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Waterski Buying Guide

BuySki strives to bring you the best and most current guides, sizing help and gear tips to help you choose the right products and have the absolute best experience using it.

Dear customer, if you’re reading this you’re considering getting into one of the most challenging and fun watersports around, but face the tough decision on which WaterSki to buy. There is no denying possible that WaterSkiing is one of the most addicting disciplines in watersports, but to get the most out of it the correct WaterSki is a must have. It all starts with the right WaterSki equipment, and if you have already done some research you have probably already noticed there are many brands and models to choose from.

WaterSkis are available into two types with each one offering distinct advantages over the other. Whether you’re a beginner looking to get your feet wet for the very first time or an intermediate or advanced WaterSkiier looking for an upgrade, the following WaterSki buying guide explains you everything you need to know.

What is WaterSking?

WaterSkiing is one of the original forms of watersports that dates back to the early 1920’s and over the years we’ve seen other forms extend on its functionality offering a unique take on WaterSkiing. Wakeboarding, kneeboarding, tubing and many others have adapted the same concept while using different equipment that slightly changes the experience.

The same constant remains which includes a deep water start, rope attached to a boat or suspended cable, open water and of course the skis. The versatility of water skiing extends to any type of water including lakes, oceans, and rivers, but for the best experience calmer water is always indicated.

WaterSkiing takes place with either one (slalom) or two skis (combo) with each type serving a better purpose which is discussed in detail down below. The size, weight and design of the ski(s) helps define the user’s skill level, age and size which are more practical for one skier over another.

The depth of the water should be at least 150-180 centimeters with a large surface area of at least 60 meters. For safety, you’ll also want to make sure your path is free from obstacles and other underwater objects close to the surface that may be difficult to see.

We sell WaterSkis from well known brands as Connelly, HO Sports and Radar.

The different styles of WaterSkis

Water skis are broken down into two types (combo and slalom) with each best suited for a specific subset of WaterSkiers. If you’re in the market for a new WaterSki, taking the time to understand the differences and who they’re better suited for will help you get the most of your experience. There are many factors when before buying a new WaterSki(s) including weight, age, skill level, speed, and the type of skiing you’re looking to do.

► Combo WaterSkis

Beginners or children typically start out on combo WaterSkis which is a set of 2 skis and provide better balance than a single ski. Combo, or double skis offer a large surface area and makes it easier for beginners to start out. You’ll want to choose a set that has adjustable bindings (shoes) which offer a better fit and can be used by all people in the family.

Combo water skis for beginners typically come complete with trainer bars which lock both skis together which provide better balance and makes for easier starts. For adults, combos are typically rated to accommodate riders over 100-pounds and offer a weight range than slalom skis. After you’ve mastered getting up on the water, being able to balance, and landing tricks and jumps, then it’s time to graduate to the next type of ski.

► Combo WaterSkis

  • Perfect for the beginner or first-time skieers
  • Will work in pretty much any conditions
  • Stable and easy to ride
  • Easy starts
  • Family friendly – perfect for kids also

► Slalom WaterSkis

Slalom skis are a bit more user specific than combo skis which makes them less versatile. Choosing the right slalom ski comes with a better understanding of who they’re for, rider’s weight, style, times used, length of the ski, and the boat’s speed. This type of ski offers a competitive advantage tailor made to make the rider better, but specifically created to match the skier’s skill level.

► Slalom WaterSkis

  • Perfect for the intermediate to advanced skieers
  • For those people who want to challenge themselves
  • Less stable
  • Far more speed and manoeuverability
  • A fast (ski specific) boat is required

What kind of WaterSkier are you?

Slalom WaterSkis are available in three sorts. Course, Crossover and Freeride/Open Water. What kind of WaterSkier are you?

► Course Waterskiers

A Course WaterSkier skis primarily in the slalom course and in the tournament arena. Their ski feature needs include tight angle turns and responsive agility to handle maximum speed and load. Examples of WaterSki equipment in the Course range are

  • Connelly DV8 WaterSki
  • Connelly GT-R WaterSki
  • Connelly Carbon V
  • HO Sports Syndicate Pro WaterSki
  • HO Sports Syndicate Omega WaterSki
  • HO Sports Syndicate Alpha WaterSki
  • Radar Vapor Pro Build WaterSki
  • Radar Vapor Lithium WaterSki
  • Radar Vapor Graphite WaterSki

► Crossover WaterSkiers

A Crossover WaterSkier skis part time in courses and part time in the open water. This skier aspires to move up to the course arena or often skis at settings where no course is available but loves to make hard turns with big spray. Their ski feature needs include efficiency and versatility. Examples of WaterSki gear in the Crossover range are

  • Connelly Aspect WaterSki
  • Connelly Concept WaterSki
  • HO Sports Syndicate Omni WaterSki
  • HO Sports Omni Carbon WaterSki
  • HO Sports Omni WaterSki
  • Radar Senate Lithium WaterSki
  • Radar Senate Graphite WaterSki
  • Radar Senate Alloy WaterSki

►Freeride / Open water WaterSkiers

A Free Skier skis primarily in open water such as big lakes and rivers. Their ski feature needs include carve-ability and range, as their ski needs to cut through the most diverse waters and keep the ride smooth and free. Examples of watersports equipment in the Freeride / Open water range are

  • Connelly HP WaterSki
  • Connelly Big Daddy WaterSki
  • Connelly Outlaw WaterSki
  • HO Sports Hovercraft WaterSki
  • HO Sports Fusion WaterSki
  • HO Sports Freeride WaterSki
  • Radar Union WaterSki
  • Radar Terrain WaterSki
  • Radar Session WaterSki

Different Skill Levels

A good rule of thumb to determine your own skill level is to know the frequency you plan on being on the water and whether you believe you’re an aggressive, or relaxed skier. Those who have an aggressive style and plan on skiing more than 2 times per month will want to consider an intermediate/advanced slalom ski and those who are more relaxed, just starting out, and plan on being on the water less than 2 times per month should consider a beginner/intermediate ski.

► Beginner WaterSkiers

Beginners are just that, they’re just starting out. This can be kids and adult skiers alike who typically lack form, ski infrequently, and lack experience. Combo water skis should be used exclusively.

► Intermediate WaterSkiers

This is the skill level of those who have some experience, but only plan on skiing for fun. Courses and competition skiing is typically not an option with an over-riding concern on comfort, enjoyment and relaxation. There’s typically a preference with longer line lengths of at least 15-feet and slower speeds to 30 mph for intermediate slalom skiers is more than enough.

► Advanced WaterSkiers

Advanced water skiers have a wealth of experience, ski frequently, and usually seek out competition or performance courses. These skiers have great form, and technique, seek out shorter lines of about 30-feet, and look to move at competition level speeds of at least 35 mph.

Choosing the best WaterSki for you

The length of the ski doesn’t become a real factor until you’ve moved on to slalom skis. Typically, there are two factors to consider including the speed of the boat and weight of the skier. We’ve broken it down for you below to give you a better idea on the length of the slalom ski you’ll want to consider based on your weight and average speed you’re wanting to ski.

For beginners, the decision is a bit easier. Longer and wider skis are best suited for those new to skiing as they offer better balance and make it easier to get up. There are also features such as a trainer bar that interconnects both skis together which helps improve stability while allowing you to concentrate on the motion of one foot instead of both.

WaterSki Sizing Chart

The following water ski sizing chart gives you a great guide for those looking to pick up a new slalom water ski. With all our WaterSkis there is a brand specific Riders Weight Indication also.

Skieers Weight

42-48 Km/h

48-55 Km/h

55-58 Km/h

35-50 Kg

59” - 63”

59” - 63”

59” - 63”

50-60 Kg

62” - 64”

62” - 63”

62” - 63”

55-65 Kg

64” - 66”

63” - 66”

63” - 65”

60-70 Kg

66” - 67”

65” - 66”

64” - 66”

75-85 Kg

67” - 68”

66” - 67”

65” - 67”

80-90 Kg

68” - 72”

67” - 68”

66” - 68”

85-95 Kg


68” - 69”

67” - 69”

90 Kg and Up


69” - 71”

69” - 71”

WaterSki Bindings

The bindings, also referred to as boots are what you put your feet into and are attached to the ski itself. Some bindings are exclusive sizes while others are adjustable allowing them to fit different size feet. While it’s true the ski makes all the difference, but they’re only as good as the bindings attached to them.

Keeping it simple, the main purpose of the bindings is to hold your feet to the ski. Other functions include keeping your feet and ankles from moving around too freely which provides lateral support. This helps minimize any injury that can be seen with the ankle in the same manner high-top sneakers provide ankle support for basketball players.

When looking at bindings, you’ll want a pair that offers great support and allows you to get in and out easily. Beginners and those who plan on using the bindings for more than one person will want to look at adjustable bindings along with a single high strap on the front and a rear toe plate.

For those who will be using the bindings exclusively, you’ll want to consider double wrap bindings which are typically seen with advanced level slalom level skiers. These bindings are harder to get on and off the adjustable bindings, but offer more ankle support as they rest higher up and go completely around the foot.

Any more questions?

As you can see, there are many factors to take into consideration when buying your WaterSki. The more you research and read, the easier it will be for you to make the right decision, and we are sure you are ending up with a WaterSki that you and your family are truly happy with.

If you need more information or have any more questions please contact us. Our team is available

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