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Molarbu

Is surfing illegal?

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Molarbu

A friend of mine was stopped by the aquasherriff on the 4th of July for wakesurfing. He said the county prosecutor had deemed wakesurfing to be illegal in Nez Perce county due to fumes and the proximity to the boat. He has since contacted the prosecutor and tried to set up a meeting with her to explain the difference between an I/O and an inboard boat and that people are not dying from surfing while standing up. Does anyone know if there have been any casualties from it? He is taking the local news crew surfing today to raise some awareness. Can you think of any other sources or avenues he should pursue for our just cause?

The people in charge of Idaho Boating Laws kind of came up with 10 feet as a safe distance to be away from the boat. I hope it will be a matter of correcting a misunderstanding, but these people are not always flexible. They didn't give him a ticket but the citation would have been for negligent boat operation.

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Bill_AirJunky

They are probably grouping surfing with teak surfing, which is illegal in a lot of states & counties. 10' seems pretty fair to me, but I'm not a 4' tall surfer walking on to the swimstep & back out on the board again either.

Inboards have just as much exhaust an an I/O so that isn't going to be a good defense. Sounds like your going to have to surf further away from the boat than 10'.

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ADHD

Altough I live in CAli and have never surfed (yet) (well in a lake behind a boat) That has always been a primary concern is the exhuast fumes since the speeds for surfing are around 10mph.. Although I see it done right in front of the sherrif at almost any lake i go to Im sure its legal here maybe its just your state!

I have heard here in cali though they outlawed the tubes that go in the air although I still see some every know and then!!

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UteBu

In the State of Utah the boating laws state the following regarding towed devices....

R651-224. Towed Devices.

R651-224-1. Observer Required.

The operator of a vessel which is towing a person on water skis or other devices shall be responsible

for maintaining a safe course with proper lookout. The progress of the person under tow shall

be reported to the vessel operator by the observer.

R651-224-2. Unlawful Methods of Towing.

No person shall operate a motorboat or have the engine of a motorboat run idle while a person is

occupying or holding onto the swim platform, swim deck, swim step or swim ladder of the motorboat

or while a person is being towed in a non-standing position within 20 feet of the vessel. These

restrictions do not apply when a person is occupying the swim platform, swim deck, swim step or

swim ladder while assisting with the docking or departure of the motorboat, while exiting or entering

the motorboat, or when a motorboat is engaged in law enforcement activity.

R651-224-3. Flag Required.

The operator of a vessel shall be responsible for a flag to be displayed by the observer in a visible

manner to other boaters in the area while the person to be towed is in the water, either preparing

to be towed or finishing a tow. The flag shall be international orange at least 12 inches square and

mounted on a handle.

R651-224-4. PFD to be Worn.

The operator of a vessel which is towing a person(s) on water skis or other devices shall require

each person who is water skiing or using other devices to wear a United States Coast Guard approved

personal flotation device (PFD), except an inflatable PFD may not be used.

R651-224-5. Capacity of Towing Vessel.

The operator of a vessel which is towing a person(s) on water skis or other devices shall use a

vessel with sufficient carrying capacity, as defined by the manufacturer, for the occupant(s) onboard

and the person(s) being towed.

R651-224-6. No Towing in Marinas.

The operator of a vessel shall not tow a person(s) in or on any towed device within a wakeless

area surrounding a developed marina or launch ramp.

So any person being towed with-in 20 feet of the boat must be in a standing position. I wouldn't know what they would have to say about a person being with-in that close proximity and not being towed "ropeless surfing".

I know of no deaths related to wake surfing.

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LS-One
A friend of mine was stopped by the aquasherriff on the 4th of July for wakesurfing. He said the county prosecutor had deemed wakesurfing to be illegal in Nez Perce county due to fumes and the proximity to the boat. He has since contacted the prosecutor and tried to set up a meeting with her to explain the difference between an I/O and an inboard boat and that people are not dying from surfing while standing up. Does anyone know if there have been any casualties from it? He is taking the local news crew surfing today to raise some awareness. Can you think of any other sources or avenues he should pursue for our just cause?

The people in charge of Idaho Boating Laws kind of came up with 10 feet as a safe distance to be away from the boat. I hope it will be a matter of correcting a misunderstanding, but these people are not always flexible. They didn't give him a ticket but the citation would have been for negligent boat operation.

Probably didn't get a ticket because there is no law on record in the county ordinances that could be produced if the ticket was contested in court. Or he was just a nice officer.

My statements are not in argument with any written vehicle or vessel codes. They are merely a response to your statement that the county prosecuter "deemed" it unsafe. I had a similar run in with a deputy on our lake who took it upon himself to make law regarding surfing. Needless to say he didn't win that one. His superiors were in complete agreement with me.

Edited by LS-One

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1FootDan

Here people are more concerned about damaging the shorelines and affecting wilderness. Such as the loon which lays it's eggs close to the shoreline because they have a hard time walking because their legs are so far behind. That and people complaning of the damages to their docs and boats because of the huge wakes... first time I hear about fumes.

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Malibudude
Here people are more concerned about damaging the shorelines and affecting wilderness. Such as the loon which lays it's eggs close to the shoreline because they have a hard time walking because their legs are so far behind. That and people complaning of the damages to their docs and boats because of the huge wakes... first time I hear about fumes.

Ah, well it's become a big deal as people have died from the fumes while teak surfing (one of which wasn't wearing a life vest) and houseboats which used to send the exhaust underneath the boat where people would swim.

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1FootDan

Personally I have no problem with declaring surfing illegal... Tomato.gif ... but not for the same reasons... man those surf wakes are IMPOSSIBLE to cross barefoot. Frustrated.gif

Edited by 1FootDan

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wakeup

We have a place on a lake that is part in NC and part in VA. The VA side is ticketing for surfing and from what I know, the driver was charged with reckless endangerment of a swimmer. In short, in that state once your surfer throws the rope, they are now considered a swimmer. Sounds crazy, but there was a court case in early July, and they sided with the officer.

But many continue to surf and I've not heard of anyone else getting ticketed.

Wake surfing does not look like the same hazard as teak surfing IMO. Teak surfing is hanging on the swim platform at the back of a boat while the boat is moving forward in slow motion. Obviously your face is right at the exhaust behind the boat with not much fresh air making its way down there. Wake surfin you stand higher and above the rail of the boat for more fresh air, and the side you surf is deep in the water. Not saying you don't get some carbon monoxide, but it does not look like the same risk.

I think the accidents I've seen have been with not using the correct rope. I've not heard of any CO poisoning incidents.

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DizzyG

so is a boom off the side illegal too in that state? 20' is crazy

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BlastRlxi
In the State of Utah the boating laws state the following regarding towed devices....

R651-224. Towed Devices.

R651-224-1. Observer Required.

The operator of a vessel which is towing a person on water skis or other devices shall be responsible

for maintaining a safe course with proper lookout. The progress of the person under tow shall

be reported to the vessel operator by the observer.

R651-224-2. Unlawful Methods of Towing.

No person shall operate a motorboat or have the engine of a motorboat run idle while a person is

occupying or holding onto the swim platform, swim deck, swim step or swim ladder of the motorboat

or while a person is being towed in a non-standing position within 20 feet of the vessel. These

restrictions do not apply when a person is occupying the swim platform, swim deck, swim step or

swim ladder while assisting with the docking or departure of the motorboat, while exiting or entering

the motorboat, or when a motorboat is engaged in law enforcement activity.

R651-224-3. Flag Required.

The operator of a vessel shall be responsible for a flag to be displayed by the observer in a visible

manner to other boaters in the area while the person to be towed is in the water, either preparing

to be towed or finishing a tow. The flag shall be international orange at least 12 inches square and

mounted on a handle.

R651-224-4. PFD to be Worn.

The operator of a vessel which is towing a person(s) on water skis or other devices shall require

each person who is water skiing or using other devices to wear a United States Coast Guard approved

personal flotation device (PFD), except an inflatable PFD may not be used.

R651-224-5. Capacity of Towing Vessel.

The operator of a vessel which is towing a person(s) on water skis or other devices shall use a

vessel with sufficient carrying capacity, as defined by the manufacturer, for the occupant(s) onboard

and the person(s) being towed.

R651-224-6. No Towing in Marinas.

The operator of a vessel shall not tow a person(s) in or on any towed device within a wakeless

area surrounding a developed marina or launch ramp.

So any person being towed with-in 20 feet of the boat must be in a standing position. I wouldn't know what they would have to say about a person being with-in that close proximity and not being towed "ropeless surfing".

I know of no deaths related to wake surfing.

It says "or while being towed in a non-standing position within 20 feet of the vessel". I would say that surfing is legal since you are doing it in a standing position. However, if you lay down on the board, it would be illegal.

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UWSkier
In the State of Utah the boating laws state the following regarding towed devices....

R651-224. Towed Devices.

R651-224-1. Observer Required.

The operator of a vessel which is towing a person on water skis or other devices shall be responsible

for maintaining a safe course with proper lookout. The progress of the person under tow shall

be reported to the vessel operator by the observer.

R651-224-2. Unlawful Methods of Towing.

No person shall operate a motorboat or have the engine of a motorboat run idle while a person is

occupying or holding onto the swim platform, swim deck, swim step or swim ladder of the motorboat

or while a person is being towed in a non-standing position within 20 feet of the vessel. These

restrictions do not apply when a person is occupying the swim platform, swim deck, swim step or

swim ladder while assisting with the docking or departure of the motorboat, while exiting or entering

the motorboat, or when a motorboat is engaged in law enforcement activity.

R651-224-3. Flag Required.

The operator of a vessel shall be responsible for a flag to be displayed by the observer in a visible

manner to other boaters in the area while the person to be towed is in the water, either preparing

to be towed or finishing a tow. The flag shall be international orange at least 12 inches square and

mounted on a handle.

R651-224-4. PFD to be Worn.

The operator of a vessel which is towing a person(s) on water skis or other devices shall require

each person who is water skiing or using other devices to wear a United States Coast Guard approved

personal flotation device (PFD), except an inflatable PFD may not be used.

R651-224-5. Capacity of Towing Vessel.

The operator of a vessel which is towing a person(s) on water skis or other devices shall use a

vessel with sufficient carrying capacity, as defined by the manufacturer, for the occupant(s) onboard

and the person(s) being towed.

R651-224-6. No Towing in Marinas.

The operator of a vessel shall not tow a person(s) in or on any towed device within a wakeless

area surrounding a developed marina or launch ramp.

So any person being towed with-in 20 feet of the boat must be in a standing position. I wouldn't know what they would have to say about a person being with-in that close proximity and not being towed "ropeless surfing".

I know of no deaths related to wake surfing.

It says "or while being towed in a non-standing position within 20 feet of the vessel". I would say that surfing is legal since you are doing it in a standing position. However, if you lay down on the board, it would be illegal.

Or if you were trying to learn barefoot deep water starts off the boom or gliding on your butt.

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