Paddling is for fitness, challenge, relaxation - or simply to explore the beautiful places Tasmania has to offer! 

Whatever you use it for, it’s good to know about paddle safety so things don't go wrong. See the information provided below as an introduction to new paddlers, it provide useful safety tips before you get out on the water. We will also direct you to other 'sources of truth' and like-minded organisations who we recognise can equally support you and provide paddlers with a range of useful information and resources. 

The key Paddle Safety points to follow are:

  • Prepare your craft - Conduct equipment and safety checks, carry a mobile phone in a waterproof pouch
  • Ability - Know your capabilities and don't push your limits in the winter months
  • Don't paddle alone - This is not recommended but if you do take extra precautions 
  • Don't cross paths and be aware of other vessels - Avoid busy ferry and high traffic shipping lanes 
  • Lifejackets - wear the right type 
  • Experience - consider this when purchasing your craft
  • Stick close to shore - Know the coastline that you are paddling along and the exit points in the event of an emergency 
  • At night, paddle with an LED light
  • Forecast and environment - Check the weather as conditions in Tasmania can change very quickly in the winter months
  • Enter the water safely
  • Tides and times - know the tide times and tell others where you will be heading and expected time you'll return 
  • Yourself. Now are YOU ready?

 Click here for the Paddle Safety Flyer

For more information, the laws and recommendations go to;

MAST Website - for Essential Paddling Items, Kayak and Canoe Safety Tips, Tethers, Paddling after dark, Life Jackets

Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) - Check the BOM for the latest forecast 

In 2014, we launched our statewide education and skills program - Paddle Safe. The initiative, developed in conjunction with Marine and Safety Tasmania (MAST) is about educating the community about doing the right thing, and to be safe and responsible when you’re using paddle craft. 

Long distance and winter paddling 

Ski paddling in Tasmania over the winter months can be fun with growing numbers participating each year.  Following consultation with senior experienced paddlers and surf boat rowers a series of guidelines for safe training practices particularly over the winter months has been developed. This includes a Skills Audit as a guide for paddler development. 

Importantly, Marine and Safety Tasmania (MAST) have reviewed the Laws for ski and kayaking safety equipment in recent years and these are strongly enforced by Tasmanian Police (TasPol). In part the changes have been bought about as a result of incidents involving SLST members and the general public in recent years. SLST members and senior members in the paddling community have a responsibility to be positive role models.

For more information, click here for the Winter Training - Code of Conduct. Also, below click on the type of activity you are participating in for details of the safety equipment that is required when training offshore, long distance, within the surf zone and when competing. 

Paddle Safe Program

Paddle Safe is a statewide education and skills program developed by MAST and Surf Life Saving Tasmania and supported by the Tasmanian Water Safety Council (TWSC) who has consistently identified lightweight paddle craft as a high risk recreation. This practical program aims to educate recreational paddlers about safety and paddle skill development. All Paddle Safe sessions are FREE!  Just bring your kayak and life jacket.  Equipment may be available for those who don’t have their own kayak.

To book call MAST on (03) 6235 8859 or email or visit the MAST website for the latest Paddle Safe calendar.