Wake surfing sport gears up in local waters


By Heather Ruppe

As wake surfing spikes in popularity in coastal waters, state leaders have created a new law meant to protect those athletes hitting the waves.

A new South Carolina boating law is meant to help protect people and structures from large wakes created by wave surfers.

The new statewide law prohibits “wake surfing” on all state waters within 200 feet of a dock, a person in the water or an anchored watercraft.

In the law, wake surfing is defined in the law as operating “a vessel that is ballasted in the stern so as to create a wake that is, or is intended to be, surfed by another person.” That’s driving boats designed or set up to create a significant wake.

The new law comes amid increasing popularity in the activity as law enforcement and policymakers looked for ways to keep people and property safe.

Violation of this law is a misdemeanor and generally punishable by fines of about $100-$600, depending on court fees in each county jurisdiction. SCDNR regularly patrols state waterways to enforce applicable boating and fishing laws.

For information on boating regulations, education and boat ramp locations, visit www.dnr.sc.gov/boating.


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