In early September, Chad Tyler made a late night decision to send a brief, but very important e-mail to WSIA Headquarters about an issue he was hearing about in Lake Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Tyler, the General Manager of Skier’s Marine in Westover heard rumblings from a customer about the Tuscaloosa City Police Marine Patrol’s desire to ban wakesurfing by coding it as a “reckless endangerment” which is illegal on Alabama waterways. As a dealer of Malibu, Axis, Supra and Moomba Boats, Tyler was obviously concerned.
The following day, WSIA’s Larry Meddock was attending the Centurion dealer meeting in Orlando, Florida, right before Surf Expo. He read the e-mail to the group and asked if there were any attendees from Alabama. Tom Fredricks of Fredricks Marine raised his hand and introduced himself to Meddock. Fredericks immediately started making calls and engaging with the proper channels.
Within three hours, Meddock received a call from the Alabama State Marine, stating that the city of Tuscaloosa had no authority to restrict wakesurfing on the lake. Meddock engaged several more local dealers and included them in the information loop.
Due to an overwhelming outcry from local participants and active dealers, the City Of Tuscaloosa has tabled the matter and wakesurfing remains alive and well.
This story is another example of how the WSIA has the ability to engage local, state and federal agencies to protect towed water sports. If you or anyone you know is having complications with wakeboarding, wakesurfing, water skiing, parasailing or any other towed water sport, please e-mail email@example.com or call the WSIA Hotline at: 508-507-WSIA(9742).