As one of the most popular water sports in the United States, water-skiing is subject to specific regulations to ensure the safety of the skier, other boat passengers, and the surrounding area.
Operators of vessels towing persons on water skis or similar devices must meet specific equipment and observer requirements.
Several provisions have been enacted regarding the time of day towing persons are not permitted. Many factors contribute to this decision, including the darkness, which limits the ability of the operator and additional passengers to monitor the skier’s progress. As a result, no skiing must occur after sunset or before sunrise.
There is a high risk associated with water skiing due to the strong forces generated by the skier. Consequently, each boat must maintain a specific distance from the skier. According to the regulations, a “ski corridor” must be 200 feet wide, meaning 100 feet on each side of the boat and behind the skier.
While waterskiers cannot verbally communicate, hand signals are used to confirm to the spotter and driver that they are okay, ready to go, and any other information.
Forming a circle with the arms around the head while holding hands above the head
Tapping the head with a hand
Making a motion across the neck with a hand as if slicing the throat with it