How to Water Ski Safely

Water skiing requires careful attention to detail because the sport involves water conditions and boat speed. Each situation warrants a change in technique and how equipment, such as the boat and rope, are used. Safety is the utmost concern during any sport. Because of this, it is important to familiarize yourself with standard practices to ensure that water skiing is done safely.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Boat
  • Mirror
  • Water skis
  • Flag
  • Life jacket
  • Tow rope
Step 1
Inspect your boat for any damage to the towing riggings and to make sure they are securely in place. If you find any damage, repair it before towing anyone or anything.
Step 2
Attach a wide field-of-vision mirror to the boat so the driver can easily see the skier. An adjustable mirror is the most convenient type to use.
Step 3
Look over your skis and bindings for damage. If you find any damage or loose parts, have them repaired before you ski.
Step 4
Select a site for skiing that has at least 8 feet of depth, is large enough for the boat to make three full circles side-by-side across the water, and is free from debris.
Step 5
Avoid injury to the skier by shutting the boat engines off whenever a skier enters or gets out of the water.
Step 6
Keep a flag up when the skier enters the water and whenever the skier is down to warn other vessels that a person is in the water. The flag may be put down after the skier is up and skiing, or enters the boat again. The skier should always wear a life jacket rated for water sports.
Step 7
Throw the rope clear of the propeller when tossing it to the skier. Always drive slowly away from the skier until the rope is taut before attempting to pull the skier out of the water.

Tips & Warnings

A window-mounted suction flag may be used to make raising the flag easier.
Always have a spotter in addition to the boat driver to ensure maximum safety.

Article Written By Justin Chen

Justin Chen is a freelance writer and photographer with 6 years of professional experience in outdoor activities, extreme sports, travel and marketing topics. His professional work experience includes publication with KOMO 4 News Seattle, Fisher Interactive Network, and Demand Studios. He is a current Pre-Med student at Walla Walla University.

The Latest from the Community

I don’t know why this trail isn’t listed. All I can find is the Roaring River CG, which is where the trail head...