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As with all water sports, water skiing provides a certain level of risk. Here are some of the most common water skiing injuries and methods you can adopt to stay safe while skiing.

Protective Gear

The most important thing to have in order to avoid injuries while water skiing is to follow the rules about protective gear. Skiers should always wear a life jacket at all times when they are in the water, keeping in mind to have the life vest or jacket hug his abdomen snugly.

Besides the life jacket, the skier should also wear protective ski gloves, as the handle of the rope can become very slippery and might cause the skier to lose balance while gripping it.

Before Skiing

Besides wearing protective gear at all times, skiers need to ensure they check all their equipment before proceeding. Things to look out for include any sharp surfaces or protrusions on the skis that might injure the skier, as well as any fraying of the ropes.

The skier should not rush into starting the towboat unless he is ready, and should not give hasty signals. He should also make sure that his skis are pointed upwards, as well as ensuring that there are no obstacles in his path and the rope is not slack.

When Skiing

For recreational water skiers, make sure not to ski near docks, boats, swimmers or piers. Participants should also be aware of their surroundings at all times, as many injuries in water skiing occur due to collision with solid objects. Besides steering clear of areas with docks or piers, water skiers should also not ski in shallow water, or water bodies with items such as corals just beneath the surface of the water, as it can obstruct the path of the water skier.

Participants should also not have any part of their body inside the handle of the rope unless they are trick water skiing – and in that case, only the feet and not other parts of the body. Additionally, skiers should also not wrap the rope around their body at any time.


If a fall is inevitable,  one should attempt to fall backwards or sideways, as falling face first might cause the water skier to hit the skis with his head or body, causing injuries. If a participant has fallen into the water with other boats nearby, he should make the effort to lift at least one of his skis halfway out of the water, to signal to the other boats that there is a water skier in the water. Additionally, he should signal with his hands that he is okay.

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