What is Water Ski Racing?

Water ski racing is a sport which can provide an incredible buzz and a very enjoyable scene to be part of. So what’s it all about? And how do you get into ski racing?/p>

A ski race team consists of a boat driver, an observer and a skier. The driver will tow the skier, varying the speed as different water conditions are encountered, according to the driver’s knowledge of the skier, the observer’s ability to read the skier and the signals which the skier gives to the driver.

Most ski racers nowadays use the “wrapped” position, this wrapped position involves the skier using two handles which go around each side of the body, to be held together with one hand at the top of the backside. You should “sit into” this harness and reach forward with the other hand, to hold a third handle, positioned at arm’s length away. This technique transfers the strain from the arms and lower back, to the upper legs..

Water ski races can take place over a set distance or a period of time. Again, times vary dependant on category, but can range from 10 minutes and upwards. Skiers generally start at the same time and race around a set course. Basically it’s an out and out race just like Grand Prix Car racing. Success in ski racing results from a “team” effort.

The skier has to be physically fit enough to compete successfully in his or her category. Observers need total concentration. They will relay signals spontaneously from the skier to the driver, “read” the skier in order to optimise his/her performance and keep the driver informed of other boats and skiers which may be approaching or close by. The driver will take the team around the course, listening to the observer and using his own judgement on speed a line of direction. Drivers can mean the difference between winning and coming 2nd or 3rd in a race.