Day two of Safer Boating Week, and today it’s time to turn our SUP Safety focus to the PFD. New Zealand law says you have to have one when you are stand up paddleboarding, unless you are sup surfing. Yes folks, it’s the law.
The situation is slightly complicated by the fact that some regions have bylaws which go further, insisting that the PFD is worn rather than simply carried on the craft. This does actually make very good sense, as the reality is that if you’re a competent swimmer and properly dressed for the conditions, the only time you would need that PFD is if you lose your board. So it’d be pretty frustrating watching your board blowing away, with the PFD still attached to it!
There are lots of different types of PFD, and now that there are some excellent beltpack PFDs available, which are effortless to wear and don’t restrict movement in any way, there really isn’t any excuse for the paddleboarder not to follow the law.
Read this article to ensure you are fully up to speed on the different types of PFDs and which one you should be using.