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Opinion >  Letters

Surfers hurt small lakes

Your wake-surfing article covered only one side of an issue. I first tried wake surfing over 30 years ago and agree that it is a fun and rewarding activity. Unfortunately, the sport has been totally changed by new developments. The search for bigger thrills and bigger waves has created the new towboats equipped with bladders and other technology designed to make huge wakes. Those wakes may be annoying on large lakes but on small lakes they are damaging.

A neighbor here at Spirit Lake called me in late June, reporting towels and chairs thrown from a dock by the monster wake of a surfer. Boats have been damaged when tossed into or even on top of the dock to which they are moored. Docks themselves are damaged. The massive waves interfere with other recreation that requires smoother water. Increased bank erosion harms water quality and real property.

For these reasons, boats designed to enhance wakes don’t belong on our smaller lakes. Encourage your state and local officials to act. Ask the wake surfers you know to avoid small lakes. The sport shouldn’t be banned but should be limited to large lakes where large waves dissipate naturally before reaching shore.

Sid Wurzburg

Spirit Lake

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