8 Water Skiing, Wakeboarding and Paddleboarding on Lake Lanier

Wake-surfing on Lake Lanier, photograph by Robert Sutherland

Although some of us prefer watersports that use paddles or oars, others can’t have a lake vacation without “having a go” at being pulled by a mighty speed boat, jumping, flipping and dare-deviling amongst the motorcrafts’ wakes.

You will have an easy time finding a spot on Lanier to explore via skis or boards.  There are loads of nice tranquil coves with calm water.

Regardless of what kind of watersport you find enthralling, Lake Lanier is a great lake for those who are new and old to water skiing, wakeboarding and paddleboarding.

Water Skiing and Wakeboarding on Lake Lanier

Water skiing on Lake Lanier can be fun … and frightening.  Let’s face it, Lake Lanier is a very busy lake.  On the weekends it can be crazy to even try to water ski.  Regardless of the day of the week, the best time to head out on the lake is between sunrise and 9:00 AM.  You may see some fishermen, but even in the southern parts, near Young Deer Park, behind Bald Ridge Park or Shoal Creek Park, you can find calm water.

According to the Georgia State Department of Natural Resources, it’s illegal for a boat or Personal Watercraft to pull a water skier or wake boarder within 100 feet of a non-moving boat, dock, bridge, person in the water, shoreline adjacent to a residence, swimming beach, marina, or other public use area.

This law will limit you because the lake is covered in boats who don’t observe the rules.  Boaters and jet skiers will cross your wake behind the skier, so boat drivers need to be aware at all times.

It’s also difficult to ski in the narrow parts of the lake, such as up the Chestatee River, especially on the weekends.  Your best bet is to find a cove and stay there.

Water skiing on Lake Lanier is legal with just a driver in the boat, unlike in some states (such as Wisconsin).  Your boat must have a wide-angle rearview mirror.  If you don’t have a mirror, by law, you will need an observer in addition to the driver.

The lake is diligently patrolled by law enforcement officers in the summer, so make sure you have the proper number of life jackets and equipment in the boat.  Also,  make sure that your boat registration is current and you have proof of registration on board.

SUP (Stand Up Paddleboarding) on Lake Lanier

We’ve been seeing more and more Stand Up Paddle-Boarders out on the lake each year.  There’s no denying that standing up and paddling yourself around on the lake is not only a great way to get some exercise, it’s a wonderful way to pass an hour or two away from your kids, desk or stress.  If you want to give it a try while here, there are a number places on the lake where you can rent SUPs.

The Lanier Canoe and Kayak Club

The Lanier Canoe and Kayak Club has a limited amount of SUPs that they rent out seasonally on Saturdays and Sundays. SUPs rent for one hour or two hours.  Visit http://www.lckc.org to find out more information.

  • Address: 3105 Clarks Bridge Road, Gainesville, GA 30506
  • Phone: (770) 287-7888

Energy Watersports

For active fun on the open water and a close-up view of the incredible scenery at Lake Lanier, try kayaking, paddle-boarding, and wakeboarding. Beginners can receive instruction form the skilled professionals and groups can enjoy the thrill of kayaking expeditions and more.
Information for Energy Watersports:

Don Carter State Park

Don Carter State Park has SUPs seasonally available.  Make your reservation at the park’s Visitors Center.  Paddleboards are kept at the park’s beach.  If you call ahead, you might be able to rent SUPs for a group of people, even at other times of the year.

SUPs rent for one hour, for 4 hours or for 8 hours.



The Lake Lanier Visitors Guide Copyright © 2020 by LakeLanier.com. All Rights Reserved.

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