On a warm sunny day, nothing quite feels like enjoying yourself in the open water. Water skiing is one of the most popular summer water sports for both pros and beginners. Despite its steep learning curve, when you’ve got the best Water skis and a little practice, you should be good to go.
To find the right Water skis for you, you need lots of patience, trials and errors. You also have to do extensive research as you talk to experienced skiers. You could also simply read and learn all that there is to know about water skis.
Type of Waterskis
Unknown to most people, there exist four distinct types of water skis. The design differs to meet the needs of different users and skier styles.
These types are sold as a single unit while featuring two bindings. These bindings are laid out on the skis such that one is behind the other in successional patterns. Their front parts are wider than the rear end. This shape allows a skier to decelerate faster as you approach a turn. Therefore, you have to be skilled to ride them.
These are almost similar with the slalom types, although they are somehow wider. Unlike slaloms which are meant for the skilled, these tend to lean towards beginners. The increased width makes them buoyant for a stable ride. One of their distinguishing features is the presence of side cuts for ease of turning.
These types are sold in pairs, each with its own binding. This feature makes them great for use between family members with different skill levels. If you find a good one, you should be able to use it from your beginner days until you become a pro. Such feats are possible, thanks largely to the adjustable bindings on them.
From the name, you can already deduce that they are meant for kids or junior level riders. There is always a stabilizer bar between the two skis to make it easier for kids to get up. In addition, a towrope aids the riders in keeping uniform distance between skis. You then focus solely on riding, and not skis separating.
Advantage of using Waterskis
Water skiing in your brand new ski is advantageous to your body in a number of ways. These may be health-wise, fun or just an overall body workout.
- Muscle toning. Continuous skiing develops your shoulders as you work out your arms through being pulled by the towrope.
- Improved balance. Skiing requires that you get up and then maintain an upright position. In this way, your core muscles are worked out for a better balance and posture.
- Great for resistance training. While skiing, you have to keep your feet from going into different directions. Apart from working out, you also have fun.
- Calorie Expenditure. A session of waterskiing burns you an upwards of 400 calories. This is great if you want to cut on some weight.
The Best Waterskis Reviews
For a beginner, the O’Brien Reactor Combo is a great and affordable water skis option. They are designed for those looking to start their water skiing hobby. As a result, it has a wide body for increased stability as you practice.
The whole length measures 67 inches or 170 cm. This length makes them suitable for skiers of 5 feet, 7 inches in height. Adjustable bindings make them a decent fit for adult males of foot sizes between 4.5 and 13. A plastic fin and 700 bindings make it a great asset for you.
- Comfortable bindings
- Great stability at lower speeds
- Effective nose
- Rear toes piece provided
- Tunnel channels provided for performance
- Great for beginner adults
- Quality construction
- Not meant for kids
- Poor quality control on occasions
With its 65” length and wide body, the Airhead wide body allows for greater water displacement. This feature is ideal for beginners as it gives the water skis a much superior stability and an easier startup than it would have in a narrower product.
Dual density bindings that it comes with allow those of sizes from 5 to 12 to use them. These sizes are for the United States. Another good feature is the hour glass shape. It makes for an easier to turn waterski, even for a slow boat.
- Durable composite construction
- Fits a variety of users
- Quick on the turn
- Minimal effort applied
- Very stable
- Easy startups
- Reinforced nylon fins
- Meant for beginners
Specifically made for kids, the O’Brien All-Star is an ideal waterski for teaching your kids the art of water skiing. As a learning gear, your child gets a stabilizer bar to aid him/her stabilize and prevent knee knocks. Also included is a trainer rope for the ultimate beginner experience.
If your kids weigh a maximum of 85 pounds, then these waterskis are meant for them. Bindings that can be adjusted for different feet sizes are also availed. Dual fins are molded into the rear of these water skis for the purposes of tracking speed.
- Stabilizer provided
- Includes a training rope
- Decent 46” length
- Excellent, adjustable fit for size 12 and 5
- Stabilizer can be removed once you get the hand of it
- Generous weight limit
- Poor quality control
- Connecting bolts fall of at times
Are you looking for a 68” long waterski? Here is a great one that measures 173 cm and weighs 15 pounds. Engineering of this pair of waterskis is such that it can be used by skiers weighing between 135 and 240 pounds.
The slip in adjustable bindings is flexible enough to fit size 9 to 14 without being too tight or loose. For those learners who need a stabilizer bar, you can buy one separately. A reinforced composite imparts flexibility and strength onto this water ski.
- Improved weight limit
- Lightweight, durable construction
- Wide tails
- Narrow tunnels assist
- Easy start in deep water
- Turns smoothly
- Snug fit slide in bindings
- Optional stabilizer for keeping them straight
- Relatively low weight limit
- Questionable durability
Just as the name suggests, the O’Brien Jr Vortex Widebody are intended for use by junior skiers. Both learner and intermediate skier kids enjoy the appealing parabolic shape. This shape makes it possible for beginners to start their rides in deep water.
Beginners usually experience the annoying tendency of the water skis drifting apart. But that is something that you cannot experience on these water skis. The provided stabilizer bar keeps them together for an easier pull. Dual density bindings fit right into the feet of kids of size 2 as well as men of size 7.
- Easy starts in deep waters
- Stabilizer included
- Adjustable dual bindings
- Excellent for kids
- Excellent buoyancy
- Streamlined parabolic shape
- Wide fore body for stability
- Easy to pull on the rope
- Too buoyant
- Needs more consideration for the weight limit
How to buy the best Water skis
Consider your skier skills
Skiers are grouped into competition, advanced, intermediate-advanced, intermediate, novice and first time skiers. The water ski that you intend to buy has to match your skills and capabilities. It does you no good buying a pro-rated product if you are a novice.
With this in mind, remember that combo skis are great for beginners. A slalom ski would then suit best an intermediate skier. For kids, look for a youth ski.
Your Weight relative to ski size matters
Water skis have a weight rating on them. You need to buy one that can comfortably keep you afloat and last you long. A rule of thumb is that heavy skiers are better off with a long and wide water ski. The converse should be true.
Type of brand of Water skis
There are tons of water skis manufacturers out there. This is a good thing as they have to outdo one another through the production of high quality products for skiers. Everybody has their preferences, but here are examples of brands you can expect to find.
- HO Sports
- Full Throttle
How to use the Water skis
For a beginner skier, you need to learn one or two skiing basics if you want to enjoy yourself out there. The very first step needs to be learning how to stay up and start propelling yourself. Investing in a wide water ski provides you the stability to perform all these.
The next skill then becomes carving. This skill refers to the maneuvers you use to avoid obstacles, be stable, and do the courses. For this purpose, your ski must be good at turning, with efficient fins and deeper rockers.
To get you started, below is a video that I think will help you a lot. And before you get started, ensure you are wearing a snug fitting life jacket or any floatation gear.
How to maintain the Best Waterskis
- Rinse your skis after every skiing session with warm fresh water. It washes off the salty water remains that deteriorate the ski surface if left for too long.
- Wipe dry the ski or let it dry by itself in a dry cool place.
- Keep the ski away from direct sunlight for too long
- Store them in a well aerated place with no objects lying on top of them.
- Use only biodegradable lubricants on the binding. No petroleum products should be used for lubrication.
Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q)
Q: What is the recommended Skiing Speed?
A: There is no standard speed with which the boat has to move at. What is important is that you don’t go below the minimum speed for you to stay upright. If you travel too fast, then the wake of the board will knock you off.
Q: How easy is it to care for water skis?
A: The truth is that these products do not require much. Simply wash them using warm, fresh water after a round in salty water, leave them to dry in a shaded area, then store in a dry cool spot. Keep petroleum based lubricants away from them.
Q: Can I use my wakeboard in place of a water ski?
A: In as much the skills of these two water sports are transferable and are subtle in differences, I think the gear used cannot be swapped.
Q: How do I limit spray that makes it hard for me to see when skiing?
A: The first step is to ride at a speed that matches your ability levels. Secondly, you need to correctly time your pull. Always hold your direction for as long as possible off the second wake towards the buoy.
Q: Is it possible to try out a water ski before buying it?
A: Yes. There are retailers who allow you to try out their products before buying. You just have to look carefully as it gives you a more assured buy.
Tips/tricks when buying the Best Water skis
- Buy way ahead of your weight limit. It is the only way of ensuring your weight doesn’t exceed its specification after just a couple of sessions.
- Ask around for different retail prices
- Go through all the product specifications. Double check if you might have missed on anything
- For a beginner, buy cheap. A better option might be out by the time you graduate to be a pro
Apart from the aforementioned features, there are also a host of other essential features that you should have in consideration. The material of construction, the shape of the ski edge, base shape, bindings, and fins all contribute to a better or worse skiing experience.
As you go through reviews of various products, note their features while trying to figure out which one works for you. Does the speed suit you? Is the type meant for your skills? These are examples of soul searching questions that will help you separate the grains from the chaff.
In this review, I think the Airhead Wide Body Combo Water Skis are the best water skis for a beginner. Its bindings fit great, the length is appropriate, and it’s a combo ski which is ideal for beginners.