You are new to the sport or feel like getting back to your old hobby? With the wide selection of various technologies on the market, choosing a waterski can be challenging!
Back in the days, they were wooden skis with mostly the size as a difference but recently, most of the skis are made of a carbon fibre wrapped over a high-density foam core. The shapes and material may vary from how you are looking to ski.
Ski Types and Uses
They are usually sold as a single ski with two bindings behind each other. The shape is larger under the forward binding, while the tail of the ski is narrow. The narrow tail allows stronger skiers to decelerate rapidly when coming into a turn, which makes it ideal for skiers wanting a quick-turning ski for recreation or slalom courses.
our selection of mid-skis here
As the slalom skis, they are sold as a single ski. Much wider than a slalom ski for an easier start and a more stable ride. This makes them suitable for less experienced riders or those just learning single ski techniques ( They save you a lot of energy as well ! ). These shaped skis can be used at a slower speed and are an excellent tool for teaching deep water starts as well as slalom course techniques.
our selection of mid-skis here
Sold as a pair with one ski set up with two bindings and the other with single binding. Combos are great for families and all-around use where beginners can use both skis for easier starts and more stability, and more advanced skiers can either start with only one ski or drop one after getting up on both. They generally have adjustable bindings to fit a variety of skiers. Available in narrow shapes similar to traditional slalom skis or wider, shaped ski-type widths.
our selection of combo ski here
Youth or Junior Skis
They are shorter for smaller, lightweight skiers. This set-up assures that a child is not dragged underwater during starts or in case of a fall, with an adult on board the boat holding the free end of the rope, ready for instant release. The retainer assures that the skis remain the correct distance apart. This system makes it easier and safer for kids learning to ski, and helps build confidence toward mastering traditional skiing techniques.
They are the boots, that hold your foot to the top of the ski. Usually made from soft neoprene, shaped to wrap snugly around the foot, connecting you to the ski. By twisting your foot, or moving your weight from one side of the foot to the other, you control the direction of your skis.
our selection of bindings here
A major addition to water skis. Shaped like the dorsal fin of a shark, the fin extends down under the tail of a water ski. The purpose of the fin is to keep the ski from sliding sideways during turns and to keep it tracking straight when straight is where you want to go.
The length of a ski you are going to use is determined by three things: the weight of the skier, the speed and what you intend to use it for ( freeride or slalom ). Recreational skiers will find that ski length is far less critical than slalom skiers.
The smaller it is, the most tiring it will be but more reactive and more volume in the skis will float better therefore less resistance.
Narrow tunnel bottom
These shapes are designed for directional stability. They handle rough water well and comfortable on wake crossings. The flat spots on the edges give the ski a forgiving ride.
edge-to-edge concave bottom
They are usually the shapes you find on high-performance slalom skis. These skis are designed to perform well when on an edge. The harder you turn the better they feel. The bevelled edges on the sides of the skis control stability. If the edge is square and sharp it makes the ski stable and predictable. If the edge is round or soft it allows the ski to sit deeper in the water during turns for more control.
Rocker is the amount of curvature from tip to tail.
- More rocker makes a ski turn easily but increases drag
- Less rocker makes a ski faster and more predictable
- Most skis combine rocker and flat spots to create a ski that will turn easily and accelerate
- Stiffness makes a ski fast and stable
- Flexibility makes a ski easy to turn
- Most performance skis combine these features, with a stiff forebody for acceleration and a soft tail for turning
We hope this article has been helpful to your choice of skis and see you on the water!