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Old    antifan (mars)      Join Date: Aug 2005       07-10-2008, 3:41 AM Reply   
Does anyone know a list of states/jurisdictions where wakesurfing is banned, in trouble, etc.?

Is there a grass roots organization somewhere to help keep it legal?

I recently heard about a very concerning case in VA which effectively bans wakesurfing. Someone posted that wakesrufing is in trouble in PA also. Witness the recent thread from AZ...
Old    Dennis (dennish)      Join Date: May 2005       07-10-2008, 7:39 AM Reply   
Hey antifan,
The American Wake Surf Asssociation (AWSA) is very involved with the State Legislatures. We have a Legislative Liason Larry Mann at Fresh Air Exhaust He can be contacted at mail@boatpipes.com We try to keep on top of any attempt to ban the sport. If you have any information about any States please forward the information to Larry and post it online here as well.
Old    antifan (mars)      Join Date: Aug 2005       07-10-2008, 8:22 AM Reply   
I emailed Mr Mann, I am not a party to the ticket or ensuing case and don't want to post potentially erroneous third hand info.
There is a post about it in the http://www.endofropegang.com/ forums under "lake gaston"
Old    Jeff Walker (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       07-10-2008, 8:30 AM Reply   
Pertinent text from that site: There isn't any meat in this post, and it's secondhand - nor is there an update.

"Yes for now. The Wardens are playing off of a technicality and they are looking to ticket. My neighbors on Pea HIll have a court date JUly 8th and Centurion has helped put together a little something for the judge to reveiw. ie Wakesurfing competitions on public lakes throughout the country with Wardens present, boats made specific for this, World Wake Surfing Championships now four or five years old, the Teak Surfing warnings that still acknowledge but not disallow in VA.

There are some pretty dumb things on the books but the way they are doing this takes the cake. Right now we/me and my family are still surfing on Pea Hill. I will simply fall if I see one of them and we will put the rope in the water and if they still want to ticket me then it will be up for debate in court or I could always go over to the NC side and ride whcih is just to the end of our cove.

I think this will be re written in the next couple of weeks."

The reference in PA is about using a 21 foot rope and that would be applicable to NPS regulated waters also.
Old    Brian (TXSurf) (bac)      Join Date: Feb 2008       07-10-2008, 8:34 AM Reply   
I don't think this is the first problem I've heard of from the wardens at Gaston. It is good to hear that Centurion has stepped up to help with the case. This will definitely be interesting.
Old    antifan (mars)      Join Date: Aug 2005       07-10-2008, 11:04 AM Reply   
The case is done and did not go entirely well.
From what I was told the verdict was "guilty" with suspended charges, which allows them to continue to ticket and sets a precedent for wakesurfing to be found illegal based current VA law.

Disclaimer-I was not there and the above is third hand info.
Old    Brian (TXSurf) (bac)      Join Date: Feb 2008       07-10-2008, 11:09 AM Reply   
Ever hear anything back from larry? Now I'm really interested. Maybe we'll see some updates on eorg
Old    Brian (TXSurf) (bac)      Join Date: Feb 2008       07-10-2008, 12:10 PM Reply   
I sent an email to Centurion. I'll post up the reply if I get one. I know its not directly from the defendant, but I figure if they did provide some help they may know a little more about the outcome
Old    antifan (mars)      Join Date: Aug 2005       07-11-2008, 3:31 AM Reply   
here is the virginia code as it pertains to boating... I can't find anything in it that prohibits wakesurfing...

http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+TOC29010000007000000000000
Old    Brian (TXSurf) (bac)      Join Date: Feb 2008       07-14-2008, 10:50 AM Reply   
Hey guys/gals, I just received a phone call from Clark Bird with Fineline. He was not very familiar with the case, he did seem to know that they were found guilty (or maybe he took that from the email I sent) but did mention he was pretty sure they helped with a presentation for the case. Rick Lee, the owner of Fineline, is away on a meeting and then has some other items to attend to. Chris has told me he will find out what he can about the case and the outcome from Rick. I hope to hear back by the end of the week from him.

Whats puzzling to me is that some people are saying the ticket has stuck, the judge wasn't hearing any arguments and a guilty verdict was handed down, while others are saying the charges were dropped and the judge laughed at the case.

Hopefully we will know the true story by weeks end or so.
Old    Chuch (wakevb)      Join Date: Feb 2008       07-14-2008, 11:29 AM Reply   
Yup, on end, a neighbor of theirs said it got laughed at and thrown out...basically says to surf on.

I am also good friends with the dealer who sold them their centurion and his story was very different.

I give up. Plenty of people still surfing...I am going for it.
Old    antifan (mars)      Join Date: Aug 2005       07-15-2008, 11:31 PM Reply   
I'm with you, wakevb... There are two distinct versions of the story that don't match up. Your two sources are the same as mine. I don't recall a thread on centurioncrew about it.
I'm going to surf on but we tend to attract less attention being a "family" outfit with kids. No tower speakers, beers, powerturns, etc.
Old    antifan (mars)      Join Date: Aug 2005       07-17-2008, 3:22 PM Reply   
Sounds like there was another ticket on Gaston for wakesurfing according to a post on endofropegang.com. I suggested the recipient post their story here so it is first hand info.
Old    Brian (TXSurf) (bac)      Join Date: Feb 2008       07-18-2008, 7:54 AM Reply   
I have the information on the latest ticket for Gaston. I will not release anything yet, as its still possibly going to court. I will ask Wayne, the boat operator ticketed, if he minds my sharing his story.
Old    Sherri (slf144)      Join Date: Jul 2008       07-28-2008, 2:29 PM Reply   
My sister and crew were out on Saturday in Pennsylvania and were pulled over by the fish & boat commission for wakesurfing. PA requires a 20' rope. They had a 20' rope but surfer was not 20' behind the boat. They did not get a ticket, but were told they had to stop. Anyone else in PA having problems?
Old    Jeff Walker (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       07-28-2008, 2:46 PM Reply   
That's interesting. The regulations clearly state a 20 foot long rope, but the officer is interpreting that to mean the rider must be 20 feet behind the boat.

"It is unlawful to operate a motorboat at any speed when towing a person on water skis or other devices using a tow rope of 20 feet or less"

http://www.fish.state.pa.us/boatcrs/03boathandbook/activities3.htm

I couldn't find anything within the reg's that stipulated the rider must be 20 feet back. Do you know if the officer quoted any code section that specifically said the rider can't be within 20 feet of the boat?
Old    Sherri (slf144)      Join Date: Jul 2008       07-28-2008, 3:49 PM Reply   
Officer did not not quote reg's and I have read the reg's several times. Nothing in reg's talks about distance from boat. Rider was pulling up on rope to get into position, so was closer than 20'. But you can't surf 20' behind the boat. Problem is if you get too fiesty with officer they will find some issue to cite.

(Message edited by slf144 on July 28, 2008)
Old    Brian (TXSurf) (bac)      Join Date: Feb 2008       07-28-2008, 5:24 PM Reply   
Sherri, I will send you an email when I get home form the shop. Sorry to hear about this.


Brian
Old    George Palovcak (gpalovcak)      Join Date: May 2003       08-02-2008, 4:10 PM Reply   
We got out on the Delaware River between NJ and Pa. I am not about to challange the regs. We just do it when nobody is around. The NJ police run about once every few hours so you can get runs in and the PA guys I rarely see out.
Old    Blair J (rhawn)      Join Date: Dec 2006       08-03-2008, 8:26 PM Reply   
We got pulled over on Lake Chesdin, Virginia today, our normal spot. Warden told us it was not illegal to wakesurf, but illegal to wakesurf without the rope. The interpretation is the rider becomes a swimmer when you toss the rope, and then the driver is operating a vehicle within 50 feet of a swimmer which is what the code says. I think its a very loose interpretation of the law and complete horse****. Its the same crap thats going down on Gaston.

Riding with the rope just blows, thats all there is to it.
Old    antifan (mars)      Join Date: Aug 2005       08-04-2008, 3:28 AM Reply   
Did you let TXSurf know about it?

It's obviously being regulated as a nuisance as holding the rope vs tossing it does nothing to protect you from CO or the prop--the main "safety" reasons given in other jurisdictions.

Really a very petty loophole they are using.. calling a surfer a swimmer is just plain silly (they think they're pretty clever, to the point of gloating over it in fishing circles). The commonwealth of VA very much has a "police state" mentality, you can forget civil disobedience, it won't do any good around here. Without changing the law to specifically allow wakesurfing it's pretty much over in VA.
They won this one.
I'm thinking of fashioning a very light "rope" out of some old wakeboard tow line that I can hold on to... maybe use some poly twine in order to stay "legal" but I can't afford the ticket if it doesn't fly.
Old    Blair J (rhawn)      Join Date: Dec 2006       08-04-2008, 6:12 AM Reply   
I did not, because I didn't get a ticket. Not sure there is much to be done with a warning from a fat porn-stached warden.
Old    Kirk Johnson (akdoc)      Join Date: Feb 2004       08-04-2008, 7:09 AM Reply   
I was pulled over last Saturday on Lake of the Ozarks for wakesurfing looking "dangerous" Although the office cited some BS law that states if he thinks something looks dangerous he can pull us over? There is no law and he admitted that banning wakesurfing in Missouri. The guy was a total doughnut like most water patrol officers. We passed his inspection...I think he was pissed becuase he couldn't hand out a BWI because nobody was drunk! I would like to contact the Missouri State Water Patrol but don't want to waken a dead horse. I have passed many other officers while surfing and this is the first one that pulled me over.

(Message edited by akdoc on August 04, 2008)
Old    Jay T. (wakebrdjay)      Join Date: Apr 2008       08-04-2008, 8:37 AM Reply   
Why does the law care so much about me hurting myself while having fun?Don't they have more important things to worry about?I feel the same about the guy being mad that I passed inspection and had no beers on board.I didn't get a ticket but when I told him we were going wakesurfing he told me I would be cited if seen.
Old    Whit (whit)      Join Date: Feb 2001       08-04-2008, 10:58 AM Reply   
There seems to be an easy way to defeat the logic used in Virgina. Everyone--even the Wildlife officers would agree that attaching a rope to a rider behind a boat would be extremely dangerous. (i.e. imagine a line tied around your waist and tied to the boat.) When you fell, you would be dragged behind the boat until the boat managed to stop--not safe at all!!

To safely fall--a person must let go of the rope. Competition water skiers compete with rope lengths less than 50'. i.e. at 38 off--the skier is on a 37' rope.

For years, slalom skiers have been falling and been within 50' of the vessel--but there has never been a ticket given out for "swimmer within 50' of the boat ticket".

The argument needs to be made that the instant a wakesurfer lets go of the rope--they are in the process of falling... Might take twenty or thirty minutes for a good rider to fall--but they are falling....

(Message edited by Whit on August 04, 2008)
Old    Blair J (rhawn)      Join Date: Dec 2006       08-04-2008, 11:04 AM Reply   
Its a BS interpretation of the 50 foot law. The rider is still a rider regardless of whether they have a rope in their hand or not. When they fall and they are truly a 'swimmer' then I pull back on the the throttle like everyone and their mother does.

What can you do against people in positions of authority twisting the law? I could argue logic all day long but its not going to get anywhere with the minds behind the badges.

The only thing to do now is to get a clarification in the law. How you go about that, I have no idea.

My lake is way down anyway, I will just move to more remote spots to do our wakesurfing. If I get a ticket, then I get one. I'll be in court fully prepared when its my time.
Old    Brian (TXSurf) (bac)      Join Date: Feb 2008       08-05-2008, 7:45 PM Reply   
Hey guys, I apologize to all of you that I have said i would contact last week. I had some unexpected things at work pop up and I've been busier than busy. I've tried accessing from my phone, but for some reason have had trouble doing so. I have a new phone on the way, so hopefully I'll be able to respond back a little quicker to you guys.

Sheri and Blair, I will try and drop you an email, but if you don't hear something by tomorrow and can spare the time, please email me at the addy in my profile. I am still at work right now, its been a crazy last two weeks.

I am keeping track as best I can to whats going on and it definitely seems that there is more than one for a swimmer to be a swimmer. Gaston seems to still be the biggest problem. I'm trying to be as diplomatic as possible when speaking to the BLA's in these states, as I don't want to come off with the I'm right, you're wrong mentality. I know we can all look at things in different ways, laws included.

If anyone has been stopped, warned or cited for surfing, please contact me at the email in my profile for now. That will be the best way to get ahold of me for the time being until things calm down with work and I can constantly be checking up on things here and other boards. Thanks for hanging in there guys and gals and know that I'm still working to make sure that our sport can be enjoyed in every state without harassment from various law agencies.

(Message edited by bac on August 05, 2008)
Old    Lionel (lionel)      Join Date: Nov 2005       08-05-2008, 9:58 PM Reply   
Well, if this proposed law goes through, it looks like it will kill two birds with one stone, wakesurfing and serious wakeboarding on the Upper Willamette river.

http://www.wakeworld.com/MB/Discus/messages/1/610002.html?1217989534
Old    KDA (2007apexse)      Join Date: Apr 2008       08-06-2008, 9:19 PM Reply   
I just posted this to this board.

Check out this newscast. This is a area just south of me. What are they thinking!!! Have any of you heard of carbon monoxide problems or even injury surfin'? They can't think of any else to stop....how about the drunks on the water that almost hit my boat!

http://www.klewtv.com/news/26012319.html
Old    Blair J (rhawn)      Join Date: Dec 2006       08-31-2008, 2:13 PM Reply   
Anyone have any updates on the Virginia Warden militia vs Wakesurfing?
Old    Blair J (rhawn)      Join Date: Dec 2006       10-07-2008, 8:36 AM Reply   
Bumping this again, anyone have any news?
Old    Chuch (wakevb)      Join Date: Feb 2008       10-07-2008, 12:23 PM Reply   
Blair, we surfed all weekend at Gaston...some on the VA side of Pea Hill Creek. No Wardens to be seen. I think this is going to quiet down for a while honestly.
Old    Jeff Williams (jwmustangin)      Join Date: Jan 2009       06-18-2013, 1:59 PM Reply   
Ok, I didn't read all of the above posts but I live and boat smack dab in the middle of virginia.....Smith Mountain Lake!

Our weekend place is actually within 300 yards of where many wardens put in/take out of....I've surfed many times in front of wardens there with a rope of course....until this year!

Wakesurfing is legal! It's under the "what's new" section here:

http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/boating/wog/new.asp

A.K.A.

Virginia Watercraft Owner's Guide
What's New
Type IV life jackets now only required on motorboats 16 feet or greater.
Recreational boats may carry visual distress signals in excess of requirement.
Wake surfing is allowable behind boats propelled by inboard motors.


Jeff

Last edited by jwmustangin; 06-18-2013 at 2:03 PM. Reason: addition of details
Old    Steve (supersteve)      Join Date: Mar 2013       06-18-2013, 3:35 PM Reply   
It should be illegal!! Too close to the boat and what a waste of 500 hp!!!
Old    Steve (supersteve)      Join Date: Mar 2013       06-18-2013, 3:36 PM Reply   
Thank you for all the huge waves i have been jumping on my ski, will enjoy till it is banned...
Old    Joe (ilikebeaverandboats)      Join Date: Jul 2007       06-18-2013, 4:30 PM Reply   
Dig up an old thread batman.

Steve, seriously? "too close to the boat" ... please explain.

You apparently are a skier? on WAKEworld.... are you also a level 10 gymnast?

Commence WW style Uber Tuber Bash!!!
Old    DC (durty_curt)      Join Date: Apr 2008       06-18-2013, 5:27 PM Reply   
You Want good WakeSurf Free Water, You Either Go Early Morning Or Don't Go At All
Old    Markj (markj)      Join Date: Apr 2005       06-20-2013, 11:58 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by ilikebeaverandboats View Post
Dig up an old thread batman.

Steve, seriously? "too close to the boat" ... please explain.

You apparently are a skier? on WAKEworld.... are you also a level 10 gymnast?

Commence WW style Uber Tuber Bash!!!
I think Steve means jet ski. Don't worry. He's constantly bashing wake surfing on this forum. Eventually he'll tire out. Kind of like how fishermen used to hate water skiers back in the day. Funny thing is, wake surfing isn't going anywhere but up. Get used to it Steve. I crack up when I see people like you talking like their favorite water sport is the only one that should be allowed. Like they're "entitled" to all of the good water and everyone else is relegated to the "back of the bus". Friggin joke... I say pay for a private lake membership like I used to do for all that butter or shut the heck up. You don't own the lake/river.
Old    Anthonyv911 (tonyv420)      Join Date: Jul 2007       06-21-2013, 11:52 AM Reply   
^^^^ what markj said! He's just another effin troll!!!
Old    Joe (ilikebeaverandboats)      Join Date: Jul 2007       06-21-2013, 6:21 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by markj View Post
I think Steve means jet ski. Don't worry. He's constantly bashing wake surfing on this forum. Eventually he'll tire out. Kind of like how fishermen used to hate water skiers back in the day. Funny thing is, wake surfing isn't going anywhere but up. Get used to it Steve. I crack up when I see people like you talking like their favorite water sport is the only one that should be allowed. Like they're "entitled" to all of the good water and everyone else is relegated to the "back of the bus". Friggin joke... I say pay for a private lake membership like I used to do for all that butter or shut the heck up. You don't own the lake/river.

+1. I agree. Everyone bashing wakesurfing is getting old.
Seems like the cool thing to do these days is hate on wakesurfing haha
Old    Andy Fry (FryguyPA)      Join Date: Jun 2013       06-24-2013, 2:58 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by surfdad View Post
That's interesting. The regulations clearly state a 20 foot long rope, but the officer is interpreting that to mean the rider must be 20 feet behind the boat.

"It is unlawful to operate a motorboat at any speed when towing a person on water skis or other devices using a tow rope of 20 feet or less"

http://www.fish.state.pa.us/boatcrs/03boathandbook/activities3.htm

I couldn't find anything within the reg's that stipulated the rider must be 20 feet back. Do you know if the officer quoted any code section that specifically said the rider can't be within 20 feet of the boat?
I have officially met our fish commission officer on Lake Wynonah. He was very polite but said that if I am holding the rope for longer then getting up it is considered wakeboarding and musth be 20' back no matter what riding. The next time up to the lake he stopped and said he did some research and we can hold the rope while learing but should reach a point that we drop the rope when figured out. I read the law excludes wake surfing. I wasn't going to question him though. He just suggested that we practice when lake isn't busy. He also mentioned people loosing limbs because of wrapped line around hand or catching leg falling. That is his concern.
Old    Jamie Corvin (Bumpass1)      Join Date: Oct 2010       06-24-2013, 5:41 PM Reply   
We ride at Lake Anna in Va. We see wardens out on a regular basis. We have never had an issue or heard about any issue with wake surfing around here. I remember something the state was proposing that would make within 15 ft of the back of the boat illegal, but I don't think it ever got any traction.
Old    Joe (ilikebeaverandboats)      Join Date: Jul 2007       06-24-2013, 5:58 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by FryguyPA View Post
I have officially met our fish commission officer on Lake Wynonah. He was very polite but said that if I am holding the rope for longer then getting up it is considered wakeboarding and musth be 20' back no matter what riding. The next time up to the lake he stopped and said he did some research and we can hold the rope while learing but should reach a point that we drop the rope when figured out. I read the law excludes wake surfing. I wasn't going to question him though. He just suggested that we practice when lake isn't busy. He also mentioned people loosing limbs because of wrapped line around hand or catching leg falling. That is his concern.
and it is a pretty legitimate one. People shouldnt be using wakeboard/ski handles, ive heard a few storys about dislocated shoulders/elbows when the rider fell and their arm went into the handle.
Old     (CarZin)      Join Date: Feb 2011       06-25-2013, 6:07 AM Reply   
Quote:
and it is a pretty legitimate one. People shouldnt be using wakeboard/ski handles, ive heard a few storys about dislocated shoulders/elbows when the rider fell and their arm went into the handle.
Yup. There are two sources of real injury. Getting your hand wrapped around the rope and your board hitting you. Some people might see hitting the back of the boat, but I've yet to know anyone to do this. When we are teaching people to wakesurf, the issue with the rope is the very first thing we talk about. I then make sure they know where the brake it

But when compared to every other sports (wakeboarding and skiing) and tubing, the risks are far lower. wakeboarding is fun, but those people who think they are too cool to wakesurf may think twice after a few ACL tears and a knee replacement in their 50s. I'll be the one laughing at them at that point.
Old    Rusty Yaple (nailem)      Join Date: Apr 2011       06-26-2013, 6:45 AM Reply   
i know this started out as an old thread but i thought i would repost this. for you PA guys i printed off some pages and keep it on my boat just in case i have any trouble.
Attached Images
File Type: pdf PA wakesurfing law.pdf (129.7 KB, 76 views)

Last edited by nailem; 06-26-2013 at 6:49 AM.
Old    Jasin Kania (PureWakesurfing1)      Join Date: Sep 2012       06-27-2013, 10:50 AM Reply   
Only thing we've encountered that warden's have had issues with here in VA is people sitting on the swimstep or platform while surfing.

Don't know if there is actual law about staying off the platform while running.

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