- Make sure the skier or rider is safely away from the stern of the boat before starting the engine, and verify the person is safely back in the boat at the end of the session.
- Observe the skier or rider’s start. The driver can help the person in the water by verifying the line is taut and the skier or rider is in proper position. An anxious individual may signal the driver to go when the skier or rider is not ready.
- Check on the crew in the boat, making sure everyone is properly seated and their hands are away from the towline.
- Make sure the boat’s wake is symmetrical and even on both sides. If the boat’s wake is turbulent, drivers of outboards and sterndrive boats can trim down the engine to achieve a cleaner, smoother wake.
- Be aware of the skier or rider’s location in the water at all times.
- Observe boating traffic behind the person you are towing. You don’t want a boat or personal watercraft to come close to the person in tow, in case that person falls.
- Aid the person you are towing. For example, someone who is bent forward at the waist or apprehensive could use a little less speed, while a bit more speed might benefit someone not coming out of the water easily.
- See the moment the skier or rider falls. This allows the driver to react immediately and decelerate, keeping the boat near the fallen skier. Every second the driver is not aware the individual fell, the boat travels farther away. The goal is to stay as close to the fallen skier or rider as possible. If the individual wants to continue, the mirror allows you to observe the towline as you circle the skier or rider.