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Water skiing: The Ultimate Guide (2024)

Water skiing is an exciting and fun sport that has been popular for the past decades all around the world. In this guide we'll dive into how to get started, which skis work best for you, and what you should keep in mind when going onto the water for the first time.

adsdasdWhat is water skiing?

Water skiing is a popular water sports activity where you are being towed from behind a boat. They are typically made of wood or composite materials. Water skiing is a popular summertime activity that is enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels.

How to water ski?

To water ski, you will need a few things, including a pair of skis, a boat (or cable park), a life jacket and a (soft shell) helmet. Once you have all of the necessary equipment, follow these steps:
  • Place the skis on the water, and step into them with one foot in each binding
  • Dip the skis in the water and put them on while sitting on the dock or swimming plateau.
  • Sit in the water with the tips of your skis poking out of the water surface and the tow rope between your legs. Hold onto the rope with both hands and stretch out your arms.
  • As the boat moves, pull yourself forward push the heel of your foot down.
  • Once you are moving, bend your knees and lean back slightly to help maintain your balance.
  • Use the rope to control your speed and direction. In order to turn, push the outer ski away. If you want to turn left, push away your right foot and vice versa. Aid your movement by leaning in the direction you want to move towards.
  • As you become more confident and skilled, you can try different techniques, such as cutting across the wake or jumping the wake. Just remember to always stay alert and be prepared to let go of the tow rope if necessary. Water skiing can take some practice to master, but with the right equipment and some persistence, you can learn to ski like a pro.

Remember to always wear a life jacket and follow all safety guidelines when water skiing. It's also a good idea to take lessons from a certified instructor to learn proper techniques and safety practices. Have fun!

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Which size water ski’s do I need?

Which size you need depends on a couple of things, firstly whether you would like to use Combo water skis or Slalom water skis, then consider the approximate speed you’ll be towed at, and lastly your weight is a factor in choosing the right ski for you. Use the charts as shown below to figure out which size water ski will suit you best.

Combo ski's size chart
Slalom ski's size chart

Trainer waterski's size chart


Combo ski vs slalom ski

Combo and slalom waterskiing are two different styles of water skiing that require different equipment and techniques.
Combo skis are wider and shorter than slalom skis, and they are designed to be more stable and easier to use for beginner and intermediate skiers. Combo skis are typically used for recreational water skiing and can be used for a variety of activities, such as slalom skiing, jumping, and trick skiing.
Slalom skis, on the other hand, are longer, narrower, and more curved than combo skis. They are designed for more experienced skiers who want to perform more advanced tricks and manoeuvres. Slalom skiers typically use only one ski, and they have to balance on the edge of the ski and make quick turns around the buoys.
In summary, combo skis are wider, shorter, and more stable, while slalom skis are longer, narrower, and more curved. Combo skis are suitable for beginners and intermediate skiers, while slalom skis are designed for advanced skiers who want to perform more complex tricks and maneuver.

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What are safety practices when water skiing?

Water skiing can be a fun and exciting activity, but it's important to follow safety practices to reduce the risk of injury. Here are a few safety tips for water skiing:
  • Always wear a properly fitting life jacket.
  • Make sure you have a competent boat driver who is familiar with the area and the sport of water skiing.
  • Start slow and gradually increase your speed as you gain confidence and skill.
  • Avoid skiing near other boats, swimmers, and obstacles.
  • Take a lesson from a certified instructor to learn proper techniques and safety practices.
  • Use a tow rope that is appropriate for your skill level and the type of skiing you are doing.
  • Stay alert and be prepared to let go of the tow rope if necessary.
  • Stop skiing if you feel tired or if the conditions become unsafe.
By following these safety practices, you can help ensure that your water-skiing experience is fun and enjoyable for everyone involved.

Which muscles do I work with water skiing?

Water skiing uses a variety of muscles in the legs, arms, and core. The leg muscles, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, and calf muscles, are used to control the skis and maintain balance. The arm muscles, including the biceps, triceps, and shoulder muscles, are used to hold onto the tow rope and help with balance. The core muscles, including the abs and back muscles, are used to keep the body stable and upright while on the skis. Overall, water skiing is a full-body workout that can help improve strength, endurance, and coordination.

Water skiing – Boat guide

1. Preparing the boat:
  • For water skiing, it’s preferable to have a small wake in order to ensure a smooth ride. A small wake can be achieved through having a properly balanced boat with an even weight distribution. Compared to wakeboarding, your boat needs to be able to go a bit faster to be able to keep the rider standing.
2. Determining the Speed:
  • The optimal speed for water skiing typically ranges between 20 to 36 miles per hour (32 to 58 kilometers per hour). However, the specific speed may vary depending on the rider's preference and skill level.
  • Experiment with different speeds to find the ideal pace that allows the skier to maintain control and enjoy a smooth ride.
3. Safety Practices:
  • Always wear a properly fitted, ISO-certified life vest when water skiing. Safety should be the top priority.
  • Ensure the boat's driver and spotter are experienced and knowledgeable about towing water sports and understand hand signals for communication with the rider.
  • Establish hand signals for communication between the rider and the boat's occupants. Clear communication is crucial to ensure everyone's safety. For example, once the skier has fallen, a simple thumbs up can show the people on the boat that the skier is fine and not in need of an emergency pick-up.
  • Before towing someone, make sure the area is clear of any obstacles, such as rocks, buoys, or other boats. Maintain a safe distance from shorelines, docks, and swimming areas.
4. Etiquette and Consideration:
  • Be mindful of other boaters, swimmers, and water sports enthusiasts.
  • Observe local boating regulations and laws. Understand the right of way, no-wake zones, and speed limits enforced in your area.
  • Respect the environment by properly disposing of trash and avoiding the release of pollutants or contaminants into the water.

Once all the necessary safety precautions have been taken, it’s time to have some fun!


Which water skis are best for me?

When getting water skis as a beginner, there are a few key things to consider. First, it's important to choose skis that are the appropriate size and weight for your body. Skis that are too long or heavy can be difficult to control, so it's best to start with skis that are specifically designed for beginners. Additionally, you should look for skis that are made of durable materials and have a stable, forgiving design. This will help you stay balanced and in control while you are learning. Finally, it's a good idea to choose skis that come with bindings that can be adjusted to fit your feet securely. This will help prevent you from slipping out of the skis while you are on the water.

waterski jobe overview

Jobe Water ski's


Combo Waterskis
Jobe Allegre 67” - The Allegre combo water skis are the perfect skis for the entire family and all skill levels. The tunnel bottom design and perfect blend between strength and control make these skis suitable for both combo and slalom water skiing. Choose out of three colours.
Jobe Hemi 59” - The Jobe Hemi combo waterskis are the perfect beginner waterskis. The wide profile makes starts super easy and the detachable stabilizing bar keeps your skis together. The wide profile together with the tunnel bottom design make these waterskis suitable for both combo and slalom waterskiing.
Jobe Mode 67” - These high-end skis are perfect for some serious combo skiing and enable you to transition into free ride slalom skiing really smooth. Featuring direct mount bindings, a v-bottom and extra bright fins.

Slalom Ski
Jobe Encore - The Encore slalom ski is our high-end slalom ski for real slalom ski fanatics. This high-end ski has a 3-end flex pattern to keep stiffness when you need it the most and an edge-to-edge concave to maintain maximum speed and control. The Encore is up to any task you could ever wish for, and more!
Jobe Mode - The Mode combo skis are beginner level slalom ski's that are perfect for beginning to intermediate slalom skiers. These skis have a V bottom design for easy edge to edge and better tracking.

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