Water Skiing as a Sport

As in the case of many other sports, water skiing has participators, at both the recreational level and the more serious, competitive level. As a recreation, water skiing can be enjoyed by all age groups from the very young through to the more senior members of society. There are skiers still active into their eighties. It is not a sport limited only to the able bodied either; there is an increasing number of disabled and blind skiers.

In the United States, where there are an abundant number of freshwater lakes available to skiers, it is estimated that there are up to twenty million skiers at all levels. In Europe, Australia, increasingly Asia and many other regions, skiing enjoys a wide and expanding following. From sales of water skiing & wakeboarding equipment in Hong Kong, we can gather that there are several thousand participants in the sport.

The HKWSA exists as a body whose prime aim is to promote and expand towed water sports in particular the sports of water skiing and wakeboarding. Its operations and organisation are structured around that aim. However the Association does not consider itself a body for the elite of the sport. Skiers of all ages and abilities are welcomed, even though many, or even most will never attain the standard required for serious tournament level competition. With the coaching we are able to offer, we can ensure that beginners learn quickly and safely. Our standards of safety, not only in tuition but also in boat driving are stringent. We consider that anyone having passed through the Association and received the basic training will have a grounding, not only in the safety of the sport for themselves but also for the community as a whole.

Water skiing has been around since the 1920's, initial equipment being primitive to say the least. Enjoyment being the mother of invention, a variety of forms of the sport have developed, the most well known ones include:

Tournament Skiing. This can be grouped into individual disciplines. –

Slalom, in which skiers navigate their way around a series of 6 buoys at increasing speeds and decreasing ski rope length once 36 mph is reached.

Tricks (or Figures), where a series of gymnastic maneuvers are performed by the skier and finally

Jump, in which the skier is towed up a five or six feet high ramp with the intention of achieving the greatest distance across the water before landing.

Ski Racing. In this discipline, skiers and boats compete against each other around a set course, at speed, the winner being the first to complete the course. Participants are required to form teams comprising skier, boat driver and observer. The HKWSA organises annual competitions including the Round Kau Sia Chau Water Ski marathon (12-24 miles) and is currently the lead Asian association for Ski Racing.

Wakeboarding, a relatively new and increasingly popular branch of the sport in which a double ended board is skied upon with a surfing stance, using the wake of the boat to perform tricks and stunts.

Kneeboarding, in which the participant kneels on a short, wide board performing a series of tricks.

Barefoot Skiing. Barefoot skiing is becoming increasingly popular as one of the “Action” sports. With nothing between the skier and the water, barefooting encompasses all the disciplines of tournament skiing with especial emphasis on tricks and a lot of acrobatics.

Cable Skiing & Cable Wakeboarding. These are the latest variations of the sport. Doing away completely with the need for a boat, an overhead cable, set on a rectangular course can tow a number of people, a safe distance from each other, at the same time. Tournament disciplines are similar to the more traditional boat tow versions.

Others : Wakeskate, Air-chair, Wakesurf, Kiteboarding

The HKWSA prides itself in being active in the promotion of Tournament water ski disciplines which enjoy wide support worldwide, particularly slalom, and also in the promotion of Wakeboarding in recent years.

Copyright 2007 Hong Kong Water Ski Association. All Rights Reserved.