Paddlesport participation has grown dramatically in recent years. Low entry cost, easy storage, less maintenance and flexibility are some of the reasons many people have decided to become paddlers.
The numbers are dramatic - about 22 million Americans — 7.4 percent of the population — enjoy paddling. Kayaking, Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUPs) and kayak fishing have grown dramatically. Between 90,000 and 105,000 canoes and 350,000 kayaks are sold annually, according to industry figures.
However, all of this growth in paddlesports has a dark side. Statistically, kayaking and canoeing are now the most dangerous type of boating
Unlike power boats, the number of fatalities related to paddlecraft have gone up. Many efforts to reach the paddling public have fallen dramatically short.
To address that, the US Coast Guard and US Coast Guard Auxiliary have teamed up to launch 'Operation Paddle Smart,' to raise awareness, education and competency among the paddling public, who are eager to be on the water, finding their ways up the creeks, streams, rivers and, quite commonly, in the open waterways of bays, sounds and oceans. Fuel cost - $0.00/gallon…
Resources for you:
1. Click here to download Be Smart, Be Safe, Have Fun. This brochure is a beginner's guide to safer paddling.
2. Click here for some basic safety information for Stand Up Paddlers (SUPs)
3. Paddling.com has partnered with the United States Coast Guard to bring you an 8-part "Safer Paddling" video series that shares valuable safety guidelines, paddling technique pointers, and other various gear tips. Click here to leave this site and view these videos at the paddling.com website.
4. Click here for a checklist for kayaking and kayak fishing.
5. Click here to download the Rules of the Road, What Paddlers Need to Know brochure, by the ACA
The “If Found” Sticker – and you:
With the increase of kayakers and paddlecraft enthusiasts getting out on the water, the number of vessels found adrift without its pilot have also increased. As a result, when the US Coast Guard comes upon an empty paddlecraft, they have to work under the assumption that someone has fallen overboard. For the vast majority of the time, the US Coast Guard is looking for someone sitting in their living room, unaware that their paddlecraft has blown off their dock. Thus, the Coast Guard spends hundreds of thousands of dollars each year engaged in search and rescue operations for cases where nobody is in danger to begin with. To address that, a campaign that provides free water-proof stickers for labeling owner identification and contact information to small, paddlecraft vessels has been undertaken by the US Coast Guard Auxiliary.
A simple phone call, using the number supplied by the paddlecraft owner, can quickly determine whether a may-day situation is at hand – or a simple hand-back to the owner by the Coast Guard…
You can buy them online for prices between $2 and $5 per sticker. Or you can email us (see below) and we’ll send it to you for your favorite price: free.
* information and related links, courtesy of the US Coast Guard Auxiliary, Recreational Boating Safety Directorate
Of Note: The sun bleaches out just about everything - including your handwritten information on your "If Found" sticker. So, refresh the information as needed!