Waterskiing is one of the most classic watersports and has been popular with people of all ages since it was first invented in 1922. Unlike more complicated sports, basic waterskiing techniques are relatively easy to master and can be done on any body of water wide and deep enough for a powerboat.
Many people choose to pursue waterskiing recreationally, however if you’re interested in more advanced waterskiing there are instructors who can help improve your skills and even annual competitions for the most talented riders. If you love the thrill of the wind in your hair and like to have fun out on the water, then waterskiing could be right up your street.
To get started you’ll need the basic equipment and an experienced waterskier who can help ensure you stay safe as you learn.
Start with the essentials; you’ll need a good lifejacket that is designed to support your bodyweight – it’s not uncommon to fall while waterskiing, particularly in your first few attempts and you’ll need to stay afloat in open water until you get back up on the skis. Large stores like Boat World will have what you’re looking for, along with the other equipment you need to get going all under one roof.
To gain enough speed on the water you’ll need a boat that reaches speeds of at least 20-25 miles an hour and is strong enough to securely fasten a rope and tow you behind it. If you don’t own a boat already, Power Boat Hire are a great place to find one to rent.
There are a variety of different water skis you can choose from and shops like Craig Cohoon Watersports can advise beginners on what will best suit their needs.
Finally, choose a strong rope and handle so you can get a firm grip while you’re jetting along. The rope should be slightly elastic to help absorb shock when you cross the boat wake, and will help you maneuver turns with ease. Make sure the rope is long enough so you can keep a safe distance from the boat – between 70 – 75 feet.
Some tips and tricks
The British Ski & Wakeboard Association is a tool you can use to help find clubs all over the United Kingdom. The advantage of this is you can practice and connect with other people who share your passion for waterskiing and will help your skills improve.
If you’re intending to pursue waterskiing as a recreational hobby there are many guides that offer tips and tricks about how waterskiing works. For an in-depth look, try this article on waterskiing from How Stuff Works – it covers the basics right through to equipment, technique and the different types of skis. For a quick overview, this guide called How to Water Ski on Two Skis will give you an at-a-glance look at the basics.
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