Idaho Rules Apply to Paddleboards Too
TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX)- Idaho sees a lot of water recreation during the summer months and recreation officials want to remind people to be safe on any watercraft, including paddleboards. The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation wants to remind people that Stand-up paddleboards have equipment requirements like many other watercraft.
Recreation officials say paddleboard use has "exploded" in the state in just the past few years. The rules and safety equipment are the same for these types of recreation vessels outside any marked swimming area.
All SUPs need to have a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket on board and a sound producing device such as a whistle according to Dave Dahms, state boating law administrator. “In addition, all SUPs regardless of size and construction must display the Idaho Invasive Species Sticker”, said Dahms.
In 2008 the U.S. Coast Guard determined that paddleboards are considered to be a vessel when used outside a swimming, surfing or bathing area and are therefore subject to applicable regulations.
Paddleboard users are also required to follow life jacket law for kids, which says all kids 14 years of age and under to wear a life jacket on a vessel that is less than 19 feet or less, when on the water.
If you don't follow the rules you could be fined nearly $100 by county the county sheriff. Plus, if you don't have the Idaho Invasive Species Sticker you might get fined $72. And alcohol and drug use while using a paddleboard is against the law.
Idaho has one documented SUP boating fatality and Dahms notes that SUP fatalities are on the rise across the country, including four fatalities during three separate incidents during the weekend of June 10-12, 2016.
The department also reminds those who head out on the water to wear a life jacket. Even when water temperatures are hot, sometimes the water is cold and could be a danger.