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Waterski 2

Image credit: Jerald Foo/SportSG

As with most water sports, water skiing involves a number of essential equipment in order to ensure a safe and fulfilling experience.

Water Body

As with all water sports, the water body is the most important. In water skiing, all forms of water bodies such as lakes, rivers and seas, are suitable. However, recreational water skiers prefer calmer waters. The basic requirement – no matter what water body it takes place in – is that the water body has to be at least 60 meters wide and at least 1.5 meters deep.


Water skiers can choose between two skis or one slalom ski. Water skis typically range from 159 centimeters to 176 centimeters, with the longer skis being more stable but slower on the surface.


Boats used in water ski competitions are usually specially designed for that specific purpose, with a small and flat bottom in order to reduce the waves that it leaves in its wake.

Competitive water ski tow boats rarely come with engines placed at the back, but this might be common in tow boats used by recreational water skiers. Competitive towboats are also required to be able to meet the speed requirements for water skiing. This speed ranges from 22 kilometers per hour to 190 kilometers per hour in water skiing tournaments.


The rope will be attached to the boat, and the water skier holds on to it via a handle.  The length of rope is usually 23 meters long, although it can differ depending on the situation.

Protective Gear

Water skiers should always wear a life jacket, as being in deep water can prove to be dangerous. Specially designed life vests give players enhanced mobility, so that their performance in competition will not be compromised.

Ski gloves are also optional, although water skiers are encouraged to use them during a competition, as the handles can become very slippery. The gloves provide a better grip and lessens the chance of a competitor falling into the water.

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