Wakesurfing Bill Passes Maine Legislature


The Maine legislature approved a bill that sets limits on the sport of “wakesurfing” and requires the state and boat dealers to educate boaters about the damage caused by generating large wakes in sensitive areas. Wakesurfing involves the creation of a large standing wave behind a powerboat upon which people can surf on boards, either while attached to the vessel by a tow rope or by free-surfing. Specialized boats that take on ballast to create a larger wake are often used in the sport. Wakesurfing is increasing in popularity in Maine, and has raised concerns about harm to shoreline wildlife (notably nesting loons) and erosion.

The current legislation addresses wakeboat-related impacts to wildlife and human communities, including language to prohibit an individual from operating a motorboat in less than 15 feet of water or within 300 feet of the shoreline when the motorboat is engaged in a wakesurfing activity.