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In addition to following the laws that apply to all boats and PWCs, operators towing a person(s) on water skis or a similar device must obey these laws.

Wakeboarder being towed by a boat

Skiing Confined to Ski or Open Zone

  • Any person who rides or attempts to ride upon water skis or similar device or who skis barefoot or any boat operator who tows a skier shall confine that activity within a designated ski zone or open zone.
  • Exceptions to this section exist for Lake Erie and the Ohio River where these zones have not been established. This section does not apply if the vessel is traveling at idle speed in a designated "no wake" area and is not within:
    • An anchorage area, a boat swimming area, or a boat camping area
    • 300 feet of a gas dock, launch ramp, harbor entrance, or bridge underpass
    • Any area designated as a "no ski" zone
  • No person shall permit operation of a vessel in violation of this section.

Observer Required when Towing Skier

  • Any person who operates a vessel towing a person on water skis, a surfboard, or other device or a barefoot skier shall have an observer ten years of age or older in the vessel who shall at all times observe the person being towed. The vessel operator shall observe the traffic pattern.
  • No person shall permit operation of a vessel in violation of this section.

Water-Skiing after Dark Prohibited

No person shall water-ski be towed on any device, or operate a vessel towing a person between sunset and sunrise except upon special permit. Consult an official sunrise-sunset table of the local area for exact times.