How to Buy Water Skis

By Published On: October 12th, 20210 Comments
Maybe you’ve been water skiing a few times and are ready to buy your very own pair of water skis or you’re brand new and looking to get started! Remember, there are a lot of things to keep in mind before you decide to buy water skis. After all, you don’t want to purchase something only to find out that it’s the wrong size or style for what you’re hoping to accomplish out on the water. Luckily, we’ve put together a guide to help you buy water skis, so keep reading!

Combo Skis vs Slalom Skis

When you’re considering how to buy water skis, especially if this is your first time, you first need to choose whether you want combo skis or slalom skis. What are the differences between the two? Combo skis are what most people start out on. They are a set of two skis (one for each foot) that are usually wide, making them easier to learn on, although they come in a variety of shapes, so that you can find something that works best for you. Sometimes combo skis, especially ones designed for children, come with trainer bars that connect the skis together as you’re learning to ride behind the boat. Slalom skis, on the other hand, are usually sold as a single ski. Unlike combo versions, a slalom ski has two bindings on the one ski, one behind the other. They are widest under the front binding and have a narrow tail.

Water Ski Sizing

Obviously, you’ll want to get something that fits you when you buy water skis. Sizing is more important for slalom than for combo, but it’s still important to keep in mind regardless of what you’re looking for. The two biggest things to consider are weight and speed when it comes to water ski sizing. Not sure what speed you’ll be skiing? Continue reading below!


Beginner water skiers will likely start off by cruising at speeds under 30 MPH, so look for skis that are suited to this speed and your weight if you’re new to the sport. If you’re looking to buy water skis that are a better fit for an intermediate water-skier, you’ll want to look for an option that is best at speeds from around 30-33 MPH. For advanced skiers, you’ll want something that cruises best at 34+ MPH. Again, be sure you are also taking your weight into consideration when looking at water ski sizing charts!

Flex, Rocker, and Shape

Flex refers to how flexible the ski feels, which you may want to consider when you buy water skis. The more flexible, the easier it will be to turn, whereas stiff designs will be more stable while also allowing you to ride at faster speeds. Rocker is the amount of curve the ski has from its tip to its tail. The more rocker or curve the ski has, the easier you’ll be able to turn. Options that have less rocker, however, will allow you to ride faster because they will not have as much drag, this can be overwhelming for beginners but beneficial for experienced skiers. Lastly, shape is another thing you may want to keep in mind when you buy. Beveled edges along water skis will allow for more stability and a forgiving feel, making them a good option for those who are just starting out or those who are building up their confidence on the water. Performance skis, on the other hand, have an edge-to-edge concave shape which helps you ride more easily on edge. These are better suited for advanced water skiers.

Water Ski Construction

This might not necessarily be the most important element when you’re looking to buy water skis, but water skis vary in how they are constructed, which can affect their quality. The most high-end water skis are constructed with carbon or graphite materials and feature compression molding for a variable flex in specific areas of the ski. Rim molding is more often found in combo skis and provides more durability.

Other Gear to Keep in Mind

After you buy water skis that fit your needs and riding style, you’ll want to be sure you have the rest of the gear you need! Bindings are the next most important element when it comes to your set-up, so choose something that fits comfortable and adjusts well to your feet. You also can’t water ski without a proper water ski line and handle that’s comfortable to grip as you cruise around behind the boat. And don’t forget to wear a life vest! Are you ready to buy water skis this season so that you can keep upping your skills and enjoying time spent on the lake and behind the boat? Be sure to check out our complete water ski shop to find all that you need!

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