Paddle Sports

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. 

Where to Boat in Nevada

Access to Nevada’s water via boat ramps may change from week to week. Many boat ramps throughout the state are maintained by county, state or federal agencies. Click Here to find helpful information about boating access.

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 Courses (FREE online course)

Earn 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). Push off and get started!

You can also take this online course brought to you through a partnership between the American Canoe Association (ACA) and the U.S. Coast Guard, and was developed to meet the ACA standards for paddlesports safety education. This course is mobile-friendly from start to finish and is designed to work on your smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer. Let’s Go!

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
  3. 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
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