Today, water skiing is not only a popular water sport, but also a way of active recreation and a pleasant pastime.
The history of water skiing
Some believe that the inhabitants of the Alps were the pioneers of water skiing, who adapted their ordinary skis for this purpose, others believe that the first water skis appeared as a kind of board for riding on the waves — a long-standing entertainment of the inhabitants of Hawaii.
But according to official data, the pioneers of water skiing are independently three people from the United States at once. The first was Ralph Samuelson of Minnesota, who fitted regular wooden winter skis with leg bindings. After that, they successfully tested them on the waters of the lake in Lake City. Regardless of Samuelson, the American Fred Waller in 1925 receives the first patent in history for the model of water skis he invented. And finally, in 1928, someone Don Ibsen from the town of Bellevue (Washington), not knowing about the models invented before him, proposed his own version of water skiing, which makes another person who is considered the inventor of this sport. All three models were very similar and were winter skis made of pine, covered with a water-repellent substance and with a special rubber binding for the legs.
Currently, due to the entertainment and popularity, water skiing has been officially included (since 2004) in the program of the Summer Olympic Games. And various championships, including the World Championship, have been held since the 50s of the last century.
General idea of water skiing
Water skiing is riding behind a boat or any other high-speed watercraft with which you are connected by a special cable: one end is attached to the side of the boat, and you hold the other in your hands.
To an uninformed person, water skiing may resemble alpine skiing, but in reality they are somewhat wider and have a different geometry. The first skis were made of wood, which was coated with a water-repellent impregnation, but today the main material for their manufacture is polyurethane foam. Skis made of this material have a number of advantages compared to wooden ones: they weigh less and have better controllability.
Water skiing, unlike many other water sports, is a relatively simple form that does not require you to be in good physical shape and make serious efforts to master the technique of skiing. Therefore, it is with water skiing that it is recommended to start learning water sports.
Types of water skis
Slalom on one or two skis. In this type of water skiing, the cleanliness of the selected route is taken into account.
Ski jumping. In this type of skating, the winner is determined by the length of the jump.
Figure skating on one or two skis. In this form, the style of performance and the complexity of the figures performed are taken into account.
Depending on the type of skiing, there are some differences in the shape and geometry of the skis.
The main thing you should pay attention to when choosing water skis is their flexibility. Skis with little flexibility, they are also called “hard”, allow you to develop high speed, but they are less stable when cornering, while more flexible skis (“soft”) have the opposite situation. Therefore, beginners are advised to learn on “soft” skis, as they are more stable on the water and easier to manage.
After you decide on water skiing, we recommend that you pay attention to other items of equipment — a halyard, a life jacket and a helmet.
Fal — this is a cable, one end of which is attached to the side of the boat, and the other ends with a special handle that the skier holds in his hands. The main requirement for the halyard: it must be bright (so that it can be easily seen on the water), strong and inelastic. The halyard is made of lightweight materials (most often polypropylene) so that it does not sink. The length is selected individually, depending on the weight and skill of the rider. Beginners are advised to choose a shorter halyard (usually about 16–18 meters). The halyard handle is a hollow plastic handle covered with porous rubber for convenience.
Life vest — a mandatory piece of equipment. It performs two functions: it prevents you from drowning and reduces the risk of injury if you fall. The vest should be soft and not restrict movement.
Helmet — an important element of equipment, it protects your head from injury and damage in case of falls. The main selection criterion is that you should be comfortable.
Author: Alexander Kuznetsov
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