Best Driving Practices for Towed Watersports

Hey everyone, Maxx from Miami Nautique here;

Today I’m going to give you some of our best tips and practices for Driving Watersports behind your preferred towboat. 

Everybody is different when it comes to watersports. Every choice is so personal, from rope length, to life jacket, to boat speed, gear, and even handle material. 

If you’re a seasoned vet, this article is going to be a refresher for you. If you’re a new driver listen up cause heres some tips on safely towing any kind of rider interested in watersport actives out on the lake, river, or ocean.

There are many ways to ensure your experience is fun and safe for everyone involved – the last thing you want is an easily-avoidable accident. So let’s dive into some of the best boat driving practices for towed watersports. We’ll start by going over how to get your skier out of the water. Then we’ll move on to a few more boat safety tips so you can guarantee everyone — regardless of skill level or sport — has a safe and enjoyable time out on the water.

1. Start your Engine Safely

As a boater, make sure that you have your eyes and ears open. Pay attention to your surroundings. Once the water skier is far enough away from the boat and the propeller, you can start the engine. In order to get the rope tight, you will want to move the boat into Idle. 

2. Getting up – Wait for the line to completely tighten then push the throttle

Make sure to communicate with your rider – tell him to give a signal when he’s ready 

The skier must hold the towline while pointing the tips of their water skis in the boat’s direction. When they signal and the rope is taut, you can start accelerating. If your skier uses only one slalom ski, give the watercraft a little more power than if they use two skis.

Once you get the skier up and out of the water, you should remain at that speed for a little while to make sure they are comfortable maintaining their positioning. Be careful that you don’t hit the gas too hard as you can rip the line from your skiers hands.

3. Maintain a Comfortable Speed for Your Skier

most nautique(link) boats come with the ability to program and dial in your ride with the Nautique Surf System. Able to set speed & wake shape, you can create harmony with your rider. While driving try to make smooth turns with the boat in the shape of a keyhole. This keeps the lake as flat as possible. If you must go across a wake, try to pull the skier at a 45-degree angle. They can maintain control still while jumping.

4. When your Rider Falls

Always pay attention while driving the boat, if you can bring an observer to monitor the rider you can focus on driving the boat. There’s always potential dangers to look for that can affect both you and those around you. 

Certain states have laws for example, that you must have either an observer or a sizeable rear mirror in Florida. Please check your local laws before getting out on any waterway.

When your rider falls pull back completely on the throttle, slow the boat down to neutral with a slight turn and sit for a second and let the natural push of the wave turn the boat around. Now you should have a clear direct line back to your rider. Ease the throttle and slowly come back to pick up your downed rider. NEVER reverse to them, always keep your rider in a direct line of site. Repeat steps 2+

5. Carry All the Correct Safety Equipment and Gear

The most critical step is having all the proper safety gear before an incident. Accidents are much less likely to happen if you follow safety rules. Check that your equipment, including the ropes, handles, vests, and skis are in good shape before going out on the water. A Coast-Guard Approved life jacket (link) is essential for a beginner the skier. 

Some other safety tips include the following:

  • Avoid potential hazards
  • Don’t drive the boat while drinking
  • Practice hand signals before you hit the water
  • Maintain a safe distance from other boats
  • Always have a life-saving flotation device

The ropes towing the skier vary in length but usually a good distance is at least 75 feet long

Practicing these safe boating and watersports techniques can help reduce the likelihood of an accident.

Choose Miami Nautique for Water Ski Essentials

You’re better prepared to go out on the water now that you know more about towing a water skier safely. Bring a third person and practice your hand signals. Knowing the local laws when you go water skiing is necessary because they vary by state.

If you’re a beginner or a seasoned water skier, Miami Ski Nautique can help you find all the right gear and accessories for your needs. We carry a wide range of popular water sports brands and can answer any questions you may have about your next exciting trip on the water.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s