Best Water Skis for Beginners (2023)

Best Water Skis For Beginners

If you are a beginner at water skiing, you are about to unfold a bag full of adventurous experiences. Water skiing is one of the most enjoyable activities that you can do while learning some new skills. To make your experience seamless, you need to choose the most suitable water skis for the purpose. The task of selecting the perfect ski seems intimidating. There are a lot of factors to consider and study before making the right choice. I will guide you through the entire process. Moreover, you will also learn some other important information regarding choosing the best water ski for beginners!

Top Pick

Considering all factors, the HO Burner Water Skis are the clear winner. The shape of this ski is supportive of beginners. The horseshoe bindings are adjustable and include trainer bar compatibility with free learning to water ski instructional video link.

Best Picks For Water Ski For Beginners

HO Burner Combo Skis

HO Burner Combo Skis 2022

(Video) Beginner Waterskis - How To Choose The Right Beginner Water ski - Combo Waterski - Canada

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These skis are fantastic for beginners without prior experience in water sports. HO is a trusted water sports brand name with a strong customer base. The oversized shape of the ski makes it stable and suitable for beginners. It allows you to have an easier start and ski at a lower speed. The V-bottom design helps you to cut through the water without losing balance effortlessly. Recommended speed is 26mph. Another great quality of this ski is its compatibility with trainer bars. The tip inserts design in the skis allows you to put a trainer bar that keeps the tips together. Available with adjustable horseshoe bindings, you also get a 1-year warranty. One big advantage of this ski is the rear toe strap. The strap helps you to progress when you want to switch to slalom water skiing.

Pros

  • Adjustable horseshoe bindings
  • Oversized shape for more stability

Cons

  • Available in 1 design

O’Brien Vortex Combo Water Ski

O’Brien Vortex Combo Water Ski 2022

Dual Tunnel – Slices through rough water for a smooth, stable ride.

Includes Adjustable X-7 & RT Bindings

(Video) Best Beginner Water Skis

Beginner – Intermediate

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O’Brien is another brand you can trust. This water ski is easy to ride and control. It includes X-7 & RT Bindings that ensure a comfortable experience for beginners. The Obrien Vortex has a wide body to provide stability to the skier. The wide body also makes it easier to ski at slower boat speed. The shape of the ski is suitable for beginners as it supports easy starts and big carving turns.
X7 bindings are adjustable and can accommodate men’s sizes of 4.5 to 13 US. The fin is made with nylon and has a color choice between red and blue.

Pros

  • Includes X-7 adjustable bindings
  • Wider shape for more stability

Radar X-Caliber Combo Water Skis

The Radar X-Caliber tries to accommodate all requirements of a beginner skier, to provide them with maximum comfort. The cruise bindings are the perfect addition to make it a complete package. Feature of this ski is the unique shape. It has a wide base with side cuts. Radar uses high-end technology to get the shape right for beginners. The additional surface area allows the skier to maintain stability and ride smoothly. Molded EVA Cruise Boat Bindings, you can be certain of the premium quality of the bindings. The tongue and shape give a snug and comfortable fit. Also includes a toe strap in case you want to progress towards slalom water skiing.

(Video) Best Beginner Water Skis

Pros

  • Includes Molded EVA Cruise Bindings
  • 1-year warranty

Connelly Eclypse Combo Skis

Connelly Eclypse Combo Skis 2022

Reinforced Composite Construction

Standard Tunnel

Swerve with RTS Bindings

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If you are looking for a high-quality water ski, you can never go wrong with Connelly. Many advanced-level water skiers trust this brand for their equipment. The Connelly Eclypse Combo is one of the latest models with advanced technology. The best part about this ski is that it is suitable for all ages and skill levels. The shape includes a wide nose and tail. This allows beginners to stay afloat and gives stability. It has a reinforced composite construction, which adds to its durability.

Pros

  • Reinforced Composite Construction
  • Durable lace bindings
  • Includes Connelly Tracking System
  • Appropriate for all ages and skill levels

O’Brien Performer Combo Skis

(Video) 12 (or so) Water-Ski Tips to Perform Your Best

O'Brien Performer Combo Skis 2022

Dual Tunnel – Slices through rough water for a smooth, stable ride.

Includes Z-8 Bindings

Beginner – Intermediate

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This is another great model from Obrien to suit beginners. It includes Z-8 bindings for an excellent comfort level. You will have a good time with this ski due to the extra surface area of the forebody. It helps you to maintain stability and float better in the water. This O’Brien Performer ski promotes the interests of beginners to intermediate-level skiers. The bindings are appropriate for men’s sizes between 7 and 13 US. The width of the ski follows a standard traditional length. Aggressive rocker design and bevels allow the ski to be used as a slalom ski. The plastic fins only add to the smooth-riding through deep waters. Buy these skis if you want the best of both worlds, i.e., combo and slalom skiing. However, this feature adds to the cost.

Pros

  • Includes Z-8 adjustable bindings
  • Combination of slalom and combo ski

Cons

  • Expensive

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are The Key Considerations While Selecting A Water Ski For Beginners?

  • Type Of Ski

You should go for combo or trainer skis if you are just starting. These are a set of two skis, one for each leg. This type is different from a slalom ski, which includes only one ski. A combo is more beneficial for beginners as it provides more surface area. A larger surface area lets you maintain balance and float easily in the water. Once you master your skills in these skis, you can move to the next level.

  • Weight Of Skier

The ski sizes are segregated based on the weight of the skier. You need to be careful while selecting the right size. A wrong ski might cause a lot of issues in the water. It can also cause injuries or breakage. However, you need not worry as this is a simple process. All you need to do is match your weight to the ski size. The size information is freely available with all skis.

  • Age/ Gender Of The Skier

All age groups can enjoy skiing. There is some differentiation based on age, as well. A beginner can be both a kid and an adult. If you are looking for the right equipment for your junior, make sure to select one for kids. You will also find variations of ski between the two genders. While there is not much difference between the two, you can still go for a design of your liking. This allows you to narrow down your options further to select the right one.

  • Speed

A water ski can vary with the speed of the towboat. The speed primarily decides the skill level of the skier. Hence, each ski supports a certain speed level. For a beginner, a speed of 26mph is recommendable. However, this differs from certain factors like the skier’s type of ski, age, and weight. This speed is suitable for an adult beginner skier with combo skis.

  • Bindings

While it is known that skiing is the most important equipment for water skiing, it is not entirely true. A ski is only as good as the bindings. Always go with a ski with attached bindings. The bindings should be comfortable and allow enough space for foot movement. These need to be well-fitted to provide a better experience. A pair of bindings are suitable to fit a wide range of feet. You need to make sure that these are of high quality and have good adjustments.

  • Shape

The shape influences the buoyancy of the ski. A higher level of buoyancy is more suitable for beginners. Some skis are wider with an attached bar for better stability. You should go for such skis if you have recently started to water ski. However, these skis also have more drag to them. Hence, you should consider switching to slimmer skis as you start improving your water skiing technique.

(Video) Basic water ski moves for beginers

What Is The Average Price Of Getting A Good Quality Ski?

The price varies with many factors, including the ski size, shape, and features. There is no definite range that you should follow. However, make sure that your ski includes all the necessary features. Do not hesitate to spend some extra money to get a better quality product. Your quality experience will be worth the investment. To give you a vague idea, you can get a good quality combo ski for beginners at about $200. This price is subject to the features and bindings on the ski.

How To Choose Between Two Good Skis?

Go with the bigger brand if you are confused between two skis with the same features and price. Some brands primarily deal with water skis and related accessories. These brands also have long experience in dealing with water sports activities. If you face any issues with the equipment, customer support of an established brand is more likely to solve it.

FAQs

Are wider skis better for beginners? ›

Ability Level

Generally speaking, beginners are going to want a narrower ski. For starters, beginners spend most of their time on-piste, where a wide-waisted ski will feel unwieldy. Narrower skis are also nimbler and are therefore easier to lay over on edge.

Are shorter skis better for beginners? ›

Ability Level

Because shorter skis are easier to initiate in turns, we recommend shorter lengths (and narrower widths) for beginners and intermediates.

What skis are easiest to turn? ›

ROCKER/REVERSE CAMBER

Skis with rocker are characterized by ski curving upwards at the tip of the ski or the tip and tail. Rocker increases the ability to float on top of deep snow and makes it very easy to enter and exit turns.

How much should I spend on first skis? ›

A new set of skis can cost anywhere from $400 to $1000. Unfortunately, you need the boots and bindings too if your skis are going to serve you at all. These add on yet another costly purchase. The total price for a ski setup can range from $600 to $1500.

How do I choose my first ski? ›

A beginner will need skis that are quite short: 10 to 15cm less than their own height for downhill skis. A good skier might choose skis which are the same height as themselves for downhill skiing (and sometimes even a little longer for freeriding).

What happens if you use skis that are too short? ›

Having skis that are too short to support your weight will have a lack of control, lack of response or rebound, and will not absorb the vibration when at a higher speed.

What ski length is for me? ›

The general rule is for your skis to measure somewhere between your chin and the top of your head. With expert level skiers often choosing skis slightly above their head. SIZE SHORTER, CLOSER TO CHEST IF: Child's weight is less than average for their height.

What size water skis do I need calculator? ›

Water Ski Size Chart
Skier WeightBoat Speed 26-30 mphBoat Speed 34-36 mph
150-180 lbs.67"-68"65"-67"
170-200 lbs.68"-72"66"-68"
190-215 lbs.72"67"-68"
210 lbs & up72"68"-72"
4 more rows

Do shorter skis make it easier? ›

As a rule of thumb, beginner-level skiers should ride a ski no longer than the top of their chests. Shorter and softer flexing skis are easier to control, making turning easier and gaining speed less intimidating. The length and waist width of your skis determines how much surface area your ski is touching on the snow.

Is it better to have heavier or lighter skis? ›

Lightweight skis can allow you to ski better longer. Two, saving weight often means increased maneuverability.

Can a beginner use stiff skis? ›

As a beginner, you should avoid skis with a stiff flex rating. Stiff skis are less forgiving than softer flexing ones, as you will find them challenging to use. Stiffer skis are more stable at speed and work well on hardpacked snow.

Do shorter skis go slower? ›

Why? Because longer skis generally have a larger turning radius. Therefore, they spend more time in the fall line … which means they can, and do, ski faster than a shorter ski. Shorter skis go slower, and who wants to ski slower?

Do you go faster on skis if you're heavier? ›

But when skiing down a slope, does a heavy skier go faster than a light skier? As it turns out, yes, a heavier skier will go faster thanks to how gravity works. Being bigger will produce more drag and resistance which can also slow you down. Together gravity, drag, and snow resistance will determine your speed.

How many hours of ski lessons does a beginner need? ›

As a beginner, you will need at least a week of group lessons or a series of three two hour sessions to feel safe and in control on your skis or snowboard.

Do beginner skiers fall a lot? ›

But think about it: As a beginner, you won't (or shouldn't) be going too fast, snow is softer than you'd expect, and falling is a part of learning. You'll fall. A lot. The only way to learn is to fall and just because you're skiing shouldn't make it scary.

How long does it take a beginner to ski? ›

On average, it takes around 10 weeks before you're confident on all types of runs, even the steepest blacks. But some people might get to this point quicker. Your parallel skiing should be flawless by now, with your skis side by side the whole way to make a smooth, linked turns.

Is 25 too old to learn to ski? ›

It's unanimous. Just as health experts have been saying for years about exercise and fitness programs, ski industry experts say it's never too late to start, whether it's downhill skiing, snowboarding, cross-country schussing, or snowshoeing. And never too old to stick with it.

Does weight Affect ski length? ›

Weight also plays a factor in deciding which skis you'll buy. A good rule of thumb is that, if you weigh less than the average for your height, you should opt for shorter skis. If you weigh more than average, you should opt for longer skis.

Are shorter skis better for seniors? ›

The older you are the shorter your skis should be. Not because you are older but because there is a correlation between age and a general decline in strength, fitness level, durability and reflex speed. If you are more interested in balance and speed control than you are in speed you want to consider a shorter ski.

Is it harder to ski with long or short skis? ›

If you're looking at different lengths of the same ski model, the longer version is generally going to be more stable at high speeds, while the shorter length is generally going to be easier to ski at slower speeds.

How do I choose a water ski? ›

The size you should choose depends on your body weight and ability level. A longer ski is slower and more stable, which is what a beginner needs to learn without falling off too much. For example, a 130-pound skier should opt for 65- or 66-inch skis, while a 170-pound skier should opt for 69-inch skis.

What size ski does a 5'2 woman need? ›

Women's Ski Size Chart
User Height (in)User Height (cm)Beginner Length (cm)
5'0"152137
5'2"158143
5'4"163148
5'6"168153
8 more rows

How do I choose a pair of skis? ›

Skiing style: If you like to make quick turns, opt for shorter skis. If you want to ski fast, go with a longer pair. Terrain: If your favorite hill is dominated by narrow, twisty trails, look at shorter skis. They're better at quickly maneuvering into tight turns.

Is 40 hp enough for water skiing? ›

It's possible to pull a single lightweight wakeboarder behind a 40 HP engine. However, the boat won't create a big enough wake for a competent adult wakeboarder to enjoy.

Is it better to size up or down in skis? ›

The length of your ski depends on your height, weight, skiing style & ability. There isn't an exact formula for determining the right size but in general the proper ski length should be between your chin and the top of your head. For example, a skier that is 6' tall will want to look for a skis between 170 - 190 cm.

What speed do you water ski at? ›

Once you're up and running, the average water ski speed is around 30 MPH. Competition speed for pro slalom skiers is 36 MPH, but you can signal to your driver what speed your comfortable with.

Is a 360 or 180 easier on skis? ›

A 180 is easier to do but then you are going backwards which is probably why they said a 360 is easier but when you are just learning you should be doing them at very low speed or even static, There's not really much difference between the two all you do is spin with a bit more force to get the 360.

Is Type 1 skier a beginner? ›

Type -1: Ski VERY Cautiously (Beginner)

This will further increase the risk of inadvertent binding release but will gain increased releasability in a fall.

Do shorter skis turn easier? ›

Shorter and softer flexing skis are easier to control, making turning easier and gaining speed less intimidating. The length and waist width of your skis determines how much surface area your ski is touching on the snow.

What is the easiest ski slope Colour? ›

Green is an easy shallow & wide slope for beginners. Blue is for intermediate skiers who can turn on steeper faster gradients. In Europe, Red is for very good confident skiers that like a challenge. Black or Double Black Diamond is for expert skiers who can handle very steep, uneven gradients.

How do I choose a waterski size? ›

When buying waterskis, a good 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.

Is it better to have heavier or lighter skis? ›

Lightweight skis can allow you to ski better longer. Two, saving weight often means increased maneuverability.

Do longer or shorter skis go faster? ›

Because longer skis generally have a larger turning radius. Therefore, they spend more time in the fall line … which means they can, and do, ski faster than a shorter ski.

Is it easier to ski with or without sticks? ›

Should You Use Poles Or Not? Using poles is necessary for keeping timing and rhythm, especially when skiing steep terrain or moguls. However, if you are just learning to ski, your child is skiing for the first time, or you wish to improve your abilities in the terrain park, leaving the skis at home could help you grow.

Should you lean forward when you ski? ›

A Small Skiing Myth

A small myth with skiing is that you have to lean forwards as much as you can, this is not true as just explained. You only need to lean forwards enough to put your centre of gravity over the middle of the ski.

What is a Type 2 skier? ›

is someone who prefers to ski at slower speeds and prefers cautious skiing on smooth slopes. A TYPE II skier. is someone who prefers to ski a variety of speeds on varied terrains. A TYPE III skier. is someone who prefers aggressive skiing and skis on moderate to steeper terrains.

Do beginner skiers fall a lot? ›

But think about it: As a beginner, you won't (or shouldn't) be going too fast, snow is softer than you'd expect, and falling is a part of learning. You'll fall. A lot. The only way to learn is to fall and just because you're skiing shouldn't make it scary.

What does Type 3 skier mean? ›

Type III Skiers Are... Skiers who prefer fast skiing on slopes of moderate to steep pitch. Skiers who designate themselves as Type III receive higher than average release/retention settings. This corresponds to decreased releasability in a fall in order gain a decreased risk of inadvertent binding release.

What happens if you use skis that are too short? ›

Having skis that are too short to support your weight will have a lack of control, lack of response or rebound, and will not absorb the vibration when at a higher speed.

Is it bad if my skis are taller than me? ›

If you're a very good skier, then it's fine for the skis to be taller than you. You'll benefit from greater stability at speed and more float on powder.

Are shorter skis better for seniors? ›

The older you are the shorter your skis should be. Not because you are older but because there is a correlation between age and a general decline in strength, fitness level, durability and reflex speed. If you are more interested in balance and speed control than you are in speed you want to consider a shorter ski.

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