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Old     (RPM_DLX)      Join Date: Jul 2010       08-15-2010, 6:57 PM Reply   
We are going to be heading to bullards bar this weekend. We have been going there for years and we have seen people doing night time boarding. This is the first time we will be there since getting into boarding. We just got a boat with the tower and tower lights so we started thinking about trying this ourselves. Does any one know the rules/laws/regulations that surround this? My understanding form a local boat shop that boarding at night is legal but not with the tower lights on because they are considered docking lights. It seems the whole purpose of tower lights is for at night time.
Old     (wake_upppp)      Join Date: Nov 2003       08-15-2010, 9:34 PM Reply   
No way it's legal. 5 mph speed limit is in effect after dark, and forward or rearward facing lights are not legal to use either, except for docking. Towing riders after sunset is another ticket. None of these tickets are cheap. That being said, we've done it several times at Lake Mendocino, usualy when there is a full moon. It's a rush for sure. Before I do it I run the whole lake to make sure no one is out including patrol. Tie a glow stick to the riders vest, turn on the tower lights and go for it!

Last edited by wake_upppp; 08-15-2010 at 9:38 PM.
Old     (RPM_DLX)      Join Date: Jul 2010       08-15-2010, 10:03 PM Reply   
Thanks Sparky, good idea on the glow stick. I am not sure we will do it knowing its completely illegal. It just seems like the last few years we have been going to BB, there have been a large quantity of people doing it. It seems like the last time we were there it must have been 10 boats on the lake doing this. I always figured that was what the tower lights were for. The boat we bought just happened to have them, but its not somethign I would have added myself. So far we mainly have used them when pulling into the ramp area after sundown. I figured differnt lakes had different rules. My guess is that there is just a lack of patroling there so people get by with it. We were at Folsom Lake (folsom point ramp) a few weeks ago and we were pulling out after sundown and the Sherriff was there telling people that if they didnt have their boats pulled in ten minutes that it would be a $100 ticket. After ten miniutes, he started writing tickets to any vehicle in the parking lot with a empty trailer.
Old     (TheSarge)      Join Date: Apr 2010       08-16-2010, 7:34 AM Reply   
So in otherwords, dont do it. It is a whole different world when there isnt any daylight. The lights dont help that much. Its hard to hit a wake at sundown because of the shadows on one side of the wake, let alone with the tower lights there will be shadows on both sides.
Everything at nite seems either really close or far away, getting a rider after they fall is also interesting and knowing where the rope is difficult. I wouldnt risk this.
Old     (jarrod)      Join Date: May 2003       08-16-2010, 9:06 AM Reply   
Tried it, it wasn't that cool. Tower lights blind you.
Old     (bmartin)      Join Date: Jan 2007       08-16-2010, 9:11 AM Reply   
Towing any type of rider after sundown (or at least 30 mins after) is illegal in any state so probably not worth it in well patrolled areas. The larger question beyond the legal risk are the general safety risk. We never wakeboard at night due to the speeds and distances between rider and boat and tower lights are pretty much worthless that far out , but we have been known to surf well after dark when the moon is shining.
Old     (mattgettel)      Join Date: Jan 2009       08-16-2010, 9:13 AM Reply   
night time was made for skinny dipping with beers and ladies.
Old     (mendo247)      Join Date: Mar 2005       08-16-2010, 10:11 AM Reply   
As Sparky stated with the correct light setup its a total rush. I really enjoyed it when I went with him. I wasnt blinded at all. If your gonna attempt it SAFTEY is key! Dont go out trying to throwdown just go out and enjoy the experience.
Old     (Jeff)      Join Date: May 2010       08-16-2010, 10:15 AM Reply   
In Louisiana I'm not sure about the legality but I might be more worried about gators at night than the Sheriff's dept. We rarely see them during the day in areas where boats are running but at night you can sometimes sit still and see 10+ in any given area.
Old     (trinab)      Join Date: Jul 2007       08-16-2010, 12:59 PM Reply   
Riding at night is sort of a rush, the water is glass, but the grossest thing is that flying bugs are attracted to the tower lights, so as a rider your vision is not only impaired by the dark but by all the bugs that are flying in your eyes and mouth.
Old     (shawndoggy)      Join Date: Nov 2009       08-16-2010, 1:13 PM Reply   
Originally Posted by Jeff View Post
In Louisiana I'm not sure about the legality but I might be more worried about gators at night than the Sheriff's dept. We rarely see them during the day in areas where boats are running but at night you can sometimes sit still and see 10+ in any given area.
One more reason not to move to Louisianna!
Old     (angelo_ski)      Join Date: Nov 2006       08-16-2010, 2:02 PM Reply   
Bugs in the mouth, That's creepy. Night Surfing is phun!
Old     (Jeff)      Join Date: May 2010       08-16-2010, 5:55 PM Reply   
Originally Posted by shawndoggy View Post
One more reason not to move to Louisianna!
On the positive side there's tons of fresh water to access so generally no lines at the launches and it's easy to get away from the traffic. Also, a long riding season. When I was young and dumb we'd wakeboard even during Christmas vacation without wetsuits.
Old     (jps912)      Join Date: Jun 2007       08-17-2010, 11:49 AM Reply   
Its illegal after the posted sundown time. My dad got something like a 400 dollar ticket and a misdemeanor on his record because he was towing me 20 min after the posted sundown time at Lake Orville. I dont remember what the citation was but he said he could cite me as well but didnt. We were doing nothing else illegal and i just dropped but the sheriff was a total dick about it.
Old     (brhanley)      Join Date: Jun 2001       08-17-2010, 12:15 PM Reply   
I got a ticket in AZ for post-sunset pulling many years ago. Was only about $80. I've heard to tie a glow stick to the rope handle too. I've never done the night session and really don't intend to do so any time soon. Be safe out there...
Old     (guido)      Join Date: Jul 2002       08-17-2010, 12:25 PM Reply   
I'm usually far to intoxicated by that point to ride and the BBQ smells so good that I don't dare leave it. Ha, ha.

It totally depends where you are and what time of year it is. A lot of places the sherriff will pull their boat out of the water at night. It doesn't make it any more legal, but it does make it less risky.

I've been stopped litterally minutes after the sun went down. Totally lame. Still completely light out, but the sun was below the horizon. Didn't get the ticket, but got a warning for. In no way is it legal in CA. When I was younger we used to ride till it was too dark to ride. The last 10 minutes or so before the light is gone is my favorite time to ride. Especially if it's a really hot time of year. Water is flat, air is still. Totally fun.

Anyway... Have fun out there. Be safe. The glow stick idea is a good one if it's at all dark. Zip tie it to the shoulder of the vest so you can see it from the front side or the back side.


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