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Swimming & Water Sports

Best Water Skis

When you think of water skiing, many things may pop into your head such as a crazy trick ski video seen on YouTube, an image of a GoGo's music video…or maybe you’re simply longing to get out there on your own set of skis. No matter what’s on your mind, you probably don’t realize just how many types and styles of water skis there really are out there. Whether you’re looking for a classic combo ski or a pro level trick ski, we’ve provided a helpful water ski buyer’s guide below with detailed information that will help you in your search.

O'Brien Performer Pro Combo Water Skis

One trip out on the lake and you’ll know why the O’Brien Performer Pro w/X9 RTP STD Combination Water Skis are called the “Cadillac of combos.” Perfect for the quickly advancing water skier, these combination skis have a deep rocker and sharp beveled edges that make the Performer Combo skis turn on a dime. The aluminum fin and wider surface area make deep water starts a breeze. Featuring the X9 RTP STD binding with EVA foam foot bed, the Performer Pro offers unmatched comfort and fits men’s sizes 7-13. The O’Brien Performer Pro w/X9 RTP STD combination water skis are a performance ski at an affordable price.

Radar The Vapor Lithium Combo Water Skis

The Vapor Lithium Combo water skis by Radar are a pair of the most stable combo skis on the market. Radar struck the perfect balance between speed and holding power. The 2014 design of The Vapor Lithium combo water skis have just the right amount of surface area needed for an easy deep water start and the streamlined edge makes them extremely agile on turns and wake crossovers. These combination water skis have a fluid rocker design, making these skis able to turn on a dime. The boots are farther forward in this design than they have been in past years. With a PVC core and carbon overlay, The Vapor Lithium Combo Water Skis are built to last.

Connely Eclypse Combo Water Skis

The 2014 Connelly Eclypse Combination Water Skis are the perfect pair of skis for the whole family to enjoy. Durable and easy to control, they are long lasting and easy to learn on. The aluminum fin makes this pair of skis track exceptionally well. This pair of Connelly Eclypse Combo Water Skis come with the option to get bindings that have a front adjustable rear toe strap so that everyone in your family can have the perfect fit. These skis are 67 inches long and made from a combination of carbon and fiberglass, making them lightweight and durable for years of family fun. The Eclypse also makes a great slalom ski for beginners.

HO Sports Burner Pro Combo Water Skis

The latest version of HO Sports Burner Pro Combo Water Skis is ideal for the intermediate to advanced water skier. The deep-V bottom strikes the perfect balance between stability and speed. The HO Sports Burner Pro Combo Water Skis are versatile. With a design based on HO Sports’ Comp Freeride Slalom ski design, the Burner Pro Combo is the perfect set of skis if you are interested in branching out into slalom skiing. These stylishly designed skis are 67 inches long and lightweight. The adjustable EVA contour boot provides a secure and comfortable fit for all day fun on the water.

Hydroslide Legend Deluxe Combo Water Skis With Bindings 2013

The 2014 Legend Adult Deluxe Combo Water Skis are an affordable addition to your weekend water sports repertoire. Whether you are a beginner or an avid skier, Legend’s Adult Deluxe Combo Water Skis has something to offer all skill levels. These combination skis have a wide enough surface area for easy deep water starts, making learning simple. The tail of the skis narrows sharply, allowing for fast turning and tricks for the intermediate and advanced skier. The comfortable slide-in bindings are easily adjusted and will have you up on the water in no time.

Radar Senate Graphite Slalom Water Ski

The difference between a carbon graphite water ski and a fiberglass or composite ski cannot be understated, on the water it feels like the difference between running and walking. The 2014 Senate Graphite Slalom Water Ski by Radar is a carbon ski that is worth every penny. For the intermediate to advanced slalom skier, the latest incarnation of the Senate Graphite is Radar’s lightest and fastest ski to date. The perfectly beveled edges make this ski react quicker on turns. The Senate-C glides effortlessly over wakes thanks to the Aerocore core. The Senate Graphite Slalom Water Ski can slice through the water at speeds up to 35 mph and has a switchblade fin to improve tracking. This ski holds a great edge even at top speeds.

O'Brien Impulse Slalom Water Ski

The 2014 O’Brien Impulse Slalom Water Ski is a fast, affordable and durable water ski that a skier of any skill level can enjoy. For the beginners, the smoother rocker makes this slalom ski easy to control. The 2014 Impulse Slalom Ski has just the right amount of surface area for a fast deep water start and it accelerates quickly because of the design of the rocker. The concave tunnel gives extreme holding power at high speeds and in sharp turns. The Impulse comes in two sizes, 64 inches and 66 inches, and comes with X-9 bindings. The O’Brien Impulse Slalom Water Ski is the perfect buy for the skier who wants to quickly hone their skills.

HO Sports Burner Pro Slalom Water Ski

The Burner Pro Slalom Water Ski by HO sports is perfect for the recreational skier who wants to get serious about slalom skiing at an affordable price. The Burner Pro Slalom offers one of the most comfortable rides on the market. The newly designed Basis Bindings added to the best from the 2012 design to provide unmatched cushion and support so you can spend all day on the water. HO Sport’s Burner Pro Slalom ski is highly responsive and features a V-Bottom design that holds an edge while crossing a wake. New elements of the 2013 Burner Pro Slalom ski include a transitioning tunnel design on the bottom that reduces forward lean by keeping the tail of the ski deeper in the water.

Connelly Outlaw Slalom Water Ski

The Connelly Outlaw Slalom Water Ski is a stable, yet fast riding ski that everyone in the family can enjoy. The unique design with a wider tip makes it easy to control. Plus, it makes getting up easier on deep water launches. The drop through fin makes the Outlaw track well at any speed, providing an effortless ride. Made using Connelly Advanced Profile Technology (CAPT), the Outlaw is a lightweight and durable ski with a polyurethane resin core and a fiberglass wrap that can withstand years of fun on the water. The Outlaw has four binding options and comes in three lengths: 65, 67 and 69 inches. Connelly is the only ski company that guarantees you’ll like their water skis or you can return it, no questions asked. With an assurance like that, you know the Outlaw has to be one of the best slalom skis on the market.

Radar The Vapor Lithium Combo Water Skis

The Vapor Lithium Combo water skis by Radar are a pair of the most stable combo skis on the market. Radar struck the perfect balance between speed and holding power. The 2014 design of The Vapor Lithium combo water skis have just the right amount of surface area needed for an easy deep water start and the streamlined edge makes them extremely agile on turns and wake crossovers. These combination water skis have a fluid rocker design, making these skis able to turn on a dime. The boots are farther forward in this design than they have been in past years. With a PVC core and carbon overlay, The Vapor Lithium Combo Water Skis are built to last.

O'Brien Pro Trac Trick Combo Water Skis

The O’Brien Pro Trac Trick Skis W/X-9 STD Bindings are a comfortable and stable pair of trick skis that can help the intermediate skier quickly advance their skills. The tapered bevels give the rider massive lift off the wake and make deep water starts incredibly easy. The beveled edges also strike the perfect combination between a sharp and rounded edge, making this pair of skis easy to control without sacrificing speed. These trick skis are designed with a symmetrical rocker and full length grooves, giving the O’Brien Pro Trac Trick Skis the unparalleled stability that made them one of the most popular brands of trick skis on the market. The icing on the cake is the STD Bindings have a comfortable EVA foot bed that gives the rider better grip and improved edge. The bindings come in men’s sizes 7-11.

Quantum Dynamic 2014 Trick Skis

Quantum Dynamic 2014 Trick Skis

The 2014 Quantum Dynamic Trick Ski by Masterline has a lower flex than in past years, making this one of the fastest trick skis around. The carbon fiber layup and light foam core make for an extremely lightweight, but strong trick ski. This ski has more surface area at the center, narrower tips and a larger flat spot for added stability when executing spins. The Quantum Dynamic Trick Ski has an aggressive 3-stage rocker giving it effortless lift, speed and tracking. The concave bottom increases maneuverability and makes turns a breeze.

D3 CX Honeycomb Trick Ski

D3 CX Honeycomb Trick Ski

The trick ski of choice seen in countless professional competitions, the D3 CX Honeycomb Trick Ski is an ultra lightweight single ski that is guaranteed to give you maximum air. This trick ski is built to endure the stunts of the most adventurous skiers. The D3 CX Honeycomb Trick Ski comes in four different lengths ranging from 41 to 44 inches. The 3-stager rocker consistently delivers fast acceleration and precision on the edge. The molded grooves give you greater grip on the water, making the D3 CX Honeycomb Trick Ski one of the most stable skis on the market. One of the best added features of the CX Honeycomb Trick Ski is the aerospace quality honeycomb core that is wrapped in carbon fiber laminate. This lightweight design delivers optimal flex.

D3 CX Trick Ski

D3 CX Trick Ski

The D3 CX Trick Ski is a lightweight single ski that has one of the best strength to weight ratios out there. Made with a foam core with a carbon overlay, this trick ski is built to endure the stunts of the most adventurous skiers. The D3 CX Trick Ski is a consistent and precise trick ski that is designed to pop off of wakes. The molded grooves give added control and maneuverability. It is no small wonder why the D3 CX Trick Ski is one of the most popular trick skis on the market. One of the best added features of the CX Trick Ski is the ability to change the binding positions before mounting the rear toe plate, making it easy for you to find the perfect set up for you.

GOODE Nano Trick Ski

GOODE Nano Trick Ski

GOODE has been making history on the water since 1922. It’s no small wonder that the company that made the first carbon water ski has made an extremely lightweight trick ski. GOODE Nano Trick Ski are half the weight of their completion. Made from aerospace carbon fiber, these skis get massive air. Molded edges and thin profile make these skis easy to control and still allow sharp turns. GOODE Nano Trick Skis come standard with their signature Performance Series High Wrap that is used by tournament skiers. This extra support coupled with the Highwrap boots keep your feet on the ski and reduce fatigue.

Buyer's Guide

Water Skis Buyer’s Guide

Finding the right water skis can be challenging.  The first step is to determine the type of water skiing you want to do whether it’s cruising the water or executing complicated tricks. Length is the next important factor with the size of the skier being the biggest factor in choosing the length of a water ski.  The larger the skier in both height and weight, the longer the ski should be.  As a skier advances their skills, they will tend to opt for a short ski that allows for greater agility. Once you know what type of ski and length you’re looking for, familiarize yourself with the product terminology. These features include bindings, bottom beveling, flex, fins and the rocker, each having an impact on the  overall level of speed, agility and comfort. 

Water Ski Types

Combo Water Skis
Combination water skis are the easiest type of ski to learn on. These options are typically wider at the tips, giving you much more control. These are the most common type of water skis and easiest for beginners to use.  A single pair of combination skis can be used by multiple users of various skill levels.

Slalom Skis
Slalom skiing uses only one ski with two bindings. Slalom skis are typically narrower than combination water skis.  Beginners will want to look for a wider ski because it is more stable and easier to use. Advanced skiers will want a responsive ski with just the right amount of rocker and flex for your style of skiing.

Trick Water Skis
Short and wide, trick skies don’t have fins and are used to execute spins, jumps, and a host of other stunts. Trick skis can be used either as a single ski or a pair but are more difficult to control than other ski types. It is possible for beginners to learn how to use trick skis without any other water skiing experience. However, having some experience on combo or slalom skis is helpful  considering the technical nature of trick skiing. 

Bindings

The fit of your binding should be tight enough to maintain control, but loose enough to slide onto your foot.  The sizing of the bindings will vary and thus each manufacturer will have a sizing chart for each type of binding which they offer. The type of binding you choose is as important as your ski because it contributes to your ability to control the ski on the water and impacts your comfort. 

Front Wrap
Front wrap bindings are the most versatile because they can be used by multiple skiers and all skill levels.  This type of binding has a rear toe plate.

Double Wrap
Double wrap bindings are more customized than the front wrap bindings and offer more control, making them the preferred binding of more experienced skiers.

Adjustable
Adjustable bindings are more expensive, but are a great choice if used by multiple skiers of varying levels. While they make the ski feel a little less responsive, adjustable bindings make it easier to get up on the skis than other types of bindings.

Materials

The type of material a water ski is made from affects the responsiveness, flexibility and the cost of the ski.  Most skis are made from fiberglass, a fiberglass/graphite combination, carbon fiber or wood. 

Fiberglass
Fiberglass skis are flexible and incredibly durable.  While they are heavier than skis made from other materials, they are inexpensive.

Fiberglass/Graphite Composite
Fiberglass/graphite composite skis combine the durability of fiberglass with lightweight graphite to make a highly maneuverable water ski.  Slightly more expensive than similar skis made solely from fiberglass, this composite is one of the most common ski construction materials on the market.

Carbon Fiber
Water skis made from carbon fiber are top of the line.  Carbon skis are the lightest, thinnest and most agile skis out there. They are also the most expensive, typically found in competition/professional ski models.

Wood
While wood skis have a classic look, wood is not as common as it used to be because it is more susceptible to warping.  Wood skis require much more care than other types of skis, including preventing sun damage.

Water Ski Length

Each manufacturer will have a chart that recommends ski length based on skier weight. The following weight-to-length ranges can be used as a general guideline:

- Children/young adults weighing less than 90 pounds should have skis 64 inches or shorter. 

- Skiers weighing between 90-150 pounds should consider skis 64-66 inches. 

- If you are in the 150-200 pound range, your skis are recommended to be 66-69 inches long. 

- Skiers weighing more than 200 pounds will want to consider skis 69 inches or longer. 

Additional Components/Features

Fins
Fins are a common feature found on combo and slalom water skis.  Fins add stability and make the ski easier to maneuver. The more forward the fin, the faster the ski will turn.  Likewise, the farther back a fin is located, the more stable the ski will fell. Fins are available in a number of sizes and configurations and are usually removable.  Advanced skiers will adjust the fin configuration and depth to tweak the performance of the skis.

Rocker
The rocker of the ski is the vertical curve of the ski from tip to tip and helps determines how the ski maneuvers.  The more extreme the rocker, the easier and faster the ski will turn.  However, deep rockers can also reduce the speed of the skis.

Bottom Beveling
The sharpness of the beveling on the bottom of a water ski impacts its speed.  The sharper the edges of the beveling, the faster the skis will be.  Slower skis will have a more rounded edge to the beveling; naturally, skis with rounded beveling are ideal for beginning skiers.

Flex
The flex of a ski flex is how stiff the ski is and helps determine how sharply it can turn as well as how fast the ski performs overall. The more flex a ski has, the stiffer it will be and therefore potentially harder to control by the skier.  Advanced skiers typically prefer skis with more flex.

Bestcovery Staff
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