If you own a jet boat, ski boat, or any other craft that lends itself well to watersports, chances are you spend a good amount of time on the water pulling riders. We sat down with Pro Wakeboard Tour driver and owner/operator of The Boarding School in Orlando, Travis Moye. Travis has pulled thousands of riders and knows what it takes to pull a rider like a professional. We’ve got six great tips from Travis below to help you tow like a pro and improve your sessions.
1. Communicate with rider before they get in the water
This will save you time at the beginning of a session and allow the rider to feel comfortable from the get-go. Ask them what their preferred speed, ballast setting and rope length are. Knowing this will allow you to cater the pull to the rider.
2. Make sure that your cockpit is set up for you before leaving the dock
Be comfortable before you leave the dock and make sure the cockpit is set up for you. This includes adjusting the seat and mirror, having your music set up and ready to play and anything else you need to do in order to feel comfortable before pushing off the dock.
3. Don’t drive in circles
Although it is mandatory in some states that you drive a circle around the lake when pulling your rider, if you live in a state where this isn’t mandatory it’s much better for the rider and all the other boats on the lake if you find a line and everyone shares it. If you drive in circles, you send your wake in every direction, making the water too choppy for anyone to enjoy a smooth ride.
4. Have a rider down flag for states that require it
Some states require that you use a rider down flag. If you live in one of these states, make sure you have a passenger in the observer seat who is always paying attention to the rider and knows how to use the flag.
5. Turn down music after a fall
When circling back to pick up a fallen rider, turn the music down so you can communicate with them. This is a great opportunity to make sure you are still on the same page, perhaps you were going just a little too fast for the rider or the ballast needs to be re-adjusted.
No matter how good of a driver you think you are, there is always room for improvement! Towing a rider is a huge responsibility and you should never be complacent.