Skip to main content

Extreme Sports: Waterskiing

The guide to waterskiing and extreme activities

Recreational Waterskiing

Waterskiing truly is a sport for everybody.  Beginning skiers have fun riding around on a pair of combo skis and enjoy going back and forth across the wake of the boat.  Any kind of boat with an engine powerful enough to pull the skier out of the water is fine for the beginner. 

Learn to Water Ski

Barefoot Waterskiing

Barefoot waterskiing is an extreme form of waterskiing.  Just like the name says, barefoot waterskiiers ski on their bare feet without any skis.  You will need a fast boat and a padded wetsuit will help with some of the falls.

The American Barefoot Club

3-Event Waterskiing

Three event skiing is basically tournament skiing for advanced skiers.  The three events are slalom, jumping and trick skiing.  Slalom skiers must go around a series of bouys on one ski.  Jumpers go over a 5 or 6 foot ramp and fly over 200 feet in the air.  Trick skiers ride a special ski and do tricks that are each worth a certain number of points.

Three Event Skiing

Show Skiing

Show skiing is very popular in the midwest.  Show skiers perform acts for a crowd and the show usually has a theme.  During the show the skiers will usually do acts including the building of a pyramid, trick jumping, barefooting, doubles, water-skiing ballet and much more.  Show skiers must be very good skiers who are able to do a lot of different types of skiing.

To really get an idea about what it takes to be a show skier check out these videos from the show ski national tournament.

Ski Show Videos

History of Waterskiing

History of Waterskiing

water skiing
Keystone/Getty Images
Waterskiing champions demonstrate the art of the sport at Cypress Gardens, Fla., in 1975.

Although very little information remains on the record, it seems that waterskiing could have originated in Sweden, given that the term vatternskida, a verb meaning to ski on a body of water, can be found in Swedish dictionaries dating back to 1921.

But, officially, the sport's origins are anchored to two teenagers in Minnesota. The story goes that in June of 1922, 18-year-old Ralph Samuelson, who lived near Lake Pepin in Lake City, Minn., got the bright idea that if you could ski on snow, you also could ski on water. Samuelson and his brother Ben worked on their idea for a few days, and in early July of 1922, Samuelson was able to stand up on two skis while being pulled by a boat his brother was driving.

Advanced Waterskiing for the Brave

The Science of Waterskiing

Twiggy the Waterskiing Squirrel

Healthy Living

Would You Try Barefoot Waterskiing?

Do you think you would like to learn how to waterski barefoot?

Would You Try Barefoot Waterskiing?
Yes: 2 votes (66.67%)
No: 0 votes (0%)
I already know how: 1 votes (33.33%)
Total Votes: 3