Kayaking Laws? It's time

After reading the many accounts on this site of paddlers killed and rescued on this site, along with the innumerable warnings to others, I realize that enough is enough. It’s time we institute common sense kayak control legislation. People simply can’t be trusted to exercise their own good judgement and enjoy watersports responsibly. I think we can all agree its time to pass common sense legislation to regulate the sport of kayaking. My proposed common sense legislation, which over 80% of Americans agree on* includes:

Red flag laws: If someone is previously known to kayak without a PFD, or if friends and family know of a loved one who is known to kayak without a PFD, they should be able to contact law enforcement and have the individuals paddling equipment confiscated without a search warrant for a period of time, until a judge or competent authority can determine if the individual poses a danger to himself or others.

Kayak registration: Too many kayaks are found adrift without occupants, and it takes hours or days to determine if the kayak floated away during a storm or was blown off the beach by winds, or if someone fell out of their boat and the authorities should be searching for them. Kayak registration would allow the authorities to run the registration and identify the owner immediately. Likewise, it would allow the authorities to track kayak sales and identify who may be operating a kayak illegally, per my next recommendation. Person-to-person kayak sales would of course be illegal and all sales must be executed through a licensed dealer with the requisite background check.

Kayak licensing: It is common sense that individuals should be required to undergo training and education prior to being authorized to operate a kayak. The uniformed kayak operator poses a danger to both himself and potential rescuers. I recommend varying degrees of licensing and permits to operate different models of craft and operate them in varying conditions. For example, to operate a Pungo 12 on a Florida lake would require the operator to obtain a Class 27 Kayak License for the vessel, and paddling on a calm lake, in warm temperatures with warm water would likewise require a Level 13 Paddling Permit. Whereas operating a Valley Nordkapp, in open ocean conditions in cold weather (e.g. Maine) would require a Class 6 License for the vessel and a Level 53 permit. A simple, easy to read and understand 297 page government guide to paddle sports would serve a handy user guide to recreational kayaking and insure kayakers are not in violation. Violators would of course be subject to heavy fine, prison time, or both. Other, more civilized western countries already require government permission for some kayak activities, such as sea kayaking, and they have seen dramatic reductions in paddle sports fatalities*

Universal background checks: In order to keep kayaks out of the hands of irresponsible paddlers, and to obtain the previously mentioned kayaking license, the kayak operator would be required to pass a universal background check to ensure they have no history of irresponsible kayaking; i.e. kayaking without a PFD, kayaking without dressing for the water temperature, kayaking alone, etc.

End kayak industry immunity: Surviving family members and victims of kayaking incidents should be allowed to sue kayak and paddle manufactures for kayaking incidents. Kayaking is the only sport that doesn’t allow for individuals to sue the manufactures if their products are used irresponsibly*. For example, if an individual goes kayaking on a day warm day with cold water, capsizes and drowns, it is clear that the manufacturer knows their product was instilling false levels of comfort and security in the seaworthiness of their product. Kayak manufactures do little to warn purchasers of their product to wear a PFD and seek proper instruction before venturing out onto the water*. Likewise paddle manufacturers could be held accountable in court for the thousands who die annually while paddling – because let’s face it – they full well know that sleek, carbon double blade beauty encourages people to take unnecessary risk in the waves. My proposed legislation would allow survivors and victims’ to seek financial compensation for their losses, hold manufacturers accountable, and sue the industry out of existence.

*This statement and others are entirely unverified

*Kayak manufacturers may extensively warn paddlers to wear a PFD and seek instruction before kayaking

Nice satire. But, I will not support your effort. I enjoy reading about and being amazed by the lack of basic caution exhibited by the posthumously recognized Darwin Award winners !


Bad weather keeping you inside?

Nicely written! :rofl:

I’m glad to see canoes are exempt form the classification of assault kayaks.

Like I always say we live in a free country and like it or not we are all free to do stupid things or whatever level of stupid we feel is right for us. Likewise I believe a persons right to be stupid ends when somehow it adversely affects me or others.

We went to lunch yesterday to a restaurant on a nearby lake and when we left the car parked next to us had two rec kayaks on a rack with J cradles and the strapping was done so poorly I could have grabbed the carry handles and pulled the kayaks off the car. I stopped and looked at it and she told me stop I know what you are thinking it is no concern of yours. I went for my phone to take a photo and she said stop do not take a picture of someone’s car. I just let it drop at that point not wanting to ruin the nice time we were having. But clearly if those boats were to fly off and I was following them their stupidity would become an issue for me.

I’m the last person that wants to live in a nanny state. Have you bought a lawn mower lately or a gas can. Both of them have become so safe you can barely use them and they are being designed to protect us from our own stupidity.

One thing I find interesting is in today’s tech world we still build cars that go faster than the highest speed limit in the country. We have GPS in cars that know exactly where we are at and the conditions of the weather and roads where we are. We then put police out to stop us and write tickets to us for speeding. Why don’t cars just not let us speed? The tech is all there to do it a few lines of code and its done. I haven’t heard the defund the police crowd mention that yet. :wink:





Jimbo, you should run for office, preferably in an over regulated state.

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This constant interference with Natural Selection must stop.


Could we carry small concealed kayaks in large SUVs?

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It is a proven fact that right around 50% of the people are below average intelligence. :canoe:


Now that the govt/cabal has micro chipped me via vaccine, I can be easily found if lost.


And do all you can to obliterate the evidence of your campsites. Remember, the Search & Rescue Team may be looking for you.

Ed Abbey, The Journey Home.

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I believe in “kayak control”. Similar to gun control, but more restrictive with background checks, annual written and on water tests, and $500 annual license fee to pay for all the Coast Guard rescues and recoveries!
Also, all pedal kayaks are hereby banned!

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I’d go for a cold water / PFD sticker. After that god helps those who help themselves. I’d go for all under 18 have to wear a PFD.

I’ve been stopped by the Coastguard whilst out paddling before. They had me fill in a basic info form on the deck of my kayak and checked for a PFD and whistle. It was a little surreal to have a rib full of guys zipping about checking kayakers and I’ve never seen them do it again :man_shrugging:

For all of you joking around, and making fun, this is serious. There is nothing funny about people drowning. Unless they are clowns. Then it could be funny.

Adults make choices all the time some don’t workout. Sometimes nothing you can do about it sadly. I get riled up if I see kids in dangerous situations.

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We have all done high risk activities. Sometimes we.pay the ultimate price.
For instance, I got married.


Found the yak three days ago and the body today near me