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Tag: paddleboarding


Lakewood’s rules discourage nonmotorized lake uses

Maik Darley of Tacoma gives Dakota a ride on a stand-up paddle board at the 2009 Freedom Fair in Tacoma.

This editorial will appear in Wednesday’s print edition.

A recent incident at American Lake in Lakewood – related in Kathleen Merryman’s column Saturday – illustrates what can happen when rules are too broadly applied.

In this instance, a woman pursuing the newly popular sport of paddleboarding encountered a police officer strictly enforcing rules that obviously were meant to apply to boats. She was told that she must license her paddleboard and pay a $10 launch fee at the lake’s new boat launch.

She was treated as if she were trying to illegally launch a motorboat when all she wanted to do was get in the water with her paddleboard. Licenses aren’t required for kayaks and canoes, much less paddleboards.

Figuring, justifiably, that it was ridiculous to charge a person $10 to put a paddleboard in the water, she walked to the nearby swimming beach and got in the water there. One problem with that move: Flotation devices like rafts, surfboards and paddleboards aren’t allowed in the popular swimming area – at least when a lifeguard is there enforcing the rule. Read more »