Wakesurf Boating Etiquette

Posted by Brock Dumoit on

First time wakesurfing on a friend’s boat? Here are some things you may need to know before you hop on board. After all, being respectful and knowing what to do will help you get invited back.


  • Don’t invite others without permission:  You're super stoked to get the invite, we get it! However, it's just a bad idea to invite others when it's not your boat. Remember in high school, you threw a party one weekend when your parents were out of town? When 10 people turned into turned into a 200 person shindig?! Don’t bring that kind of situation onto your friend’s boat!

large party crowd waving hands in the air

  •  Don’t be late: There’s nothing worse than waiting on someone before you take the boat out. No one likes wasting lake time! Don't be the reason others miss a bit of shred time.

lord of the rings arms crossed you're late

  • Don’t wear your shoes on the boat: Don’t trek dirt onto your friend’s boat. You should leave your shoes in your car or put them in your bag, no matter how cool you think your kicks are.

jimmy fallon guest in red jacket clicking feet together in the air

  •  Bring your own towel: Many boat owners may bring extras, but having your own is always best. If you don’t, you may have to sit there drenched and just drip-dry.

wet cat in sink wrapped in a washcloth

  •  Bring your own coast-guard approved life vest (if you have one): Like towels, your friend may have extra. However, this is an important purchase to make before you hit the lake to ensure you'll have one that fits right. Plus, it gives the impression you're committed and expecting future invites. Getting stopped by the Game Warden without the proper gear will get you a ticket. Don’t be that guy!

man holding dog in lifejacket over the water

  • Bring your own snacks and beverages: Sun, surf, and water will make ya hungry. Be sure to bring some snacks. Make sure it’s nothing too messy, because who likes Cheetos prints on everything?! And if you’re bringing alcohol, make sure you run it by the boat owner first, and bring enough to share. Cheers to that.

five men in a line at the bar downing beer

  •  No smoking inside the boat: Or if you have permission to do so, smoke on the rear deck. It’s just the nice thing to do. 

harry connick jr waving his finger saying no, no, no

  •  Be considerate of your ride time: Don’t be a hog on the board. Enough said! 

female wakeboarding getting drug off dock into water

  •  Bring gas money: Boats don’t run on thank yous. Be considerate of your buddy, bring $10 or $20, and offer it up for gas.

matt damon throwing money into the water

  •  Always offer to help wipe down outside/inside of the boat: This will guarantee an invite back. Often, people just thank the boat owner, grab their stuff, and head out. If you’re the person who stays back to help clean, you’ll be remembered for your courtesy (A lot of boat owners are meticulous with their "baby" and won't accept the offer... but hey, at least you offered, right!).
spongebob sailor scrubbing dirty sink

Did we miss something? We'd love to know what's on your "wakesurf etiquette" list! Let us know by commenting.

Have a question about wakesurfing? Chances are we've answered it in one of our blog posts!

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  • - offer to bring “boat friendly” snacks/ lunch for everyone. Not just yourself.
    - look up what boat friendly snacks are… not cookies, nothing that makes a mess etc.

    Mel on
  • Don’t bring a gargantuan ice chest! Bring a small one and ask the owner if there is room for it or is there possibly room for your cold items in the built in cooler!

    Brett on
  • Put your phone up. Taking pictures and video is one thing, but if all you are doing is texting/checking social media all day long then I won’t invite you back. Disconnect and enjoy the people and the experience around you.

    Donnie Fitzgerald on
  • We have a smoker in the family and when she comes in the boat I ask her to smoke in the bow because the engine is in the back. Could be bad otherwise

    Nathan on
  • Boat gas should be at the top!

    Erik Sandusky on
  • And always offer to chip in for gas. Boats don’t run on ‘thanks’.

    Brian Krail on

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