How to Get Up on Water Skis (Step-by-Step)

It doesn’t matter if you have bought the best water ski, it’s useless if you don’t know how to get up on it. In this article we’ll go over all the need-to-know info you’ll need to get started.


STEP 1: PICK THE WATERSKI EQUIPMENT

Before learning how to get up on skis, you’ll need to take some basics steps. First – Make sure you’re using a certified life personal flotation device (PFD) that’s been approved by organizations like Coast Guard.

These vests have different components like buckles and zip closures. The type of PFD doesn’t matter as long as it’s certified and fits well.

What’s the big deal about the PFD? The main function is safety equipment. Make sure the life jacket fits snugly around your body and covers your chest/stomach/back completely. The PFD should also fit snugly and provide enough buoyancy for your body weight.

Next – pick skis that are right for your size, weight, and skills. For example, a child will obviously require skis with a smaller surface area than an adult.

The shape of the water ski’s bottom is also critical. Newbies should look for a “base-concave” underside that’s wider/more stable. These skis are also easier to point in a straight line.

We cover all this (and more) in our Water Ski Buying Guide! …Read More.


STEP 2: PUT ON YOUR SKIS

Make sure the water is deep enough, so your feet don’t touch the bottom. If your skis have adjustable bindings make sure your foot is snug as a bug in a rug. Then it’s time to rock!


STEP 3: RELAX IN THE WATER

Grab the rope’s handle that’s been unwound. While the driver takes out any slack in the rope, you should flat in the water while lying on your back.

Don’t spend energy trying to keep the skis straight or staying lined up with the boat. Just relax because the life jacket will keep you floating in the water.


STEP 4: POSITION YOUR BODY AND SKIIS

After there’s no slack in the rope, the drive should then put the boat’s gear into neutral and hold until you’re ready. Position your body so the legs are bent fully and your arms are almost extended with elbows on the outside of knees.

You should also position the skis and ski rope properly. The skis should be located between you and the boat. Meanwhile, the ski rope should be located between the pair of skis.

Your body’s position should look like you’re curled up like a ball. That said, your head should be up, and you should be looking in the boat’s direction.


STEP 5: GIVE GEAR/GO BOAT COMMANDS TO THE DRIVER

Take this step after the position is right. Next, the driver should idle the boat so the extra slack is removed and you’re pulled forward in the water with the boat in idle.

Next, you should give the driver the “Go Boat” command, which informs the driver to pull you up. The driver should give you an easy and gradual pull. Pulling the skier too slowly is impossible. That said, you can be pulled too quickly, which causes the handle getting jerked out of your hand.

HOT TIP: DON’T STRAIGHTEN YOUR KNEES

It might seem natural to resist the boat’s pull by straightening your knees. Don’t do it! Wait for the boat to pick up enough speed/plane off before the water’s surface tension is strong enough to keep you above water.


STEP 6: STAY IN YOUR BALL

A rookie mistake new water skiers often make is they try to stand up too fast. This causes them to sink down into the water and fall.

Here’s what to do. Wait 3-4 seconds after the boat starts moving forward before standing up. Next, use both legs to push evenly and stand up.


STEP 7: PRACTICE WATER USING BASICS

After you’re up on your two feet, take steps to stay up on your feet. This is critical after you’ve taken the time and effort to get in that position. You should also spend a whole day practicing basic water skiing.


Wrapping Up

Like learning any other activity, mastering water skiing can be challenging at first. If you’re having some tough times just climb into the boat and take a break. Whether it’s a combo or a slalom water ski, there is nothing we can’t do when we try enough!

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