Skip to main content

Oregon State Flag An official website of the State of Oregon »

Towed Watersports Education Program

Do you want to wakeboard, waterski, or tow tubers in the Newberg Pool? 

The "Newberg Pool" on the Willamette River is an area defined as a "congested zone" and is characterized by its deep water from the mouth of the Yamhill River at river mile 55 to Willamette Falls at river mile 26.6. This stretch of river meanders through Clackamas, Marion, and Yamhill Counties. 

Per ORS 830.649, boat operators must:

  • Complete an online education course
  • Carry a Towed Watersports Education Card

Boat owners must also:

  • Apply for Towed Watersports decals and verify the boat meets weight requirements set by the Oregon Legislature in the statute. Decals must be displayed on the bow of the boat.

This is proof for law enforcement that the boat operator is knowledgeable in towed watersports safety, wave management techniques, and operator responsibilities for accident prevention.

Towed Watersports Study Guide      |      Towed Watersports Exam

If you require a different format or other assistance, please contact the Marine Board's Education Program at 503-378-5158. 

To obtain a Towed Watersports Education Card, you must have your boater education card in Oregon or from another state and have passed the test associated with the Towed Watersports Education Program ​study guide. Oregon does not accept out-of-state Towed Watersports Courses.

Upon completion of the test and receipt of payment, you will be mailed a Towed Watersports Education Card and a decal. Every boat engaged in towed watersports in this area MUST have this decal, and every operator MUST have a current endorsement card. If you plan to operate someone else’s boat, you must complete this training, carry your card, and ensure that the boat has a current boat decal. If you have multiple boats, you may order additional decals, but you should ensure that your boats are operated ONLY by a card-holding adult. In addition to the endorsement card, you must carry your Boating Education Card.

Because the Marine Board must review applications to determine whether boats meet weight requirements set by Oregon Revised Statute, there is no temporary operating permit that substitutes for the boat decal. Boats that qualify for this program must have a Maximum Loading Weight (dry weight plus factory ballast capacity) of less than 5,500 lbs. Boats that do not meet this size requirement may still operate on the Newberg Pool, but cannot qualify for the boat decal.​

Anyone engaged in towed watersports on the Willamette River between river miles 26.6 (Willamette Falls) and 55 (the confluence of the Yamhill River) is required to carry a Towed Watersports Education Card.​​ Wake surfing is prohibited on this portion of the river.

​This means anyone who is operating the boat for the purposes of towed watersports needs to carry this card along with their Boater Education Card, even if they are not the owner of the boat.  

Boat dealers are not exempt from the requirement for on-water demos.

To obtain a Towed Watersports Education Card, you must have your boater education card in Oregon or from another state and have passed the test associated with this study guide.  Oregon does not accept out-of-state Towed Watersports Courses.​ You can apply through our Boat Oregon Store.​

​Boat owners who plan on using their boat on the Willamette River between river mile 26.6 and 55 to participate in towed watersports are required to apply for the Towed Watersports boat decal.

​Only one registered owner of a boat is required to apply for the decal. 

In order to qualify for the Towed Watersports Boat Decal, you must provide the Marine Board with an application that includes:
  • Make, model, and year
  • Dry Weight as reported by the manufacturer and boat length
  • Maximum Ballast Weight as reported by the manufacturer.
The rules for this program specify that the "Maximum Loading Weight" which is the combined dry and ballast weight, must not exceed 5,500 lbs in order to receive the decals. 

Boats larger than 5,500 lbs. are not eligible for the program and cannot operate for the purposes of towed watersports on the Newberg Pool. These boats may still cruise or engage in other activities along this section of the river. 

Once your application has been approved, you will receive your decals by mail. Apply decals to the front half of the boat on both the starboard and port sides in the manner specified on the information that comes with the decal.

The study guide is available online.

You can take the exam online.

​Per Oregon Administrative Rule (OAR 250-018-0200​), the card and decals need to be renewed every two calendar years. The cost is $20 and the renewal fee is $20. The card and decals are non-transferrable. 

​In 2019, the Oregon Legislature passed House Bill 2352 directing the Marine Board to create a Towed Watersports Education Program for wakeboarders and wake surfers on the Newberg Pool. This law went into effect on January 1, 2020. 

Senate Bill 1589, passed during the 2022 legislative session, made modifications to the Towed Watersports Program. In addition to prohibiting wake surfing in the Newberg Pool (Willamette Falls to the Yamhill River), it requires Towed Watersports Education for anyone engaged in towed watersports in this stretch of river. Boat owners must also apply for the Towed Watersports Education Certificate, which comes in the form of decals to be placed on the bow of the boat. ​

​If you would like to learn more about the Towed Watersports Education Program, please email Jennifer Kent at​.​

To discuss the legislation, laws, and rules related to the Newberg Pool, please contact our Policy and Environmental Program Manager.