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Course Outline

Wakeboarder towed behind a boat

When towing a person on water skis or another device, vessel operators must follow all boating laws plus any additional laws that may apply.

  • It is illegal for vessels to tow a person on water skis, aquaplanes, or any similar devices between sunset and sunrise. Waterskiing on parts of the Wailua River (Kauai) is only allowed from sunrise to 9:00 a.m. and from 5:00 p.m. to sunset.
  • Any vessel towing a person on water skis, aquaplanes, or similar devices must be operated in a careful and prudent manner and at a reasonable distance from other persons or property so as not to endanger the life or property of any person.
  • It is illegal to operate the vessel or manipulate the tow rope, water skis, or other device such that the towed device or person collides with any other person or object.
  • A thrill craft towing a person on water skis, an inner tube, a wakeboard, or a similar device—other than a surfboard for tow-in surfing operations—must stay within designated thrill craft riding zones when operating in an Ocean Recreation Management Area.

Using a Thrill Craft for Tow-In Surfing

Thrill craft being used for tow-in surfing must:

  • Be operated by a person certified through a DLNR–approved course in tow-in surfing and…
  • Be registered with Hawaii DLNR/DOBOR and…
  • Display a current tow-in surfing decal (“T” decal).
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