Nipmuc Ski Club’s Safety Rules and Hand signals

“Safety is everyone’s responsibility. It is “Rule One”. It is an attitude in which everyone assumes responsibility for their own equipment, safety and wellbeing and looks out for the safety and wellbeing of others as well.”USA Water Ski Official Safety Manual & Policy Handbook

Safety is our number #1 concern.  We want everyone to have a SAFE and FUN time on the water!

General Safety Rules:

  • Only USA Water Ski members may handle equipment or be on the docks during ski activities.  ( Non USA Water Ski members may observe and cheer on from shore.  )
  • A USA Water Ski certified Safety Director MUST be on site for all Club Sanctioned Ski Activities.   The safety director should be focused on safety issues only and should not be a spotter, driver or judge for the event.
  • There is absolutely no alcoholic beverages permitted during club activities.  Smoking is also not permitted on any boat.
  • Only drivers,  people skiing, and skiers “on deck” should be on the docks unless designated by the Safety Officer.
  • Absolutely no running on the docks is allowed.
  • Enjoy the sport by being courteous to others using the waterways. Courtesy is contagious.

Skier Responsibilities:

  • Each SKIER will be solely responsible for the quality of safety of his/her equipment.   The SKIER is responsible for repairs to their equipment if it is deemed unsafe. Check your equipment regularly. Be sure the skis do not have sharp or protruding surfaces that could cut or scrape the skier, check towlines for frayed areas or broken bridles and handles. Repair or replace damaged or unsafe articles.
  • All SKIERS, when they have fallen in the water, will make sure they let the operator of the boat know that they are okay by giving the OKAY sign.  If an OKAY sign is NOT given – the driver, spotter and safety officials will assume the skier is injured and act accordingly.
  • All SKIERS must use a Coast Guard approved floatation device or a wetsuit designed specifically for skiing.
  • Use of protective head gear is mandatory for those skiers going over the jump or those doing “cross unders”.
  • Don’t give the signal to start until the slack has been taken out of the line and you are sure you are clear. Keep your ski tips up.
  • Never ski to the point of excessive fatigue.
  • All SKIERS must be in control of their skis and make every effort to avoid obstacles such as boats, docks,  swimmers, animals, and any other non-skiing apparatus in the water.    Failure to ski safely and in control may result in suspension.
  • Know and use the skier signal, particularly important is the skier’s OK signal if you are all right after a fall.
  • If you fall in an area where there is other boat traffic, lift one ski more than half way out of the water as a signal to other boaters.

Safety Director Responsibilities:  

  • A USA Water Ski certified Safety Director MUST be on site for all Club Sanctioned Ski Activities.
  • The Safety Director is responsible for making sure that all skiing and all activities are done safely.
  • If an injury did occur, it is the Safety Director’s responsibility that adequate medical personal and transportation to medical facilities are on site or can be accessible within a reasonable time period.
  • The Safety Director is responsible for the oversight of the safe condition of all equipment, facilities, and operation of the practice/ski night and has the authority to shut down skiing when he/she feels an unsafe condition exists.
  • The Safety Director has the authority to stop any skier from skiing if they feel that skier is a danger to themselves or other individuals.

Driver And Spotter Responsibilities: 

  • The OBSERVER/SPOTTER must be at least 13 years of age and have a Personal Flotation Device (PFD) ON at all times.
  • Only USA Water Ski approved and sanctioned drivers will be allowed to pull skiers or serve as a pick up boat during club activities.
  • Approved “Trick-Releases” MUST be used for any skier performing tow-holds, or do not hold the handle in their hands at all times.  This include acts such as straps and “flip starts” where the rope may be wrapped around the skiers body.
  • A “Safety/Pick Up” boat will be required for any show skiing tournament or show.
  • If the spotter does not spot a fallen skier giving the “OKAY” signal – the driver and spotter must assume that the skier is injured and act accordingly.
  • Under NO circumstances shall an injured skier be lifted passively over the side of a boat.
  • Always ensure that the boats motor is “Off” when a skier is entering the boat from the water.