A paddleboarder wearing only a swim suit, gliding down Shem Creek -- the image is so laid back it says summertime.

There's just one thing: It's not legal.

For three years now, paddleboarders have been required by federal law to have a personal flotation device, or PFD, the sort of life preserver that kayakers wear, and carry a distress whistle. Surprised? So are a lot of the casual paddleboarders who have been stopped by state wildlife officers or U.S. Coast Guard patrols this year.

The two agencies this summer stepped up enforcement with the sudden boom in the stand-up water sport's popularity here.

Read more in tomorrow's The Post and Courier.