating offshore it would be required to carry VDS under the following circumstances:
    A. It the SUP is less then 16 feet long the operator need only carry VDS if operating between sunset and sunrise.
    B.If the SUP is 16 feet longer, the operator needs to carry both day and night VDS anytime it is underway (33 CFR 175.110 (a).

    Do SUPs have hull ID numbers (HIN)?
    No, the Coast Guard waived that manufacturer requirement.

    So SUPs have to have registration numbers?
    No, State D11 do not require registration of paddlecraft (CA, AZ, NV, UT). However, other states might.

    What about “traditional” paddleboards that don’t use a paddle but are powered by hand, kneeling or laying down like a surfboard?
    “Traditional” paddleboards have been around for about 100 years. This style of paddleboard is typically long, pointed and does NOT use a paddle. The operator “paddles” with his or her hands like on a surfboard. These were not considered in the Coast Guard’s “vessel” determination, which said, “The sport involves a person standing on a board similar to a surfboard and propelling themselves through the use of a paddle.” Even if a traditional paddleboard had been classified as a “vessel” it would be exempt from lifejacket carriage requirements because it is powered by hand rather then “by machinery”, sails, oars, paddles, poles, or other vessel.” (33 CFR 175.11)
    Where can I find these regs in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)?

    Most recreational requirements can be found in 33 CFR, between 173 and 187.” Just FYI this is like trying to find a needle in a haystack so I was quite happy when the CG gave me the sheet they had written up for all of us SUPers.
    Link to the US Coast Guard SUP Regulation from 2011 is here.