Who May Operate a Paddlecraft
Federal law does not specify age or education restrictions for persons paddling canoes, kayaks, or stand-up paddleboards. However, state laws regarding paddlecraft regulations may vary. Check with your state’s boating agency for the specific requirements for paddlecraft.
- Regardless of the law in your area, take reasonable precautions concerning the ages and skill levels of anyone in a paddlecraft. This is particularly important in a kayak or on a paddleboard, where the paddler is usually the only person on board.
- Some canoe, kayak, and paddleboard rental agencies may have their own restrictions.
- Possible state or rental restrictions may include:
- Youth under a specified age may need to be accompanied by an adult.
- Youth not accompanied by a parent or guardian may need a signed permission slip to go with an adult who is not their parent or guardian.
- Some persons may be required to complete a safety education course successfully.