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PWC towing wakeboarder
PWC operators who are towing skiers should be aware that their factory-installed rearview mirror may not comply with Texas regulations. A wide-angle mirror is needed for adequate viewing of a skier.

Vessel operators towing a person(s) on water skis, aquaplanes, surfboards, inner tubes, or any similar devices must obey these laws also.

  • It is illegal for operators of boats to tow a person(s) on water skis, skiboards, or any device of this type between one-half hour after sunset and one-half hour before sunrise. It is illegal for operators of PWC to tow any person or device (or operate) between sunset and sunrise.
  • All vessels towing person(s) on water skis or similar devices must be operated in a careful and prudent manner. A reasonable distance from other vessels, people, and property must be maintained so as not to endanger life or property. Buzzing or spraying another vessel or swimmer is illegal.
  • Only a vessel operator who is retrieving a downed water-skier or person engaged in a similar activity may operate in a circular course around that person.
  • Every vessel towing a person(s) on water skis or a similar device must have:
    • An observer, other than the vessel operator, 13 years of age or older on board or…
    • A rearview mirror. The size of the mirror must be no less than four inches in size from bottom to top and across from side to side. It should be mounted firmly to give the vessel operator a full, complete view beyond the rear of the vessel at all times. Note: Most PWC mirrors do not meet these size standards.
  • PWC have rating requirements that must be met when towing people.
    • A PWC must be rated for at least two people when towing a person on water skis or a similar device.
    • If an observer is used, the PWC must be rated for three people—the operator, the observer, and the retrieved skier.