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5 Essential Tips for Beginners Learning to Water Ski


Invented by Ralph Samuelson in 1922, the surface water sport of water skiing has gained immense popularity over the years. Water skiing may be a purely recreational or competitive sport. It involves a person balancing on ski boards while being dragged along by a motorboat and performing tricks. Today, the water skiing activity is even recognized by the Olympics. Apart from entertainment, the sport offers regular skiers multiple health benefits, including improved overall muscle tone and improved balance. Having said that, here are 5 essential tips for beginners learning to water ski:

Gear Up: Essential Gear and Equipment

Before anything else, it is important to ensure that you have the appropriate gear and equipment for a pleasant and safe experience. When it comes to choosing the water ski equipment, the factors to be considered are:

  • The length of the ski board is decided on the basis of the user’s weight. Heavier riders need longer boards. However, smaller boards can be used when they are towed at higher speeds. Combo skis are best suited for beginners as they provide directional control and stability.

  • The speed desired by the skier and the shape of the water ski are other factors that are considered when choosing the water ski equipment. For faster speeds, longer boards are recommended as they enable better footing. Shorter boards are ideal for performing turning manoeuvres quickly. Furthermore, water ski boards with a narrow tunnel bottom are best for rough waters. On the other hand, edge-to-edge concave bottoms help make hard turns effortless.

Other essential gear beginners must have includes:

  • Life vests that fit them correctly and ensure safety

  • A good quality tow rope

  • Wetsuits that keep them warm and reduce the impact of blows to the water

  • Neoprene water socks for use on colder days

Master the Basics: Skills of Water skiing

If you are travelling to the Middle East and want to experience water skiing activity in Dubai, you may have to depend on water ski rental Dubai, as carrying your gear may not be practical. However, as a beginner, you must venture into the water only if you have mastered the basic water skiing skills listed below.

Posture and proper grip

You need to maintain a proper stance to stay above water. The two basic positions are the chair position and the cannonball. When engaging in watersports in Dubai with two ski boards, it is best to use the knuckles-up grip.

Deep Water Start

When starting from deep water, assume the cannonball position. Allow your combo skis to float in front of you and the rope to dangle in between the ski boards. Give a start signal to the boat driver and change to the chair position as you slowly get out of the water. Allow the boat to do the work. Don’t tug on the handle to force yourself up. You can lose your balance.

Dock Start

When doing a dock start while participating in watersports in Dubai, stand on the dry ground or dock and allow the boat to drag you into the water. Ideally, your starting point must be close to the water's surface. You are not required to be in the cannonball position when performing a dock start. You can sit or stand on the dock, keeping your back straight. You should be mindful of the pull exerted by the rope and keep your arms bent slightly inward to negate the impact of the initial shock.

Maintain the chair position while in motion until you feel comfortable enough to keep your hips underneath your shoulders. Keep your hands straight and your ankles and knees bent to prevent losing your balance. Also, look straight ahead and apply a slight downward pressure on the handle, especially if you are a beginner trying out adventure water skiing.


When negotiating a turn, bend your knees in the direction opposite to the direction in which you want to turn. This means you should exert more pressure on the inner edge of one ski and slightly reduce the pressure on the other board.

Slalom Skiing

Slalom skiing refers to using only one board. You should attempt this only after gaining confidence riding on combo skis. You have to strap your non-dominant foot and place your dominant foot on the back toe plate to ensure balance and directionality. If you are a beginner, hold the handle with knuckles up grip. Change to the baseball grip once you gain more experience.

Learn from the Pros

Adventure water skiing, a sport that is part of water activities in Dubai, is thrilling and exciting. However, you should be thorough with the basics to enjoy the activity and remain safe. You can be thorough with the basics only if you learn water skiing from professionals. They will teach you to:   

  • Observe all the safety code

  • Wear a life vest that fits you right

  • Use only water ski equipment that are in good condition

  • The right posture and grip for different types of starts and while moving, turning, or slalom skiing

  • Properly use hand signals to communicate with the boat driver

  • Check if the rope is frayed

Safety First

Observing safety rules is important to ensure that you have an exciting water skiing experience. Furthermore, you should not participate in watersports activities in Dubai without preparation. Both the skier and boat operator must understand the hand signals and observe all the safety rules.

Water Skiing Safety – Basic Rules

  • Both the skier and the boat operator must wear life jackets.

  • Ensure the availability of an observer on the boat to keep watch on the skier.

  • Let the skier know how he/she will be picked up in the event of a fall.

  • Never keep the boat running when the skier is trying to re-board.

  • Boat operators, observers, and skiers should practise hand signals before entering the water.

  • Ensure the length of the tow rope is at least 75 feet.

  • Give fishermen and slow-moving crafts (canoes, sailboats, and kayaks) a wide berth

  • Never ski at night or when it is dark

  • Avoid the use of alcohol or drugs while water skiing or operating the boat.

  • Ski at least 300 feet away from another vessel or 100 feet away from the swim area, shore, or dock.

Fun and Adventure

If you love the thrilling water ski for the adventure and fun it offers, D3 Watersports Dubai is your best option. The different water activities in Dubai offered by D3 Watersports will help you have a memorable experience while visiting the emirate. In addition to water skiing, you can enjoy many other fun games such as the jet ski, banana boat ride, donut boat ride, inflatable pool and water slide at D3 Watersports Dubai.