Having the right waterski to suit your skill level and size is vital to ensure you have fun on the water and progress your skiing!
But what should you look for in a waterski to find the best option for you?'
We like to consider the level of skier you are, the construction of a ski to best suit your level, and also the ski sizing.
To start with we like to look at the type of skier you are: Beginner – Intermediate- Advanced
This is pretty self-explanatory and most people will know where they fit into these categories
Beginner: From the first time waterskier (we suggest learning on Combo waterskis- available in children and adult sizing) to those who are getting their balance and control on a single slalom waterski at slow speeds, building up their confidence edging into the wake and crossing other boats wake. You might also be mastering deep water starts on a single ski and learning to make smooth and controlled turns.
Intermediate: You might not be competition or slalom course ready just yet, but you are confident skiing at faster speeds and are perfecting controlled turns into the wake. Depending on your adrenaline preferences, you might even be the type of skier who wants to get some air on your waterski and are quickly developing more control in the air with small jumps off the boat wake.
Advanced: Are soul turns and big spray walls your specialty? We hear ya! You probably even set your alarm early to get out before anyone else takes the smooth water conditions! Skiing a course and pushing to progress to a shorter rope length or faster speed, or is your preference boosting big air and adding your own flair to your freestyle waterskiing?
So now you have a better idea of what level skier you are, what type of ski should you be looking for?
Beginner: Combo Waterskis provide the perfect platform to start out on, with two skis that are designed to travel at slow, easy and controlled speeds. They often have a wider profile to accommodate slow speeds and allow the skier to learn on a stable platform. Most combo skis will come with an option to use one of the skis are a single slalom ski, with a rear toe rubber available for the rider to slip their foot into the back of the ski once their balance and confidence have progressed.
Time to move on from the combo ski and considering getting your first dedicated slalom ski? Great! Let’s look at what is considered a “freestyle” waterski. These skis come with a wider profile which allows for stability at slower speeds and are also more forgiving in their construction techniques.
Your first slalom ski will most probably have a fairly noticeable flat section in the base construction that gently transitions into the skier's rails with mellow curved rails. This will provide a stable and more relaxed platform to ski on.
Intermediate: Look for a slalom waterski that has a slightly narrower profile, allowing it to move quicker through the water and also perform better at slightly faster speeds, with rails that are starting to get more prominent beveled edges.
You might start seeing mention of various core constructions, which will impact how light the ski is, impacting how the ski sits in the water and reacts to the skier's body position. At an intermediate level, we don’t suggest getting too caught up in construction materials, you want to find a platform that will provide a great stable ride and assist you while you progress.
An advanced ski usually is not the ideal choice. A PU core construction is sufficient and will keep your ski within an affordable price range.
Advanced: Depending on the type of skiing you want to do (running a slalom course or potentially jumping the wakes) there are a variety of skis you might want to consider. Assuming you are a course skier, you will want to start looking at a lighter ski that will sit higher in the water ( PVC and carbon construction are popular) as it creates less drag and also responds quickly to a change in the skier's body position.
What about underneath the waterski? Full concave construction will run from edge to edge (width) of the ski, locking in quickly and holding a tight turn. This creates a more agile ski, much preferred for the slalom course.
Wanting to boost off the wake? Well, you will still be looking for a ski that has a wide-body construction as you will be traveling at slower speeds and slightly more stiffness to create more drive off the wake and forgiveness on landing. A more pronounced taper tip to tail design will also provide a ski with performance on turns with more surface area to generate pop off the wake.
When it comes to waterski sizing, in our SIZE GUIDE you will see we use the skiing speed and the skier's body weight as our guide to find a size range better suited to you. This is a general guide, though a more advanced skier will most probably know their own preferences for ski sizing and may not conform to this chart. We don't take skier height into consideration as we find bodyweight to be of more impact on the ski.
When it comes to being an absolute beginner with combo skis, these tend to come in limited sizes, we suggest looking for the closest size to your range.
Once you have a general idea of your ability level, the style of ski most suited to you and a size range it is time to get searching for your very own waterski! If you are not sure if a particular ski will suit you, or maybe you have more questions, please reach out to the WING staff!