Water Skiing and Wake Boarding Safety

ResourcesStanley the Striped Bass and cartoon fish friends wakeboarding

  • When using a boat to tow a person on water skis or an aquaplane (such as a wake board, knee board or inner tube), there must be, in addition to the operator, one other person in the boat who can observe the person being towed. The observer must be at least 12 years of age.
  • Any person being towed behind a vessel must wear a Coast Guard-approved Type I, II, III or V life jacket (also called Personal Flotation Device or PFD).
  • Towing water-skiers after sunset or before sunrise is prohibited by California State law.
  • Water skis and aquaplanes must not be operated in a manner which endangers the safety of persons or property.
  • Water Ski Flag: It is mandatory for the operator of a vessel involved in towing a skier to display a red or range water ski flag (a square or rectangle, at least 12 inches on each side), to indicate:
    • A downed skier
    • A skier in the water preparing to ski
    • A ski line extended from the vessel
    • A ski in the water in the vicinity of the vessel

For more safe boating information visit dbw.ca.gov.