The Indiana General Assembly, which opened its 2022 session the first week of the new year, is considering legislation (HB 1055, SB 187) which would establish commonsense guidelines for individuals and boats that engage in wakeboarding and wakesurfing. Both bills would keep Indiana’s waters safe for Hoosiers while protecting fair access to Indiana’s great waters and ensuring the safety of those on the water.
Convening Monday, January 10 for a Senate Natural Resources Committee hearing, industry representative Lee Gatts with the Water Sports Industry Association (WSIA) testified before the committee in support of SB 187 introduced by Indiana Senator Susan Glick.
“Senate Bill 187 would establish important and sensible safety regulations, such as prohibiting wakeboarding and wakesurfing at night, which will help reduce the potential for accidents. The bill also prohibits wakesurfing behind boats whose propellers extend beyond the transom or swim platform, which provides another layer of protection for surfers,” said Lee Gatts in his testimony on behalf of the Water Sports Industry Association, the National Marine Manufacturers Association, and Marine Retailers Association of the Americas. “For the recreational boating industry, water is our currency. We understand the importance of maintaining healthy waters so that today’s families and future generations can experience the joys of time spent on the water.”
The bill passed out of committee on a vote of 6-1.
The recreational boating industry remains committed to protecting fair boating access across the nation and continues to proactively educate the boating community and those on the water on best practices to ensure the health of our nation’s waters and the safety of those partaking in towed water sports. In Indiana, SB 187 will help the recreational boating community continue to do what we love, in a way that protects all aspects of these waterways.