Stay Safe While Water Skiing or Wakeboarding

Water skiing and wakeboarding are exhilarating. If you regularly use your boat to participate in these water sports, you can count on having a great time – unless you get hurt. Though most people who water ski and wakeboard don’t get injured, thousands of people do injure themselves during these activities every year in the U.S.

You can minimize your risk of injury by taking steps before you go out on the water and while you’re water skiing or wakeboarding. Learn what your risks are and what to do about them so you can count on having only happy memories.

What Are the Risks of Water Skiing and Wakeboarding?

Since water skiing and wakeboarding work differently, participants in these sports tend to have different injuries.

Water skiers are most at risk for injuring their legs, and the injury is most often a muscle strain or a joint sprain. On the other hand, wakeboarders tend to get more cuts, especially to their head. Unfortunately, wakeboarders are also more likely to incur a brain injury like a concussion.

No matter which type of sport you choose, you can lessen the risk by taking precautions.

How Can You Make Water Skiing and Wakeboarding Safer?

Follow these guidelines to keep water sports fun instead of harmful.

Prepare Thoroughly

Safety doesn’t start after your board the boat. You need to prepare for water sports beforehand to lessen your risk of injury.

Start by making sure you’re physically fit. Water sports can be physically challenging, and if your body isn’t prepared, you risk muscle injuries that you could have prevented. You’ll need to make sure that your core muscles, legs, and shoulders are in good shape before you go to the water.

Next, make sure that everyone involved in your activity knows the rules, like giving other boats plenty of distance and staying away from shallow water or obstructions. Learn the proper hand signals for a wakeboarder or water skier to communicate with people in the boat. If you’re all on the same page now, you’ll have a better chance of staying safe later.

Finally, make sure that your equipment is all in good shape. If your boat isn’t ready for your trip, get it repaired immediately. Repair or replace any wakeboarding or water skiing equipment that’s damaged as well.

Stay Safe on the Water

While you water ski or wakeboard, follow basic safety rules to ensure that you don’t get hurt:

  • Wear a life jacket.
  • Don’t go too fast, too soon. Never try something that’s more intense than you’re comfortable with.
  • Only hold onto the tow line with your hands. Don’t put part of you through the handle, and don’t wrap the tow line around yourself.
  • If you know you’re about to fall, try to fall backwards instead of forwards. Additionally, let go of the tow rope immediately, or you could get dragged through the water.
  • Stop when you’re tired – don’t overdo it.
  • Stop if the conditions are dangerous, such as a storm or night falling.
  • Do not participate in water sports while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Lastly, make sure that someone on the boat is watching you at all times. This spotter will tell the driver if you need the boat to slow down, speed up, or stop immediately.

Take these precautions so you can have a great time water skiing or wakeboarding. If you need your boat repaired or replaced to make your experience safer and more enjoyable, reach out to Petzold’s Marine Center today. We can help you find the perfect boat for your preferred water sport or service the boat you currently use.

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