Do Paddleboards Have Serial Numbers?

When buying a new or used paddleboard, you may not think to check to see if it has a serial number. Even if you do know it has one, where is it?

Do paddleboards have serial numbers? Most paddleboards do have a serial number that is located on a fin box by the leash plug or next to the hardboard air value. On an inflatable board, it will be around the leash or inflation valve.

SUP CompanySerial Number?Why is it located?
IRocker (our reviews)NoN/A
Black Fin (our reviews)
(iRockers Premium Range)
YesAt the base of the
center fin
Red Paddle Co (Co Site)YesAround the
Leash D ring
Isle Surf & SUPYes At the base of the
center fin
Blue fin (our reviews)NoN/A
BIC SportsNoN/A
Tower Paddle BoardsNoN/A

This helps in keeping track of all paddleboards in case of theft. Serial numbers are integral in registration as well as tracking. The serial number can be located in different areas of the board depending on the brand and if it’s a regular SUP (Stand Up Paddling board) or an ISUP (Inflatable Stand Up Paddling Board). I’ll tell you all you need to know.

How to Register Your Paddleboard:

Many states require you to register your paddleboard; however, some don’t require this because most watercraft registration refers to motorized water transport. But remember many states and countries have other regulations you need to follow.

There are only three states that require you to register your paddleboard.

  • Minnesota
  • Iowa
  • South Dakota

What Information You Need to Register

In order to get your board registered, you’ll have to know some information and have a few pieces of documentation:

  • The receipt that shows that you paid the sales tax
  • Length of the board
  • Manufacturer
  • Type of hull material
    • If you don’t know the hull material, then search online for it because it will usually be listed in the description.
  • Model
  • Year made
  • The serial number on the board

Where to Go to Register

When you have compiled all of the information above then go to any registrar of motor vehicles or deputy registrar and fill out the registration paperwork.

Look for a list of nearby locations that you can go to. The cost will vary depending on where you are. Minnesota is $24 for example, and the registration is good for three years before it needs to be renewed.

Renewing Your Paddleboard.

Make sure you still have all of your board information and either go to an online form, deputy registrar, or department of motor vehicles. When you renew expect another payment of $21.50 (in Minnesota) this will include the:

  • Renewal
  • Issuing fees
  • Invasive species surcharge

Tag Placement

As soon as you register your board, then you will be given a tag as proof that you registered. The DNR suggests that you place this sticker on the side of the forward half of your board. You should only place the decal on the stern if it is impossible to put it on the side because of your boat’s design.

The way that your board floats on the water will be a big determinant of where you can put the tags. One popular place is at the end of your paddleboard behind the pads.

Other Tags Needed

If your watercraft is over 10’ then you will need an invasive species tag (a permit that funds the  Invasive Species Prevention Program) in Idaho and Oregon, while Illinois requires you to have water usage stamps instead of registration.

We are assuming that you are registering your board in your home state. If you bring your board to another state, you should check to see their requirements. Many states want you registered in your own state if you need it and to stay less than 30,60 or 90 days.

So, if you’re from a state that needs registration and you go to one of these places you could still get fined.

Keep Your Board from Getting Stolen

Paddleboard thefts have been increasing around the world. A paddleboard is easy to transport and sell on certain sites across the world. Thieves will generally know when and where to take paddling boards as well as what the average value is of certain brands.

Keep Your Eye on Your Board

Make sure that it isn’t lying around in your front lawn or in your open garage overnight. Even during the day, you have to be careful that you don’t leave them alone while getting a bite to eat because they can easily be taken.

If you’re using an obvious brand that is worth a lot of money, then you should also make sure it’s kept safe and locked up if it’s on the roof of your car because it will be a prime target.

Take Down the Serial Number

Just about every paddleboard made today has a serial number of some variety that is marked by a fin box. If you have an ISUP, then it will be around the leash or inflation valve, take a picture of this serial number so you can track it later if you have to.

This is the most important thing you can do for common and high-end boards. The personal ID number should be all you need to provide the seller or police to get your board back.

Buying a Used SUP

Keep some things in mind if you’re buying a used paddleboard:

  • Look out for people that don’t know anything about their product and seem really unfamiliar with the board.
  • Ask about the board’s history if it is heavily bleached or damaged.
  • You can get a good deal on ex-school equipment but ask why it’s so cheap
  • What accessories does it come with: Fins? Bags? Pump? 90% of all boards are complete with everything. If there isn’t a full package, the seller should be able to explain why. And you can negotiate down – if you trust the sale.
  • Make sure the serial number isn’t damaged.

No Serial Number

Some boards, for one reason or another, will not have a serial number. In this case, a new one will have to be made up. Here is how the 12 alphanumeric digits of a paddling board’s serial number break down:

  • The first three letters are part of the Manufacturer’s code (MIC)
  • The next five numbers are part of the hull serial number which is randomly generated
  • The letter and number after that represents the manufacture date
  • The last two numbers are a part of the model year.

What You Need to Go Paddleboarding

Now that you know your serial number and have taken precautions to know that number and get your board registered (if you have to) you can finally go paddleboarding. If you’re getting out there for the first time, make sure you’re stocked up with the following:

Essential Gear

  • Stand up paddleboard (SUP)
  • A paddle
  • Personal flotation device
  • Pump (for inflatables)
  • Fin(s) for SUP
  • SUP leash
  • Rescue whistle
  • Headlamp or flashlight

Clothing and Footwear

Make sure that your clothing is for the water temp, not the air temp. Capsizing and potential hypothermia can happen fast; Don’t use cotton because it will chill you; always use quick-drying clothing instead.

For warm weather where the water is ( >70 Fahrenheit) then choose clothing that dries fairly quickly:

  • Sun-shielding hat
  • Water shoes, neoprene booties or sandals
  • Board shorts or swimsuits
  • Rashguard and other sun-protective shirts
  • Hat retainer leash (optional)

In cold weather or cold water that is (< 60 degrees Fahrenheit) wear clothing that insulates:

  • Neoprene top and shorts, or a wetsuit
  • Paddling gloves
  • Wool/synthetic cap
  • Wool/Synthetic Socks

Other Personal Items You May Want

  • Sunscreen (water-resistant SPF that’s 30+)
  • Lip balm (SPF that’s 15+)
  • Retainer and sunglasses
  • Waist pack/water bottle/hydration reservoir (filled)
  • Lunch or snacks
  • Credit card; small amounts of cash
  • Towel
  • Cell Phone in a protected case/bag
  • Small first-aid kit
  • Insect repellent (as needed)
  • Camera with a waterproof case

Finishing thoughts

There are all kinds of gear you may purchase, depending on the type of trip you want to take. But first and foremost, get a good board and get comfortable with it. Check out our specific company reviews along with the inexpensive boards comparison. Tap the site Logo above or hit the left drop down to search paddle board articles.

Enjoy your time out on the water!


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Carlo Raffa

Carlo Raffa is a blogger, stand-up paddleboard enthusiast, water lover and local to Brighton city in the South of England. Paddle boarding is my escape and this is only the starting point. Being a larger guy at 260lbs I am finding it very good exercise as well, especially for building core muscles. This is something that believe it or not cycling 16 miles a day at 6 miles per hour doesn't seem to be doing. Paddle Boarding allows me to just grab my board and walk right through the busy bar filled beachfront between the two piers in Brighton and head straight out of shore. It's not long before the shouting and cheering of our buzzing beach fade into just the lapping waves and the people to just small dots of the Brighton shoreline.

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