Whether you look to venture out on the water in a canoe, kayak or on a paddleboard, all paddlers need some basic equipment. Of course, you need your vessel and paddle. Select a vessel that is recommended for the type of activity, the type of water and the water conditions. And, remember, conditions can change so it is not safe for your paddling activity.
Join our expert, Devin Winand from Shank's Mare Outfitters, as he explains the
differences between a sit-on-top kayak and a sit-in (or cockpit) kayak.
REQUIRED EQUIPMENT FOR PADDLESPORTS
Life Jackets on board for all passengers and must be worn for paddlers 12 and under and worn by everyone on paddleboards, canoes and kayaks and all boats less than 16 feet in length from Nov 1- April 30.
*On Pittsburgh District United States Army Corps of Engineers lakes (only), everyone in boats less than 16 feet in length and in all canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards
Night Lights. Paddlers should carry a white light that is either hand-held or installed and ready to be diplayed in time to avoid collission. All boats must show required lights between the hours of sunset and sunrise and during periods of restricted visibility, such as fog and heavy rain. Navigation lights are designed to identify the type of boat and its situation (underway, direction of travel, at anchor, etc.) on the water. Boats underway include drifting boats. Night boaters should carry spare bulbs, fuses, batteries, and a flashlight.
Registration or launch permit for kayak, canoe, paddleboard. Paddlers accessing PFBC launch areas and PA State Park launch areas can get registration or a launch permit online or at an issuing agent.
Sound-Producing Devices. Operators of unpowered boats (canoes, kayaks, rowboats, paddleboards) are required to carry a device capable of sounding a prolonged blast for 4-6 seconds that can be heard by another boat operator in time to avoid a collision.
- A change of clothes
- A dry bag
- A hat
Learn about the gear, equipment and safety protocols you can prepare before
your paddle even hits the water.