- Are there safety rules and regulations when it comes to recreational SUP surfing?
It depends on where you are. In the United States, the use of PFDs is not required if you’re paddle boarding in the surf zone. In the States, standup paddleboards are classified as vessels, so there are still certain regulations that apply regarding the necessity to use PFDs. The type of water, whether it’s a surf zone, harbor, etc., determines whether PFDs should be used.
In the U.K., there are no rules that require PFDs to be used when paddling in surf areas. But there are regulations imposed on lakes and rivers, and other flatwater areas. If you’re planning on taking up classes to learn how to ride a stand up paddle board in UK, there are also rules concerning SUP schools, and students might be required to use PFDs when paddling.
If you’re paddling at sea, the size and material of your board determines whether your board is a vessel or a recreational gear. Boards that are under 3.5 meters in length are classified as recreational gear, and you can paddle within 300 meters from the shore.