water skiing for beginners

Water Skiing 101: For The Novice

Written by Boatsetter Team
December 10, 2020

Last Updated on January 13, 2022 by Boatsetter Team

Learning to Water Ski on a Water Sports Boat Rental


Water skiing is a fun activity to include on your water sports boat rental. You may want to learn how to water ski from an experienced professional because once you know how to do it, there is no limit to the thrills you can get while being towed behind your water sports boat rental. Before getting started on this incredible journey, though, there are several essential safety tips to keep in mind on the water.


Life Jackets and PFDs

boat equipment

When learning how to water ski, it is essential to carry plenty of life jackets and PFDs onboard your rented boat. No matter how well you and your family can swim, there are often strong currents in the water that can pull you under or drag you far from your boat, especially when you are boating in the ocean. Take the time to make sure you have enough safety equipment on the boat and your person as you start learning how to water ski. 


Choose the Right Water Skis

water skiis

You will either need to purchase or rent several pairs of combination skis suitable for beginners and have two skis with one ski having a half-foot binding behind the other foot. Skis for beginners are wider, and they are more stable on the water. They are made for different weight ranges, so it is important to select a water ski that meets you and your boating guests’ needs. The skis can even be tied together to increase your stability at the beginning.


Use the Correct Rope and a Ski Flag

water skii rope

It is important to select a proper rope for water skiing instead of a rope for wakeboarding. Water skiing ropes are designed to stretch just a little. Make sure you have a ski flag that you can raise when there is a skier in the water. All of these items improve your safety on the water, and again, you will either need to purchase or rent these items before setting sail.

Driving the Boat

water skii driving

Learning how to “get up” on water skis is a trial and error process, and it usually takes the learner many attempts to get comfortable on the skis. However, also, the person driving the boat must know what they are doing. The driver should start quickly and pull steadily at an appropriate speed, generally no faster than 25 miles per hour. Choose a time when the waters are calm and stay away from docks and the shore. It is the driver’s responsibility to have a second person on the boat keeping an eye on the skier at all times and to warn the driver when to turn off the propeller completely. 

This is a vital safety step when approaching a skier in the water. If you follow all of the tips listed above, you will be well on your way to learning how to water ski. As always, practice makes perfect, so spend some time reviewing the basics, and you will be sure to have great fun on the water for many years to come!

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