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How Waterskiing Works


Waterskiing Equipment
Slalom water-skier on a lake in Utah
Slalom water-skier on a lake in Utah
John Kelly/Getty Images

Since water-skiers can reach speeds of about 50 miles per hour (80 kph), if you take a tumble, it can have pretty serious repercussions. Knee and facial injuries are the highest percentage of waterskiing injuries. Injuries can also be sustained to the arms and upper bodies as well [source: Roberts]. Executing jumps and twists can put a lot of tension on the knees in particular, so be sure to keep your knees bent at all times to prevent awkward angles or points of collisions with the water. There are some preventative measures you can take to prevent knee injuries. You can work on strengthening your calf muscles by doing lunges or squats to help you to control your knees' flexion and extension, and thus your balance on the water.

Now that you know how to get yourself up and going, we'll take a look at the equipment you'll need to waterski. First, you'll need a life jacket. This is a no-brainer. Safety always comes first. Next, you'll need a boat that can reach speeds of at least 20 to 25 miles per hour (32 to 40 kph).

You'll also need skis made of fiberglass. The length of the ski depends on what kind of skiing you'll be doing and how experienced a skier you are. If you're a beginner, you should use longer skis because their flat bottoms will help you remain stable and allow you to turn more easily. Skis with sharp edges allow you to move more quickly, and large tips cause quicker pull up. Fins located on the bottom of the ski add to maneuverability, while the size of rockers, the curve at the bottom of the ski, allows for varying degrees of acceleration.

What other equipment do you need for water skiing?