Paddle Sports Safety

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Paddle sports are a great way to get out and enjoy many of Nevada's scenic waters. Game wardens who patrol the waters used to see only a handful of paddlers just ten years ago, but now see hundreds of kayaks, paddleboards and canoes all across the state.

Paddle craft are less expensive than motorboats, require little maintenance and cause no noise or pollution.  Many people view the growth in paddling as a positive development, but the challenge is making sure that people take the time to learn about basic boating safety before heading out. 

Anyone considering heading out in a kayak, paddleboard or canoe must always remember that these vessels carry many of the same risks and responsibilities as larger motorboats, and paddling is a sport where it is very easy to end up in the water when you don’t expect it.

Once you are paddling any craft on the water, you become subject to the same boating rules as every other kind of vessel.  Paddlers are required to carry a life jacket that fits properly for every person aboard the boat, and children under the age of 13 are required to wear the life jacket at all times. The best way to enjoy the water safely is to wear a life jacket at all times.  In vessels such as canoes, kayaks, paddleboards and float tubes, it is very easy to lose balance and end up in the water and anglers who use paddle craft should be prepared. 

Wear a Life Jacket

It doesn't matter how experienced you are, or how strong of a swimmer you might be, they are called accidents for a reason. Experienced paddlers wear a life jacket every time they are on the water. Did you know that 85% of fatal canoeing accidents and 48% of kayaking fatalities involved people who were not wearing their life jacket. Don't just have it on the board or boat, wear it. It just might save your life. 

Paddle Sport Safety Course (FREE online course)

PS2Earn your certificate in paddle sports safety with this free Paddle Sports Safety Course. The course is sanctioned by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators & recognized by the U.S. Coast Guard. If it's got a paddle it's in this course. Including everything stand-up paddleboard (SUP). Just be careful standing up in those kayaks and canoes, in fact we'll teach you how (or when not to). Push off and get started!

Important Information

Check out this important information regarding paddle sport safety from the US Coast Guard.

Top Ten Safety Tips for Stand-Up Paddleboards 

  • 1. Wear a life jacket and carry a whistle
  • 2. Be a competent swimmer
  • Paddleboard_Mead3. Know how to self rescue
  • 4. Know how to tow another board
  • 5. Know the local regulations and navigation rules
  • 6. Understand the elements and 
  • hazards – winds, tidal ranges, current, terrain
  • 7. Know when to wear a leash
  • 8. Be defensive – don’t go where you aren’t supposed to be and avoid other swimmers, boaters, paddleboards 
  • 9. Use proper blade angle to be the most efficient paddle boarder
  • 10. Take a safety course