rules to play water skiing
Water Ski Safety
. As a team, the boat operator, Skier, and observer need to learn safe skiing skills. Before your team hits the water, know your equipment, teamwork, boating laws, and the fundamentals of the sport.
. Be alert for cross wakes, partially submerged objects, swimmers, rafters, or anything that might come between you and the boat. It is highly recommended that you wear a Coast Guard approved personal flotation device designed for water skiing at all times. It will allow you to rest in the water while waiting for the boat, it protects the rib cage and cushions falls, and its bright color will help others in the area to spot you. Ski belts are not C
The Boat Operator
. Before pulling up the skier, double check the path ahead for obstacles and make sure the towline is not caught in the propeller or wrapped around the skier. Never accelerate until the skier is holding the towline handle, with the ski tip or tips showing above water and in front, and signals hit it.It is important for skiers to have a smooth acceleration as they come up on a plane. As the operator, you should ease the throttle at first with a slig
. In addition to relaying the skiers and operators signals, the observer is responsible for watching the skier at all times. Having an observer on board allows the driver to give full attention to the variety of tasks necessary for safe motorboat operation. Statewide boating accident statistics indicate an alarming increase in water ski accidents resulting from improper lookout.
. The illustrated signals approved by the American Water Ski Association are recommended for use on California waters. Others include START Shout hit it or nod head. JUMP Raise hand up sharply, imitating a jumping arc. SLOW. Palm down motion. FAST Palm up motion. RETURN Pat crown of head with open palm.
. The boat operator should judge the speed according to the skiers ability. A good speed for beginners, depending on weight and ski size, is l8 25 miles per hour. Boat speeds are limited by law under certain conditions. The maximum speed for boats is 5 mph within 100 feet of a swimmer, and within 200 feet of a bathing beach frequented by swimmers, a swimming float, a diving platform or life line, or a passenger landing in use. Boats towing skiers m
. The law allows persons 12 15 years of age to operate motorboats of more than 15 HP if supervised on board by a person at least 18 years of age.California law requires there to be at least two persons aboard a boat towing a water skier the operator, and an observer 12 years of age or older. The towing of water skiers from sunset to sunrise is prohibited by state law. Local laws may also restrict skiing at certain times during the day and in certai
. Make sure your equipment is in safe, serviceable condition. Foot bindings should be secure and free of sharp or protruding surfaces. Skis made of wood should be free of splinters or cracks in lamination. Check your towline (handles, lines, and connecting hooks) for strength every season. Attach towlines only to proper fittings on the boat. Many skiers have been seriously injured in accidents with the towboat or ski equipment. A moving towline can
Where to Ski
. Minimize the danger of collisions with other boats, other skiers, or fixed objects by staying out of congested areas and well traveled traffic lanes. Avoid skiing close to shore, around bends or in shallow water. Stay out of fishing areas. It is best to scout your area before you ski.
. Before you leave the shore, consult with the skier and plan out your route. While a novice skier may be happy to do one big circle around the bay, a hard out slalom skier or bare footer will probably want you to keep the boat going straight as much as possible and in clam water.Check you are on a tank that has enough petrol for the ski. You also need to check the beach and the open water for any sign of obstacles, either floating or submerged. If
. Ideally, the boat driver should concentrate on driving and the observer on observing. The perfect combination on the water is like the driver and co driver in a rally car. The driver has more than enough to concentrate on looking out for other boats, objects in the water, floating or submerged hazards. An expert observer should be able to relay all signals and other information about the skier direct to the driver, and deliver any special instru
Skier in the Hole
. The safest place for a skier, apart from on shore or in the boat, is standing on the water at the end of a taught ski rope while the boat is at planning speed. Any time a skier is in the water, their ability to move quickly is gone, so they are at the mercy of any boat which comes near, including yours.
. The driver has a massive role to play in the success of each and every start, whether for a first timer or for an experienced skier. Ski boats tend to have high power to weight ratios, and one of the biggest driving faults I see is to use too much power to pull skiers out of the hole. Even if your boat is underpowered you still probably need to pull kids out of the hole at considerably less than full throttle.But before you start the pull, you n
. First time skiers may need to be supported by someone while in the water, but from the drivers point of view the key element is throttle control. This is the one time when you may need to take glances behind and hence continue a watch on the skier while you are pulling them out of the hole (all other times it is not advised look ahead and check the skiers progress in the rear view mirror).Light weight skiers (kids) are probably best pulled out of
. Biskit riders have no control whatsoever over their ride, other than jumping off the back! So it is all up to the driver. Lighter riders may stay inside the wake throughout the ride but heavier riders will move easily outside the wake. Once this occurs, their speed must increase as you turn, in order to keep up with the boat. The faster you go, and the tighter you turn, the further outside the boats path they will move, which means they are subj
Towing Slalom Skiers
. The better a slalom skier is, the more they will appreciate (or demand) top driving skills. For free skiing, the driver needs to pay attention to water conditions look for calm water. When you find a patch of calm water stay in it! Drive up and down it with keyhole turns at either end so that you preserve good water for the skier.If the skier falls, throttle back to idle immediately, then backtrack to the skier. Executing a high speed turn ba
. Driving the slalom course is a specialized task and ideally you need instruction from someone who knows how. Its not that difficult, but there is no substitute for being shown. Nevertheless, heres some basics.The boat must follow a straight line between the pairs of boat buoys in the centre of the course, as shown above. The two pairs of buoys at either end of the course are called the entry and exit gates. After the boat passes the gates on the
Buzzing Other Boats
. There have been some nasty accidents when another boat, towing a skier or not, has come close by to buzz a boat. They have either hit the skier or a ski, or have caught the other boats ski rope in their prop. Either way, its potential disaster, so keep at least two rope lengths clear of any other boat while you are towing a skier or buzzing a stationary ski boat.
. I have seen boats on the Taieri River at Henley towing skiers within a rope length of the shore, often with nasty looking rocks at waters edge. If you have a skier behind you, and they are or could be outside of the wake, then they could fall and hit the shore. You need to ensure that the skier has falling room between their furthest distance from the wake and any obstacles.
. The driver must be 15 years or older. A younger person can drive the boat but must be directly supervised (i.e. in the adjacent seat) by someone who is at least 15 years old.The observer must be at least 7 years old.You must keep your speed to under 5 knots while within 200 m of the shore or 50 m of another boat. There is an exception for ski lanes and certain other designated areas and access lanes.If youre like me, the only time you ever operat
. You must have an observer when skiing. The law says that the boat driver must be at least 15 years old, or be sitting beside and under the direct supervision of a person 15 years old, and the observer must be at least 7 years old. Now, you could argue that a 7 year old is not necessarily mature enough to maintain a constant watch on the skier, and a driver in this situation would need to maintain a watch also in their rear view mirror, for exampl
. The only verbal signal a skier usually makes the boat is to yell Hit it! when they are ready to start. This phrase is recommended because it is not easily confused with anything else. A lot of people like to yell Go! but this could be confused with No! resulting in a start when the skier is not ready. The driver should not pull the skier out of the water until they are sure that Hit it! has been called, either directly or via their (trusted) obse
. It is good practice for the observer or driver to acknowledge hand signals by repeating the signal back to the skier. But if the skier has not signaled, then it is essential that the driver give the skier the appropriate signal before changing speed, direction, etc. This gives the skier warning and allows the skier to adjust their ski until the maneuver is completed.Theres one more signal Ive seen used occasionally, which I think skiers may use t
The Keyhole Turn
. The keyhole turn is made at the end of a slalom course to bring the boat and skier back down through the course. It can also be used for more experienced skiers to give them a ski with minimal wake crossings.In the diagram the boats track and direction is shown by the thicker line. The boat veers to the left (or right) until there is enough room to complete the turn. The turn to the right can be as gentle or as tight as boat, skier and driver wil
. Freestyle jumping is often related to show skiing. The goal is to go off the jump, perform one of many stunts, and successfully land back on the water. The most common freestyle stunts in order of usual progression would be a heli (360