1. No Powerturns. No need to hammer down the throttle when going to pick up your rider. It is more efficient, safer and keeps the water in your riding area calm for yourself and others to enjoy. If your rider is hurt or in danger I can see the sense of urgency required but even then, keep calm and controlled while operating the vessel. In all other cases please be kind and retrieve riders with others in mind.
2. Offer gas money. A lot of times friends take turns and go on each others boats and it all evens itself out, but its always a kind gesture to offer and that will ensure future sets and maybe turn into life long wake riding friends.
3. Don't step on the cushions with your boots or board on. Sure Darin Shapiro likes to get ready and with his board on the sundeck and ruin upholstery, but he's Darin Shapiro, let me see you do a Speedball (double front flip). If your not Darin Don't Do It- Thats a good motto. People work hard to keep their boats nice, clean and tear free. The sun, weather and cleaning chemicals can take a toll on the stitching and fabric alone...we don't need your fins or boots adding to it.
4. Don't wind the tow rope up around your arm like an extenstion chord. We have all done it a time or two. Maybe thats what you prefer, but everytime I have had someone do that it ends up in a huge mess, also I don't like anything like ropes wrapped around any body parts while in the boat. Anything can happen. Maybe ask if how you can help wrap the rope up or if they would just rather do it themselves. They make these really cool rope hooks similar to ones you would see on a vacuum cleaner that keep the rope off the floor, untangled and perfect for riding every time...and for $40 can't beat it!... Check them out HERE.
5. Tower Speakers. They are AWESOME and I think everyone should have them on their boat. But WITH GREAT SOUND COMES GREAT RESPONSIBILITY. There is no need to disrupt the peace from any time between sunrise and 10 am. Thats my rule. Let the fishermen fish, let the surfers surf, let the riders ride... in peace. Crank those speakers up when you have a crew on your boat and having a good time. Everyone loves to have a good time but people hate being left out of a party.
6. Wakes and respectful distance. This is a controversial subject right now in a lot of places. BUT I will say that this goes for EVERYONE. I'm talking tubers, jet skiers, wakeboarders, skiers and surfers and really anyone putting off a wake. It is prohibited to ride or drive your vessel within 50 feet of docks and shorelines and other boats. Sure that is hard to measure with your eye when your out driving and having fun on the water but think about it, your rope is typically 50-80 feet long. If your rider is able to cut out and touch dock or shoreline you shouldn't be that close. This is safer for the rider as well as preserving the shore and docks.. not to mention keeping the peace with your lake neighbors.
7. Be a better boat driver. Let's respect driving boats the same as driving and texting or fidgeting with playlists on the road. Have a playlist set, have your conversations, Facebook, Twitter and Instragram on pause while towing or driving. YOUR ON THE LAKE! ENJOY! Sure, there may be more space and no lanes on the lake but there is nothing worse than a rider trying to get a trick in and they driver is texting or changing music or driving with their feet and can't keep a straight line. More importantly lets emphasize the safety aspect. Boats react slower than cars so if you put yourself in a bad situation by texting, the outcome can be much worse. Let's all be better, watch the water and the riders with more attention.
8.Try something new every time you ride. This has been a goal of mine for some time now and it has helped my riding not be quite as stagnant and keeps things fun. It doesn't have to be that you try a 1080 or a Speedball (see #3) but try grabbing a trick in a new spot, try adding a 180 to a flip or spin and this will enhance your riding quicker than you can imagine. Plus its fun to get that feeling of a new trick, even if its something small.
9. Try driving without Perfect Pass or any type of set speed system on your boat. I know it seems like visiting a museum of the stone age. But it will make you a better boat driver learning to hold speed and control the boat without it because the sad truth is depending on your speed system, dirt or leaves can get caught on your paddle wheel, cruise control can be weird and lock up and when its a beautiful day on the water you can let that hold you back!
10. HAVE FUN! That's why we all got into the sport and think about it all day everyday right!? Stick to your roots, get frustrated less and smile. You are on the water :)
Wear Sunscreen... always. That one is for you mom!