Here is a great article on paddle boarding safety from standup journal.
Here is what the DNREC website has to say about paddle boards.
The United States Coast Guard and the state of Delaware recognize a paddle board as a vessel when operated outside the confines of a surfing or swimming area. Therefore, many of the same requirements for personal flotation devices, visual distress signals, sound producing devices and the use of a navigational light after sunset apply when paddle boards are operated in Delaware waters.
A paddle board less than 16 feet in length must meet the following safety equipment requirements when operated in Delaware waters:
- All paddle boarders must have a United States Coast Guard-approved life jacket on board.
- Any child age 12 and younger must wear a USCG-approved life jacket at all times while on a paddle board.
- Paddle boarders must carry a whistle or horn, or some other sounding device capable of making an efficient sound signal.
- When operating between the hours of sunset and sunrise, paddle boarders must carry a visual distress signal – an electric distress light or flares – suitable for night use. This applies to all boards operated on coastal waters and directly-connected waters (bays, sounds, harbors, rivers, inlets, etc.) which are two miles wide or wider.
- When operating between the hours of sunset and sunrise, a paddle boarder also must have an electric torch or lighted lantern showing a white light ready at hand for use as a navigation light, which must be exhibited in sufficient time to prevent collision.
Paddle boards longer than 16 feet may have additional safety requirements.
For more information on safe boating practices in Delaware, including more details on life jackets and other safety equipment, please visit http://www.dnrec.delaware.gov/fw/Boating/Pages/Delaware_Boating_Safety.aspx
We use and recommend MTI Fluid Belts. These are comfortable and approved by the United State Coast Guard.
The United States Coast Guard offers these important tips.
Top 10 tips for stand-up paddleboarding
Posted by LT Stephanie Young, Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Stand-up paddleboarding has burst onto the beach scene in recent years and is the fastest growing water sport in the world.
With the rise in popularity, many paddleboarders often forget that being on a paddleboard requires the same safety precautions and vigilance as any other activity on the water. With National Safe Boating Week underway, now is a perfect time to brush up on some paddleboarding tips and most importantly, water safety practices.
The first thing to know about stand-up paddleboarding is that a paddleboard is a vessel when used “beyond the narrow limits of a swimming, surfing or bathing area.” If a paddleboard is used within a designated “swimming, surfing or bathing area,” the Coast Guard does not consider it to be a vessel.
What does this mean for you? When using a paddleboard beyond the limits of the swimming, surfing or bathing area, you need to be as prepared as you would be when using what is considered a traditional vessel, which includes wearing a life jacket.
Whether you are a seasoned paddleboarder or new to the activity, here are some other tips when it comes to using stand-up paddleboards.
1. Wear a lifejacket 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
And remember… have fun and be safe!