Stand-Up Paddleboarders Will Get Ticketed for Not Wearing Life Jackets

Sup, bro? You totally into that crazy SUPing? You know, that stand-up paddleboarding? Well, the Conservation Commission Marine Patrol is about to cramp your style and issue a ticket if you decide to SUP in certain areas without a life jacket.


In 2008 the U.S. Coast Guard decided to classify paddleboards as vessels. According to the Palm Beach Post, anyone operating a vessel in areas that aren't designated for swimming, surfing, or bathing must be wearing a life vest. Operators must also have a whistle and, at night, a flashlight and a visual distress signal.

So a spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission tells the Post that it'll begin issuing warnings to paddleboarders who don't meet the requirements. Repeat offenders could face a fine of $90. The FWC's full requirements can be found here.

Technically, paddleboarders aren't required to wear a life jacket, but they must have it on board. And there's not really much room on a paddleboard for a life jacket unless you're wearing it. So, paddle boarders, get ready to accept those awkward tan lines.

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.

KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Kyle Munzenrieder