Progression of Water Ski Skills: The Basics and Getting Started

You’ve mastered getting up on skis, now what? Once you can comfortably get up on your pair of combo skis there are several options on where you can go next. A dock start can be a new added challenge. The first thing to do is find a dock that you can pull a skier off of safely. Have a seat on the edge of your dock with your skies on; hopefully your dock is low enough where your skies can be just touching the water. Have your rope neatly rolled into coils in one hand and your handle in the other. Let the boat slowly pull away from the dock. Sit up tall, lean back slightly, and let the boat gently pull you right off. You don’t want your ski tips to dip down into the water so keep that in mind. Put yourself in a good skiing position as you leave the dock and you will have this mastered in no time.

Don’t have a dock? There are other options. Playing around with speed can also be a natural next step. Getting comfortable skiing at higher speeds can assist you when you start your transition to slalom skiing. Cutting back and forth between the wakes will set you up for success as well.

Now that you’ve got all this down you are probably getting very anxious to learn how to slalom. Your first decision is to decide which foot you are going to be skiing forward with. Generally speaking, if you are right hand dominate; you will also want to ski on your right foot. However, there is no right or wrong way to choose, it’s going to be whatever feels the most comfortable to you!

The easiest way to accomplish slaloming for the first time is to drop a ski. To do this, get just as you normally would. It can be helpful if you loosen up the binding on the ski that you plan to drop. Once you are up and comfortable, simply pull your foot out of the binding. Sometimes it is helpful to let that foot drag in the water for a few seconds until you have your balance. Once you are balanced all on your dominant foot, go ahead and place that dropped ski foot in the rear toe plate.

Once you are comfortable skiing on your single ski, you can start to work on deep water starts on your slalom ski. Using a handle such as the HO Deep V Handle can help the learning process. You simply place your slalom ski in between the two plastic parts of the rope. The purpose of this handle is to help guide your ski up and out of the water. Once you have mastered this, you can get up with a traditional handle and work on cutting and carving in and out of the wakes! You are now an awesome slalom skier!

Oct 6th 2020 Jessica Trotman

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