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It's the Law


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

Requirements for Towing Skiers


Every person being towed behind a vessel on water skis, a surfboard, or similar device must wear a U.S. Coast Guard–approved wearable Type I, II, or III PFD. Inflatable PFDs may not be used.

Every vessel towing a person(s) on water skis, a surfboard, or a similar device must have a person on board, in addition to the vessel operator, observing the towed person(s) at all times.

It is legal to tow persons on water skis, surfboards, or any device of this type only between:

  • One hour before sunrise and one hour after sunset if towed behind a boat
  • 8:00 a.m. and sunset if towed behind a PWC

Persons being towed must stay at least 100 feet away from:

  • A shoreline (if operating in water less than three feet deep)
  • Any moored or anchored vessel
  • A dock or raft
  • Any marked swimming area or person(s) in the water
Observe towed person(s) at all times.
Observe towed person(s) at all times.