How Difficult is Waterskiing? | Volcano Watersports

How Difficult is Waterskiing?

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25 April 2023

Waterskiing is one of the best watersports. It's not necessarily an easy sport to master, but when you put it against surfing or kitesurfing, there is less to understand about the water and more about your body and how you need to be at one with the board and the water. Plus, you don't have to worry about the ocean spray getting in your eyes and mouth, and you don't have to worry about dangerous swells ruining your chance at fun for the day – lakes are far more forgiving than the sea.

Below, we'll look at everything waterski has to offer, how difficult it is to learn, and what people can do to pick up the sport quickly.

What's Waterskiing?

Waterskiing can be a competitive sport, although many people do it for pleasure. Those who compete at a competitive level show total control of themselves, the skis, and the water, which can only happen with years of practice, so don't be disheartened if you spend your first go falling in the water. The history of waterski is short but fascinating; invented by Ralph Samuelson back in 1922, it’s one of the most popular tow sports in the world.

Essentially, waterskiing is skiing but on the water. A rider is attached to a pair of skis and holds onto a rope attached to the back of a boat that speeds through the water. How fast the boat goes will depend on your level of skill – and, with a boat like ours, we can also calibrate the wake to your needs.

Waterskiing is often performed with two skis, but some people use one. One waterski is far harder to control, so the novice should always start with two.

What Do You Need For It?

To start your waterskiing journey, you'll need a location, some expert advice, a boat, and some great equipment. At Volcano Watersports, that’s exactly what we bring to the table. From Lake Arenal’s crystal waters to our collection of excellent, beginner- and expert-friendly equipment, we’ve got it all.

Waterskiing is the type of activity you’ll improve at over time, with guidance and practice. Even so, waterski is one of the best watersports for complete beginners, even if you don’t get round to pulling any tricks the first time around.

Learning The Basics

The basics start with balance and control, as they do with skiing on land. If you've had some experience with land skiing before, you'll be at a slight advantage as you'll understand how to use your legs and core body strength to control the direction of the skis. The only difference being the water often controls the movement of the ski; you have to counteract it with opposing movements. Before learning the basics of waterskiing, learn the basics of your body and good core and lower body strength, and even practice yoga to work on your core balance.

With balance and strength locked in, you then can consider the basics of waterskiing - the first basic being upright on the skis rather than sitting in the water. Start by having a boat move slowly forwards as you sit back in the water. When it generates enough speed, you'll find yourself lifting. That's where the essential balance and control come in - you'll find yourself falling forwards, backwards, left, and right in the beginning. Spend a day practicing lifting up before you try skimming across the water.

Becoming Better Than Basic

So, you can finally stand upright without falling over? Now you can learn better than basic waterskiing skills, which involve skimming through the water at speed without falling over. Essentially, you should master keeping your chest facing forward, the rope at your hips, and leaning back enough that the skis don't pull you over.

You’ll want to learn how to gently move from left to right with the rhythm of the water as you round the buoy – adjusting the angle of your skis before the boat pulls you away again. The complexity of waterskiing comes as the boat turns, and you have to move with it.

This is exactly what we can teach you when you choose to rent a boat in Costa Rica with us.

The Best Locations For Waterskiing

There are some incredible waterskiing locations worldwide to explore. No matter where you are, you won't be too far from somewhere to jump on the skis and skim through the water. Here are some of the best:

- Lake Arenal - Costa Rica

- Lake Cumberland - United States

- Lake Tahoe - United States

- Blue Lagoon - Malta

The world is filled with incredible destinations for watersports enthusiasts, but – like many people – we’re devotees of Lake Arenal. With its sparkling blue waters, balmy weather, and views of the neighboring Arenal National Park, we can’t think of anywhere better to ‘earn your wings’ on the water.