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Adventist Youth Honors Answer Book/Recreation/Water Skiing

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Water Skiing
General Conference

See also Water Skiing - Advanced

Skill Level 2
Year of Introduction: 1961

Earning this honor meets a requirement for:

1. Have the Intermediate Swimming Honor.

This Wiki has a page with instructions and tips for earning the Swimming - Intermediate honor.

2. Know and practice the following safety rules:

a. Never ski at night.

At night it is difficult for the boat driver to see hazards in the water, including the skier. The fact that the boat must travel at a high speed for skiing makes these hazards even more dangerous. They may not be seen in time to avoid them. High-speed boating accidents can be (and have been) fatal.

b. Never ski during an electrical storm.

When lightning strikes a body of water, the electricity travels across the surface[1], which is exactly where a skier would be located. If you see lighting while skiing, get out of the water as soon as possible.

c. Always wear a ski vest while skiing.

A ski vest protects the torso from impacts. This is important when travelling across the surface of the water at a high speed. Accidents do happen, and a ski vest can save your life.

d. Check to be sure the vest buckle is securely locked.

A ski vest that comes off during an accident is potentially useless. Better to keep the vest on.

e. Make sure the ski rope is in good condition.

A frayed rope can break when stressed.

f. Make sure the ski bindings are in good condition.

Bindings in poor condition can break while in use, compromising the skiers control of the skis.

g. Have a spotter or a mirror in the ski boat.

The driver must be made aware if the skier is in trouble. Driving a boat at high speed while oblivious to the skier being towed is a recipe for disaster.

h. Stay clear of objects, such as other skiers, swimmers, docks, or floating objects.

These objects can kill.

i. If a fall occurs, let go of the rope.

Hanging on to the rope after a fall will subject the body to numerous impacts with the surface of the water. Being dragged along can also wrest the ski vest out of position.

j. After a fall, raise a hand to indicate you are all right.

This is to let the people on the boat know you are OK. This should be your regular practice so that in the event of an injury, failure to signal will bring swift help.

k. Do not stand in the ski boat while it is moving.

The likelihood of falling out of a boat is greatly increased for persons not seated. A fast boat can easily suck a person under where he can be hit by the propeller.

3. Know the following hand signals:

Hand signals and different people's understanding of hand signals varies, so always go through the hand signals with the boat captain, all spotters and all skiers before anyone goes in the water.

These are signals approved by the American Water Ski Association and are recommended for use on California waters. See link: http://www.dbw.ca.gov/Pubs/Watski/INDEX.HTM

a. Slower

Thump down, motion down with hand or palm-down motion.

b. Speed okay

Make the ok sign (thumb and finger to form a circle, with three other fingers up.

c. Faster

Thumb up, motion up with hand or palm-up motion.

d. Back to dock

Point down with one finger, and circle your finger. "Back around" to drop off area. Alternatively, pat crown of head with open palm meaning "return".

e. Stop

Use hand to "cut" across your neck. As in "cut the motor"

f. Turn

Use right or left arm to motion in the direction you want to go.

Other useful signals not in requirements

Start: Shout 'hit it' or nod head.

Jump: Raise hand up sharply, imitating a jumping arc.

Pick Me Up or Watch for Fallen Skier in Water: Hold a ski vertical in the water beside you.

4. Put on skis in deep water. Execute a deep water start on two skis with a full-line rope.

Practice, practice, practice. You should really have an instructor for this honor.

5. Successfully cross both wakes.

This means cross the wakes without falling in the water. A good demonstration of the results of your practice.

6. Identify the following:

a. Double ski

The standard type of skis most people start with. Two skis, one for each foot, with bindings to hold your feet. The skis may be interchangable to make them easy to put on in deep water. Sometimes on ski has a second binding so a skier can drop the other ski and continue with just one ski.

b. Slalom ski

In an attempt to become as agile as possible, slalom waterskiers use only one ski with feet oriented forward, one in front of the other. Slalom skis are narrow and long, at 57–70 inches (145–178 cm) depending on the height and weight of the skier. The two forward-facing bindings vary: they can be made of rubber or thick plastic, and they can be designed more like a snow ski binding or more like a roller blade boot.

c. Trick ski

Trick skiing uses small, oval-shaped waterskis. Beginners use two skis until ready to switch to one ski. The shorter, wider trick ski has a front binding facing forward and a back binding facing at a 45°. It has a smooth bottom that allows it to turn over the surface of the water. According to official 2013 Tournament Rules for 3-event competition in the United States and the Pan-Am Games, skis used in the Tricks event must be a single ski without fins, although molded rails/grooves less than 1/4" are allowed, as are a foot pad cemented to the ski as a place for the rear foot; in addition, the ski must float with all bindings, fins, etc., installed. The trick ski's configuration allows performance of both surface and air tricks in quick succession with enough practice and training.

d. Kneeboard

A kneeboard is a buoyant covex board similar to a surf board oen which the kneeboarder kneels. A boat is used to tow while the boarder hange on to the towrope. Some kneeboards have fins and some do not for increased maneuverability. Most use velcro straps to secure the knees.


  1. Hand Signals and Safety (California) http://www.dbw.ca.gov/Pubs/Watski/INDEX.HTM
  2. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waterskiing
  1. http://faculty.deanza.edu/donahuemary/stories/storyReader$583