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Old    Wake Pro Marine (jagermeister)      Join Date: Sep 2007       08-15-2012, 2:23 PM Reply   
Here in Texas, Life Jackets are not required if your over the age of 13.. Regardless if your being towed or riding in the boat.. I grew up surfing ocean breaks and never wore one.. Never seen anyone either... I wear one for wakeboarding but don't for surfing..

I do make beginners or incompetent swimmers wear one when we're out with friends..

I know from last week that Arkansas requires them, And so does Oklahoma..

As a mater of fact.. Oklahoma prohibits anyone hanging on the rear compartment decks when under way..

Whats' your laws?

Thanks
Old    A S (ag04blast)      Join Date: Jun 2012       08-15-2012, 2:32 PM Reply   
Same laws since I am Texas also. I actually had no idea that you didnt have to wear a vest, but I will state that I personally think it is stupid not too. One smack with the board and a fall to fast into the back of the boat/swim platform and you could be under before the people in the boat know what happened.

To each his own.......





....Until my tax payer money is being used to find your body.
Old    Jay T. (wakebrdjay)      Join Date: Apr 2008       08-15-2012, 2:52 PM Reply   
I have a problem with friends just going in the water without one when out on my boat.Once under more than 2 feet you can't be seen and we are usually in 30+feet in Lake Erie.Two years ago a girl went in off a boat here without and drown and they slammed the owner.Just never want something like that happening,a friend dying off my boat would kill the fun forever,regardless of what the law would do to me.
Old    Timmy! (timmyb)      Join Date: Apr 2007       08-15-2012, 3:07 PM Reply   
I tried it once without a jacket and it didn't feel right. I would rather just throw it on and know that if something happens that I am at least floating. I got smacked in the eye with the surfboard once and it swelled my eye shut almost instantly, was nice to float and hold my hand over my eye so that my wife didn't freak out when she saw me. HAHAHA!
Old    N L (drnate)      Join Date: Jul 2006       08-15-2012, 3:13 PM Reply   
I could be wrong but I thought the law was that you had to wear one while being towed (i.e., with the rope). Therefore surfing without the rope is considered legal.

But now that I think about that statement, I'm not so sure. I used to wear a "non CG approved" life vest while wakeboarding, but wouldn't that be the same thing? And what about the old ski belts that people wore skiing in the 70's. Those weren't Coast Guard approved either.

What about night surfing? Is it legal in Texas?
Old    N L (drnate)      Join Date: Jul 2006       08-15-2012, 3:24 PM Reply   
So I looked into it, and according to the "Boat Texas Course" the only thing that is expressly illegal is being towed at night. I copied and pasted it here:

Before Towing a Skier
Water-skiing, along with being towed on a tube, kneeboard, or similar device, is very popular with boaters. These activities are both fun and challenging; however, towing people on skis or other devices requires additional knowledge and skills.


Before towing a skier, the operator should:
•Have a second person on board to act as an observer.
•Review hand signals with the skier to ensure proper communication.
•Make sure the skier is wearing a U.S. Coast Guard—approved life jacket (PFD) designed for water-skiing. Keep in mind that ski belts are not U.S. Coast Guard—approved. A PFD with a high-impact rating is recommended.
•Be familiar with the area and aware of any hazards such as shallow water, rocks, or bridge pilings in the water.
•Make sure the tow lines are of the same length if towing multiple skiers.
•Never tow a skier at night. It is both hazardous and illegal.
Old    E (22vdrive)      Join Date: Apr 2010       08-15-2012, 5:29 PM Reply   
I don't wear a life jacket when I surf but I make everyone on my boat wear one just because I don't know their abilities in the water. I have the mentality though that I don't wear a life jacket when I go surf so its hard for me to wear one while wakesurfing. I do wear one when I wakeboard though.
Old    Allan Kendall (Squid)      Join Date: Jun 2012       08-15-2012, 5:34 PM Reply   
Must!
Old    A.J. West (you_da_man)      Join Date: Sep 2009       08-15-2012, 6:02 PM Reply   
Texas law also is cannot tow 30 min after sunset or 30 min before sunrise. Perfectly legal to tow without a vest in Texas behind a boat BUT not legal to tow behind a PWC without a vest. The law specifically states about PWC's 31.106. Personal Watercraft
(a) No person shall operate a personal watercraft in the following
manner or under the following circumstances:
(1) unless each person riding on or towed behind the vessel is
wearing a U.S. Coast Guard approved Type I, II, III, or V personal flotation device
Old    A.J. West (you_da_man)      Join Date: Sep 2009       08-15-2012, 6:05 PM Reply   
Here's something I did not know about in Texas boating laws, " 31.099. Prohibition on Circular Course Around Individuals Engaged in
Water Activities
(a) No person may operate a motorboat in a circular course around:
(1) any other boat or personal watercraft any occupant of which is
engaged in fishing, waterskiing, or a similar activity; or
(2) any person swimming.
(a-1) Subsection (a) does not apply to a person operating a motorboat in
a circular course to retrieve a downed or fallen water-skier or other person engaged
in a similar activity.
Old    Seahawks #1 Fan Robert T (cwb4me)      Join Date: Apr 2010       08-15-2012, 6:19 PM Reply   
In Virginia you don't have to wear a life vest as long as you have a separate observer on board.I myself always wear a CGA Lifevest and anyone we pull wears one also.
Old    Wake Pro Marine (jagermeister)      Join Date: Sep 2007       08-15-2012, 8:00 PM Reply   
Texas is finally clamping down on the Jet Flees statutes of operation.. Still Liberal on Boating operation.. There is a statute for excessive and harmful wake but I think Lake Austin is the only one enforcing it..

@ AG04.. Expell your hot air on your taxes at plucking out illegal aliens and drunks for local lakes (Lewi is up to 8 so far).. Been around Comp Boats since day 1.. Owned several Skurfer's back in the day.. Only plucked 2 ko'ed wakeboarders from behind my Xstar that came up short on CrowMobes and 900 attempts.. Accidents happen but can greatly be reduced with skill and preparation...

Like Grandma used to say.. "If y'all don't know how to swim, you shouldn't stand next to the pool" lol!
Old    A.J. West (you_da_man)      Join Date: Sep 2009       08-15-2012, 8:15 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by jagermeister View Post
Texas is finally clamping down on the Jet Flees statutes of operation.. Still Liberal on Boating operation.. There is a statute for excessive and harmful wake but I think Lake Austin is the only one enforcing it.
I read that statute as well and wonder with the popularity of wakesurfing on Lake Austin...are they citing boat owners that are wakesurfing and if so I'm sure not every wakesurfing boat is getting cited so which ones do they issue citations for?
Old    A S (ag04blast)      Join Date: Jun 2012       08-16-2012, 5:22 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by jagermeister View Post
Texas is finally clamping down on the Jet Flees statutes of operation.. Still Liberal on Boating operation.. There is a statute for excessive and harmful wake but I think Lake Austin is the only one enforcing it..

@ AG04.. Expell your hot air on your taxes at plucking out illegal aliens and drunks for local lakes (Lewi is up to 8 so far).. Been around Comp Boats since day 1.. Owned several Skurfer's back in the day.. Only plucked 2 ko'ed wakeboarders from behind my Xstar that came up short on CrowMobes and 900 attempts.. Accidents happen but can greatly be reduced with skill and preparation...

Like Grandma used to say.. "If y'all don't know how to swim, you shouldn't stand next to the pool" lol!
Hahah, cause no one who knows how to swim as ever drown. I never have accidents in my car, maybe I shouldnt wear a seat belt. Must be due to my awesome driving skills......
Old    Greg Anderson (ReSession)      Join Date: Apr 2010       08-16-2012, 5:48 AM Reply   
No laws for VT, but we always wear them...I can't imagine trying to teach somebody without one either?

New Hampshire doesn't require occupants over the age of 18 to wear seat belts, but it doesn't mean everyone unbuckles when they cross the VT/NH border on their way to Boston

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