This article equips you with the knowledge of how to safely navigate your board at sea. If you want to engage in paddle boarding properly, there are a few rules you need to follow. Standup paddleboards are either classified as recreational beach gear or small sea vessels under UK maritime law. The guide explains how your board is classified, the most important safety instructions when using a stand-up paddleboard at sea, as well as how to drive safely when using a stand-up paddleboard.
Classification of Your Board
The classification of your board will influence how it can be used and what rules you must follow. When Stand-Up Paddle Boarding in UK, your stand-up paddleboard qualifies as recreational beach gear if it is less than 3.5m long. You have a small sea vessel if it is sturdy and longer than 3.5m long. You must stay within three hundred meters of the shoreline when using recreational beach gear. You can, however, travel up to two nautical miles from a sheltered area if you own a small sea vessel. In addition to a flotation device, you will need a leash, light tracking device (like waterproof flashlights on your buoyancy aid) and a towing device (like a rope).
Stand-Up Paddle Boarding in the ocean: Tips you need to know
- Stand-up paddleboards are not allowed to be used in swimming areas or beach areas unless they are recreational beach gear
- Channels leading into and out of ports cannot be crossed. These channels are marked at sea by red and green cylindrical buoys.
- Don’t pass in front of a vessel with restricted manoeuvrability, such as a tugboat or a sailboat
- You must inform the authorities if you are travelling further than 300m from the coast, and you must travel with another paddle boarder.
Surfing With A Stand-Up Paddle Board
There are some rules you need to follow when riding a stand-up paddleboard on the waves. You and your fellow paddleboarders will be protected by these rules.
- Embrace your abilities but don’t overestimate them. If you’re uncertain about how the weather will affect you on your board, check the conditions first. Start with smaller breaking waves if you’re new to surfing.
- Boards shouldn’t be abandoned. They must be occupied at all times. Keep on your board and wait for the current to pass if you find yourself caught in one.
- Avoid crowded spots when surfing. When taking on the waves, you don’t want to hurt anyone. Try surfing away from the crowd.
- According to surfing priorities, there is only one wave for one surfer. A wave can become dangerous if there are multiple stand-up paddleboarders. Surfers closest to a wave surge usually have priority.
A ship’s manoeuvrability determines who has priority at sea. The more manoeuvrable sea craft will give way to those with less manoeuvrability. Thus, stand-up paddleboarders have priority over fast, motorized boats like speedboats, and must yield to sea vessels such as sailboats or tugboats since they cannot move as quickly as they can.
To travel on inland waterways in the UK, you need a license. British Canoeing members can purchase a license, as can one of the three organisations managing British waterways. Book the best stand-up paddleboarding programs with Beyonk and try your paddleboarding skills!