Water Ski Basics for Beginners: What You Need to Know
Skiing is one of the best winter sports. If you haven’t tried it yet, you are missing out on a lot of fun. However, we’d like to point out that you can ski beyond the snow. Even when it isn’t freezing cold, you can still go on a ski trip – on the water.
Do you want to learn water ski basics for beginners? You came to the right place. Keep on reading the rest of this short post and learn from the valuable insight’s we’ll share.
1. Prepare the Gear
The first thing that you need to do is to get your gear ready. The most important is water ski. If you are new to the sport, it is better to rent than to buy. The speed and the size of the boat are two of the most important considerations in finding a ski that works best for your needs. Your body weight is also a crucial factor.
When choosing a water ski, take a look at the boot system, which dictates how your feet will connect to the board. It is also best to choose one that is wide, especially if you are a novice. This makes it easier to balance while on the water.
Aside from the ski, another important gear is a life vest. A flotation device is necessary for your safety. Even if you know how to swim, it is a must-have. The fit should be snug and comfortable. Otherwise, you won’t be able to concentrate when skiing on water. Check the weight limit as well and do not go beyond the manufacturer’s recommendations.
The water skiing rope is also a critical piece. The length should be about 75 feet. The stretch needs to be minimal. It needs to be in good condition and without frays. It should be designed specifically for water skiing. Most importantly, see to it that it has ergonomic handles that are easy and comfortable for you to grip.
2. Practice on Ground
Practice makes perfect, even when it comes to water skiing. Before you proceed on water, practice the basic skills on ground. This prepares you for the demands of the sport.
The first thing that you need to learn is the right stance, which is crucial in maintaining your balance. The most common stance is known as the cannonball position. Wear the ski while on the ground. Put both hands on the tow rope, making sure that you grip it comfortably. Bend your knees while keeping both arms in an almost straight position. It is also important to keep the head up, which will prevent the body from falling on the water. The weight should be concentrated on the balls of the feet.
3. Learn the Hand Signals
During your practice, it is also important that you learn the basic hand signals. It is through the signals that you will be able to communicate with the one who is maneuvering the boat. You cannot just shout and expect that the driver of the boat will understand what you are saying.
If you want the boat to go faster, all that you have to do is to show a thumbs-up sign. If you want the boat to slow down, the hand signal is thumbs-down. The OK signal, on the other hand, is the same as how you would say it when you are diving. Use your index finger in a circular motion above your head if you want the boat to turn. A slashing hand motion across your neck, meanwhile, means that you would like to boat to stop, probably because you are in an uncomfortable position. Meanwhile, if you want to go back to the dock, all that you have to do is to pat the top of your head.
4. Get in the Water
After being comfortable in the dry land, and once you are already confident that you can do it, it is now time to get in the water. Prepare your body to start getting up. As you prepare, position the arms straight while holding the rope. Bend your knees and ankle. Your head should be looking straight to know where the boat is heading and to signal when it is time to start. When you are ready, signal to the driver to start moving the boat.
Now, you have to do the most complicated part - getting your body up and straight on the ski. You need to pull your knees to your chest. While you do this, your arms will be around your knees and the rope will be sitting in the skis. Lean on your back and let your life vest position your body on the top of the water. While you do this, see to it as well that your skis are pointing forward.
As the boat starts to pull you, lean on your back. Keep your cannonball position, which is the stance we talked about earlier. Do not stand up quickly. Start with your knees slightly bent. Keep your head up and your eyes looking straight. This prevents water splashes from affecting your vision. It also prevents losing balance.
Once you find your balance, you can now stand up from being bent. Keep your legs straight while you lean on your back. If you put your weight in front, you will land face first on the water, and this can hurt a lot!
5. Stay Up
Getting up is one thing, staying up is another. The challenge is to stay up as long as you could. The ride can be bumpy. Water can splash on your face. You are probably nervous if you are water skiing for the first time. Stay focused and you will not fall.
Keeping your knees bent will help to absorb all the forces. Keep your arms in a straight position while maintaining a strong grip of the rope. Breathing is also important to keep your balance.
Once you are already in a comfortable position, turn slightly depending on the direction where the boat is heading.
At this point, we hope that you understand the water ski basics for beginners. Like other water sports, it is intimidating at first. However, once you learn the fundamentals, it is going to be easy. Start by making sure that you have the right gear, including the ski, life vest, and rope. Once you have the gears ready, practice on the dry land to assume the right position. Also, make sure to be familiar with the hand signals. After this, you are now ready to get on the water. It won’t be easy at first, but if you practice consistently, it won’t take long before you can do it like a pro.