Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP)

Stand Up Paddleboards (SUP): A SUP is considered a "vessel" under the law. The current Small Vessel Regulations (SVR) make it mandatory for SUP to carry all safety equipment, including a PFD, similar to other boats of this length. Although the SVR contains exceptions for certain vessel types provided an equivalent level of safety is provided, no such exception is provided for SUP. Changes to ensure appropriate safety equipment for SUP should be in place by 2017 or 2018. Proposed amendments (Transport Canada)

A SUP is considered a "vessel" under the law, so it's important to understand what's required. You must follow the same "rules of the road" and safety regulations as other boats, but also use defensive paddling - preventing collisions in spite of boaters who break those "rules".

If you paddle at night, you need to show a white light, the same as a kayak or canoe. A flashlight or headlamp meets this requirement. A light with a flashing option is even more useful when you need help.


In the U.S.A. there was a 38% increase in participation from 2013 to 2014. SUP attracted the most participants in an outdoor activity. The median age for 2012 was 28 years old. (Outdoor Foundation: Outdoor Recreation Participation Topline Report).

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