View Full Version : Water Sport Etiquette

06-26-2007, 05:22 PM
I know everyone here has experience with this situation, and I'm sure there is no real answer to this, but, WHAT CAN WE DO TO EDUCATE THE GENERAL BOATING PUBLIC OF WATER SPORT ETIQUETTE?? I'm just venting to feel better, but on my last outting, we were in a peaceful cove skiing some sets. When I pulled in, a Nautique just finished up a set, so we sat and chilled for few to make sure they were finished. When the water returned to glass, I had my go at it. After my run, a Mastercraft had its turn on the glass (and had the smallest, flattest wake of our three DD boats, mmmmm, the joys of a $50k tournament boat -- I'll keep my Outback, thank you).
Anyway, I geared up to take my next turn and as I was about to plop in the water, a family in some I/O flat deck boat complete with giant white bumpers bouncing off the sides came plowing in with a youngin' towing on a wake board. They made it to the other end of the cove where the boy dropped, so I started to make my pass as soon as their wake died down. No sooner after I started zigging and zagging, they cranked up again -- at one point, they pulled out in front of us. Needless to say, we were not impressed by the family's lack of etiquette. At the end, they topped it off by dropping their rider in the very narrow cove inlet blocking the only passage in or out.

I realize this is just part of boating and something that we have to deal with. The best thing to do is just relax and not let the blood pressure rise, but there should be some way of schooling the general boating public of simple watersports rules and proceedures. I'm not just talking wake boarders vs. skiiers. I'm talking about pleasure cruisers and families who don't recognize the sport aspect of the lake. Those who choose a calm cove to spin tubers around in, or who blast through glass water when there is clearly a skiier gearing up... it's nothing new, but we need to spread the word -- educate the uneducated. Maybe well gain some hardcore skiiers and fans in the process.

[climbs off soapbox]


06-27-2007, 07:52 AM
We run into those. We give them a big smile and wave. We nod knowingly, then slowly drive away, at wake surf speed, throwing the biggest roller we can their way. We wait out side the cove and return when we see them leave

06-27-2007, 12:15 PM
We feel your pain. I've got my boat on a 550 acre private association lake. You have to be a property owner to drop your boat in and there is private security on the lake as well. Lots of 22 foot deck boats and pontoons. Everybody pulls their grandkids around on tubes. Even with a the same people on the water all the time, people don't have a clue about etiquette or even safety, but then again these are the same people that cut you off on the highway to and from the lake. Our association tried to put a 30 mph speed limit in (already have a 40 limit) because they are old and worried, but the skiers joined forces and convinced them it's not the speed as much as the operator and they already have rules in place for reckless operation. We ski early, late or when it's raining. Otherwise we float in a cove and stay out of the way. Sometimes we even throw a tube in a join the fray. Good luck.

07-03-2007, 06:40 PM
I'm afraid it's a lost cause. Like I've said before, any moroon with 30, 40, 50 K etc can buy a boat. But not onw of there dealers talks to them about rules of the lake. To be honest most of them don't even know what they are doing to us.

Some dude pulling a wakeboarder on sunday did a 180 right infront of me while I was pulling my wife. I've been boating for over 40 yrs and had no choice but to shut it down, it's not worth the close calls.

08-21-2007, 12:57 PM
I think the main issue is that most of the folks who invade our pristine waters don't realize what affect they have on the others around them.

The best course of action is to slowly cruise up to the offending boater, introduce yourself and calmly explain that the sets you are running are difficult to do with all those boat wakes and is it possible for them to stick to another part of the lake for a short spell until you've gotten your sets in.
We had this issue a few years ago, I was pulling my boys on wakeboards and we were just killing the ski course. The guys did as I suggested above and I was more than happy to oblige (and after having had it pointed out to me felt bad that I hadn't noticed what we had done).

This was before my boys started true slalom skiing and we had an appreciation for how hard it is when the rollers start. We have the same issue now with barefooting.

Bottom line, take the low key friendly approach, it usually works.

If not, "accidentally" running over their tow rope works too......not that I would condone such un-neighborly behavior.


08-21-2007, 07:55 PM
I have had very good results with this approach:

1. drive up to them slowly and wave.
2. Ask if we can work in a set with them.

Surprising how many people get that. I even had a complete stranger come up to me a week later after we agreed to take turns and got wires crossed to apologize for getting out of synch.

I have also made some pretty good skiing friends this way. What I found was that the wakeboard boat had some skiers in it, but they cold not ski due to all the ballast. So instead we just ski together in the mornings with our boat and they can leave their ballast in their boat. It has worked out good.

But good luck with jet skis - they just don't get it.


11-15-2007, 02:19 PM
While pulling my wife through the course this year a couple of Jetskiis decided to try the course just behind her. I was thinking what do I do I can't shut it down she will get run over and I was afraid she might fall infront of the them. Luckily we made it to the end of the course and they went off in another direction. But I feel that the good ole bass fisherman gets just as angry with me when we drive past him on the way to the course. I don't think there is a solution for the idiots. When we see too many boats out there we just pack up the skis and head home.

11-25-2007, 09:49 AM
The jet skis actually followed you through the course?!?!?! Insane stupidity. That's when you pull out the flare gun and SHOOT AT THEM. Wow.

I had a pack of jet ski retards try to follow to get a shot at the wake during one of my last outings this year. Every time my girlfriend looped to run back the other direction she ran the chance of either hitting them or putting me in danger. Apparently they didn't know the difference between a ski boat and a wakeboarding boat. They left after they realized there was no wake being produced (that and a couple obscene gestures on my part).

All in all though, I'd say about 90% of our runs are clean. Only 10% of them have negative effects due to other boaters, which really isn't that bad, I guess.

11-25-2007, 03:47 PM
The Good:
Jetskis are great as they afford someone the opportunity to enjoy boating at a lower cost than ever before.
The Bad:
They have caused overcrowding.
They are nimble to the point of being dangerous, especially with the teens.
They allow people who have no experience in boating safety out on the water. Face it, boats are expensive it wouldn't be wrong to say that people with money tend to be more educated and more responsible. Anyone can purchase a used Jetski for next to nothing nowadays. Where is the dealer to provide a boating safety course? Low cost means expendable, who drives their 40k ski boat at a dock at high speeds and then turns away at the last second!? I could go on and on, sure the bass boats are fast but at least they care about themselfs and their boats. The plague of the water is the irresponsible jetski owner/operator!
These are just some random thoughts flowing through my head now. Not meant to offend anyone. I gotta get me a flare gun now!!!!

11-26-2007, 05:31 AM
We've got better at picking our riding times and avoiding the flies. When they start showing up, we close the set and head down the middle of the channel, throwing them a nice wake to jump. Actually, it's kinda fun watching them.

11-26-2007, 02:03 PM
I love that terminology "the flies"! That is Great!
And now it makes sense of why they come behind my boat, the wake!
I guess they see an inboard and assume that it puts out a great big ole wake! Well they must be dissappointed when they come behind ours! I guess next year after we get a V with ballast they will have a better time. Does Boaters World sell Flare guns?? :lol:

11-26-2007, 04:26 PM
My wife coined that nomer. We we're out one day, being followed, and the Missus said "geez, they're just like files'......kinda stuck after that.

11-26-2007, 11:39 PM
Hopefully your wife hasn't copyrighted that term cause I think it will be used alot on Deerpoint Lake soon! I was also thinking that with a tower mabye I could fly a banner like the guys on the beach do here from the planes. I could advertise and nice wake and I could charge them a buck for a jump ??? Might help pay for the boat! But better yet get up early like we know we have to and enjoy the lake before the crowds show up.

01-07-2008, 10:01 PM
As far as I can tell, no one else on the lake knows that the water is good until I get my boat off the lift. It is a relatively small lake with no public launch. Typically we will go to the end of the dock and make sure there are no other boats. As soon as we get the first run down the lake, there will be several boats and a bunch of jet skis messing up the water. Frustrating as heck, but what can you really do? They have as much right to use the water as we do.

01-08-2008, 05:38 AM
That's true they do have as much right to the water. It's when they create hazards and are downright rude to others when it becomes a prob.

01-08-2008, 08:45 AM
I once had a guy riding down the street in front of my house on a bicycle while I was towing my Big boat at about 15mph! Suddenly I hear a loud boom and looking in my rearview mirror I see him getting up from the ground right by my stopped trailer. Luckily I only ran over his bike and the sound was my tire getting puntured by his axle. He never looked behind the truck and moved right over where the bow of the boat hit him in the head and knocked him down. Now here I am towing someone 70ft behind my boat, what's to keep some idiot on a Jet Ski from not looking and crosses over to jump my wake? They should be banned from the water!!! :lol: I think they should just set up PWC lakes and not allow them anywhere near us Inboards!!!! :D As a matter of fact they should do that with those haulin butt bass boats too!!!! I guess the pontoon boats would be OK, :roll: I have never seen one of those go through the course!!! :lol:

01-08-2008, 12:11 PM
I have found having a cell phone and the phone number to the marine patrol works well if you have people creating an unsafe environment. It may take them awhile to get there but if you give a good description of the offenders then they will visit with them and they will advise them of the law. If they appear to be intoxicated or if they become beligerent then they tighten the screws even more. I know they bust many jetskiers for not having all of the required safety equipment on board when they do their on-the-spot safety checks. Something seems to work as the last two years I haven't had any problems with jetskiers.

01-08-2008, 01:35 PM
I tried that once but after an 1 hour of waiting (on a smallish lake) the kids were getting crabby so we left. Our problem is that the ski course lays along a row of houses very close to the shore. There is one particular house that has a boat and several PWC's. On some Saturdays there are parties going on there and while you are on the course these younger kids (18-25ish) come flying out of their docks not 100yards from the course and start cutting donuts in the middle of the course while people are using it. We leave now but the last couple of times I swore they were going to hit each other. I feel pretty confident to also state that they probably are drinking while on the shore. It is a shame I have to avoid this area because it is the ONLY course on the lake! This coming season I will bring the cell phones again and because my kids will have a nice boat to sit in (not on the floor like they do in the old MC now) maybe we will get something done and actually keeps these guys from killing each other.

01-08-2008, 01:39 PM
I forgot to add that if I take my big boat out of St. Andrews pass into the Gulf of Mexico I will ALWAYS see the Florida Fish and Game dudes. They always have a boat pulled over and there will be 2 or 3 of their boats out there! Now go to Deerpoint Lake which is actually a part of the Bay that has been damned up to provide fresh water to the city and I might see them 1 once a month. The problem is there are far more dangerous activities going transpirring on the Lake and they don't seem to care. I always see people drinking on the Lake doing stupid stuff. So maybe I need to call them first before I leave the house to see if they are going to be patrolling the lake first! I guess it is not quite as fun to catch someone doing something stupid on the jet ski vs. the dude who caught an illegal Goliath Grouper!!!

01-16-2008, 05:49 PM
This is the constant battle. I have never approached another boat for their lack of sharing the cove, but I have had to schmooz home owners near our course. We have offered to buy fenders for their boats and even take them skiing with us. I have thought of importing lilly pads to install near my course to give the illusion of shallow water. We ski as early as possible on weekends and usually sink the course by 10:00 am and resort to tie ups etc. Maybe I will make a bed sheet sign for the mouth of my favorite ski hole: "Sorry Folks, Cove Closed for Repairs"

03-01-2008, 09:30 PM
Some people shouldnít be allowed to breed! A couple years ago I was wakeboarding, and a teenage girl was jumping our wake right directly behind me. I didnít know she was there at first, until I finally did a head plant, and when I bobbed up and turned around she was headed right for my head!!!! She didnít realize that you loose steering capability when you kill a jet ski!! Not kidding!!! If I hadnít put up my hands to catch the nose of the Jet Ski, she would have conked me right in the head! :roll:

03-01-2008, 10:20 PM
Tell me she wasn't blonde 8)

03-01-2008, 10:26 PM
I donít rememberÖI think a brunette!? I was too busy trying to clean out my shorts!!!!!!!! Lucky me already in the lake! :oops:

03-01-2008, 10:59 PM

I thought you were out drinking beer with Butta?

I won't tell G about the blonde thingie and all since she is blonde! :lol:

I am working on a Paint Ball Machine gun turrent to be installed in the bow of the boat. We see the intelligent less fortunate and let them have it!!!! If it works good then I will find a way to install it on cars so we can get those folks that like to hang around in the left lane on the interstate!

Every year we will see someone who hasn't got a clue and does dangerous stupid acts and nobody with authority is ever around, yet I will get a speeding ticket for driving 10mph on the streets.

03-01-2008, 11:08 PM
Z just got back from a 5 hr session with butta on the finer points of wakesboarding and the official hooters uniform. Quite the informative confernce, plans have been started for an all american moomba reunion.Something mid USA. See what happens when great minds get together :D

This took me five minutes to type as the refreshments at the meeting were along the bud light line :shock:

03-01-2008, 11:09 PM
Z by the way, your name was called at roll, but no one answered! Next time you had better show 8)

03-01-2008, 11:12 PM
Sorry I tried to make it but lost my keys!!!! :lol:
Ah the chicken wing place!!!
Did Dallas F. make it?

Tomorrow is the wife B day! I spent hours looking for something that I know she won't like today! Now if the boat had been finished earlier!!! I could have drove it up in the driveway with a big bow on the tower. Hey that's an idea for when I do get it since I am driving to Atlanta to get it by myself!

03-01-2008, 11:18 PM
You know the whole bow on the boat thing is cheating. You got to go with the ice. I'm sorry, I didn't make the rules, I just know how to play the game. Trust me I tried the other way, and never got any where until I started to use the jewlery card. Doesn't have to be much, just can't have keys or use gas.

03-02-2008, 09:14 AM
I married a South Georgia Tom Boy from the deep woods. She started riding dirt bikes in 6th grade. She got her first deer at 17. She learned to ski at 4 years old and was on slalom at 6. She still has the Dick Pope Junior her father modified with a RTP and a bigger fin. Jewerly is not on her agenda. Believe it or not her ears are not pierced!!! She yelled at me when I bought her a 400 dollar channel set wedding band last year to replace her 10 dollar band she has worn for years. Thinking I was doing the "right" thing I have bought her some necklaces and other things in the past, she will wear it that day and then they disappear forever. This Christmas I bought her a Zelda game for her Nintendo DS and it was one of the best presents I have ever bought her, she is always playing that stupid game. I can honestly say she will be thrilled to get the LS for her birthday! Yes I got lucky!

03-02-2008, 10:44 AM
I did that zegm.

I married a south Alabama girl in 1993, about two months later I bought her a 1988 Bronco with 32" tires and glasspack exhaust! She has never owned a 2wd drive vehicle since. Let me clarify that statement, I worked at a Cadillac/Pontiac dealership. She had a Jeep Cherokee but it was not big enough to tow the boat. She had been looking for a vehicle for about a month and we wanted something to tow my 1992 Mastercaft PS190. She drove up in the parking lot in this Bronco and I about fell out. I knew I married the right girl right then!

Her last truck was a 3500 crewcab, Duramax, 4wd, her claim to fame on that one is pulling my friends out of the mud in their 2wd trucks.

She makes me go to at least 6 NASCAR races every year, (we have season tickets to Bristol and Dega, in 2004 we had to go to 10. races.

We decided to get back into sking last year, we looked for a few months and ran into a Moomba dealer at the Talladega race in April. I picked it up on a Saturday and gave it to her on Mothers Day. It was a hoot, the neighbors all know I am the big skier but it was funny.

You might want to have a backup gift just in case.

I am a lucky guy!

03-02-2008, 10:45 AM
Geez, how long does it take for this fog to lift.
I'm thinking more of the hair of the dog should do it.
Hope you had a good time last night sled, I sure did.
Oh, the pain, the pain

03-02-2008, 11:13 AM
I have been skiing for 26 years, and we will always have this problem. I like the idea of "working a set in with them" I may try that this year.

Last year we had to episodes that got my blood preasure up.

We had four boats working taking turns when a houseboat came in at full speed. (10mph) parked right in the ski path and dropped anchor. We spent about 30 minutes at low speed with full ballast going in circles with tubes before we got his boat really rocking.

Same cove, at the end of the season.

I foot, so I like glass and it is hard to find! Close to the end of the day and I have cove all to myself. An inboard pulls into the opening of the cove as I start a run into the cove. Not unusal for people to stop and watch, I am in a dying sport and lots of people have never seen it.

I drop at the end of the cove and my wife sets up for a run back out, as we got lined up she noticed the inboard at just above idle speed hugging the wall of the cove headed our way. He turned around about 50yds from us and dropped a kneeboarder then started making circles in the big part of the cove.


These are like badbeat poker stories, we all have one and they will never end, until we build a private lake.

03-02-2008, 11:28 AM
Butta, your killing me, too much greasy food if you know what I mean, and about 4 beers beofre we left was too many :wink:

Now about the wives. SInce were bragging, my wife in 10yrs has never missed a fishing trip to Canada. Last year for opening waleye weekend the temperature was never above freezing and was in the low 20's at night. Oh by the way its a 30 mile trip in on logging roads off of the highway, the last mile and a half is extreme 4wd only. I've lost tires and back windshields in the past. WHen you get to the landing you load your fishing boat and head accross the lake to our spot. Yeah it's tenting not some posh resort.

My wife used to take customers out in our Nitro for fishing trips, it would blow these guys minds when my little wife would lower our 60 mph boat off of the lift and shuttle them around the lake like a pro. then out fish them :oops:

She'll get her sister and the 2 will go out bar hoping on there sleds leaving me at home with the kids. Heck she used to drive deer for me.

That being said, I had to give up on the practical gifts (sleds and quads ha ha)and go to the jewlery, it's just something she grew into. When we 1st bought the Jag for her she was too embarrased to drive it, and she would go everwhere in my 2500 Diesel full size with 34's. Again she grew into the car. Maybe I'm spoiling her 8)

03-02-2008, 08:55 PM
Sled - I figure it must have something to do with hunting. What does this mean: "[S]he used to drive deer for me?" - Deerfield

03-02-2008, 09:48 PM
The male in me has always thought I must buy her jewerly. It just never worked. And she fought going to the boat show, she wanted to wait until this summer to get a boat. Well at the show she was a woman in a jewerly store. Telling me to order options that I wanted but knew she would say cost too much. Well again we will never understand how they think but since the show and even with serious pain in her neck, she seems really happy she is getting a new boat. The color was not what me and the kids picked out, she wanted the solid blue and because I was so excited with her behavior I was glad to agree to her choice. But again they are from a different planet, sometimes we get it right and sometimes we don't but at least we try and hopefully they see that. I say this just after I spilled a whole plate of HOT Chicken Parmesian I cooked for her all over her ...... on her birthday. "IT WAS AN ACCIDENT BABE!" :oops:

03-02-2008, 09:54 PM
Butta and Sled,

There is a chicken wing place here, actually 2 on in town and one on the beach! Come on down because this is the start of spring break and it would be the optimum time to speak about our boats while eating chicken wings out on the beach! That is if we can keep our eyes off the beach!! It's funny no local in their right mind will go near the beach, too cold. But get a bunch of kids from the North and they are all over this place, swimming no less while I still am wearing my jacket!!!!

03-02-2008, 10:14 PM
Deerfield, yup it's a hunting thing, she won't do it any more but it was fun while it lasted.

Z, don't tempt us, I'm sure Butta would be up for a road trip 8) . It was very cool to put a face to the name. I wish that you were a bit closer to me when I was working in Florida for that three weeks so I could have done the same :( .

When we ordered our boat last year at the show my wife was just like yours. She had the color already picked out and as we went through the options list she was going way farther than I thought we would, same idea my wife is always complaining about my spending habbits. So I got a shoe fetish what's the big deal :oops:

03-03-2008, 12:28 AM
PCB is only 6 hr drive for me... I'll join in the WING DING...