Waterski & Wakeboard

Water skiing and wakeboarding are surface water sports where an individual is pulled behind a motor boat or cable tow.

They are both a recreational activity and a competitive sport although most people ride for fun and to keep fit. 

Water skiing typically begins with a deep water start, with the skier crouching down in the water. When the skier is ready, the driver accelerates the boat to pull the skier out of the water.

Wakeboarding is a combination of water skiing and surfing that can be done either behind a boat or by being pulled along on a cable or winch.

You can participate by skiing on two skis, one ski, riding a wakeboard or a kneeboard, barefoot, or on a disc or other means of keeping afloat! You don't even need to own a speed boat to take part, as many facilities have club boats or cable tows, making participation in these sports much more affordable.

Why is it good for me?

Water skiing and wakeboarding can help to improve your strength. Getting out onto the water and leaving your stresses on the shore can also be great for your mental health.

How much does it cost?

A typical water skiing session will cost from £10 – £25 per half hour depending on where you go and whether you take advantage of coaching, which is recommended for beginners. You should be able to borrow any specialised equipment from the club or provider in the first instance.

Some wakeboarding opportunities are offered via funded programmes so they can cost from as little as £10 per session, with all of your equipment provided for you.

If you aren’t participating in one of the courses, costs can vary between wakeboarding on a cable or behind a boat. Typically when wakeboarding on a cable prices start at £19 for an hour session with the wakeboard (£9), wetsuit (£3), buoyancy aid (£1) and helmet (£1) being added extras. Some venues will do an “all included” price which normally works out to be slightly cheaper at around £28.

What equipment do I need?

You’ll need to bring swimwear and shower stuff along to your first session for both activities, but the rest of the equipment like wetsuit, buoyancy aid, skis or board and helmet should be provided for you.

Getting started

British Water Ski and Wakeboard (BWSW), the national governing body have a take part section on their website which also includes a club search facility. There is also a page on Cutting Edge which is BWSW's participation programme for young people.