Every single one of us loves to have fun, those of us in lake communities know that the best way to do that is water sports. But it isn’t much fun if you get injured, stranded, or even worse. Here are a few tips to keep you safe while you are playing in the water this summer.
Know The Laws
Each State and waterway has its own jurisdiction, meaning that rules can change in a matter of feet. What might be ok at one lake is not acceptable at another. Sometimes rules will even change depending on what side of the lake your on. Check out these laws before you head out so you know where and what you can do. A great resource for this is your local Wildlife resource agency, they have all the local laws and safety tips for your specific location.
Get Familiar With your Surroundings
Take a few laps around the area you will be towing. Each waterway is unique and hold its own specific challenges, there could be hidden dangers you might not be able to see until its to late. Even if you boat at a location frequently it still is a good idea to check it out first. If the water level changes or debris has fallen in you might not be aware of it until after someone has been hurt.
Check your Speed
Every water sport has its ideal speed, so knowing how fast to go is crucial. You may pull a beginner skier at 10-12 mph but someone who is more advanced can go much faster. So determine your speed beforehand together so you both know whats comfortable.
Communication is Key
Out on the water its almost impossible to hear over the roar of the engine and the splash of the water. Designate some specific hand signals before you start that way you can communicate out on the water. Check out this article over at Discover Boating for some good basics on hand signals. This will ensure you safety as well as that of the people your towing
Wear a Life Jacket
This cannot be said enough, your life jacket could be the difference between life or death in a towing accident. Always wear it and make sure it fits snugly and securely. Even if your a competent swimmer as soon as you hit the water and have the breath knocked out of you, you will be struggling to swim and maybe even drown without the proper safety.