(No) Powerturns!

Share the water!  Friends Don't Let Friends Powerturn

What exactly is a power turn?

Any time a boat makes a turn at cruising speed, it's called a power turn. Although there are circumstances where a power turn might be necessary, 99% of the power turns you see out on the water are not. Instead, they are dangerous, waste fuel and produce wakes that unnecessarily churn up the water as seen in the diagram.

The linked video provides a demonstration of Powerturns.



Four reasons to avoid Powerturns….

Powerturns send wakes out in all directions, even towards the rider and unnecessarily churn up the water, thus endangering other boaters, wakeboarders, waterskiers, tubers, fishermen, etc.  (See the illustration).

Dangerous for passengers:  turning at a high rate of speed has the potential to throw passengers and gear around within the vehicle or even toss them out of the vehicle.

Powerturns can contribute or shoreline erosion.  The wake from a powerturn is sent outward at approximately 270 degrees from the boat and can often reach shores and contribute to erosion.

Powerturns waste fuel.  Perhaps a ‘no brainer’ but still worth mentioning.

What's the alternative to power turning?

When you go to pick up your rider, start by pulling the throttle to the idle position before initiating the turn. Once the boat has slowed down to a speed where there is no wake, idle around the turn. It's often a good idea to wait for the boat's wakes to pass by before initiating the turn. Otherwise, you'll be idling through your own wakes. Then idle back to the rider and make your pickup.

A slow, controlled turn increases safety and reduces waves.

When are power turns acceptable?

In fact, there is the occasional situation in which a power turn might be advisable. If you have to return to your fallen rider quickly because they appear to be injured or in distress, a power turn may be the best way to get there quickly. Or, a situation in which your rider appears to be in danger because of approaching boat traffic that would require you to get back to him or her quickly. In these situations, power turning is not only acceptable, but probably a good idea.

Share the lake safely…

Every time a power turn is initiated, it adds to the general roughness of the water making wakeboarding and waterskiing more difficult and unpleasant for all, including the boater that created them!    A lake full of boaters that work to eliminate the number of waves they generate will provide a much better day for all than a lake full of power turners