New SC law targets ‘wake surfing,’ sets fines

Published: Jun. 20, 2022 at 12:31 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 20, 2022 at 7:20 PM EDT

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - A new South Carolina boating law is cracking down on what the state’s Department of Natural Resources says is a water sport that is increasing in popularity.

SCDNR defines “wake surfing” as operating a vessel that is ballasted in the stern to create a wake that another person can surf. Those boats create a significant wake that can put people’s safety at risk or damage docks and other boats.

The new law states no person may “wake surf” in excess of idle speed within 200 feet of a moored vessel, wharf, dock, bulkhead, pier, or person in the water.

Wildlife officials say violation of the law is a misdemeanor punishable by fines between $100 and $600, depending on county court fees.

Officials say the new law is designed for safety because of the increasing popularity of the activity.

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