Welcome to our e-commerce dedicated to nautical accessories! In this special category we are entirely dedicated towater skiing equipment: we are talking about water skis of all kinds, wakeboards, tow ropes, mirrors and everything that can be useful to practice this wonderful water sport in a funny, performing and safe way.
Unlike surfing, water skiing prefers days without wind and flat water: the waves, in fact, can become a real obstacle for those who practice this sport. It is therefore no coincidence that this discipline is also widely practiced at lake level. The origin of this sport is lost in time: it is said that already in past centuries there was the custom, among the younger sailors, to be towed by fishing boats on improvised boards, made from fish crates. To create water skiing as we know it today was instead Ralph Samuelson, American who first showed the use of water skis he invented in 1922, in Minnesota, on his nineteenth birthday. At first he tried to be towed by a motorboat using normal snow skis. However, it wasn't long before he realized that they were too narrow to guarantee sufficient buoyancy, but he didn't give up and handcrafted wider skis out of wood. From that moment onwards he continued to amaze the public with his demonstrations and incredible acrobatics, in a continuous search for the most daring figures.
The sport created by Samuelson spread from year to year. In 1950 came the formalization of water skiing, which was divided into three different disciplines, namely jumping, tricks and slalom. Finally, in 1972, water skiing was consecrated as an Olympic sport. So we are talking about a relatively recent and very, very exciting sport. As with all disciplines, however, there are rules for water skiing, which run parallel to the extensive legislation for all water sports.
Water skiing rules
What we are going to explain on this page is valid only for Italy, as the regulation we are referring to is national. However, it should be noted that there may be additional clauses at local level, so it is always best to check your local regulations before you start your motorboat and prepare to ski on the surface of the water. In any case, what we will say about water skiing is also valid for towing wakeboards or inflatable devices.
First of all, it should be noted that water skiing cannot be practiced everywhere. In some cases, local authorities may prohibit water skiing in an entire basin or in a special marine area. Where there is no such prohibition, water skiing can be practiced at a distance of at least 100 meters from the coastline, which is doubled in the case of beaches. Water skiers must also keep a minimum distance of 400 metres from fish farms or other fish farms, and in any case at a safe distance from all the fixed routes of service units, such as ferries that connect different seaside resorts on a daily basis.
This, in short, regarding the exact place where to practice this water sport. However, if we look at how to behave when water skiing, it turns out that, according to national regulations, it is not allowed to tow more than two skiers at the same time. Moreover, the distance between the skier and the towing boat must never be less than 12 metres, which is the minimum limit to be respected in every occasion. Another rule that the driver of the towing boat must take into high consideration is the one that obliges him to keep a minimum lateral safety distance of 50 meters from any other nautical unit. The rule obviously also extends to all surrounding boats and vessels, which in turn must maintain a minimum distance of 50 meters.
Well, now we have seen where water skiing can be practiced and how it must be practiced. Before going into detail about what equipment is needed for water skiing, let's dwell for a moment on who can actually practice this sport. First of all, it is only possible to water ski if you have a motorised pleasure craft of any type, provided that it has the ability to put it in neutral and reverse if necessary. A rule to which many do not think is relative to the nautical licence: in some cases, in fact, this is not required for the guide of certain motor units. Well, to be able to actually tow a skier on the water is necessary to be in possession of the license, even in those rare cases where the engine power is not such as to define this obligation. It should also be pointed out that, on board the towing vehicle, there cannot be only the driver. At his side must in fact be another person, able to swim without any problem, which is responsible for keeping an eye on the skier and to intervene promptly in case of emergency.
Now all that remains is to go and see what water skiing equipment the regulation defines as mandatory. Specifically, the National Regulations define that these water skiing accessories are essential:
- A floating tow rope
- A ski towing pole conforming to the RINa regulations
- A safety carabiner with a quick release, conforming to RINa regulations
- A convex rear-view mirror to be fitted on the towing vehicle, also conforming to RINa regulations
- A life jacket
- A first aid kit
Other rules to keep in mind are those that remind you that water skiing should only be done during the day - like any other towing sport - and in favorable weather conditions.
Water skiing: which skis to buy?
As for the skis used for skiing on the snow, also in the case of water skis there is not only one type: according to the type of approach you want to have, in fact, you need to buy different devices. And that's not all: water skis must also be chosen according to our level of experience, according to our height and according to our style. Generally speaking, in terms of size, water skis should be about as high as our chin.
Let's assume that you want to buy some water skis to take your first steps in this magnificent. What you'll need are accessories suitable for a beginner, i.e. skis with a slightly wider profile so that you can get out of the water more easily. Generally speaking, these water ski accessories - designed to be used only at first - are made from cheaper materials, and therefore have very competitive and affordable prices. Like snow skis, water skis have adjustable bindings, which allow you to adapt the accessory perfectly to your feet.
You then have to choose between a double ski or a single ski. In the case of beginners, there should be no doubt about it: the approach with two water skis is undoubtedly easier, with greater ease in finding the balance. Those who already have some experience with this sport should definitely try the option with only one ski: in this case the speeds that can be reached are even higher, and the agility of movements is improved. It is no coincidence that these particular skis are used for slalom.
And what about the materials? Well, also in this case the choice is not lacking: the most popular and economical models are made of plastic, fiber or even, in some cases, wood. Raising the bar, however, you can find water skis more resistant and lighter, thanks to the use of a much more expensive material, carbon.
Looking instead at the structure and shape, you can find models more or less wide, more or less concave, with different shaped tips and so on. It should also be taken into consideration whether or not there is a drift, i.e. a metal component that in slalom skis is adjustable and can be up to 5 centimetres deep; models used for jumping have a fixed drift, less than 3 centimetres deep; figure skis, on the other hand, have no drift at all.
On this page dedicated to water skiing equipment, however, are not only skis. No sir: since the nineties has in fact been spreading a new discipline, able to bring together in a single sport the salient features of water skiing with those of snowboarding. We're talking about wakeboarding, of course, which is practiced using rectangular, lightweight boards with rounded corners.
Normal wakeboards have bindings for boots on the upper surface, while in the lower part are sometimes installed special fins, which provide a better grip. But what are the criteria for choosing the right wakeboard for your needs?
Let's start with the length: a longer board will lead to less abrupt landings, but also to a lower speed of movement. A shorter model, on the other hand, is recommended for those looking for a more aggressive style. A similar discourse must be made regarding the width: also in this case, decreasing the size will lead to more aggressive turns. On the other hand, however, a greater width helps to detach more easily from the water.
It goes without saying that the weight also influences the performance of a board: the lighter it is, the easier all the manoeuvres will be, from jumps onwards.
Choosing a tow rope for water skiing
In this page of our e-commerce are also on sale the best tow ropes for water skiing: we speak generally of floating ropes, between 15 and 20 meters long, equipped with a convenient final handle covered with the material that allows a secure grip (usually used for this purpose of PVC). To reduce the stress to which a tow rope is subjected during water skiing, it is possible to add a special elastic extension of reduced length.
Before any water skiing session you must ensure that the rope is in good condition. Under no circumstances should you use a tow rope that has knots or frayed sections. Other signs of excessive rope wear are progressive discoloration, which can be the combined result of use and exposure to the sun. The risks resulting from the breakage of a rope are many, not least to find yourself with a rope that, broken in a moment of particular tension, returns at full speed in the direction of the rider and / or the boat, hitting the passengers. To be functional, the rope must be attached to the boat in a suitable way, using a special pole for towing, so that you can count on a sufficient starting height.
How to start water skiing?
Water skiing combines the world of speed with that of water sports: we can therefore talk to all intents and purposes about a sport which, if done carelessly, can be risky. Once you have purchased all the necessary accessories for water skiing, make sure you can rely on a careful and experienced driver, so that you can start practicing this sport gradually and safely. Before putting on your skis, in any case, it is important to warm up and do some stretching exercises to prepare your abdominal and back muscles, as well as those of your shoulders, for the next effort. The important thing is to try to maintain a position as natural as possible, and do not expect to go too fast: a speed of 30 kilometers per hour is more than enough to become familiar with this means.
Are you ready to buy your water skiing accessories?