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6 Facts You Didn’t Know About Water Skiing

Water skiing is both a fun recreational activity and a water sport, and growing each year across the world. Here are 6 facts you probably didn’t know about water-skiing.


Water-skiing – instead of speeding across snow, you’re speeding across the surface of the water, being pulled by a boat and holding onto a rope. It’s an exciting, thrilling sport that ticks all the boxes of an extreme sport and

What is Water Skiing? 

Water-skiing is when an athlete who is wearing a pair of skis on their feet is towed behind a boat moving at high speeds. Most often practiced in lakes, rivers and during calmer times on the ocean, water-skiing was first started in the 1920s in Lake Pepin in Lake City, Minnesota. Ralph Samuelson created the very first water ski run by make shifting two boards as skis along with a clothesline as a rope attached to the boat that he could hold onto, and today, the sport is growing in popularity around the world. 

While you can water ski with one or two skis, skiing on one ski is definitely more challenging, for obvious reasons. Beginners  usually start out with two skis and as they gain experience move to one ski, starting out either in deep water and also on dry land.


145 Water Skiers + 1 Boat 

What do you get when you add 1 boat to 145 water skiers? An epic ride, and an epic sight! That’s exactly what happened in 2012 at the Horsehead Water Ski Resort in Tasmania. Pulling two water skiers is already considered an impressive feat, so just imagine the scene of 145 water skiers being pulled by a single boat. Just incredible!


Olympic Dreams?

In 1972, the Olympics added a Water skiing demonstration, which furthered a global interest in  the water sport. Held in Munich Germany,  the women’s gold medal was won by Pat Messner of Ottawa and since then, there has been some back and forth about adding water-skiing to the Olympics permanently.  


Three’s (Not) a Crowd

Waterskiing could be considered a group activity, considering that many boating laws say that a minimum of three people are needed when water-skiing. The water skier, captain of the boat, and another person on the boat to act as second. In some locations, only two people are required, but more often than not, three is the number. 


You Can Water Ski—Without Skis

But only the pros can (or should) attempt it. This is called barefooting, and requires the skier to travel at higher speeds—at least 30-45 mph, while average water skiers travel at speeds of around 20-35 mph. You should only attempt this once you’ve become a skilled waterskier and know exactly what you can do, and have been a water skier for a while. 


More Than Just Water Skiing

Water-skiing is an exhilarating sport and activity—but some have taken it a step further.  Many people have turned water-skiing into an acrobatic event. From jumping, flipping in the air and using ramps, the sport is constantly expanding and people are exploring new possibilities for water-skiing.  


Most Popular in…

Water-skiing is considered to be the most popular in North America, since there are over 600 different water-skiing clubs across the US alone! No matter where you are within America, there’s a good chance there is a local water-skiing club somewhere by you. Why not check it out and see if you like it? 

Water-skiing is an exciting time, and what’s best is that it’s one of several water sports that can be done wherever there is a body of water at least 200 feet wide and with a depth of at least 6 feet. Grab two friends, your gear and boat, and you’re off for a hell of a time!

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