NMMA: Wakesurfing legislation heating up in some states

With several state legislatures schedule to resume operations in the days and weeks ahead, the NMMA advocacy team is engaging with policymakers across the country on key recreational boating industry issues, including wake surfing access. To date, four state legislatures have acted on this critical issue, and more are expected to follow suit throughout 2021.

Below is a list of states where the NMMA advocacy team is engaging on wake surfing legislation, along with the specific proposals before each legislature.

For more information, please contact NMMA manager of Great Lakes policy and engagement, Jill Sims at jsims@nmma.org.

Active Wake Surfing Legislation

Indiana (HB1098)

  • HB 1098 – Defines wakeboarding and wake surfing; prohibits night wake boarding/wake surfing; establishes process for lakes to petition NRC for restrictions and includes safety requirements for the watercraft.

New Hampshire (HB229 and HB115)

  • HB 229 – “Wake boat” means any boat that is equipped with ballast tanks, bags, compartments, containers, plumbing, or similar devices or systems that are designed to alter or enhance the characteristics of the boat’s wake, and is also known as a “ballast boat.”
  • HB 115 – Requires wake surfers to wear life jackets, bans nighttime wake surfing, and requires the tow boat to be designed by the manufacturer for wake surfing.

Oregon (HB 2555, HB 2725, and HB 2734)

  • HB 2555 and HB 2725 – Provides that maximum loading weight of motorboat must be less than 4,000 pounds to obtain towed watersports motorboat certificate.
  • HB 2734 – Directs State Marine Board to study and make recommendations for legislation to impose excise tax on wake boat sales.

Virginia (HB 2083)

  • H.2083 – Prohibits a person within 200 feet of a dock, pier, boathouse, boat ramp, shoreline, or other person in the water from operating a vessel on any inland lake that is more than 500 feet above sea level and of 20,000 acres or more in size, and wholly located within the Commonwealth (Smith Mountain Lake), while accompanied by a person or persons engaged in wake surfing.


  1. People in jon boats and such have just as much right to be on the lake as anybody and should not have to risk sinking because of these self centered non thinking idiots. And not just the wake boats. on my home lake of Fontana people are moving in from Atlanta, Fla, and elsewhere and bringing their oversized boats with them. WEIGHT LIMITS ON OUR MOUNTAIN LAKES!!!

    • I agree. Using boats that intentionally create abnormally large destructive waves should only be allowed on private waterways.

  2. These things are destroying the environment by churning up the muddy bottoms of lakes down to 15’. They are destroying shorelines and destroying docks and boats. They need to be banned.

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