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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for 5 facts of water skiing – surface water fun at its best
Joanna James Joanna James
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5 facts of water skiing – surface water fun at its best

Even though many people across the globe take part and talk water about skiing, not many people know about the sport. Here are 5 fun facts about water skiing!


How did it start?

Water skiing was founded by Ralph Samuelson, a resident of Lake City, Minnesota-America in 1922. Ralph fixed 2 boards to his feet and clutched a clothesline that was pulled by a boat. He found that by transferring the weight of his body to the rear while balancing on the make-shift skis that he had made out of board, helped create a stable position that allowed him to glide over the surface of the water.


How's it done?

Fast forward a couple years; today the sport has evolved in a manner that can be executed safely with a minimum risk involved. The water skier will attach 2 specially designed skis to their feet while holding on to a rope that is attached to a tow boat. The skier will be dragged behind at high speed by the boat as he maintains a stable position that allows him to glide over the water. A boat can accommodate more than one skier and the record for the maximum number of skiers attached to one boat is 145; a feat achieved in Tasmania, Australia in 2002.


Water skiing as a competitive sport

The sport gained popularity over the years and began to attract international appeal during 1940-1950, thanks to people like Dick Pope, Sr - One of the pioneers that helped popularize the sport by marketing it through pictures of people engaging in water skiing at a park he owned in Florida. While the first national water skiing competition was conducted in 1974, water skiing was added as a demonstrative event to the to the 1972 Olympic Games held in Germany.
Most water skiing tournaments consist of 3 events: trick riding, slalom and jumping. Slalom requires the skier to avoid hitting buoys by moving with agility. A jump event is when the skier is dragged on to a big ramp by the boat, at which point they are required to leap in the air. The trick event lets the skiers perform their own tricks, stunts which are judged by the audience reaction.


Safety precautions to follow

Water skiing is a sport that could be potentially risky and requires the person to have the ability to maintain good balance, upper body strength and endurance. The water skier is recommended to wear a wetsuit or a life jacket for protective purposes just in case of an emergency. The boat that will tow the skier has to have 2 people in it; a captain to steer the ship and watch out for any obstacles in the skier's path while the other person watches over the skier to ensure his safety. The skier will begin the skiing in a hunched position on the water with their feet attached to the skis while grabbing on to the rope. The water of body on which the sport is carried out should be at least 1.5- 2 metres deep and 60 metres wide.


Water skiing as a leisure activity

Water skiing has become a popular leisure sport that is offered by most hotels that are located close to a body of water. The Maldives is one of the most popular locations for water skiing and other beach sports. Hotels such as Adaaran Club Rannalhi and many other best hotels in Maldives offer their guests the required equipment to enjoy this sport.