Posted on Leave a comment

Picking the Right Waterski’s

Waterskiing is one of the most fun and rewarding activities you can do on the water, and in South Africa there are many fantastic places to get out and enjoy a good ski. There are different types and sizes of waterski’s and if you’re relatively new to it, it can seem quite daunting or frustrating.

To help speed up the process or for those looking for more information on waterskis, we’ve put together this handy guide to give you the fundamentals of what to look for in a water ski.

How Do I Find the Right Size Waterski?

Below we’ll break down all aspects of skis, from quick tips and different types of water skis, to sizing, shape and skier type – all to help make the process of getting the right ski easier, and your time on the water more enjoyable

Quick Tips

When buying water skis, the general rule of thumb is to buy for the largest person who will be using the skis. Longer skis are going to work better for beginners as they will be easier to get up on – yet may be bulkier and slower. Shorter skis are better suited to intermediate skiers and seasoned veterans – they will be quicker on the water but more difficult to control. Most Combo skis should be picked based upon the rider’s weight, with combo skis coming as a pair with universal bindings which will fit a wide range of skiers.

Picking the Right Type of Waterski’s

Combo Waterski’s

Every boat owner should have a good pair of combo skis. Combo skis are sold as a pair, with one ski set up with a front binding plus a rear binding and the other with a single binding. Combo skis generally have adjustable bindings to fit a variety of skiers, come in both narrow and wider shapes and usually have a flat rocker, the skis are wider in the front with a large surface and have a simpler concave on the base, so they track straight making them more stable on the water.  

Combo skis are great for families and boat owners as they are for all-around use, where beginners can enjoy easier starts and greater stability, while intermediate skiers can either start with only one ski or drop one off after getting up.

kd vapour adult combo waterski's for sale Watersports Warehouse, Cape Town

Kids Trainers Waterskis

Trainer skis are small lightweight skis for beginner junior skiers, giving them the most stable platform for learning to ski. Trainer combo skis have a removable rope or bar between the skis. Another feature of trainer skis is a handheld rope system for parents allowing the parent riding in the boat to control the little skiers ride, the parent simply let’s go when the child falls which prevents them from being dragged. Trainer skis are a great option for teaching the future generation of water sport enthusiasts.

kd calypso timer trainer skis for sale, Watersports Warehouse, Cape Town

Slalom Skis

Slalom skis are sold as a single ski with two bindings, one behind the other, and are for intermediate and advanced skiers. Slalom skis have a different shape to combo skis and are built using much stronger materials. They are designed to turn and accelerate when needed, by simply rolling the ski onto its edge the ski starts to turn or come around. Slalom skis are designed with bevels on the bottom edge that force the water over the base pulling the ski down and allowing the rocker of the ski to make the turn. Having a narrow tail allows seasoned skiers to accelerate more rapidly, making the ski a lot more responsive.

Picking the Right Waterski Size

Why Waterski Sizing Is So Important

When venturing out on the water, choosing the right size of ski is very important. The best method to choosing the right size is by using your body weight and speed that you intend skiing at, which will ensure you enjoy your time out on the water without exhausting yourself or struggling.

Waterski Size Chart

Boat Speed

Weight (kg)40-49kmh49-55kmh55-58kph

Skier Type


The best option for first timers is to get on a pair of combo skis, and there is nothing to be ashamed of. Combo skis will ensure your time on the water is comfortable as well as allowing you to get the basics right.

Beginner Skier

Beginner Skiers are those who are taking off the training wheels, have got their legs under them and are aiming at learning as fast as possible. Beginner skiers are usually skiing at slower speeds (40-43kph) as well as working on deep water starts and their first turns.

Combo water skis are a great place to start for beginners as they are wider and offer more surface area, are easy to learn on (getting up out of the water and moving around) and allow you to progress to a single ski. Combo skis are great as they come in a range of sizes to suit juniors through to adults and are also not as weight specific as slalom skis. Beginners finding it easier to ski on one of the combo skis are ready to progress to intermediate and start looking for a good slalom ski.

Intermediate Skier

Progressing from combo skis to slalom ski, most intermediate skiers are open to all sorts of skiing, mostly sticking to open water, starting to ski at faster speeds, all whilst skiing for the fun of it.

Moving to a slalom ski (sized up to suit an individual) will see an intermediate enjoy a more responsive ride with features to suit their needs. Progression in skill level is equal in progression of ski technology, with the skis, boots and bindings influencing the level of comfort as well as allowing the skier greater control. Intermediates selecting slalom skis must consider their weight, ability, and boat speed (see guide above) as well as the frequency of their skiing – whether just for recreation (beginner/intermediate slalom ski), looking to improve, or out on the water most weekends (intermediate/advanced slalom ski).

Intermediate slalom skiers may choose a wider series or a shaped slalom ski to make it easier getting out of the water and allows a slower boat speed, skiing is meant to be fun, and the wider series allows a skier to cruise and enjoy their skiing. For the more experienced skiers who want to cut through the wake with more power they should be able to handle advanced slalom skis.

Advanced Skier

Advanced skiers are confident in their ability, have mastered deep water starts, they look for water that is smooth or flat, are confident crossing wakes, occasionally take to the course, have a solid technique, and could ski on shorter rope lengths and faster speeds.

Advanced Slalom skis for advanced skiers have a narrow tail and a concave bottom which helps to pull the ski down into the water to provide the power and control the advanced skier needs. The skis are made of stronger and lighter materials that are very responsive to allow the advanced skier to turn harder and increase their speed across the wake.

Course Skier

Most slalom course skiers reading this are not reading for information, but more for the love of waterskiing. They are experts on the water, spend their time crushing buoys, ride with shorter lines and ski at competition speeds of 55kph or 58kph.

Slalom Course Diagram

If you are unsure about anything, give us a call or drop us an email and we’ll assist you. Also, remember to follow us on Instagram for regular updates.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *