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Discover
how Wisconsin protects waterways by holding them in trust for everyone to enjoy.
Find
the permits you need for your waterfront property projects.
Learn
about the permit process that protects public waters.

Waterway protectionWater ski platforms

A water ski platform is a gently inclined platform with a smooth surface, used by water skiers to take off in order to execute jumps.

Water Ski Platforms

Water Ski Platforms

Under state law, any placement of a structure in public waters requires a permit.

Buoys

If you need to place marker buoys around your waterski platform or jump, an additional permit may be needed. For more information, see Waterway Markers (Buoys).

Lighting

Ski platforms or jumps located more than 200 feet from shore must be lit with a white light during the hours from sunset to sunrise. These structures, no matter how far from shore, should be well marked both day and night to warn boaters of the navigational hazards. Contact your local WI DNR conservation warden for lighting requirements (see Wisconsin DNR Service Center / Regional Offices).

Determine permit required

This is a text version of our water ski platform interactive question and answer module to help you understand which permit you need. If you are seeing this message, you currently have JavaScript disabled or are in compatibility mode while using Internet Explorer. This text version is here to help you understand if you need a permit from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for your water ski platform project, and if so, which one. Please go through and answer each question. This will help you determine which permit you will need.

Question 1 :

Please choose the answer that best describes your project:

If your answer is "I would like to place a water ski platform or jump,” go to Question 2.

If your answer is "I would like to place a slalom course,” go to Question 4.

Question 2 :

Are you placing the water ski platform or jump in your riparian zone?

If your answer is "Yes,” go to Question 3.

If your answer is "No,” :

You've answered No:

You will not be eligible for a permit from the DNR unless you obtain written permission from the riparian owners, whose property the platform or jump will lie in front of.

If your answer is "I don't know,” :

You've answered I don't know:

Please see the department’s Pier Planner [PDF] which describes how to determine the location of your riparian zone.

Question 3 :

Will the location of your proposed water ski platform or jump have adequate water depth and clearance for safe water skiing?

Please review Wisconsin’s boating laws for water skiing regulations [PDF].

Also the National Show Ski Association typically recommends water ski jumps be placed in no less than 5-6 feet of water. For more information about national show ski recommendations see the National Show Ski Association Policies and Procedures Manual [PDF].

If your answer is "Yes,” :

You've answered Yes:

Based on your answer, you may be eligible for an individual permit to place a water ski platform or jump.

To apply for an individual permit, please visit the individual permits page.*Please note: WAMS ID and password needed to apply. If you do not have a WAMS ID, you must register for one prior to proceeding.

For a sample drawing of a water ski platform or jump please see Sample Drawing [1] [PDF]/

Please also be aware there are additional permit standards you must meet while placing your water ski platform or jump. For example:

  1. The platform or jump cannot interfere with public rights;
  2. The platform or jump cannot interfere with other waterfront property owners
  3. Ski platforms or jumps located more than 200 feet from shore must be lit with a white light during the hours from sunset to sunrise. These structures, no matter how far from shore, should be well marked both day and night to warn boaters of the navigational hazards. Contact your local WI DNR conservation warden for lighting requirements (see Wisconsin DNR Service Center / Regional Offices)
  4. All water skiing activities are subject to the provisions of ss. 30.66 and 30.69 which forbid water skiing within 100 feet of an anchored occupied boat, marked swimming area, public boat landing, dock, raft, pier or buoyed restricted area. Please review Wisconsin’s boating laws at http://dnr.wi.gov/files/PDF/pubs/LE/LE0301.pdf

Please note that there are additional permit standards you must meet before the department may approve the permit. Please review the additional standards, found in the department’s checklist [PDF] prior to applying for a permit.

As always, before starting any project, please make sure that there are no federal or local regulations for water ski platforms or jumps in your location.

If your answer is "No,” :

You've answered No:

Based on the information that has been provided, it is unlikely that you will be eligible for a permit from the DNR.

Question 4 :

Will you be removing the slalom course at the end of every day?

If your answer is "Yes,” :

You've answered Yes:

You will not need a permit under Ch. 30.12 for the placement of the slalom course but please review the department’s website for slalom buoys for additional approvals of buoys or waterway markers for slalom courses under NR 5.09(7)(b), Wisconsin Administrative Code.

If your answer is "No,” :

You've answered No:

Based on your answer, you may be eligible for an individual permit to place a water ski platform or jump under s. 30.12, Wis. Stats. To apply for an individual permit, please visit the individual permits page.*Please note: WAMS ID and password needed to apply. If you do not have a WAMS ID, you must register for one prior to proceeding.

Please note that there are additional permit standards you must meet before the department may approve the permit. Please review the additional standards, found in the department’s checklist [PDF] prior to applying for a permit.

Also please review the department’s website for slalom buoys for additional approvals of buoys or waterway markers for slalom courses under NR 5.09(7)(b), Wisconsin Administrative Code

Exemptions

  • There are no exemptions for water ski platforms.

Laws

Applicable statutes and codes include Section 30.135 and Section 30.61(6)(a), Wis. Stats. [PDF exit DNR].

Local permits and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regulations may also apply. We advise you to contact your local zoning office and your regional U.S. Army Corps of Engineers office [exit DNR].

Last revised: Wednesday November 05 2014