Understanding Water Skiing

A great way to add fun to your boating experience is going water skiing. It can be very thrilling and loads of fun provided that the necessary safety measures are taken. All you need is a boat operator and skier with some special skills, familiarity with hand signals, and compliance with all necessary safety rules.
If you’re the captain of the boat, you should ensure the safety of your skier and take a couple of minutes to go over some rules with him and the other passengers onboard. Furthermore, review all water skiing hand gestures, plan your itinerary for once the skier is behind the boat, and discuss what is expected of everyone on board.

Here are some guidelines to help you make your next water skiing trip safe and memorable.
Safety Manual â€" USA Water Ski: This manual is written to address the safety requirements for the operation of tournaments sanctioned by USA Water Ski. It is designed to cover both general and sport-specific procedures and policies.
Public Vessel Water Ski Boat Operator’s Study Guide: A detailed guide for individuals who operate ski boats.
Outdoor Water Sports Safety Guide: Whether you're the captain of a schooner or a passenger on a ski boat, following safety guidelines ensures your safety and that of other seafarers. Here’s a detailed safety guide by the American Red Cross.
Aquatic Safety â€" Boy Scouts of America: A thorough resource on general aquatic safety by the Boy Scouts of America, explains specific requirements for aquatic safety at the BSA as well as general safety guidelines.
Water Skiing & Wakeboarding Safety: Water skiing and wakeboarding are popular water sports that are fun and can contribute to physical fitness. But you should be familiar with the safety rules!
Water Ski Boat Safety: Important ski boat safety information, including tips regarding safety materials, advice for parents, and some rules of thumb regarding water ski safety.

Basic Waterskiing Safety

  • When skiing or operating the boat, always make sure to wear a lifejacket approved by the Coast Guard or relevant authority with a high impact rating.
  • To watch the skier, have an observer on board. The observer would receive signals and take appropriate action (alert the operator) if the skier falls.
  • Discuss in advance how you plan to pick up a skier that has lost balance and provide adequate instructions on how to properly re-board.
  • Stop the boat immediately when a skier is attempting to re-board and make sure you provide sufficient instructions so that the skier never uses the engine or propeller as a step.
  • Get familiar with the water skiing area in order to avoid shallow water zones and underwater obstructions. Moreover, steer clear of beaches and swimming areas.
  • Revise and review all hand signals with the skier before he or she is in the water.
  • Avoid skiing in poor lighting conditions or at night. The poor visibility in the surroundings makes it hard for everyone to see and reduces situational awareness substantially.
  • Avoid drugs and alcohol while on the boat or when water skiing. Substance abuse impairs judgment and coordination.
  • Avoid skiing within 300 feet of another boat /ship, or 100 feet of the shore, a dock, or swimming area.

North Dakota Boat and Water Safety Guide: If you’re planning on skiing in North Dakota, this water and boat safety guide is for you. In addition to state-specific laws, the document contains valuable general information on water and boat safety.
Washington State Legislature - Water skiing safety requirements: The purpose of this government resource is to promote safety in water skiing and promoting the enjoyment of water skiing.
Water Ski Safety and Signaling: As a team, the boat operator, skier, and observer need to learn safe skiing skills. Before your team hits the water, know your equipment, teamwork, boating laws, and the fundamentals of the sport.
Water Skiing Safety by the West Pond Association: A brief guide to water skiing safety and the necessary signaling techniques involved.
Yale Medical Group â€" Water Safety Quiz: Hundreds of people drown each year in the U.S., including those who die in boating accidents and in swimming pools. Summertime is a prime time for water-related injuries. Learn more about water safety by taking this quiz, based on information from the American Red Cross (ARC) and other safety groups.
Virginia Boating Education Law: Need to know the rules of the road before you hit the water? Check out our comprehensive guide to boating in Virginia.
Florida Boating Regulations: This is a summary of Florida's boating laws. This information is included in all certified boating safety courses taught in Florida.

Facts & Figures

The greatest number of skiers towed behind a single boat is 145, set by the Horsehead Water Ski Club in Tasmania, Australia on 27 January 2012. The earlier record was 100 and remained so for over two decades before finally a big team led by the ski club broke the record at 114 in 2010 and then further increased the figure to 145 in 2012. The skiers utilized 8 km of ski rope and were towed by the 36 m, 3000HP World Heritage Cruises' Catamaran Eagle.
On the 31st of August in 1974, David Scott Munro of Ross-shire Caberfeidh Water Ski Club set a new record to become the first person to water ski (mono ski) the length of Loch Ness, Scotland. From Lochend to Fort Augustus and back, he travelled the 48 miles in 1 hour and 17 minutes at an average velocity of 37 miles per hour.

USA Water Ski: Instructional articles and tips from the pros, this page contains a variety of archived instructional articles from The Water Skier magazine.
Water Skiing Activity Card: A smart activity card on water skiing, highlighting the key elements of the sport, its requirements, and the necessary safety precautions.
Unintentional Drowning â€" Facts: Water skiing is a fun sport, but it does bring the danger of drowning for those who are not trained properly. Get the facts on unintentional drowning in the U.S.
Water Skiing Historical Stats: This resource contains detailed stats on water skiing sporting events from around the world.
World Water Ski Records: A summary of the world records in water skiing, including dates, tournament, and performance details.
Water Skiers with Disabilities Association: A detailed presentation of the different world records in water skiing, made by disabled women.
Results & Records: A year-wise break up of different records made in water skiing, categorized by events.

Waterskiing Centres around Australia.



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