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What are the regulations for paddle boarding?

Stand up paddle boarding is a very popular discipline due to its practicality, ease and accessibility to all. If you want to paddle board, no matter the body of water, it is essential to know the navigation rules of each body of water and to respect them in order to practice safely. So what are the regulations for paddle boarding?

The general rules for paddle boarding

To find out what the rules are for paddle boarding as well as your navigation area, it is important to identify the category of your paddle. The rules for paddle boarding are the same as for other sea users.

1. Stand up Paddle < 3.50m

If your boat or paddle is inflatable or rigid and its size is less than 3.5m. Your sailing space is limited to the 300m zone. You must therefore stay 300m from the coast because your paddle is considered a beach contraption. The equipment needed in the 300m area is:

– A mandatory leash

– A life jacket is also strongly recommended

Ou pratiquer le paddle, les règles pour faire du paddle

2. Stand Up Paddle > 3.50m

If the size of your paddle is more than 3.5m. If it is a rigid or inflatable paddle, but it has several air chambers (buoyancy reserves). Your sailing area is then extended to a distance of 2 miles from the coast, or about 3 km. But to get out of the 300m zone, you must have the necessary equipment (mandatory equipment) to sail at more than 300m. You must then equip yourself with weapons equipment that includes:

– A life jacket adapted to your size (50N minimum)

– A leash

– A towing device (floating lifeline and tether device)

– A light detection device (waterproof flashlights, etc.)

quel paddle choisir pour l'océan quelles réglementation pour faire du paddle Comment dégonfler un paddle

Proximity to a channel

When you are near a port, it is important to know that it is forbidden to cross the exit or entrance route of a channel that is marked by red buoys and green buoys.

Priority rules

When paddling, it’s important to keep in mind the different rules of priority. Namely, the least manoeuvrable vessels have priority over the most manoeuvrable ones. This means that when paddling or stand up paddling, you will have to give way to all large motorboats as well as sailboats that have a limited manoeuvring capacity. In other words, a sailboat sailing as well as a sailboat with a motor that has a limited manoeuvring capacity will have priority over you. For the same size and manoeuvrability, priority is given to those coming from starboard (on the right), as on the road.

The Rules of Paddle Surfing

For paddle surfing or Sup foil, you have to respect the rules of surfing. The surfer closest to the breaking zone has priority over the others. To paddle waves, always opt for conditions adapted to your level.

comment faire du surf avec un paddle gonflable

The rules for paddle boarding in the sea

Going out paddle boarding in the sea or ocean is considered open sea sailing. This practice requires some precautions such as checking the weather and sea conditions as well as knowing its potential evolution over time. This will help avoid being caught and avoid drifting against your will.

la réglementation pour faire du paddle en mer

The rules for paddling in flat water in a closed environment (without current)

In a secure environment, the regulations are the same as in an open environment. If your paddle is less than 3.5m then you must stay at a distance of less than 300m from the shore. If your stand up paddle is longer than 3.5m then you are allowed to go more than 300m from the shore. But you must be equipped with the same equipment as at sea (life jacket, towing system, waterproof lighting device.

As far as the rules of priority are concerned, you must give way to all boats over 15 m as well as to the vessel with reduced manoeuvring capacity such as sailboats etc. Otherwise, the priority remains the same as at sea, in terms of size and manoeuvrability, priority to the one arriving on the starboard side (on the right).

faire du paddle en lac les règles

The rules of paddle boarding in flat water with a current

In whitewater, the first rule to know is that leash is prohibited! Indeed, it could get stuck in obstacles (rocks, branches, etc.) and block you and therefore prevent you from coming back to the surface. Of course, this depends on the class of the river. On the other hand, the buoyancy vest is mandatory.

Paddle en haut vive rivière, les règles à respecter

In short: 

  • If your paddle is less than 3.50m, you must stay less than 300m from the coast and be equipped with at least one leash
  • If your paddle is longer than 3.50m, you can go up to 2 miles from a shelter. Of course, you must be equipped with a mandatory armament (life jacket, floating tow rope with hook, waterproof flashlight with a 6-hour operating time)
  • Always follow the rules of priority 
  • And above all, never put yourself in danger
Quelles sont les règles pour faire du paddle sur l'océan

If you still have questions about this, or for any other request, please do not hesitate to contact us !

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