Last updated on August 11, 2018
Water Skiing is one of the top summer activities. It is easy to see why as it adds a lot more skill and thrill to a regular day out on the water. This is something that can be enjoyed by kids and adults alike and while it requires some skill, with the best water skis for your level you will find yourself looking like a pro in no time.
While the market for skis is well saturated, we have looked through to narrow down our top picks. These water skis are sure to stand the test of time and ensure that you have a fun day out on the water. Check out our list of the top ten water skis below.
How To Choose The Best Water Skis – Buying Guide
Many new skiers find themselves wondering what are the best water skis for me. When looking through the many options it is important to understand what you should be looking for. Many features contribute to the best water ski. Companies have spent lots of both time and money trying to perfect the construction and ride feel of their best water skis. These key features should be looked at before picking the right ones for you.
The materials used to construct the best water skis goes a long way to determining the durability, ride quality, and essentially your enjoyment on the water. There are many pieces that go into a complete ski from the core to the base to the bindings.
If you cut a modern water ski in half you will more than likely find a polyurethane foam core. This is a high density material that is intended to keep the water skis afloat. Around the core you could find a few different types of material. The most common is a fiberglass wrapping. Designed to be strong enough to withstand a beating while light enough to keep you floating. This material is found on most skis made today. A more high quality material would be carbon or graphite. These are ultralight while maintaining the durability of fiberglass. Finally an epoxy resin is poured over top giving a nice sheen necessary for speed and durability. A base is then added and finally the ski is molded into its final shape. For a unique finish some companies add an ABS top coat which allows for graphics to be added.
This is the part of your water skis that will give you the ability to carve through the water. Every ski has an edge bevel angle. This is the degree at which your edge is shaped and gives you control on the water. If skis didn’t have this aspect you wouldn’t be able to turn or have any mobility in the water. A smaller edge angle give the smallest turn radius and most control. These are what professional water skiers use. Beginners on the other hand will need a larger edge making turns more gradual and at a slower speed.
The bottom of the ski determines its overall ride in the water.
When searching for your next best water skis you will come across this term. It refers to skis that have a ridge that runs down the center of the base creating a V shape. This allows the ski to cut through the water like the bottom of a boat, creating a ski that is easy to control. It will maintain a straight line with ease. V-bottom skis are found mainly on beginner to intermediate skis.
This design features a base that has an inward arch along the entire width of the ski. A full concave design allows riders to carve easier and for longer. A deeper arch will make it harder to carve, but give you more ability to hold it. This type of base is reserved for professionals who need the most control and have the highest skill.
A tunnel concave base is much like the full concave but looks different closer to the edges. Instead of following the same angle, the base gets flatter as it gets closer to the edge. This propels the skis to float more on top of the water. It offers more stability than the full concave and is easier to control.
Similar to the bindings used for skiing and snowboarding in the winter months, these are used to firmly secure your foot to the top of the ski. This allows you and the ski to be connected as though you were a single unit giving you full control of the water skis. The binding of your ski is generally made using neoprene and should firmly wrap your foot. This allows you to simply shift your weight or twist your ankle to move the ski as you please.
Fins are an important part of almost every water top including paddleboards, surfboards and water skis. These are located on the rear underside of your skis and help to ensure your skis stay inline. Adding resistance to the ski they ensure that your skis are pointed forward and actively prevent against sideways sliding. This is especially important when doing turns on your water skis as these will help to keep you pointed in the right direction.
Types of skis
You may not be aware that there are four different types of the best water skis on the market. In addition to the different technology that goes into the construction of a ski, it is also important to know the different types of skis out there before choosing the best ski design for you.
Sold as a single ski with two bindings, the bindings are laid out in a successional pattern with one behind the other. This type of water ski is designed with a wide front that narrows towards the rear of the ski. This is ideal for riders with more skill level as it allows you to decelerate quickly when approaching a turn giving you a fast turning ski. This type of ski is ideal for both recreation use as well as use in slalom courses.
Also known as mid-skis, these are much alike the previously mentioned Slalom skis as they are a single ski sold with two bindings. The similarities end there though as these skis are much wider and are more geared towards beginner riders. This width of these best water skis make it easier to get up and stay up giving you a more stable ride. The key feature of this type of ski is that there are Sidecuts. These are narrowed areas around the bindings that make it so that you are able to turn easier. These beginner water skis are excellent for use at a slower speed and work well for learning on Slalom courses.
These ones differ from the aforementioned types as they are sold as a pair with one ski having two bindings while the other has only a single binding. This type of ski is ideal for families or those buying the skis for use with multiple skill levels. The best part about these skis are that they meet the needs of both beginners and advanced riders alike. This type comes with adjustable bindings that are built to fit a variety of different foot sizes for your skis.
These skis are easy to get up on and provide a ton of stability. The double bindings on one ski allow more advanced riders to use only one, or alternatively to use both at the start and then drop one once they are up. This type of ski comes in both narrow and wide shaped designs to give you even more flexibility.
Also known as Junior skis, these are shorter skis that are specifically designed for small, lightweight riders. These beginner skis come with a bar or rope in between the skis to help young riders get up easier. The towrope is connected to this retainer to make it an easier ride ensuring that the skis stay the correct distance apart. This is a great training tool that is bound to build up confidence with a rider on their skis and allowing them to focus on the skill of riding. This design is built with safety in mind, specifically designed to ensure riders do not get pulled underwater.
Q: How Fast Should The Boat Go So I Can Water Ski?
A: The speed of the boat depends on who is skiing and what type of skiing you are doing. The main thing you want to do is maintain a minimum speed to keep the skier upright. If you go too slow, then the skier is not going to have enough momentum to stay upright. If you go too fast, then the rider is going to be knocked off their feet by hitting the wake of the boat.
A lot of the speed depends on the weight of the rider. A child on two skis would need a speed of around 25kmh to stay upright. An adult on one ski would require a speed of around 58 kmh. If a skier is barefoot, then they may need speeds of up to 70kmh. Start slow and work your way up to a constant speed where the skier is able to stay upright easily.
If you are entering a competition, then for slalom skiing, the speed can be anywhere between 22 and 58kmh. For speed races, the speed can get up to 190kmh. Always remember to wear a helmet.
Q: How Should I Clean My Water Skis?
A: You should clean your skis after every visit to the water. Once you are out of the water, you should rinse the waterskis with fresh warm water. Once you have rinsed them, you should leave them to dry out of direct sunlight. Only once they are dried, should you place them into storage.
Do not use any petroleum-based lubricants on the bindings. If you do need to use a lubricant, then you should purchase lubricant which is biodegradable.
Q: What Is The Difference Between Waterskiing and Wakeboarding?
A: Waterskiing and wakeboarding have a lot of similarities but are some subtle differences. The great thing about the two water sports is that if you know how to do one, your skills are transferable to the other.
Waterskiing, as the name would suggest, uses skis. These skis are similar to the skis you would use when you are skiing, but are wider. Wakeboarding uses a board similar to a snowboard, only a lot smaller. One main difference between the two is that water skis will come off every time you fall (no matter how tightly you attach them, while a wakeboard will stay bound to your feet.
When you are wakeboarding, you have more of a sideways stance in the water. When you are on the best water skis, you are facing directly forward. Some people prefer the view when you are on skis as opposed to a board, but you are out on the water, so the view is going to be nice no matter what. You will find that you have more strain on your legs when you are waterskiing as your legs are going to want to go in separate directions. You will need to use your leg strength to keep your feet parallel.
Both sports involve holding a rope and being pulled through the water by a boat.
Globo Surf Overview
When reading through the many water ski reviews that are out there, be sure you learn what key features would suit you best as a rider. Many people look for the best water skis that work for the whole family, in this case, you should consider a pair that will seamlessly translate between beginner riders and advanced. The skis that made it on our list are some of the best we have seen and all carry top technology to keep you safe and have you enjoying your summer.
- Water Ski Basics, How Stuff Works
New to Water Skis or have some of the best water skis on our list? Let us know how you like it in the comment section below.
Globo Surf Water Skis Review