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The Battle vs WakeSetters continues


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Surf’s up at Smith Mountain Lake, but Virginia legislature is considering restrictions on wakesurfing | Latest Headlines | roanoke.com - https://roanoke.com/news/surf-s-up-at-smith-mountain-lake-but-virginia-legislature-is-considering-restrictions-on-wakesurfing/article_95ffaaf8-59cb-11eb-82ef-d70e122030c2.html
 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Truly, the only answer is to have whichever version of lake cop your lake uses issue tickets to irresponsible boaters - surfboats or otherwise. I definitely see 16 year old kids driving Daddy's new $200k MinorCraft digging a hole thru a marina no-wake zone, but I see more irresponsible pontoon captains with a fistfull of gin, lounging back in his captain's chair with his legs crossed, barely paying attention than I see irresponsible suftboat captains. Too many times I've seen a pontoon captain literally physically jerk back to "aware" when they see me waving my arms with single fingers at the end of both, as they are driving up my tailpipe when I have a rider in the water. 

If it were up to me, I'd be passing out hundreds of tickets a day, and I'd start with anyone that passes me on the starboard side. In my world, the tickets would be progressive in penalty. First offense, you were too stupid to educate yourself of the rules. Zero fine, but you go in my books. 2nd offense $75 and a mandatory boating etiquette class as you haven't taken the effort to education yourself on your own, 3rd = $500, 4th offense, we impound your boat for a year. We are on a big lake, most of which looks more like a river than a lake, and there are a ton of pontoons with underpowered motors, many of them are rentals being driven by people that haven't educated themselves at all. These fools think that the only option is as straight of a line as they can get, because they max out at 16mph. Taking the long lane on a left turn takes too long, so they just play chicken with me in my "lane" til I move. This is one of the reasons that I don't have my paintball gun on board anymore. I'd get arrested for sure. 

Many pontoons can be driven with so little effort, that I can see how one could lose track. Lean forward to set the throttle that is waaaay up on the dash (often to WOT), and lean back, steering only when you need to change course, regardless of the water conditions. Hell, you can actually get up and walk over to that fully stocked bar you have in the corner to pour yourself another cocktail if you have a decent straightaway. To be in proper control of my boat when the water is anything but glass, takes almost constant action on the trottle and the wheel if you want to provide a comfortable ride to your crew. 

To create additional laws against a certain type of boat is stupid. Start with enforcing the laws you have on the books. 

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24 minutes ago, BigCreek said:

Truly, the only answer is to have whichever version of lake cop your lake uses issue tickets to irresponsible boaters - surfboats or otherwise. I definitely see 16 year old kids driving Daddy's new $200k MinorCraft digging a hole thru a marina no-wake zone, but I see more irresponsible pontoon captains with a fistfull of gin, lounging back in his captain's chair with his legs crossed, barely paying attention than I see irresponsible suftboat captains. Too many times I've seen a pontoon captain literally physically jerk back to "aware" when they see me waving my arms with single fingers at the end of both, as they are driving up my tailpipe when I have a rider in the water. 

If it were up to me, I'd be passing out hundreds of tickets a day, and I'd start with anyone that passes me on the starboard side. In my world, the tickets would be progressive in penalty. First offense, you were too stupid to educate yourself of the rules. Zero fine, but you go in my books. 2nd offense $75 and a mandatory boating etiquette class as you haven't taken the effort to education yourself on your own, 3rd = $500, 4th offense, we impound your boat for a year. We are on a big lake, most of which looks more like a river than a lake, and there are a ton of pontoons with underpowered motors, many of them are rentals being driven by people that haven't educated themselves at all. These fools think that the only option is as straight of a line as they can get, because they max out at 16mph. Taking the long lane on a left turn takes too long, so they just play chicken with me in my "lane" til I move. This is one of the reasons that I don't have my paintball gun on board anymore. I'd get arrested for sure. 

Many pontoons can be driven with so little effort, that I can see how one could lose track. Lean forward to set the throttle that is waaaay up on the dash (often to WOT), and lean back, steering only when you need to change course, regardless of the water conditions. Hell, you can actually get up and walk over to that fully stocked bar you have in the corner to pour yourself another cocktail if you have a decent straightaway. To be in proper control of my boat when the water is anything but glass, takes almost constant action on the trottle and the wheel if you want to provide a comfortable ride to your crew. 

To create additional laws against a certain type of boat is stupid. Start with enforcing the laws you have on the books. 

Couldn't have said it better myself.  

 

Meanwhile, in my area, the cops sit by the lake and watch us ski the course in the early AM before work.  Then, they come and want to ticket us for not having a spotter.  Mind you, no other boats are on the water.  3 ski boats, 8 skiers, and all the boats waiting their turn in the course.  I asked them, if we are causing such a problem and are being "unsafe", where are you when I have to chase down some idiot who's 30' behind my rider only to find out he's so wasted he can't even stand up??  I would think that would be far better use of their time.  No other boats on lake when we're skiing and we're the problem.  Good grief!!  

Last season, no less than 5 times, we, in addition to 3 other wake boats, had to chase people down on the lake and educate them about safe distance.  In all but one case, the drivers were new boat owners.  The other, as mentioned above, was an idiot who partied too much and kept his boat on that lake.  One of them didn't even have registration numbers and was giving me the business for running him down.  My friend's son was surfing behind our boat and he went after them just before we picked up the rider and did the same.  He was all puffed up until the other 3 surf boats showed up.  Then, he seemed to understand and I never saw him do it again.  

Interesting that government won't require a license to buy a boat, but they do for a car and now they want to license firearms.  Strange world we live in......getting more bizarre by the day.

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10 minutes ago, Slayer said:

the cops sit by the lake and watch us ski the course in the early AM before work.  Then, they come and want to ticket us for not having a spotter.  Mind you, no other boats are on the water.  3 ski boats, 8 skiers, and all the boats waiting their turn in the course. 

Why would you not just rotate a spotter into a boat so the cops have nothing to bug you about?  Early AM, we'll ski without a spotter but if there is a chance the cops are on the water, we'll grab a third from a waiting boat.

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17 minutes ago, Slayer said:

Interesting that government won't require a license

In TN (and I'm pretty sure OH), anyone born after 1989 needs to complete an online boater education class. My kids did it. Open laptop, click next, click next, click next. Take quiz. In a few hours, you are done. 

One must be 12 years old to take the test and become certified "safe" by the state. So, to the guy that has the pontoon with twin 350HP motors, as long as your 12-year old daughter takes the test, she can run that sucker 75MPH down the lake within the law. On land or on water, acquiring a license doesn't require much effort, and in no way does it make one a good driver. 

Also, in TN, one must have a spotter >12yrs old, or a wide angle mirror. Maybe that is a workaround for you in MI?

Edited by BigCreek
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3 reasons....

  1. First time in years we've ever seen anything like this.  The course has been on this lake for 50+ years.  
  2. It was more efficient operating as we did to keep the flow of skiers skiing before they headed to work.
  3. Spotter law is stupid.

Worthy of note....the cops were not on the water.  They were sitting outside of their cars, leaning on the hood eating doughnuts and drinking coffee.  They watched us for an hour and when I was dropped at my dock, they pulled up.  Their location was only 1000 yards or so from my dock.  We didn't get any tickets or anything, no formal written warning, but it was kind of foolish.   

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3 minutes ago, BigCreek said:

In TN (and I'm pretty sure OH), anyone born after 1989 needs to complete an online boater education class. My kids did it. Open laptop, click next, click next, click next. Take quiz. In a few hours, you are done. 

One must be 12 years old to take the test and become certified "safe" by the state. So, to the guy that has the pontoon with twin 350HP motors, as long as your 12-year old daughter takes the test, she can run that sucker 75MPH down the lake within the law. On land or on water, acquiring a license doesn't require much effort, and in no way does it make one a good driver. 

We have similar laws here in MI.  Our oldest has taken the class and our second oldest is taking it this year.  For us, pre-covid, it was an in-person class.  

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2 minutes ago, Slayer said:

3 reasons....

  1. First time in years we've ever seen anything like this.  The course has been on this lake for 50+ years.  
  2. It was more efficient operating as we did to keep the flow of skiers skiing before they headed to work.
  3. Spotter law is stupid.

Worthy of note....the cops were not on the water.  They were sitting outside of their cars, leaning on the hood eating doughnuts and drinking coffee.  They watched us for an hour and when I was dropped at my dock, they pulled up.  Their location was only 1000 yards or so from my dock.  We didn't get any tickets or anything, no formal written warning, but it was kind of foolish.   

Which lake?

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4 minutes ago, hunter77ah said:

Which lake?

Whitmore.

 

Up until about 10 years ago, the show ski team there was still active.  As I recall it was about 10 years ago that the jump ramp was removed.  That lake has had a good watersports history for a very long time dating back to when it was only seasonal cottages there in the 50's.

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4 minutes ago, Slayer said:

Spotter law is stupid.

Totally agree, but laws are normally not put in place to control the people that are doing things right. This one is in place because people are dumb. 

There should definitely be a "waive the rule on the slalom course" rule in place. Less ballast with less bodies = less wake to hit. 

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3 minutes ago, BigCreek said:

Totally agree, but laws are normally not put in place to control the people that are doing things right. This one is in place because people are dumb. 

There should definitely be a "waive the rule on the slalom course" rule in place. Less ballast with less bodies = less wake to hit. 

I completely understand and agree with you.  Not only less wake to hit, but literally no boats on the water.  We get out at 5:15am in the summer and as soon as the sun breaks the horizon, we're on it. It allows me to get sets in and still get to the office at a reasonable hour.

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8 minutes ago, Slayer said:

Spotter law is stupid.

Up here, we have the same law.  But I've ignored it for decades.  Funny thing:  if you are training for competition you do not need a spotter.  Go figure.

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1 hour ago, Eagleboy99 said:

Up here, we have the same law.  But I've ignored it for decades.  Funny thing:  if you are training for competition you do not need a spotter.  Go figure.

24 states currently have no spotter requirements.  If anyone is interested in the breakdown, happy to share my info. I was compiling it to try to get the laws in my state changed. 

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1 minute ago, hunter77ah said:

24 states currently have no spotter requirements.  If anyone is interested in the breakdown, happy to share my info. I was compiling it to try to get the laws in my state changed. 

All that info and more, including advocacy resources is at https://www.nasbla.org/home 

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