It’s a question that keeps coming up and now we have confirmation, straight from Transport Canada’s Boating Safety Officer: the short answer is YES, they are!
We never doubted that they were, it’s just that a lot of new products have recently launched onto the Canadian water sports scene, some of them legal for use, some of them not, and some that seemingly exist in a grey area because they are so new, and thus, there has been some confusion. E-foil boards, which feature an exposed propeller, are not legal for use in Canada, while Radinn’s electric jetboards, which feature a jet impeller, most definitely are. Here is why:
At the time of writing, Transport Canada has not yet named the electric jetboard specifically in their Safe Boating Guide. Our boards fall under the broader classification of Pleasure Craft, in the company of similar small watercraft, but although electric jetboards are definitely the quiet yet delightfully powerful surfboard version of a Sea Doo, they do not fall under the same category of Personal Watercraft (PWC) because they are not powered by a combustible engine that uses gasoline or other fuels. Because of this, they more accurately fall under Sail and Power Boats up to 6 m (19’8”), which covers any small boats or vessels that are wind-, motor-, or battery-powered.
Find the complete list of safety requirements for all such Pleasure Craft here:
What do I need to carry with me when I ride?
It is essential that every rider has:
● a buoyant lifejacket or a PFD (Personal Floatation Device) of an appropriate size for their body, properly fastened. Yes, wetsuits are generally quite buoyant on their own, but most parks and by-law enforcement officers will wave you down and possibly ticket you if you aren’t wearing a Transport Canada-approved PFD, so it’s better to wear both.
Beyond that, you just need:
● a sound-signaling device. We have Fox40 whistles tied to the buckle straps of all of our PFDs. That’s all you need to fulfill this requirement.
● Probably soon, your Pleasure Craft Operator’s Card. (More on that below.)
If you’re planning to ride at night or at a time of poor visibility, boaters are required to have:
● a watertight flashlight or three (3) flares of Type A, B, C or Donly one (1) can be Type D;
● navigation lights if the personal watercraft is used after sunset or before sunrise.
…All that said, even if a rider was able to attach navigation lights to their board and somehow find a place to store a watertight flashlight, it is not recommended to operate your jetboard in any conditions with poor visibility. Hitting a rock, a piece of driftwood, a whale or otter or even thick seaweed could cause your hull, fins, or jetpack to get damaged, not to mention the potential for personal (or animal) injury. So, based on the available information and from our personal experience of seeking optimally safe and enjoyable riding conditions for all, our recommendation is to ride in the day and avoid busy waterways and channels, as well as areas with floating debris.
Do I need to have my Boating License to operate an electric jetboard?
No, but it’s a good idea to have your Pleasure Craft Operator Card. It isn’t a ‘license’ per se because it doesn’t expire; nevertheless it is the only documentation that is required to legally operate a motor-powered boat in any Canadian province.
Technically, a rider is not yet legally required to obtain a PCOC in order to operate an electric jetboard in Canada, but given the boards’ power and speed capabilities, we believe it’s only a matter of time until it does become a requirement and as such, we recommend that every jetboard owner, as well as anyone who intends to jet surf or operate a motorized vessel of any kind, to write the test and get the card. All it is, is a document proving you’re familiar with water and boat safety regulations, which is of course an asset. And in the case that you do get pulled over by water police or parks officers, you’ll be able to prove that you’re versed in water safety and therefore, are not a threat to others or yourself. It’s about $50 and it’s good for life.
Take the test here:
So, armed with this information, we hope you are ready to launch and enjoy your board in full confidence that you have every legal right to shred!