Wake surf gear up in local waters

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By Heather Ruppe

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

A new boating law in South Carolina aims to protect people and structures from large wakes created by surfers.

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

In law, wake surfing is defined in the law as the operation of “a vessel which is weighted astern so as to create a wake which is, or is intended to be, surfed by another person”. It involves driving boats designed or configured to create a significant wake.

The new law comes amid a growing popularity of the activity as law enforcement and policymakers seek ways to keep people and property safe.

Violation of this law is a misdemeanor and usually punishable by fines of approximately $100 to $600, depending on court costs in each county jurisdiction. The SCDNR routinely patrols state waterways to enforce applicable boating and fishing laws.

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

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