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You’ve got your shiny new Axis Boat, you’re all fueled up, your crew is frothing to go ride, and you’ve got the world’s best wakes and waves to play on. There’s just one hang up…You aren’t familiar with towboat wake etiquette. Thankfully, we can change that. Here’s a rundown of how not to look like a kook this summer. 

Just like driving a car or riding a bike, there are rules that should be adhered to while you’re towing a rider. No matter what type of body of water you boat on, these tips will help keep your crew safer, water glassier, and prevent any feathers from getting ruffled. The best part is they are simple and extremely effective. Let’s jump in.

No Power Turns

This is a biggie. We understand the urge to put the hammer down and whip back around to pick up your fallen rider, but it’s a huge no-no for a lot of reasons. First, it’s dangerous. Think about it, you’ve got a rider in the water, their board may not be with them, there could be a wakeboard line out there, and you’re turning around at speed. It’s a recipe for disaster. Instead, gradually cut the throttle when your spotter says the rider is down and idle back toward them, keeping the rider on the driver’s side for better visibility. The other huge benefit to a controlled pickup is that it doesn’t throw rollers across your line and mess up your water. It’s all upside.


Per good etiquette as well as the WSIA regulations, stay at least 200 feet away from stationary objects like boats and pilings as well as the shore, other boats and fallen riders. This is a guideline, but the farther the better. In general, your body of water is going to be the deepest in the middle anyway, and since deeper water means better wakes and waves, it’s another win/win.

Turn It Down

We get it, you got the upgraded sound package. But great audio isn’t about how loud the system can get. Excessively loud music can damage hearing and create some real rifts between you and the neighbors. Sound travels much more efficiently over water, so be courteous and turn the music down to an acceptable level.

Go With The Flow

Follow the traffic rules of the specific body of water you’re on. Some lakes will only allow clockwise turns, where others are only counterclockwise. Some don’t have any posted rules at all, but there may be an assumed rule that you can pick up on by watching others riding or talking to other crews. However you find out, the take-home is to keep things as friendly and courteous as possible so everyone has a great day.

Minimize Repetitive Passes

Repeating the same line on the same shore for a long period of time can get pretty old for the homeowners in that area. Instead, run a line for a few sets and then switch to another spot.

Crew Courtesy

If someone is in the middle of a run on a calm, glassy lake, it’s best to let them finish their pass before starting yours. Especially for wakeboarding and slalom skiing, rollers in the middle of a pass can be pretty irritating, so if the situation allows, just give them a minute to finish and everyone will get better results.

Wake Responsibly

To take it a step further and help preserve our privilege to wake sports for years to come, take the pledge to wake responsibly.

Take The Pledge

Ready to Go All Out?

Contact your local dealer to schedule your on-the-water demo & join the Axis Wake Movement. You’ll be glad you did.