Waterskiing - what do you need to get started

Water skiing has never been more popular, but unlike more conventional sports like football, you need more than just a ball and some coats to put down as goalposts, to take it up. If you are looking for a sport where there is a minimal investment to get started, then try jogging, but if you want something that is breathtaking and exhilarating, then waterskiing is the ultimate experience.

What equipment and facilities you need to begin are easily found. Associations, where people can participate in water skiing, have sprung up all over the country, and now amateurs and those who take it a lot more seriously have a choice of reservoirs, man-made and natural lakes, and, of course, the open sea. You will need to join a club, and these vary, depending on your location. Some of the clubs that offer a water skiing service are as small as 20 enthusiasts, who bring along their own gear. Others are massive ski centres that come with powerboats for hire and fully qualified instructors.

Getting started by joining a club can turn out to be very economical, and it is possible to pay for individual visits rather than a yearly membership fee. By finding a club, it is possible to determine if you enjoy the sport before committing yourself to any large expense. Some of the clubs have cable-tow equipment that will pull skiers around the water without the use of a boat. This is particularly affordable for someone who wants to try but has a limited budget.

Essential gear to start includes a power boat and a tow rope. You will also require a PFD (Personal Flotation Device), a wakeboard and someone to drive the boat and work as a spotter. Wearing a set of skis that are suitable for your particular weight, height and level of skill is also important. There are also skis that have been specially designed for children. If you are in doubt; then it is a terrific idea to pop into your local water ski shop for some advice.

Every water ski centre will initially be able to provide a beginner with all of the equipment that is necessary. Beginner skis have a greater surface area so are easier to manoeuvre in the water. If conditions are cold, then most skiers will wear a cold weather wetsuit, and gloves, though only ski jumpers go the whole way and wear a safety helmet.

At the end of the day, if you want to get good, then you will need an instructor to help. It is also wise to remember that though it is a great sport to take up, because of the speeds involved, accidents can happen. It is a smart move, therefore, to take out some form of ski insurance cover from a reputable firm, so that you can enjoy the excitement to the full, without worrying about being injured.