Water-Skiing Techniqe

This is a short photo guide of how to implement some novel water-skiing techniques. The photos are of myself and my sister performing the various manoeuvres. (For those of you not familiar with what water-skiing involves: do not take this seriously).

Warning: Do not attempt any of these techniques yourself at home! Very few houses are large enough, and it is sure to get water all through the living room carpet.

1. Entering the water

The first part of the water-skiing procedure is to get out of the boat and into the water. It is useful to have the ski nearby, because otherwise you will have to swim for some distance to reach it. Observe the orientation in the water here, and in particular the feet. At no other stage in water-skiing, except perhaps step 6 (“falling off” manoeuvre), is this a suitable orientation of the feet. The soles of the feet always face downwards.

2. Pulling-out of the water

When the time comes to start, you need to lift out of the water so that you are skiing on the top. There are various ways of accomplishing this, but the one illustrated is one of the more interesting.

The technique here is not perfect, with that angle of ski somewhat upright. At that angle, if sufficient care is not taken, there is a risk that the skier will end up somewhere in the vicinity of Jupiter.

3. Catching the ski-rope

To complete the starting phase, you also need to take hold of the ski-rope which is towed behind the boat. Some people integrate this with the previous stage, but here we see an attempt to catch the rope as it trails behind the boat. Timing is critical here, and in this example the skier is too late to reach the rope and cannot catch it..

This shows a better example where the rope is caught in the hands of the skier. Note also the sharp turn to come into line with the direction of travel of the boat, and the slack in the rope which exists in the early stages. Don't be concerned about the slack, as it is normal, although with a large amount a conversion into Step 6 is inevitable.

4. Stepping up waves

On land we are quite familiar with the concept of steps. The equivalent on the water are waves. Waves come in many shapes and sizes. We recommend that beginners start with small waves of a nondescript shape to gain familiarity. Large waves may aid in a subsequent follow-through to Step 6 (falling off).

In this photograph, I have raised one foot ready to step up onto a wave. Care must be taken to raise to the correct height. It is not necessary to look as awkward as this, or as excited either, but it may help.

5. Turning

There are laws of physics that make it hard to go in a different direction to the boat for sustained periods. He we see the skier travelling at right angles to the boat, and the distinct lean shows that he is being pulled over towards the boat. At this point, it is necessary that either a turn be initiated, or to proceed to step 6.

6. Falling off

The falling off step is most often executed when you lose balance, or as an artistic variation on one of the other manoeuvres. Sometimes people will unpredictably add this into their routine. When used in a combination sequence, it is best placed last.


When water-skiing, one should always be careful of the prevailing weather conditions, and watch the wind and wave behaviour. Waves like the one shown below could be caused either by a passing skier, or by underwater volcanic activity. The former is not a big concern, but you should be somewhat wary of the latter.