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The PADDLERsmart! course is perfect for anyone participating in paddle sports including canoeing, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding. Whether you’ve been paddling for years or just getting started, you’ll learn everything you need to stay safe on the water.

$24.95 value. Get it free when you purchase your BOATsmart! Course.

The average number of drownings in the United States was 439 between the years 2011-2015
Of all drowning-related fatalities in the United States, 30% involved paddle activities like canoeing, kayaking or SUP.
With the proper knowledge and understanding of risks, 100% of all watercraft-related drownings are preventable.
Free PADDLERsmart course tablet and certificate
BOATsmart! courseware on a tablet.

Watch, Listen & Learn

From anywhere, on any device at any time.

Our animated and narrated Paddling Safety Course is perfect for all ages. Study from your Smartphone, Tablet or Desktop and switch between devices at any time. PADDLERsmart! automatically tracks your progress so you can study at your own pace.

Buy More, Save More

Purchase more than one paddler safety course and save up to 60%. Perfect for family, friends & workmates, we include everything you need to paddle safely and confidently.

Buy For One

1 Paddler

Per Paddler

Total Savings

Crew Pack Discount

“It’s all about balance. That perfect mix of tranquility and adventure.”

– Brody Carhartt, Galveston TX –

You're right there,
Paddle in Hand

The BOATsmart! course on a laptop The BOATsmart! course on a laptop



Who should take the PADDLERsmart! Course?

The PADDLERsmart! Course can be taken by anyone who participates in paddle sports including canoeing, kayaking, and stand-up paddling. Whether you’ve been paddling for years on your local lake, or you’re just getting started, the PADDLERsmart! Course will teach you everything you need to know about how to stay safe on the water in your paddle craft and will teach you the skills you need to paddle like a pro. 

What will I learn by taking the PADDLERsmart! Course?

By taking the PADDLERsmart! Course you’ll learn everything you need to know to paddle safely and with confidence. The course includes basics like canoe, kayak, and SUP terminology, how to transport your paddle craft, various paddle techniques for different types of paddle craft, emergency rescue and self-rescue procedures for paddlers, emergency preparedness and safety equipment, and how to navigate waterways safely by paddle craft. 

Do I need to get a Texas Boating License to operate a paddle craft in Texas?

No. If you’re operating a human-powered boat, which is not equipped with an engine, you are not required to obtain a Texas Boating License however, it is highly recommended that paddlers complete a safety education course to learn the basics of paddle sports. Capsizing is consistently the leading cause of boating-related deaths in Texas, and paddle craft are the most likely craft to capsize. By taking the PADDLERsmart! Course, you’ll be better equipped to respond to these types of emergencies and you’ll be a safer and more confident paddler. 

I’ve already taken the BOATsmart! Course. What’s different about the PADDLERsmart! Course?

While the BOATsmart! Course certifies boaters with their Texas Boating License and focuses on power-boat operation and safety, the PADDLERsmart! Course focuses entirely on safety and techniques for paddle sports including canoeing, kayaking, and stand-up paddling. Paddlers face unique hazards on the water and should learn the techniques, safety procedures, rules, and regulations that apply to their type of craft. 

How old do I need to be to take the PADDLERsmart! Course?

There’s no minimum age to complete the PADDLERsmart! Course. The course is recommended for paddlers of all ages and is an ideal option for kids and youth who may have fewer skills and experience, or adults who are just learning about paddle sports techniques and safety.

How long is the PADDLERsmart! Course?

The PADDLERsmart! Course typically takes about 2-3 hours to complete, including quizzes and a final test. Once you pass you’ll be issued a PADDLERsmart! Course Completion Certificate which proves you’ve obtained the knowledge and skills to paddle safely on Texas’s waterways. 

What happens if I fail the final test?

If you’re not successful on the final PADDLERsmart! test you can try again for free. The PADDLERsmart! Course includes unlimited life-time access and free course retries.

I’ll only be paddling close to shore on my local lake. Should I take a paddle safety course?

Yes. Most drownings occur close to shore and within a few minutes of rescue. By taking the PADDLERsmart! Course you’ll learn safety skills and rescue techniques you need to prevent drownings, and other paddle-related emergencies, and stay safe on the water.  

Will the PADDLERsmart! Course certify me to operate a motorized boat?

If you’re planning to operate a motorized boat in Texas you’ll need to obtain your Texas Boating License by taking the Official BOATsmart! Course. Check out to learn how to get certified with your Texas Boating License and who’s required to get the card. 

I’ll be fishing from a paddleboat in the fall. Should I take the course?

Definitely! Cold fall temperatures and angling can be a dangerous combination if you don’t have the skills and knowledge to do so safely. Anglers tend to move around more in the boat while they’re casting a line or reeling in a catch – all of which can easily result in capsizing. Take the PADDLERsmart Course to learn how to prevent capsizing emergencies, and how to respond to and survive a fall into cold water. 

What are the laws for drinking and operating a paddle craft in Texas?

It is illegal to operate any vessel in Texas while under the influence of alcohol and/or intoxicating substances – this includes all paddle craft such as canoes, kayaks, and SUP boards. In fact, anyone caught drinking and operating a vessel may also lose their driving privileges. 

Should I take the PADDLERsmart! Course to operate my paddle boat with an electric trolling motor?

If your boat has an attached motor of any kind (even an electric trolling motor), you’ll need to obtain your Texas Boating License to legally operate in Texas. To learn more about getting your Texas Boating License and motorized boat operation, visit 

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PADDLERsmart! is a proud member of the Campfire Collective. Campfire is an outdoor education that helps people have awesome outdoor adventures. We also fuel your outdoor pursuits with partner discounts and inspiring content.

Campfire Collective Ambassador Seth Ashworth


– Campfire Ambassador Seth Ashworth –


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