It's time, advice...

thedinz

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Jun 29, 2014
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I waiting until the ripe old age of..... well late 30's.

I am going to waterski for the first time this weekend, weather permitted.

Any advice for someone like myself? Its something I have always wanted to do, but in the past, I have always been the boat owner/driver but now I have a friend who will pull me behind his boat, he has experience so I could (and will) ask him questions as well before going but id like to get a head start and from the reading I have done so far the advice is not very cookie cutter so id like to digest as much as possible.

I do not know if they are "training skis" or whatever but he showed me a pair of these wider skis he has that are good for beginners, he says they help you get up easier and the boat can go at a slower speed while still staying up so you don't have to be dragged at high speeds your first time out. Do you recommend this?

I did snowboarding once which I would assume is more akin to wakeboarding but I am not going to wakeboard this weekend I am going to ski, no snow SKi experience I am as green as it gets.
 

aspeck

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You will be fine ... but don't rely on any experience on snow to help you on the water ... the pull of gravity and the pull of a boat are very different. Your hardest time will be figuring out how much you lean back against the pull of the boat before you lean back too far. I skied into my early 50's before old body injuries (football in my younger days) stopped me. Once you get the hand of 2 skis under you, it will be a blast, but it won't be long till you want to try 1 ... then trick skiing, wakeboarding, barefooting, etc.
 

Scott Danforth

Grumpy old guy who plays with boats
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Yes, use the wider skis initially. I have a set of old wooden skis that are as old as I am. Dad bought them a few weeks after I was born. They can get anyone up and skiing. You can ski behind a 14 foot boat with a 10hp if needed

Agree, skiing on snow and in water are two different things

If you think you are going to wipe out, better to fall backwards than face first.

If you ever rode skateboard that will help you if you go slalom.
 

TheGM1217

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Apr 1, 2020
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We always tell learners to let the boat do the work. You will get up, it's staying up the first time that's the challenge. You got this!! I learned to ski in the Poquoson River wearing long jeans and a sweat shirt so the jelly fish wouldn't sting me. Fun times. Ditto to what everyone else has said, especially LET GO OF THE ROPE IF AND WHEN YOU FALL. The first mate and myself have been skiing for 50+ years and yes still skiing. She's 63 and I am 60 and plan on skiing till we are 70.
 

dwco5051

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Sep 14, 2008
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We always tell learners to let the boat do the work. You will get up, it's staying up the first time that's the challenge.
As said don't try pulling on the rope to get up. Keep a steady hold, and only use you arms to absorb the the pull the boat is giving you.. Concentrate on keeping the skis straight and they will lift you right up. Since the boat driver is also a skier you are already ahead in the game as they know the procedure. It might take several tries but when you get up the first time you will discover it is easier than it looks. I have a pair of old, wide tunnel hull skis I used when I was in my late 70's and would not be afraid to use now at 83 if I still had someone to drive the boat.
 

aspeck

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As said don't try pulling on the rope to get up. Keep a steady hold, and only use you arms to absorb the the pull the boat is giving you.. Concentrate on keeping the skis straight and they will lift you right up. Since the boat driver is also a skier you are already ahead in the game as they know the procedure. It might take several tries but when you get up the first time you will discover it is easier than it looks. I have a pair of old, wide tunnel hull skis I used when I was in my late 70's and would not be afraid to use now at 83 if I still had someone to drive the boat.
I will drive for you!
 

dwco5051

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I think we all assumed you will be using a boat with adequate power to pop you right up. Underpowered boats can make things a little harder as you may have to initially be dragged through the water longer. Back in the 1970's my daughter and I were skiing 3 or 4 days a week behind my 17' with a 120 merc I/O. With a spotter and another driver it would easily pull us both on slalom skies, She had a boyfriend for a while that was over 6' 6" and I would guess around 250# and we never could get him up on skis. The drag time was so much until we would get on plane. He actually broke a rope one day trying.
 

thedinz

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Well it happened, ok where to start?

So on my very first run, so my friend and boat driver suggested for my first time to use flat skis, they were wooden, he is a old time skier, these skis looked bran new but i dont think they were, i think they have seen lots of action, he said the flat skis would be better then those that are con-caved. So i get the life vest on, we fuel up his boat, i wet the skis then put them on and adjust them, toss my gopro on my head because, well either way this goes its gonna be good right?

I get in the water, get in position and put the skis on, not easy, not for a beginner. He tosses me the rope and gets it taut. He asked if i was ready, i said i think so, which was a nervous way of saying yes. So he hits it (told me on the next run to say that when im ready) and i did what i thought was right which was stay in the ball, stay low and wait for the boat to pull me up, so im skiing, but im crouched down, im getting water all over my face in my mouth because im mouth breathing, after a little bit i try to stand a bit which again, i heard the biggest mistake is trying stand to soon so i was feeling like "i am not suppose to do this" but i try and it just didnt feel right, remember this is my first time so i just bail, i didnt fall per se i actually let go, in the deep part of the lake, feeling vulnerable, a ski comes off and despite having a life jacket and floating im freaking out a bit, im spitting out some water, breathing heavy and im thinking about being a total wimp, apologizing for wasting his time and calling it quits.

He comes back around so i grab the rope and he says "hey you gotta stand up dude" He wasn't wrong, i think i took "don't try stand up too quick" a little to literally. I dont recall my reply it was either "ok" or "not that easy". So he tells me "say hit it when you're ready".... ok.

For whatever reason, i didnt wimp out. I compose myself try to get my ski tips straight and angled a little bit, i had no idea they had a mind of their own once in the water, they don't want to face where i want them to, but thats ok got em close enough and said "hit it"

So here we go im in a ball and im like **** it, worse case let go of the rope so i slowly stand up and..... im skiing, kinda. No im joking thats it, second run and i was up, we went around and did 2 loops, not sure the total distance we went but man, you gotta be fit for this huh? I always thought i was in decent shape, slender build, normal i guess. Not super super active since my daughter was born 2 years ago. My lower legs were burning, i cant quite describe the feeling, it wasnt my calfs it was from the knee down just the whole thing, felt like wood about to snap lol, but they were not. What can i do about that? Any excercises or just skiing more? The other thing is all my concentration was on not falling, i had all the advice in my head, i did have my legs bent but they felt like i had little to no control over them, as in turning, forget it, i will have just go straight for the next 10 times before i can even move myself around the wake. The other one was chest out, i just could not make this happen, i was hunched forward the whole time, you would think i would faceplant but i did not, maybe the bent knees saved me, but there was a 10 year old skiing near by and he was like leaned back just chilling, im hunched forward quite literally holding on for dear life, it was a quite uncomfortable position. but, i stayed up, for 2 loops and as we passed by our area i let go because my legs could not take anymore.

Not sure what you guys think but im happy with the results, second pull ever and i skiied until i gave up on my own. I will be doing much more of this, i got the itch, i just need to figure out how my legs can last longer.

Here is the video:

Nothing fancy.
 

aspeck

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Good for you! The more you do it, the more comfortable you will feel and the more you will be able to do.
 

Chris51280

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it looks easy but it is a demanding sport. I guess core strength and biking would help
 

TheGM1217

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Apr 1, 2020
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AWESOME!!!! At work so can't see your video (blocked), BUT will for sure be checking it out when I get back to the house. Soon enough you will be feeling more comfortable, and be crossing wakes and getting crazy.
Congrats on getting up, that is the hardest part.
 

jimmbo

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May 24, 2004
Messages
10,878
Semi Legal Tow Boat. Where's the Spotter?

When in the Water, bring your Knees to your Chest, then place your Arms around your Knees, that usually keeps the Skies in line upon initial pull. Then just keep your Arms straight, like they are an extension of the rope. as you pop out, you can assume sitting position, then as speed increases, get closer to a standing up
 

thedinz

Seaman
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Messages
73
Semi Legal Tow Boat. Where's the Spotter?

When in the Water, bring your Knees to your Chest, then place your Arms around your Knees, that usually keeps the Skies in line upon initial pull. Then just keep your Arms straight, like they are an extension of the rope. as you pop out, you can assume sitting position, then as speed increases, get closer to a standing up
Yeah sadly we didn't have one, boat driver asked too, but he is very experienced so i felt ok, were not going super fast either for my first time. Of coarse as this goes on we will have a spotter.

Great time for keeping the skis straight, makes total sense.
 

thedinz

Seaman
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Messages
73
AWESOME!!!! At work so can't see your video (blocked), BUT will for sure be checking it out when I get back to the house. Soon enough you will be feeling more comfortable, and be crossing wakes and getting crazy.
Congrats on getting up, that is the hardest part.
man when i was up it really felt like STAYING up was the hardest part and crossing wakes, cant even imagine it, like i said though i was hunched over most of the time, how to do i get my back straight and chest out? seemed impossible.
 

thedinz

Seaman
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Messages
73
I think we all assumed you will be using a boat with adequate power to pop you right up. Underpowered boats can make things a little harder as you may have to initially be dragged through the water longer. Back in the 1970's my daughter and I were skiing 3 or 4 days a week behind my 17' with a 120 merc I/O. With a spotter and another driver it would easily pull us both on slalom skies, She had a boyfriend for a while that was over 6' 6" and I would guess around 250# and we never could get him up on skis. The drag time was so much until we would get on plane. He actually broke a rope one day trying.

It was a 196X correct craft mustang with a 5.7 was plenty powerfull thankfully that was a non-issue.
 

dwco5051

Commander
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Sep 14, 2008
Messages
2,097
man when i was up it really felt like STAYING up was the hardest part and crossing wakes, cant even imagine it, like i said though i was hunched over most of the time, how to do i get my back straight and chest out? seemed impossible.
Practice, Practice. Once you know what to expect you will become more relaxed and automatically adjust to it. By the end of the season you will be cutting sideways, pulling hard on the rope to gain speed and jumping the wake.
 
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