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Requirements for Paddleboards

The use of paddleboards on lakes, rivers, Puget Sound, and coastal waters beyond the ocean-surf zone is growing in popularity. The U.S. Coast Guard classifies paddleboards as vessels.

When using a paddleboard beyond the narrow limits of a swimming, surfing, or bathing area, certain requirements apply.

Paddleboard users must comply with recreational boating laws and rules.

Paddleboards must have:

  • A life jacket for each person on board
  • A sound-producing device such as a whistle
  • Navigation lights when used between sunset and sunrise – this may be a flashlight or headlamp with a white light
  • Visual distress signals when used on coastal waters