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Lake Burton in Georgia looking to ban wake surfing.


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liquidrider

Their reaching out to a couple colleges to study the effects of wake surfing. Old money on the lake complaining that they can't enjoy their wine cruises with our large wakes. Hope they enjoy us tubing.

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I grew up on a golf course. My parents bought the house when I was 13, so I was old enough to remember the conversation… there were definitely pros and cons: we were loved golf, my folks liked the vie

It is a fundamental tenet of general maritime law (applicable to navigable waters) that boat captains (operators) are responsible for damage caused by their wake.  Most state's laws regarding inland w

My mother has lived in the same house on the water since 1967.  Back then, an 18' boat was big.  Erosion from all sorts of things (but mostly boats) has taken its toll, and I have repaired her waterfr

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barefootpaul

The university of Minnesota apparently started a study last fall https://www.minnpost.com/greater-minnesota/2020/07/new-u-of-m-research-could-make-waves-in-fight-over-wakesurfing/

I thought I had read the results somewhere, but I can't find a link. If my memory serves me, a sustained 10mph wind causes more dock stress than a surf wave 100 ft out at some reasonable interval.

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Start on the bottom of page 22 and read thru page 23 if you want to "nerd out" on it. Look at the table on the top of page 24 if you want to read the Cliff's Notes version in table form. The study compares the difference between the impact of "Cruising", "Wakeboard" and "Wakesurf" boats and they consider the impact of wind as well. These guys seem to be returning the results that the people that funded the study wanted. 

Might be time for bigger money to fund a study that determines that there is no problem.

https://img1.wsimg.com/blobby/go/cf65b112-4ce9-4da9-a066-f09ac53fad63/Boat Wake Impact Analysis - Final Report - 202.pdf

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UofM study hasn't been finalized/published yet - supposed to be sometime this year from my understanding.   

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Surf4FamFun
4 hours ago, liquidrider said:

Their reaching out to a couple colleges to study the effects of wake surfing. Old money on the lake complaining that they can't enjoy their wine cruises with our large wakes. Hope they enjoy us tubing.

Any idea when and in what form this will be adjudicated?  Would like to watch out and provide input as part of the public if given the chance.  We love Rabun, don't surf or wakeboard in the narrows obviously but would hate to loose access to our favorite VaCa and weekend spot.

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3 hours ago, BigCreek said:

Start on the bottom of page 22 and read thru page 23 if you want to "nerd out" on it. Look at the table on the top of page 24 if you want to read the Cliff's Notes version in table form. The study compares the difference between the impact of "Cruising", "Wakeboard" and "Wakesurf" boats and they consider the impact of wind as well. These guys seem to be returning the results that the people that funded the study wanted. 

Might be time for bigger money to fund a study that determines that there is no problem.

https://img1.wsimg.com/blobby/go/cf65b112-4ce9-4da9-a066-f09ac53fad63/Boat Wake Impact Analysis - Final Report - 202.pdf

Their attenuation charts largely jive with what WSIA calculated in their 2015 study, and the math on wave power/force seems to check out.

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smileysteve
Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, justgary said:

My mother has lived in the same house on the water since 1967.  Back then, an 18' boat was big.  Erosion from all sorts of things (but mostly boats) has taken its toll, and I have repaired her waterfront several times over the years.
.... 
It really bugs me that I can't charge a maintenance fee to the clueless boat drivers who come by

I see this complaint often on my lake's group; and it makes it more obvious why US infrastructure is so unmaintained. There is no data to support that concrete (much less light rock and fill dirt), especially that's partly submerged in water (and hit by waves) should be expected to have a 60 year maintenance free life.

And civil engineers know this; look at Surfside; at 40 years, inspections increase. My realtor knows to ask who is responsible for maintaining a retaining wall that's exposed to half of these forces.

And if you look at my lake's dock and shoreline permits, they require both a seawall and rip rap 1' above full pool level; and the homeowners that don't have it / maintain it correlate nicely with those complaining about boat wake damage and wanting to make new rules for others.

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49 minutes ago, smileysteve said:

There is no data to support that concrete (much less light rock and fill dirt), especially that's partly submerged in water (and hit by waves) should be expected to have a 60 year maintenance free life.

I didn't say anything about a 60 year life.  I said that she originally had a wide, white sand beach, then a partial wall after about 30' of erosion, then a rip-rap revetment.  The revetment gets rebuilt about every 15 years, and each time it is very costly to do (and the labor is free).  I agree that a wall without rip-rap is a very poor choice, and it also reflects waves back into the water without dampening them.  By the way, limestone rock is denser than concrete rubble, so it holds much better than concrete does.

The whole point is that I only see the rocks moving around when big wakes hit them.  Hurricanes bring high water, so the wave action against the rocks is reduced.  The reach inside that bayou is not long enough to get even one foot waves due to wind, so even in thunderstorms and no high water, the rocks don't move.  Telling me that a boat wake isn't causing damage doesn't fly because I can stand there and watch it happen.  I shouldn't have to do extra maintenance or have an accelerated maintenance schedule when I have done everything correctly and the wakes just keep getting bigger and bigger, and they won't even drive down the center of the waterway.  They seem to insist on driving just outside the edge of the docks.

It is just like skateboarders at a downtown office building; scraping the edges of steps, bending handrails, and generally trashing decent looking architecture.  They can stand there and claim that all that stuff was going to look like heck in 20 years anyway, so it isn't their fault.  The whole point is that they are causing an accelerated maintenance or damage repair that shouldn't need to be done for a long time.  Your argument is precisely the same as the skaters who wonder why they got banned from downtown.

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liquidrider

I find it hard to believe waves can move a 60# limestone rocks. I've been in a M240 and we camped and surfed in an area where the Corps of Engineers installed rocks along the shore line. Never did I see a rock move and these were not installed in any type of manner. SCIENCE shows and your EYES will show you that surf waves while big don't have a lot of ENERGY and don't travel as far as tubers and lake cruisers!

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Five Cent Worth

I am surprised that the NMMA and / or the tow boat OEM's haven't come together on more of a study.  This is an industry wide misunderstanding.  

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1 hour ago, liquidrider said:

I find it hard to believe waves can move a 60# limestone rocks. I've been in a M240 and we camped and surfed in an area where the Corps of Engineers installed rocks along the shore line. Never did I see a rock move and these were not installed in any type of manner. SCIENCE shows and your EYES will show you that surf waves while big don't have a lot of ENERGY and don't travel as far as tubers and lake cruisers!

You didn't see the rocks move because you were in the boat.  Also, the CoE may well have used much larger rocks, since I see them here using much larger rocks.  Private jobs on protected waters here tend to use the smaller ones because we have to be able to move the rocks.  It generally isn't possible to lift and set rocks unless you can actually pick them up.  CoE and DOT have heavy equipment to do their lifting for them. 

And since you prefer to SHOUT about SCIENCE, please read the report.  They actually did the science and reported it.  It is very clear from Table ES-2 in the report that wakesurf waves have significantly more ENERGY than tubers and lake cruisers.

Table ES-2. Wave energy at the shoreline and percent increase compared to cruising vessels

Vessel Distance           Energy (ft·lb)          Percent Increase
from Shore (ft)      Cruising Wakeboard Wakesurf Wakeboard Wakesurf
    100                2587     4346     17621      68%      581%
    150                1964     3549     12948      81%      559%
    200                1615     3073     10405      90%      544%
    250                1387     2749      8782      98%      533%
    300                1226     2509      7646     105%      524%
    400                1008     2173      6144     116%      510%
    500                 866     1944      5186     124%      499%

 

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If the wakesurf community wants to ignore or as @justgary says, give the middle finger, rather than see the level of concern by many groups and try to understand and help with solutions, don't be surprised the area to enjoy your activity disappears over time.  Just food for thought, I have seen more resistance to surf wakes than just this study and numerous people/groups commenting and/or complaining about shore erosion and damage.  The OEM's probably already know what the results are and choose not to fund such a study.

 

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Right now, I am all in favor of banning fishing, wakeboarding, skiing, tubing, sky skiing or air chairing, kite boarding, barefooting, kneeboarding, wakeskating and whatever that thing is where they shoot water out of your boots - Cause at this point in my life, I don't do any of those.  I will be in favor of banning wakesurfing, if and when I stop wakesurfing.  Cruising with a beer - I am probably never going to be in favor of banning that.  

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smileysteve
43 minutes ago, malibudog said:

Cruising with a beer - I am probably never going to be in favor of banning that.  

Knowing you posted to be funny...

Statistics show that alcohol is the most common denominator of inland waterway death and accidents.

That's probably the best answer to prevent laws against wakesurfing. Pontoons, Jet Skis, and Fishing boats are all higher on the list for fatalities and accidents; and 90% of them involve a driver impaired by alcohol (especially when recorded by law enforcement). Challenge people why they care about a little erosion more than actual causes of death.

*The erosion argument alone is silly unless all electric is an option being considered. A tablespoon of gasoline dropping into the water has much more irreversible harm than mountain peaks being eroded. (Along with the starting point that dammed lakes are unnatural and you can see the death they cause to the environment when the water turns here each summer resulting in fish floating)

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32 minutes ago, IXFE said:

My folks lived in that house for over 20 years and never once did I hear them whine about the broken windows, roof tiles, or extra maintenance required on the massive deck they built to enjoy the view. 

Any chance that the damage due to golf balls was paid by the golf course or their HOA?

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@IXFE those are great points.  My folks lived on a golf course for a time too, and definitely suffered a few broken windows and roof tiles.  They also never bought golf balls, having a near endless supply of free donations! @justgary no HOA coverage at my folks house.  just a cost of doing business on a midpriced non-fancy course with a bunch of hacks.

Your analogy is good but somewhat imperfect.  The size of the waves that wake boats put out has grown SOOOO much in the past 10 years (and again in the last 5).  And 20 years ago, wakesurfing was just a gleam in the eye.  Even just 10 years ago, someone like @Stanley Wheelhouse with his mackin' listed 247 wave was an outlier's outlier.

(this wave seems almost pedestrian now, and certainly not mind blowing)

  Today any doofus with a checkbook can plunk down the cash to buy a dock crushing wave machine.  

We spend most of our time on a giant lake that can accommodate an infinite number of those battleships.  Last summer though, our preferred lake was closed (covid) and we had to go to some other spots.  As we all remember, last summer was super busy, with boating being one of the few quarantine-suitable summertime activities of 2020.  One of our days on bullards bar really drove home to me the impact of boats pushing huge waves.  In the olden times, there'd be maybe 3-6 boats capable of big waves on the lake at any given time.  Last summer, there had to be at least 25, each of which could push soul-crushing rollers.  It turned the whole lake into the ocean on a hot windless summer day.  And the incompetent wallies driving these boats had no problem passing by one another or past floating boats in the sub-100 yards away range.  

Back to your golf course analogy... yeah, 10 years ago, a single stanley wheelhouse wave on the lake might have been an anticipated risk of folks upping their game.  But nowadays the waves are so big in the hands of the incompetent that it's like the golf balls are polo balls being fired with abandon by folks who don't know (or care) how the game is played.  

It's true that boat wakes aren't as bad as a bad storm.  But bad weather is a known risk and something that folks can prepare for.  Turning every weekend in the summer into a bad storm that's generated by people (who could stop) is a different situation.

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7 minutes ago, shawndoggy said:

it's like the golf balls are polo balls being fired with abandon by folks who don't know (or care) how the game is played.

I was thinking bowling balls.  Then they come into your back yard and trample the tomato garden looking for the ball, then decide they can go ahead and hit from that lie and wind up hitting it into the neighbor's yard, only to repeat the process.

9 minutes ago, shawndoggy said:

It's true that boat wakes aren't as bad as a bad storm.

This depends completely on the body of water.  A lot of places can't build up huge waves because the reach isn't long enough.

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1 hour ago, justgary said:

Any chance that the damage due to golf balls was paid by the golf course or their HOA?

Nope… 

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I think the future of wake surfing depends a lot on those engaged in the activity.  Like others have said, exercising little or no responsibility for your actions while on the water is our possible doom.  I agree that living lakefront is a choice that comes with certain risks and those risks my change or evolve over time…sometimes unanticipated and for the worse.  That being said, our own stupidity on the water can certainly exacerbate these changes and force the powers that be to overreact.  It’s always been said that it only takes one to ruin it for many.  What I saw last week unfortunately proves this point.
 

 It was Sunday afternoon, 4th of July, around 2pm and the the lake was of course busy and choppy.  The family and I were chilling in a relatively small cove with other boats doing the same.  Basically looking for some calm.  This cove has a marina in it as well as private docks.  I look up and what do I see, but a Moomba heading into the cove with a surfer in tow??  I think this guy must be nuts because like I said the cove is not huge and he begins to maneuver in and out of the boats sending huge rollers in every direction.  Boats on the docks are heaving and others are giving this guy the death stare.  Does it phase him, nope he goes back out and starts to come into the cove for a second run.  Fortunately he decided against it.  Maybe all the death stares and waving hands woke him up.  

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4 minutes ago, ctvandy23 said:

I think the future of wake surfing depends a lot on those engaged in the activity.  Like others have said, exercising little or no responsibility for your actions while on the water is our possible doom.  I agree that living lakefront is a choice that comes with certain risks and those risks my change or evolve over time…sometimes unanticipated and for the worse.  That being said, our own stupidity on the water can certainly exacerbate these changes and force the powers that be to overreact.  It’s always been said that it only takes one to ruin it for many.  What I saw last week unfortunately proves this point.
 

 It was Sunday afternoon, 4th of July, around 2pm and the the lake was of course busy and choppy.  The family and I were chilling in a relatively small cove with other boats doing the same.  Basically looking for some calm.  This cove has a marina in it as well as private docks.  I look up and what do I see, but a Moomba heading into the cove with a surfer in tow??  I think this guy must be nuts because like I said the cove is not huge and he begins to maneuver in and out of the boats sending huge rollers in every direction.  Boats on the docks are heaving and others are giving this guy the death stare.  Does it phase him, nope he goes back out and starts to come into the cove for a second run.  Fortunately he decided against it.  Maybe all the death stares and waving hands woke him up.  

PSA: please don’t think my golf course analogy or the arguments I’ve made are an endorsement of the type of behavior you witnessed. But the answer can’t be “kick everybody off the water.” Living in a free society also implies costs of that freedom (e.g. Moomba owners, lol). Drinking and driving claims over 10k lives a year and yet we still allow alcohol. Why, cuz it’s a free country and our freedoms comes with a price (i.e. abuses of that freedom).

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2 hours ago, IXFE said:

PSA: please don’t think my golf course analogy or the arguments I’ve made are an endorsement of the type of behavior you witnessed. But the answer can’t be “kick everybody off the water.” Living in a free society also implies costs of that freedom (e.g. Moomba owners, lol). Drinking and driving claims over 10k lives a year and yet we still allow alcohol. Why, cuz it’s a free country and our freedoms comes with a price (i.e. abuses of that freedom).

Never thought that and I agree with your analogy.  

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