Are you looking for a new hobby that will get you out on the lake this summer? Water skiing is the perfect option! It will not only get you out onto the water and enjoying the fresh air, but it will also give you a good workout! Whether you’ve been skiing a few times already or you’re completely new to the game, we’re going to give you some tips and tricks to help you learn to water ski with confidence!
What do I need?
Before you even step foot onto the boat, you’ll want to be sure that you have all of the gear necessary to keep you safe and comfortable so that you can learn to water ski with ease!
When it comes to picking out the perfect pair of water skis for beginners, selecting something that’s wider is often a good choice! This will make it easier for you to get up and stay standing while you learn to water ski. Combo water skis are a great choice for those who are planning to advance to slalom skiing later on. If you’re teaching your child to ski, you may want to start them with a pair of trainer skis that are better designed for a body their size and will help them start off on something that feels more stable and manageable.
In addition to your water skis, you’ll want to be sure that you have a pair of bindings that fit your feet comfortably while you’re standing. Some skis come with bindings, but others don’t. There are many styles, and most of them are adjustable so that you can easily find the perfect fit as you learn to water ski.
A water ski handle is another necessity! Choose something that will give you a good grip and keep your hands comfortable. Be sure that the rope is also a decent length. The standard length of a water ski rope is around 70 feet.
Last but certainly not least, you’ll need to make sure you’re wearing a life jacket to keep
you afloat if you wipe out (and if you’ve never water skied before, prepare to wipe out a few times!). If you’re not sure which style is right for you, check out our guide on how to choose a life jacket.
Learn to Water Ski
Now that you’re all geared up, it’s time to learn to water ski! The first thing to remember is that attitude is everything! Go in with a positive attitude and know that you might not get the hang of it right away. That is totally okay! I may take a few tries but keep at it! You also want to keep an eye on the conditions before you go out. If it’s windy and the lake looks choppy, it may not be the best time to attempt water skiing for the first time.
First, you’ll want to start out in deep water, so be sure you find a good spot in the lake where not too many others are around. This will hopefully reduce waves from other boaters and vehicles that are out.
You’ll start in a seated position in the water behind the boat while wearing your life jacket and water skis. Your skis should be pointed up and out of the water and legs bent. Don’t keep your feet too far apart from each other, but be sure they also aren’t too close to the point of overlapping. You should be holding the rope handle firmly with the rope between your two water skis. Keep your knees to your chest and arms straight.
Once the boat starts driving, you’ll naturally feel some tension as you start to be pulled. Bring yourself to a standing position while keeping your knees bent. It’s helpful to also stay leaning back a little bit. This will prevent you from falling forward. You may want to stay crouched down for the first few seconds until you’re comfortable enough to straighten your legs a little more and come to more of a fully standing position. It might take time to get used to this or even get the hang of standing up at all, so again, don’t rush it! One good tip is to keep your head up and looking out, rather than looking down at the water and your feet below you.
After you’ve started feeling confident with standing and being pulled along, you can begin to move back and forth behind the boat a little bit. Eventually, this will lead to being able to successfully ride over the wake. Bending your knees will help steer your and get you over the wake with plenty of control. Again, this will take practice and might not be something you pick up right away as you learn to water ski! Be patient and keep at it!
Ready to learn to water ski this summer? Keep these tips in mind and be sure to check out our complete water sports shop for all of your on-the-water gear this year!