water ski

Water Ski vs Wakeboard: What's The Difference?

Water Ski vs Wakeboard: If you are wondering what the difference is, here is a breakdown of the similarities and differences between the two sports. Click on each section to learn more.

  1. Type of Equipment Needed
  2. Stance
  3. Ease of Learning
  4. Speeds Needed
  5. Type of Tricks and Skills
  6. Risks
  7. Cost
  8. Water Conditions

If you are interested in trying out either of these great sports and need the equipment to get started, check out our website.

water ski and wakeboard
Water skiing and wakeboarding have a few similarities but they are also quite different

 

Water Ski Vs Wakeboard

Water skiing and wakeboarding are both great water sports where you hydroplane on a board(s) as you hold onto a rope that is attached to the back of a boat. For both activities, you cut from side to side across the boat's wake.

However there are also a lot of differences between the two sports as well. Keep reading to discover what they are.

 

1. Type of Equipment Needed

Water Skiing:

When you water ski, you usually use two skis similar to snow skiing. Each of your feet are attached to a ski. You do have the option to use a single ski. This type of water skiing is known as slalom.

For slalom skiing, you attach your front foot into your ski and then tuck your back foot into a strap located behind your front foot.

Wakeboarding:

Unlike water skiing, you only use one board when you are wakeboarding. The board is shaped similar to large snowboard which is strapped to your feet with fixed bindings. Even when you fall, your feet will stay attached to your wakeboard.

wakeboarding
 Wakeboards look similar to a snowboard

 



2. Stance

Water Skiing:

When you water ski, you face forward with both feet parallel to each other and in line with your skis. The stance is the same as if you were snow skiing.

Even when you are using one ski (slalom), your feet face forward, inline with your ski, however, one foot is behind the other.

Wakeboarding:

When you are wakeboarding you place your feet perpendicular to your board just like you would when using a skateboard or snowboard.

 

water skiing
Your feet stay pointing forward when you water ski

 


3. Ease of Learning

Water Skiing:

One of the difficulties involved in learning to water ski is that as you are coming up out of the water, your skis will tend to wobble and move away from each other. For this reason some people find it more difficult to master than wakeboarding.

Slalom skiing also requires you to get up out of the water faster than wakeboarding which also can be difficult to learn.

Wakeboarding:

Because a wakeboard has a larger surface area that is in contact with the water, it is usually much easier to get up on than slalom skis.

However, because you have to rotate your hips after getting up out of the water, some people find this more difficult to do. It's not a natural position and can seem awkward.

If, however, you do other board sports such as skateboarding, snowboarding or surfing, you'll probably find learning wakeboarding is much easier than if you don't do board sports. Children usually find it easier to get up on a wakeboard than getting up on two skis.

 




The above video shows you how to water ski for a beginner

 

 

4. Speeds Needed

Water Skiing:

Water skiing requires faster speeds. You will usually get pulled by a boat anywhere from about 42 kph to 55 kph (26 mph to 34 mph).

Wakeboarding:

Wakeboarding can be done at slower speeds opposed to water skiing. The boat will generally be pulling you at speeds from about 30 kph to 35 kph (19 mph to 22 mph).

wakeboarding tricks
Wakeboarding can be done at slower speeds opposed to water skiing

 

5. Type of Tricks and Skills

Water Skiing:

Regular water skiing involves cutting across the wake of your boat at high speeds and spraying up as much water as possible. Slalom skiing is also about speed and involves trying to get through a slalom race course as fast as possible. There are also people who enjoy doing acrobatics on skis as well.

Wakeboarding:

Wakeboarding is less about speed and more about doing tricks. Some of the more common types of tricks include:

  • Front and back rolls
  • Wake to wake grabs
  • Jumps
  • Tricks using one or both hands on the bar
  • Front and backside 360's

 

Here are some basic wakeboarding tricks for beginners

 


6. Risks

Water Skiing:

Falling while water skiing hurts much less than falling while you are wakeboarding. Water skiing does put more stress on your body though. This is due to the higher speeds that you are going at and the stronger pull on your arms and shoulders.

When skiing, you generally keep more tension on the rope than when wakeboarding, so this results in a stronger pull.

Wakeboarding:

One of the dangers of wakeboarding is doing a hard face plant if you catch the edge of your board during a turn. Even though you are travelling at slower speeds on a wakeboard, when you catch an edge and trip forward, you will hit the water so hard that you often come away with a bad headache.

In addition, because you are in a sideways stance, you are constantly putting strain on one side of your body. It is a good idea to learn to flip your board 180 degrees from time to time to help reduce the stress on your hips and back.

water skiing
You need to hold the rope with more tension when you water ski

 

 

7. Cost

Water Skis:

A pair of water skis can cost you anywhere from about $220 to $400 or more depending on the quality. A slalom water ski can range anywhere from about $300 to $1,500 or more.

Wakeboards:

Wakeboards also range in price depending on the quality you choose, usually between $300 and $500.

 

8. Water Conditions

Water Skiing:

It is much better when you are water skiing if the water is smooth and glassy. This is particularly true is your are slalom skiing.

Wakeboarding:

Wakeboarding can be done on somewhat rougher water, but it is nicer to have smooth water as well.

cottage toys

Choose Cottage Toys for All Your Water Ski and Wakeboarding Needs

Cottage Toys has everything you need to get started water skiing or wakeboarding. We have 3 convenient locations or if you prefer, you can shop online on our website.

We have an incredibly knowledgeable staff that's ready to answer any question you might have, and we offer you great prices on all of our products.

We are a Canadian retailer who supports grass roots events for water sports in Canada as well as many charities in our local communities.

Contact us today to get started enjoying the amazing water sports Canada has to offer.

 

 

"Purchased waterskis for my kids here, they were shipped so fast and we love the Skis. Their service is amazing. I remembered them from when I was a child, so they've been in business a long time. We will be shopping there again! Thanks so much!"
- Stephanie Webster

 

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