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PWC towing a wakeboarder

Vessel operators towing a person(s) on water skis, a surfboard, or any other device must obey these laws also.

  • A person operating a vessel that is towing a person on water skis, a surfboard, or any other device must be:
    • At least 16 years of age or…
    • At least 14 years of age and have on board a person at least 18 years of age in a position to supervise the operator.
  • All persons being towed behind a vessel on water skis, a surfboard, or other device must wear a USCG–approved life jacket.
  • Every vessel towing a person(s) on water skis, a surfboard, or other device must have on board, in addition to the vessel operator, an observer who is:
    • At least 14 years of age or…
    • At least 12 years of age and another passenger who is at least 18 years of age to supervise the observer.
  • The observer must display an orange skier down flag whenever the towed person(s) is in the water preparing to be towed or waiting to be picked up by the towing vessel. The flag must be 12 x 12 inches in size.
  • It is illegal for vessels to tow persons on water skis, a surfboard, or any other device between sunset and sunrise.
  • If towing a person on water skis or other device, the vessel must be rated to carry everyone in the boat plus everyone being towed.
  • Some waters may have local regulations which limit or prohibit water-skiing. Be sure to check local regulations before you go boating.