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Tennessee passes new Wakesurf & Wakeboarding law - Effective July 1, 2022

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  • Tennessee passes new Wakesurf & Wakeboarding law - Effective July 1, 2022

    Apologies if duplicate, but I did not find this from search. This now makes it illegal to surf my cove (which literally everyone does daily), and it would make wakeboarding behind any outboard illegal as well...which we do occasionally see. I find it really short-sighted to pass such a law targeting a particular sport, versus basing the motion on vessel weight, length, and speed. If the real issue is "public welfare" as the bill states, then where is the law preventing cabin cruisers from driving by personal docks throwing 3x the wave of a MasterCraft? I would love to see MC, Malibu, Skier's Choice etc join their lobbyists together to educate the lawmakers on the insanity of the issue.


    ----

    ON MARCH 3, 2022, THE TENNESSEE SENATE ADOPTED AMENDMENT Home AND PASSED SENATE BILL 2107, AS AMENDED.
    AMENDMENT

    SECTION 1. Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 69-9-204, is amended by adding the following as new subdivisions:

    ( ) "Wakeboarding" means: (A) To use a board with or without foot bindings on which a rider is towed by a motorboat across a wake; or (B) To operate a motorboat in a manner that creates a wake while towing a person using a board with or without foot bindings to be towed by the motorboat across the boat's wake;

    ( ) "Wakesurfing" means: (A) To surf a motorboat's wake, regardless of whether the person is being pulled by a tow rope attached to the motorboat that is producing the wake; or (B) To operate a motorboat in a manner that creates a wake that is, or is intended to be, surfed by another person;

    SECTION 2. Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 69, Chapter 9, Part 2, is amended by adding the following as a new section: (a) Except as provided in subsection (c), a person shall not engage in wakeboarding or wakesurfing in the waters of Tennessee:
    (1) Between sunset and sunrise;
    (2) On a body of water that is less than fifty (50) acres in size;
    (3) On a portion of a body of water with a width, measured from the nearest shoreline to the second nearest shoreline, of less than four hundred feet (400');
    (4) Within two hundred feet (200') of a shoreline, or a dock, pier, boathouse, or other structure located completely or partly on the water; and
    (5) Without wearing a personal flotation device approved by the United States coast guard. (b) Except as provided in subsection
    (c), a person shall not engage in wakesurfing in the waters of Tennessee using a motorboat that has a propulsion system that extends beyond the motorboat's boarding or swim platform.

    This act takes effect July 1, 2022, the public welfare requiring it.

    https://legiscan.com/TN/text/SB2107/2021
    Last edited by FoggyNogginz; 05-04-2022, 01:42 PM.

  • #2
    Wow. How much did the distances change? I assume that there was something in place originally.

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    • #3
      I know people are concerned with the 200' measurement, and the overall 400' measurement. Not sure where you surf but have you done a google maps measurement to be sure? I looked at Norris and found many areas I thought were small that are not affected.

      Also, tell me if I am wrong, and it might be a typo by you, but it only says "person shall not engage in wakesurfing in the waters of Tennessee using a motorboat that has a propulsion system that extends beyond the motorboat's boarding or swim platform", not wakeboarding.

      Totally agree, cabin cruisers, plowing and crazy tubers are part of the problem and should be addressed.
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      • #4
        I'm not a fan of laws written to target specific actions rather than root causes... ie., wakesurfing vs. large wakes...

        But, I will say, that as written, this one isn't actually that bad in my opinion. In-fact, I'd argue that it's pretty common sense.... I mean, a 50 acre lake is SMALL, and staying 200-feet from shore should be everyone's goal anyway. My only real issue is actually with the USCG vest requirement, since the comp vest market has come such a long way in recent years.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by FoggyNogginz View Post
          This now makes it illegal to surf my cove (which literally everyone does daily), and it would make wakeboarding behind any outboard illegal as well...which we do occasionally see. I find it really short-sighted to pass such a law targeting a particular sport, versus basing the motion on vessel weight, length, and speed. If the real issue is "public welfare" as the bill states, then where is the law preventing cabin cruisers from driving by personal docks throwing 3x the wave of a MasterCraft? I would love to see MC, Malibu, Skier's Choice etc join their lobbyists together to educate the lawmakers on the insanity of the issue.
          Seems fair enough to all vested stakeholders. Whiners not included.

          I don't see the insanity of much of any issue at all. Property owners want their shorelines protected, wakers can now have their defined space for enjoying their sport while not so much infringing on others, and other boaters of the general boating participants don't have to endure a swell or tsunami while enjoying their day of cove picnicing, shoreline fishing, etc.

          Thanks for posting.

          Enforcement is another issue altogether.

          .
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          • #6
            Originally posted by lakedrum03 View Post
            Wow. How much did the distances change? I assume that there was something in place originally.
            There actually wasn't any distance limitation in place for anything other than commercial docks, and I am in favor some protections here as I am a dock owner on the lake as well. What I am not in favor of is a law targeting a particular part of the population on the lake (wakesurfers), versus equally regulating everyone with vessels large enough to cause property damage. I completely agree that folks should not be wakesurfing right next to a personal dock, but the huge cabin cruisers should not also go unregulated if the state is going to pass new laws to protect property and shoreline in my opinion.
            Last edited by FoggyNogginz; 05-04-2022, 02:49 PM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by waterlogged882 View Post
              Seems fair enough to all vested stakeholders. Whiners not included.

              I don't see the insanity of much of any issue at all. Property owners want their shorelines protected, wakers can now have their defined space for enjoying their sport while not so much infringing on others, and other boaters of the general boating participants don't have to endure a swell or tsunami while enjoying their day of cove picnicing, shoreline fishing, etc.

              Thanks for posting.

              Enforcement is another issue altogether.

              .
              Yep, I want my shoreline protected too, and the two boats in my dock. However, this particular law uniquely specifies wakesurfers with new restrictions but does not do anything about the much larger audience of cabin cruisers on our lake which rock our docks, boats, and property every single day with zero regulation. It is the narrow isolation of the regulation that annoys me. But hey, most folks on our lake don't follow the majority of the rules of the waterway to begin with, so it will be interesting to see what impact this does /does not make.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by 86Skier View Post
                I'm not a fan of laws written to target specific actions rather than root causes... ie., wakesurfing vs. large wakes...

                But, I will say, that as written, this one isn't actually that bad in my opinion. In-fact, I'd argue that it's pretty common sense.... I mean, a 50 acre lake is SMALL, and staying 200-feet from shore should be everyone's goal anyway. My only real issue is actually with the USCG vest requirement, since the comp vest market has come such a long way in recent years.
                Yeah - I always use a comp vest. Not sure if anyone would ever know the difference while watching us from a distance.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by FoggyNogginz View Post

                  ( ) "Wakeboarding" means: (A) To use a board with or without foot bindings on which a rider is towed by a motorboat across a wake; or (B) To operate a motorboat in a manner that creates a wake while towing a person using a board with or without foot bindings to be towed by the motorboat across the boat's wake;


                  https://legiscan.com/TN/text/SB2107/2021

                  Their definition of wakeboarding seems to including slalom skiing, since to a non water person a ski might be considered a "board"

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                  • #10
                    A quick measurement of the area where we surf / wakeboard shows it to be 1000' feet across. So being 200' from shore is not really an issue. Seems reasonable.

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                    • #11
                      Something very similar was drafted for MN and is making the rounds through lawmakers, along with the wave energy study (posted in another thread).

                      wakes are the least of my problems as I have giant sawed trees slamming against my shoreline. Some asshat is dropping trees and floating them downstream. We need a law lol

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                      • #12
                        I do not really see a problem with it. As far as targeting a specific crowd I see where the thought is coming from but there is a reason that they are targeting surf boats. I am fully aware that other large vessels can throw huge wakes but with those vessels there is a different intention. Those cabin cruisers are not trying to throw those wakes/waves, they throw them by nature. I think this is the first reason that people with an outside eye get mad at surf boats given the fact that they are intentionally not planning and throw large waves because of it. Another angle is that usually a cabin cruiser or large vessel is just passing through as where wake surfers like to tear up the area for an extended period of time. The law is definitely targeted but I do feel that in most instances larger vessels are not nearly as big of an issue as surf boats.
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by waterlogged882 View Post
                          Seems fair enough to all vested stakeholders. Whiners not included.

                          I don't see the insanity of much of any issue at all. Property owners want their shorelines protected, wakers can now have their defined space for enjoying their sport while not so much infringing on others, and other boaters of the general boating participants don't have to endure a swell or tsunami while enjoying their day of cove picnicing, shoreline fishing, etc.

                          Thanks for posting.

                          Enforcement is another issue altogether.

                          .
                          Agreed, that's what we always say " 15,000 acres and they have to be waking by us" and we have to make sure we swing the boat around so we don't get swamped, all while trying to eat our good hot dinner.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by FoggyNogginz View Post
                            SECTION 2. Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 69, Chapter 9, Part 2, is amended by adding the following as a new section: (a) Except as provided in subsection (c), a person shall not engage in wakeboarding or wakesurfing in the waters of Tennessee:
                            (1) Between sunset and sunrise;
                            (2) On a body of water that is less than fifty (50) acres in size;
                            (3) On a portion of a body of water with a width, measured from the nearest shoreline to the second nearest shoreline, of less than four hundred feet (400');
                            (4) Within two hundred feet (200') of a shoreline, or a dock, pier, boathouse, or other structure located completely or partly on the water; and
                            (5) Without wearing a personal flotation device approved by the United States coast guard. (b) Except as provided in subsection
                            (c), a person shall not engage in wakesurfing in the waters of Tennessee using a motorboat that has a propulsion system that extends beyond the motorboat's boarding or swim platform.
                            Number 2, what the hell is that? Kind of a joke as you wouldn't have a surf boat on a little puddle anyway. I don't know about others here but I consider 500 acres a pretty small lake. I know some states have have been investigating laws such as this for any lakes under 1000 acres.

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                            • #15
                              Kent, thanks for sharing. I saw this on a CHL facebook page and all the wakesurf haters are all over it. I think in the end, very little will change. I agree that calling out one group is wrong and further adds to the divisive culture this great country has become. The TWRA and other patrolling bodies should (emphasize SHOULD) focus on other safety issues. We have all been a part of situations where idiots in all forms of vessels get WAY to close to our riders, and have had ski/wakebord/ surf too close to moored vessels, etc. On the bright side the crazies that will yell at us for enjoying our watersports, can't measure anyway...
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