Essential Water Skiing Equipment

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Advanced water skiers can reach speed of up to 50 miles per hour, and much of the equipment used is designed to help keep skiers safe at speeds this high. First and most importantly, every water skier needs to wear a life jacket. It’s not necessary to wear those big and clunky orange ones, though. In fact, there are many modern, lightweight life vests that barely get in the way.

Outside of the light vest, the equipment depends upon the skiing conditions and the individual’s preferences. For example, because gripping the rope handle can put a huge strain on the hands and wrists after just a few minutes, some skiers like to wear gloves that help protect the hands while also contributing to a strong grip.

The boat and the rope are obvious. Beyond that, all we have left are the skis. There are a few different types to choose from, and they all have different purposes.

Among beginning water skiers, combination skis are by far the most common as they are versatile and relatively easy to control. They are the general water skis that are easy to find for rent at any watersports shop. In comparison to other water skis, they have wider tips and are a little longer, which aids in keeping balance.

When you see a water skier on single, relatively short ski, this is known as a slalom ski. Slalom skis are capable of going much faster than pairs of skis, and they are also great for sharp turns. They have wide tails and flatter bottoms that aid the skier in staying up even when going diagonal to make those sharp turns. There are beginner slalom skis that a moderately skilled water skier should be able to pick up relatively easily, but the intermediate and advanced skis are for people who are already very comfortable in the sport.

Also for advanced skiers only are trick skis, which are just what they sound like: They’re used for spinning, jumping, and doing all sorts of maneuvers. They’re shorter than combination skis and have no fins. This makes them much more difficult to control, which means that they are not for beginners.

Finally, there are jump skis, which are closely related to trick skis are used primarily to jump off of ramps. These are the least common form of water skis, as water ski jumping is a relatively rare event.

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