Learn About Our Boating Education Programs
The Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Boating Safety Education courses include instruction on the basic skills required to safely operate a boat or personal watercraft, trailering your vessel, navigational rules, buoys, anchoring, legal requirements, boating emergencies, water sports and paddling.
Whether you have been paddling for years or are just thinking of giving it a try, we have opportunities for you to brush up or try out your paddling skills.
AZGFD offers hands-on classes for kayaking and for standup paddleboarding. These courses are designed to equip paddlers with basic skills to get from point A to point B successfully, understand the legal responsibilities that come with getting on the water, and what to do in emergency situations. AZGFD provides all of the paddle equipment including life jackets.
These classes have been verified to meet the American National Standard for on-water skills and has received the Verified Course-Human Propelled Mark. This is the first human propelled course in the nation to receive this voluntary third-party verification based on the American National Standard for boating skills.
Power boating: America’s Boating Channel, BoatUS Foundation, West Marine, Boat Ed, Using a PWC.
Paddlesports: American Canoe Association, Canoe and Kayak Magazine, Kayak Angler Magazine, Paddle TV, Standup Paddling 101, Paddling with Kids.
Other videos: Use an Engine Cutoff Switch: USCG, Get Connected with an Engine Cutoff Switch, Top 10 Tips for using a SUP Safely, Top 10 Tips for using a canoe or kayak safely, Stories of Survival.
Choose the right life jacket NSBC brochure, Lake Pleasant ramp manners, Cold water shock, Electrical shock hazards, Monsoon awareness, Monsoon awareness (Spanish), Towed water sports safety, USCG propeller safety, USCG propeller safety (spanish), Get out and paddle safely, Stand-up paddle board safety.
Need to complete a boating safety education course because of a boating ticket? Choose an option below to meet the court’s requirements. Submit your certificate of completion to the court. AZGFD does NOT notify the court system of course completions. (Duplicate in Spanish)
In person courses
Call 623 236-7258 or email email@example.com to request a free home study packet.
life jackets: what to know
Life jackets must be readily accessible, in good and serviceable condition, and sized for the intended wearer. In addition to the above requirements, vessels 16 feet in length or longer, except a canoe or kayak, must have one Throwable USCG approved throwable flotation device on board and readily accessible.
All children 12 years of age and younger must wear a USCG approved life jacket (PFD) anytime while underway on any vessel. The life jacket must be worn according to the design of the manufacturer’s recommended use and must fit the child properly. All snaps must be snapped, and zippers and fasteners closed.
Each person on a personal watercraft such as a Jet Ski or Wave Runner must wear a USCG approved life jacket with all fasteners and closures secured according to the manufacturer’s design and recommended use. Further, the life jacket must be adjusted for a snug fit.
Each person being towed behind a vessel on water skis or a similar device must wear a life jacket.
1. Check the label for appropriate chest size and weight.
2. Make sure the life jacket is not damaged in any way before putting it on.
3. Buckle all buckles and zip all zippers. Pull everything snug.
Fitting a kid with a lIfe jacket – video
Life jacket information for Paddlers – video
Inflatable life jackets
are much less bulky and are more comfortable to wear in warm weather.
Warning: They are not approved for under 16 years old.
Warning: They are not recommended for nonswimmers.
Warning: They are not for use in towed sports or on Personal Watercraft.
Excellent Video on Inflatable Life Jackets
Inflatable Life Jacket Info
New Life Jacket Labels in-depth look
New Life Jacket Labels Infographic
Don’t be a Clown
These Boating Education Dashboards provide ready access to U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and state-level recreational boating safety data. Information include boating education requirements, approved courses, and certification numbers. See dashboard
Life jacket information
These Life Jacket Dashboards provide ready access to U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and state-level recreational boating safety data. Information include life jacket requirements, seasonal requirements, and state and national wear rate numbers. See dashboard
These Paddlesports Dashboards provide ready access to U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and state-level recreational boating safety data. Information include accident numbers, resources, and participation numbers. See dashboard
Recreation in Arizona
License your off-highway vehicle for going out on trails. Check out the lakes in Arizona and what they have to offer.
buy your OHV decal
OHVs are required by law to display a valid Arizona decal to operate on public and state trust lands in Arizona.
spend some time boating on arizona lakes
See information about many Arizona lakes, including fishing, facilities and lake amenities.