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It's the Law


Vessel operators towing a person(s) on water skis or a similar device have additional laws.

Towing Skiers


A vessel towing a person(s) on water skis or any other similar device must have at least two persons on board—one to operate the vessel and a second person to observe the towed person(s). The observer must be at least 12 years old and be physically capable and mentally competent to act as an observer of a water-skier.

Each person being towed behind a vessel on water skis or a similar device must wear a life jacket (PFD) or buoyant belt. Note, however, that buoyant belts are not approved by the U.S. Coast Guard. The AZGFD recommends the use of a U.S. Coast Guard–approved, brightly colored, Type III life jacket (PFD). The brightly colored life jacket (PFD) aids in making a skier more visible to other vessels.

Water-skiing is restricted to daylight hours only. It is illegal to tow a person(s) on water skis, surfboard, or other similar device from sunset to sunrise.

Both the operator of the towing vessel and the skier must operate in a safe manner. A reasonable distance from other vessels, people, and property must be maintained so as not to cause danger to the life or property of others.

Skier flag
Skier flag

State law makes the person being towed (the skier) responsible if he or she behaves in a careless, reckless, or negligent manner.

Vessels towing person(s) on water skis or a similar device must carry and use a bright red or orange skier-down flag that is at least 12 x 12 inches in size and mounted on a handle. The observer must continuously observe the skier(s) and display a skier-down flag whenever a skier is in the water after falling or while preparing to ski.

If towing a skier with a PWC, the same water-skiing laws apply. Do not exceed the carrying capacity of the personal watercraft.

towing a wakeboard
Observe towed persons at all times.