Knowing the kayaking regulations is crucial for practicing this water sport . Like surfing and paddle surfing, this activity requires compliance with a series of safety measures, as well as a regulation established by the Spanish State for recreation and competitions in this modality experience holidays.
At Devessport we know that after purchasing a kayak, you are excited to get on the water and take your first ride in it. However, whether on a lake, river, or at sea, it is important that you know the rules of kayaking and its legal framework.
This way, you will have the peace of mind of browsing while respecting the law. Avoid penalties that can ruin your day of fun! Keep reading and learn about the navigation regulations for kayaks in Spanish waters.
Navigation regulations for kayaking on beaches
The legal aspects for kayaking are differentiated depending on the area where you are going to practice this sport: on beaches, rivers or lakes. Below are the rules you should keep in mind when going out to sea:
Beach navigation does not require permits
This is an advantage for all kayakers who want to avoid the permit process when going sailing. Article 11 of Order FOM/3200/2007 establishes that beaches do not require the application of a special permit for the use of kayaks or paddle surf boards.
Daytime navigation and no more than 5 miles
The maritime captaincy establishes that navigation can be done during the day within the delimited areas . On beaches where these limits are not established, boats cannot travel more than 5 miles from the shore. This represents a significant distance, since the average speed is 3 knots; That is, it will take a little more than 3 hours to return.
Yellow Ionian buoys are placed on busy beaches to ensure the safety of bathers . These are located at distances of no less than 25 meters in length from each other, perpendicular to 200 meters from the shore.
They form a line of yellow or white corks that create a physical and visible barrier . Its objective is to prevent the entry of boats into the area where bathers are located.
Entry at less than 3 knots and mandatory use of marked channels
Now, what about the stretches of the coast not declared as a bathing area? In these cases, the legislation indicates that a strip of sea adjacent to the coast must be respected . In the case of the beaches, it is 200 meters wide and 50 meters for the rest of the coastline.
Likewise, the regulations for kayaking establish that sports or recreational activities cannot be carried out at a speed greater than 3 knots in these areas. The entrance to the boats must be perpendicular and, if there are marked access channels, they must be used.
Navigation regulations for kayaking on rivers and lakes
The navigation regulations for kayaking establish that, to go through the waters of rivers or lakes, it is essential to have permits granted by the respective hydrographic confederation . The navigation limitations in these areas have their origin in the level of risk represented by sailing on a river or lake.
In this sense, it is established that only safe areas for bathers are navigable areas . Next, we show you what the process is like to get permission to navigate on rivers or lakes.
How to get permission from your local Hydrographic Confederation?
Each of the hydrographic confederations is responsible for providing the rules for navigation in the permitted sections . In this sense, interested parties are required to present a responsible declaration, and this document is requested as follows:
In this document you state that, under your responsibility, you comply with the requirements established in the current kayak navigation regulations. That is, you have the necessary documentation to exercise in lakes or rivers.
Access the basin’s kayak navigation regulations
The first step is to access the kayak navigation regulations of the hydrographic confederation that corresponds to the basin in which you are going to navigate. This way, you can check if you really need to file a liability declaration.
In confederations where the presentation of this declaration is required, the cleaning of the boat is required, as well as an insurance policy.
Submit the declaration
To submit the responsible declaration, you must print and fill out the forms according to the indicated guidance. You must deliver it within 15 days before making your trip. The document is valid for 12 months.
Water motors are prohibited in rivers and lakes
Due to the pollution generated by water motors, they are prohibited in most lakes and rivers in Spain. However, in some places, the use of small two-stroke engines is still permitted.
Some hydrographic confederations accept the use of 12v electric motors , which have a low impact on the environment. Since regulations vary between confederations, we recommend that you visit the corresponding official website. This way, you can verify if the use of motors is allowed and what type they should be.
Mandatory use of safety equipment
Finally, one of the rules of the navigation regulations for kayaks that applies to beaches, rivers or lakes, is the mandatory use of safety equipment . This implies, from choosing the appropriate navigation for the type of sport or journey you want to do, to the use of a life jacket.
Likewise, it is important that you know the safety decalogue when kayaking , in order to avoid complications in the water. We hope that this post on kayaking regulations helps you enjoy your rides and competitions without complications. Don’t forget to take a look at our kayak accessories section.