If you want to try skiing and snowboarding, Utah can be one of the best destinations for you. But if you’re more of the summer sports guy and interested in trying waterskiing, then the place to go to is Florida.
Waterskiing is an exciting and challenging sport. The peak of waterskiing popularity came in 2007 when nearly six million people were participating in sports. The number of participants declined the following year, with just 5.59 million participants. By 2017, that figure went down to just more than 3.5 million practitioners.
This does not mean, however, that the sport is not an excellent way to work out, have fun, or be engaged in a challenging physical activity. Don’t let this data deter you and read the discussion below and find out what you need to do to learn and practice the sport of waterskiing.
A Bit of History
Ralph Samuelson from Minnesota is considered as the founder of the sport when he invented the first pair of water skis in 1922. Using a clothesline as a towrope, he was pulled by a boat in Lake Pepin in Lake City, Minnesota. By 1939, it became an official sport with the founding of the American Water Ski Association (AWSA).
In 1972 at the Munich Olympic, it became a demonstration Olympic event.
Preparing for the Sport
Both upper and lower body strength and excellent balance are required in this sport. If your Utah swimming pool construction is done, you can also use that to do strength exercise for your legs, e.g., cross-country skiing water aerobics.
- Warming up and other exercises. Doing warm-up exercises is a must for any sports activity. Warm-up exercises aim to loosen up your muscles to prevent injury. Waterskiing is no different from any sport. Your holding to a rope, and you will get tugged by a boat at 54 mph. It’s going to shock your body. Cardio (e.g., 20 minutes on the treadmill) and stretching exercises could be your warm-up exercises. Your main routine exercises should include BOSU squats for your balance, dumbbell farmer walks for grip strength, and ring rows for core strength.
- Know and understand the sport. You need to be familiar with the equipment, like water skis, binding, towropes, and towboats. Communication is essential in any sport. Hand signals are used in waterskiing when communicating with the driver of the towing boat. For example, a thumbs-up means to speed up, while a thumbs down means to slow down.
- Main events. There are probably as many tricks and twists in waterskiing as there are in snowboarding or skiing. The four main events in the sport are slalom, shortboard, jump, and wakeboard. In slalom, the water-skier would ski around six floating buoys entering through a starting gate and finishing at an exit gate. Shortboard, also called tricks, is when athletes perform as many tricks as possible in about 20 seconds. The jump is about jumping the furthest after launch from a floating ramp. Wakeboard is akin to snowboard, which uses tricks, jumps, and different kinds of slopes.
If you’re competing, judges will be scoring your jumps or tricks with the aid of advanced computers and other monitoring systems. By getting fit, acquiring or renting the right equipment, and getting initial lessons, you should be ready to hit the waters.