The coast guard requires that boaters label or ID their kayaks, canoes and stand-up paddle boards with contact information. In the event that your vessel is found adrift or abandoned, with no way of finding out where the person who owns it is, or if they are in trouble, a rescue search is immediately ordered. If they are able to contact the person or find out if the person is in fact ok, only then can the search be canceled. They can then help coordinate how to get your equipment back to you. So, it is important to have this info quickly accessible, and could save your life, or eliminate the use of search and rescue teams valuable time and energy.
There are even stickers available from your local coast guard!
For my boards; I got the above stickers and filled them out with a sharpie marker, placed the stickers on the bottom near the fin box and covered the entire thing with clear tape for extra sun and elements protection. Simple and easy. I’ve labeled all of my fins and paddles with my info in permanent marker as well, more in case they are misplaced or mixed up with others gear. Smaller items require an ID tag attached by cording instead.
I highly suggest putting your name and phone number on all gear somehow, with a permanent and waterproof marker.
~Let me know if you have questions or have trouble finding local contact information to get your stickers. *I have the info for Bellingham’s nearest Coast Guard Auxiliary unit, where I got my stickers from.