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To wake surf, a person rides on a device similar to a surfboard in the wake just behind a boat.

  • The wake surfer holds onto a tow (ski) rope only until he or she is up out of the water. Then the rope is tossed into the boat.
  • The boat travels at slow speeds of 9 to 14 mph.
  • To create the larger wake that a wake surfer needs, the boat carries artificial ballast.

Persons involved in wake surfing must follow these regulations.

  • Due to the large wake, a boat involved in wake surfing must be operated at least 200 feet from:
    • The shoreline
    • All marine structures, including piers, docks, bridge structures, abutments, and anchored swimming or water-skiing floats
    • Navigation aids such as regulatory buoys and channel markers
    • Other vessels that are underway, anchored, or moored
    • Persons in the water
  • Any portable ballast tank must have a manufacturer's label that gives the tank's maximum capacity in gallons and/or maximum weight in pounds.
  • The combined weight of the ballast, passengers, gear, and motors must not exceed the maximum weight capacity for the vessel.