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Course Outline

Person towed behind a boat and an observer looking out for them

Water-skiing, along with being towed on a tube, kneeboard, or similar device, is very popular with boaters. These activities are both fun and challenging; however, towing people on skis or other devices requires additional knowledge and skills.

Before towing a skier, the operator should:

  • Have a second person on board to act as an observer.
  • Review hand signals with the skier to ensure proper communication.
  • Make sure the skier is wearing a PFD that is approved by the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and designed for water-skiing. Keep in mind that ski belts are not USCG–approved. A PFD with a high-impact rating is recommended.
  • Be familiar with the area and aware of any hazards such as shallow water, rocks, or bridge pilings in the water.
  • Make sure the tow lines are of the same length if towing multiple skiers.
  • Never tow a skier at night. It is both hazardous and illegal.
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