Water skiing is a fun and challenging sport with a loyal following. Regular water skiing requires balance on two skis, while slalom skiing is the act of skiing with two feet balanced on one ski. Check out these tips for taking on the water with a solo ski.
Begin in the water. Place your weaker foot in the main–or front–boot of the slalom ski. If you are right-handed, your left foot will go in the boot, and vice versa.
Put your stronger foot in the back half-boot. The back boot acts as the body’s rudder. Your stronger foot is in the front to be a steering wheel and a balance stabilizer while you are on top of the water. When the boat pulls you out of the water, your back foot must push the ski against the force of the water. The combination of forces (push versus pull) helps you to pop out of the water.
Make sure both feet are snug in the ski. Grab the ski rope and hold on, palms down. Allow the boat’s driver to slowly move forward until the ski rope is taut.
Signal to the driver and spotter when you are ready for the boat to accelerate. Most drivers prefer “Hit it!” Before you signal, take a deep breath and make sure your arms, legs, torso and ski rope are aligned with the ski. Keep your muscles tight and ready.
Brace your body against the full force of the boat as it accelerates. Using the ski as a shield, push against the force of the boat. Your lower legs and knees are great shock absorbers. As you push slightly against the force, let the boat pull your upper body forward. The combination of push and pull will pop your body upright out of the water. It will feel strange at first to be using opposite forces at once, but you will get used to the technique with practice.
Keep your balance. Once you are on the surface of the water, balance is most important. You are on one plane instead of two when you slalom ski. Your entire body has to balance itself on that plane. Use your legs and feet to shift your weight. Do not lean heavily to one side or the other. Keep your knees slightly bent, but your body upright.
Try again. It may take one try to get up, or it may take 50. Resist the urge to give up and ask for the other ski. When you have built up some confidence, travel in and out of the wake by shifting your body and your back foot.