Water Skiing is a very fun hobby to add if you love the outdoors and are active. This is not a lot of stress on your joints and the water and life jacket provide a safe landing. Even though it may look hard, if you just practice enough it becomes easy. The following steps will help you learn how to water ski and understand the steps to make you successful at your new hobby.
Step 1: Boating and Water Safety
Before you jump right in you need to make sure that you take an online boating safety course in your area to make sure you are following the laws that are established. It is also important that the driver of the boat, the observer, and the skier know the hand signals and correct starting and stopping procedures. Once you complete this step you can feel safe about learning how to ski.
Step 2: Finding the Right Water Ski
There are many factors that go into finding the ski that works for you:
The first is the boat size and speed the faster the boat and more powerful the boat the easier it will be for the ski to lift you out of the water. This makes it easier because it depends less on the ski and more on the boat and driver.
The second is the body wight, the heavier the person the longer you want the ski to be. This allows more water surface to be displaced and keep the skier on top the water faster and longer.
The third is the boot system because this is what holds your feet in so you want to make sure they are sung but not sitting off your circulation. This is going to feel strange but after wearing it and using them a couple of times they will start to feel more normal.
The last is the skill level because you will want to get a basic ski that is a normal price that does not have all the attached fins and extra because this will allow you to get a feel as you start to practice more and more.
If you follow these things and talk to an expert in the store you should leave with the correct ski to get you started.
Step 3: Type of Life Jacket
The life jacket is the most important step in safety because if you crash and lose you direction of which way is up the life jacket will always bring you to the surface. It is important for the user to know that you must wear the life jacket that is for your weight range and fits snug around your body to prevent it from coming off or sinking.
When looking for one just read the size and weight range and try it on making sure to pull the straps tight to give it a proper fit. Always zip and slip the life jacket before entering the water because once you are in it becomes very hard and is not safe.
Step 4: Buy an Appropraite Ski Rope
A ski rope is different than other boat ropes because it can take the stress from the weight of the skier and the boating starting and stopping. It is also important to buy a rope that is at least 55 feet away from the stern of the boat. This will keep the skier safe and away from the motor and allow the skier to enjoy the ride. The rope gives directions on how to attach it to the boat and were to anchor the end. The rope sometimes come with a padded handle so double check when you are purchasing one. This handle provides enough grip and cushion to give a nice ride although your hands will be sore after because they are holding your right. After a while you will get use to it and it will feel natural.
Step 5: Dry Run
Either on land or in the boat wet the ski and try it on to see which foot goes in from and which foot goes in the back. Make sure you tighten your laces or straps to ensure that they stay on. This is the most important step because even though they will both feel strange one should feel better and more stable than the other. Then have someone hold the rope while you have the handle and squat down till you'r a small ball. Then you must keep your arms straight while you stand and remember to lean back. Following this when you get in the water are very important. If you do not keep your arms straight then you will fall over your ski, if you don't keep your arms straight then you will not have balance, and if you don't center your balance you will fall over sideways.
Step 6: First Couple of Attempts
When you first try you will fall a lot!! this is normal and it can be frustrating but try to have a sense of humor and laugh. Each time you fall try to think what happened and hopefully you will be able to stay up longer and longer. The driver and you need to communicate on if you feel like the boat was moving to fast or slow because this varies from person to person depending on a lot of variables. If your ski comes off make sure you loosen them and then tighten them again. Always think of the beginning steps to make sure you have the same form and then you will have more success.
Step 7: Practice, Practice, Practice
Once you get the hang of starting and staying up you can practice more advanced things. Work on leaning back and leaning side to side to weave back and forth. You will feel the shift in change and be able to go off the wake that the boat creates. This is were the fun really starts to take place and you can move faster and learn how to start baby tricks. You should feel like you are pretty comfortable at starting and stoping.
Step 8: Learning Tricks
Some wakes are big enough for the skier to get a little jump when you are going over it so it is important to know how to prepare for it. When you go outside the wake you need to practice going over slowly and then a little faster and then once you get the hang of that you need to start jumping. When you approach the wake look at where you are going to land not the wake this will keep you focused and not looking down. Then bend your knees and go over the wake. You should feel a little jump and then bend your knees again to absorb the shock and cushion your landing. This is where you can crash more so take baby steps.
Step 9: Storage and Cleaning
When you are done using your ski and winter starts to arrive it is important to follow these steps:
Rub down the ski to remove salt or dirty water
Losen all straps and velcro
Rinse the rope and air dry
Store in a dry place in a bin to keep from molding and the appearance looking like new
Step 10: Look at More Skiing Options
There are many types of skis that can make you become a more advanced skier. There are also different boards like wake boards that give you a different hobby to try and experience. Whatever you try just remember to start small and don't spend too much money and as you get better then you can spend more money. You can also do more research to find more water hobbies that interest you.
Have fun and enjoy the water!!