Connecticut has strict regulations when it comes to watersports and the driver of the boat must be aware of and follow all of them. Two of the biggest regulations to keep in mind are that:
- The person being towed must wear a life jacket
- There must be at least three people involved in the watersport:
- The driver, who must be aware of their surroundings at all times
- A spotter, who is over 12 years old, to keep the driver informed, and
- oThe person being towed.
Take your family and friends tubing behind your favorite boat. All you will need for a great time is a durable tube, a tether to attach the tube to the boat, and riders who are willing to hang on.
Send your riders skimming across the water or soaring off of your wake — just make sure they wear their life jackets! Keep all of your tubers happy by discussing hand signals that they can use to communicate with the spotter you while you drive, the most important hand signals to discuss are speed up, slow down, and stop.
Water skiing and wakeboarding require similar in technique with regards to getting up behind the boat; however from that point on they are entirely different.
Wakeboarding is a relatively new sport, arising in the 1980s after the advent of snowboarding. To wakeboard you will need a board with comfortable bindings configured so that your dominant foot is forward on the board and a tow rope. Wakeboarders can jump off the boat’s wake by cutting across behind the boat, and there are different types of fins that can be used on the bottom of the board to give riders a different effect when jumping from the wake. Just like skiing, the speed at which the boat is towing the rider is very important. Typically, this speed is from 30 to 40 mph, but this differs from rider to rider depending on their weight, skill level, and what type of tricks they wish to perform.
Water skiing is much more complicated than tubing and requires greater strength and endurance. However, once you get a feel for how to get up behind the boat, and how to balance as you skim across the water, it becomes second nature.
You can ski on two skis or one ski, called slalom skiing, and will need to make sure that the skis are the appropriate length. Finding and maintaining the proper speed when towing the skier is very important. The speeds typically range from 13 to 16 mph for children and up to 36 mph for an adult. These speeds vary based on the number of skis in use and the size of the skier.
Kneeboarding is a cross between wakeboarding and tubing. The rider is towed behind a boat kneeling on a kneeboard to which secured to by an adjustable Velcro strap. Unlike wakeboarding or water skiing, a kneeboarder starts on the board upright on the water eliminating the learning curve involved with getting upright on a wakeboard or skis. To kneeboard you will need a board, a tow rope, and a life vest.
Boats towing knee-boarders typically travel between 15 to 20 mph. This sport is a great stepping stone for children who want to do something other than tubing, but are not comfortable enough with wakeboarding or skiing.