What Equipment is Used in Water Skiing?
To enjoy a day of water skiing fun requires forethought and preparation. Just like a game of baseball needs a bat and ball, equipment used in water skiing is a necessary component of this sport. You can’t simply show up at a lake and head out on the water without the proper gear.
When it comes to water skiing, you will discover that some equipment is mandatory and other items are only suggested. Although it might seem obvious that you need a body of water and set of skis to make your ski outing a success, let’s review a list of necessary equipment and some additional items that are highly recommended.
What Do Water Skiers Need When Skiing?
The best day at the lake is a prepared one. Water sports require equipment, so what do water skiers need when skiing? The answer to this question can be broken into two categories – mandatory and suggested.
Mandatory Water Skiing Equipment
Before you set out on your water skiing adventure, make sure to have the following:
Water Skis (or a slalom Water Ski if skiing slalom)
Naturally, you need water skis in order to go water skiing. When purchasing water skis, you need to buy a set based on the specific needs of the skier. Your decision should be based on several factors, such as:
- Skill level
- Combo (2) skiing or Slalom skiing
Next, you need to consider how you plan to use those skis. Will they be for recreational or competitive use? Do you plan to pick up the speed, use it on a slalom course or take it easy and just cruise the lake? To ensure your skis will meet your expectations, you need to shop based on the size, shape, cut, material type, and construction methods of the skis.
Many skis come with integrated bindings or boots that are already built into the design of the skis. But if the bindings are not attached to your skis, this non-integrated system means you must buy bindings that fit your skis.
Integrated skis and bindings are typically best suited for beginners, while flat skis and specialized bindings are usually reserved for advanced riders. If you plan to go with the latter, it is best to work with a certified technician that can properly drill and mount your bindings.
Furthermore, bindings come in a variety of styles. For example, the HO Stance 110 Front Plate Waterski Binding is a lightweight binding with 15 degrees of forward lean. Plus, they are made with high strength 6061-grade aluminum plates and universal holes designed to fit almost all ski brand insert patterns.
Even if you are confident in your swimming abilities, you should always wear a lifejacket while water skiing. Accidents happen, and not putting on a lifejacket could be a matter of life or death. Never go without the protection and security that comes with wearing a lifejacket. See also our post about lifejackets.
The size of a lifejacket should be based on the size of the skier. For the best fit and function, lifejackets should match the weight and chest circumference of a skier. For non-competitive skiers, they should also be United States Coast Guard (USCG) approved, such as the O’Neill Men’s Reactor USCG Life Vest or the O’Neill Women’s Reactor USCG Life Vest.
Optional Water Skiing Accessories
What do water skiers need when skiing that is not featured on that mandatory list? Once you have your essential equipment used in water skiing, you can safely get out on the water. But if you want to add a few accessories into the mix, consider the following:
Water ski bindings can be tough to slide into, so some skiers find Connelly CWB Binding Slime helpful. While you might be tempted to substitute dish soap as a binding lube, be aware that some chemicals are known to damage the rubber material of the bindings when used repeatedly.
Ski gloves, such as Radar Vice Inside-Out Pre-Curved Fingers Amara Palm Waterski Gloves, protect your hands from abrasions or chapping. Many skiers also feel that gloves give them an improved, firmer grip. And if you plan to water ski year round, you could definitely benefit from ski gloves. They work to keep your hands warm, which once again, allows you to better grip the tow rope.
When wondering what do water skiers need when skiing, some skiers love to insert palm protectors into their ski gloves. Palm protectors add another protective layer to your hands while water skiing. They are a way to prevent blisters from forming when worn under your gloves.
Motorboat, Tow Rope, and Handle
While you might think that the mandatory list of equipment used in water skiing should contain a motorboat, tow rope, and handle, you can enjoy water skiing without those items. How so? Head to a cable wake park.
Yep, that’s right. You do not need a boat to water ski. Cable water skiing is a popular alternative to traditional water skiing where skiers are pulled by electrically-driven cables instead of a motorized boat. A cable water park utilizes overhead cables and carriers built into a set track that pulls a tow rope. All you have to do is grip that handle and glide across the water.
How To Find a Cable Wake Park
To locate a cable wake park near you, check out the WakeScout Directory. The WakeScout Directory also includes information about water sport schools, clubs, boat charter services and watersports resorts located all around the globe. Wakescout will help get you on the water…no matter where your travels take you.
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To enjoy a day of water skiing fun requires forethought and preparation. Just like a game of baseball needs a bat and ball, equipment used in water skiing is a necessary component of this sport. You can’t simply show up at a lake and head out on the water without the proper gear. When it comes to water skiing, you will discover that some equipment is mandatory and other items are only suggested. Although it might seem obvious that you need a body of water and set of skis to make your ski outing a succe...