Looking to take up water skiing? Here’s an Expert’s advice on Getting Started
Water skiing is the ultimate summertime sport. The adrenaline rush of gliding on top of the water as a boat filled with your closest friends and family cheer you on (even when you fall in) is what keeps people coming back for more.
The thrill and feeling of self-accomplishment (along with a full-body workout) that water skiing provides is one of the many reasons people look to strengthen their skills, after all, the better you are at the sport, the less time you spend falling into the water while more time is spent feeling on top of the world.
From young kids to senior citizens, all can experience the fun water skiing provides, as well as every member of your family. “Water skiing is the ultimate family sport,” says Lyman.
If your family or group of friends joins a ski team, every member can get involved, and all can enjoy the ultimate water-skiing experience.
“Instead of dropping your kids off for soccer practice and sitting on the sidelines, whole families grow and learn together every weekend in the sport,” she says and explains that water skiing is one of the only activities in the world where teenagers will choose to spend the entire weekend with their parents (and maybe even party together after).
“Water skiing has no age limit—there are itty bitty skiers who can’t read yet and little old ladies in flowered swim caps who are learning the sport,” Lyman shares.
So, if you’re having doubts that you’re too old or not in shape enough to water ski, let those doubts fall into the water as you soak up these tips!
When it comes to water skiing equipment, what you’ll need depends on what discipline you are learning. There are nine recognized divisions in the sport of water skiing: Show Skiing, 3 Event, Barefoot, Hydrofoil, Wakeboard, Collegiate, Kneeboard, Racing, and Adaptive Skiing (for skiers with disabilities.)
However, for any, Lyman explains you’ll need:
Something to keep in mind: The differences in the divisions are much like the differences in snow sports; each discipline utilizes specialized equipment for both safety and performance.
Lyman’s three tips for a strong start:
“You’ll always hear water ski instructors use the old phrase “let the boat pull you” – and even though it may not make sense to virgin water ski ears, it’s true,” says Lyman. “What this means is that the boat is doing the work here, so if you try to pull your arms in to pull yourself up, you will indeed fall.”
PRO TIP: Keep your arms mostly straight (a loose bend is fine) and let your legs do all of the work!
Learn the Etiquette of the Sport—and Keep Practicing It
“Don’t be “that guy,” Lyman stresses and encourages, for whatever waterway you are using, to learn the etiquette and rules of the water. “Some lakes will have a certain direction you must go, most places require that you stay a certain distance from docks, boats, and structures; and some places may have times where you are not allowed to go at speed.” She explains.
Overall, keep a safe distance from other boaters, give leeway to other skiers using the space, and treat others on the water the way you would like to be treated. This way, it’s a great day for everybody.
Water skiing is a lifetime of opportunity that can keep your family active together or take you around the world.