Amendment of VA Code § 29.1-744.3 which shall permit wake surfing
In an unfortunate turn of events a select couple of game wardens assigned to Lake Gaston have found it necessary and lawful to cite for a generic version of reckless boating. It specifically applies to those who are participating in surfing with or without a rope that is less than 50 feet in length. The ticket can carry fines of up to $1000 plus court costs. After two court cases and two dismissals, the judge clearly told the Warden that if he was going to pull people over it should be cited correctly and it was the burden of the legislature to modify and make changes to the code below. If we, those who surf or are towed with ropes of less than fifty feet would like to continue this sport then we must have this code repealed to represent what it is that we do when surfing. Also worthy of mention is that the specific activity of teaching a child to ski with beginner skis uses a rope of less than fifty feet and was mentioned in the court case. It too could be construed as a violation of these codes. § 29.1-742. Towing water skis, surfboards, etc. A. No person shall operate a vessel on any waters of the Commonwealth for towing a person or persons on water skis, a surfboard, or a similar device unless there is in the vessel a person, in addition to the operator, in a position to observe the progress of the person or persons being towed or unless the skier or skiers wear life preservers. B. No person shall operate a vessel on any water of the Commonwealth towing a person or persons on water skis, a surfboard, or a similar device, nor shall any person engage in water skiing or a similar activity at any time between the hours from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise. The provisions of this subsection shall not constitute a defense to any provision of § 29.1-738. C. The provisions of subsections A and B of this section do not apply to a performer engaged in a professional exhibition. D. No person shall operate or manipulate any vessel, towrope, or other device by which the direction or location of water skis, a surfboard, or a similar device may be affected or controlled in such a way as to cause the water skis, surfboard, or similar device, or any person upon the device to collide with any object or person. ***Repeal to read or interpret ~ wake surfing, knee boarding, wake skating with or without a rope of less than 50 feet would not apply. § 29.1-744.3. Slacken speed and control wakes near structures. It shall be unlawful to operate any motorboat, except personal watercraft, at a speed greater than the slowest possible speed required to maintain steerage and headway when within fifty feet or less of docks, piers, boathouses, boat ramps, and people in the water. Nothing in this section shall prohibit a motorboat from towing a person with a rope less than fifty feet in length. (1998, c. 857.) ***Repeal to read or interpret ~ wake surfing, knee boarding, wake skating with or without a rope of less than 50 feet would not apply. If there might an attorney or legislator that might assist us then please ask them to proceed and assist in repealing this out dated code to keep up with the times and the sport.