Efoiling In Hawaii By The Rules

If you have an efoil, then you know how fun they are. But you should also know how dangerous they can be when not properly used. Today’s post is all about the rules and regulations that apply to efoils in Hawaii.

We will highlight the regulations that apply to efoils within state waters surrounding the State of Hawaii. Private bodies of water may have different rules that are not covered here.

Before we get started, you should first know that the Department of Boating and Ocean Resources, aka DOBOR, has followed the US Coast Guard’s guidance to treat efoils as vessels. As such, all rules and regulations that apply to vessels also apply to efoils with a few differences, which we will address at the end.

Here is the quick list of what an efoil operator should do to follow these rules:

  • You are required to register your efoil with DOBOR
  • You are required to carry the following documents and safety equipment
    • Personal floatation device or PFD
    • A whistle
    • Proof of registration
    • Hull identification, specifically your HA number along the rails of your efoil
  • Maintain a speed of slow-no-wake or 5 mph within 200 feet of any:
    • Shoreline
    • Float
    • Dock
    • Launching ramp
    • Congested beach
    • Swimmer
    • Diver’s flag
    • Anchored, moored, or drifting vessel
  • With regard to marine life, maintain the following minimum distances:
    • 10 feet from turtles
    • 50 feet from monk seals
    • 150 feet from dolphin
    • 300 feet from humpback whales
  • Comply with areas restrictions as shown on the DOBOR website

These are the basics. You should become familiar with all of the rules, especially those that apply to water sites you visit the most. Now, there are a few exceptions that have been made for efoils. They include:

  • Efoils do not have to carry a fire extinguisher
  • Although an efoil does not create a wake, slow-no-wake speed does mean 5 mph

By following these established rules, you are helping to ensure a safe experience for all ocean visitors, both people and marine life. Also, you are showing that you respect the rules, the ocean, and this exciting sport of efoiling.

Please leave any comments below or reach out to me at hawaiiefoil@gmail.com. Aloha.

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