Water Safety Gear

Many PFDs come with a pea-less whistle, which meets this requirement. You can also get one separately and attach it to your PFD for easy access in emergencies.

Baller or Pump

A proper pump empties your boat faster, though a scoop made from a cut-open bottle would do just fine. This requirement does not apply to pleasure crafts that can’t hold enough water to capsize it or have watertight compartments sealed and not easily accessible, which exempts inflatable kayaks, SUPs, and sit-on-top kayaks.

Reboarding Device

This does not include most kayaks or canoes since it is required only if the vertical height to reboard is greater than 50cm. It is vital for individuals with limited upper body strength, fatigued paddlers, and those looking after others.

Navigation lights

They are essential when paddling after sunset, at night, before sunlight, or where there is restricted visibility. Lights visible from all sides are better.


Having a compass is not mandatory if you are paddling within sight of navigation marks and your boat is less than 8m long, but it might come in handy if you’re in whiteout conditions.


Six flares are required if you plan to puddle more than one nautical mile. It increases your safety in an emergency.


A watertight flashlight is necessary is more than 6m long, like most expedition canoes and double kayaks.

Radar Reflector

It is not mandatory for boats less than 20m, but radio and GPS are vital in high traffic waters to give bigger vessels your location.

young active girl enjoying a kayak ride

Wear A PFD

You need to wear a PFD while on the water to meet safety regulations. Waist packs and inflatable PFDs are popular, but inflatables are not allowed for whitewater paddling because they are not inherently buoyant. The best choice is a bright color for easy spotting while on water.