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Wakesurfing Etiquette – The Do’s and Don’ts

Take off your shoes, Bring a towel, and be prepared to give a few bucks for gas…


Are you pumped to go wakesurfing for the first time on a friend’s boat? Chances are your friend is excited to have you. That being said, there are a few things you should know before you board the boat. After all, when you demonstrate respect and awareness you’re far more likely to get invited back the next time your friend decides to go out on the water.

  • Never Invite Others Without Permission: Were you recently invited to go wakesurfing on your friend’s boat? That’s great news! While you’re welcome to share with others how excited you are, it’s poor form to invite other people along with you unless you were given explicit permission from your friend to do so.
  • Bring a Towel: While a lot of boaters do bring extra towels for guests, they don’t always. It’s better for you to bring your own towel on board so that you don’t have to sit around waiting for sun to dry you out.
  • Bring Your Own Snacks: There’s a pretty strong chance you’ll get hungry out on the water. From bright, hot sun to your level of activity, water and munchies are a must. Don’t rely on your friend to provide you with what you need. Always be sure to pack your own cooler of snack and drink supplies.
  • Don’t Smoke: Boating is one instance where you’ll need to leave your habit at home.
  • Offer Your Friend Money: Gas is expensive. Before (or after) your fun day out on the water, be sure to hand your friend some cash. Even $10 or $20 will positively demonstrate your “thank you” game.
  • Don’t Hog Ride Time: Whether there are three people on board the boat, or ten, you don’t want to be the person that spends longer on the water than everyone else. If you’re unsure of what makes for an acceptable time wakesurfing, speak with your friend beforehand or let a few others go before you.
  • Bring a Life Jacket: This is another thing that your friend may provide for you–but you shouldn’t expect them to. If you plan to spend any amount of time on a boat, a life jacket is a worthwhile investment. Additionally, you could get ticketed for not having one, which would just be plain embarrassing.
  • Avoid Lateness: Did your friend tell you to be at the dock at ten? Be sure you arrive around 9:50.
  • Offer to Help Wipe the Boat Down: More often than not, people will thank their friend (and maybe even offer gas money) but will take off after that. Be more courteous. Ask your friend if they could use some help wiping down the interior and the exterior of their boat. Not only will you practically guarantee yourself an invitation back, you’ll score some big brownie points for future adventures on the water.

Just because it’s your first time out on the water with your friend doesn’t mean you need to act like a newbie. Using the tips above, make sure you respect your friend, their boat, and their time. No doubt you’ll get invited out again and again.​


Contributed by: Msurf-Okanagan – Foremost Experts in Okanagan Boating and wakeboarding