Frequently Asked Questions

 

1. What is water skiing?

Waterskiing is an exciting, exhilarating water sport, combining technique and agility with speed and fitness.

Learning to water ski is actually easier than you think with the right coaching. You will be taken through a step-by-step process to learn how to get up on two skis, then progressing to one to eventually do the ‘slalom course’ (explained under ‘slalom skiing’) if you want to do so. We use a BWSW programme ‘Cutting Edge’ which explains the process of learning to water ski. See more here: www.bwsw.org.uk/participation/take-part/cutting-edge/

Variations of the sport include slalom, trick, jump, racing and barefoot skiing. Each uses a different type of ski. SLALOM SKIING involves skiing around a course marked out by buoys, with speed and technique being key factors. TRICK SKIING uses a shorter ski, slower boat speeds and is a lot of fun. The skier performs as many tricks as they can in each of their passes. JUMP SKIING uses two longer water-skis, where the skier aims to travel as far as possible over a ramp. SKI RACING is the fastest form of waterskiing (up to 200km/h!) and uses a very specialist race ski. This can take place on both seawater and inland. BAREFOOT SKIING, like the name suggests, requires no skis! However to aid learning, ‘ski shoes’ can be used to experience this exhilarating form of skiing. Want to know more? See our disciplines page for lots more info.

WHERE CAN I DO IT?

The following WWS sites are where you can water ski and receive UKCC coaching:
Dunfermline Townloch National Training Site
Loch Lomond Wakeboard, Ardlui
Loch Lomond Waterski Club, Balloch
Kyle Waterski & Wakeboard Club
Aberdeen Waterski & Wakeboard

 

2. What is wakeboarding?

Wakeboarding is one of the most innovative, evolutionary and fast-growing watersports in the world and has broken boundaries with what can be done on a board.

From the family tree where lies snowboarding, surfing, skateboarding, kitesurfing and even water skiing itself, wakeboarding has taken the world by storm with its unique take on boardsports. It allows us to have fun and get fit in an exciting and safe way, all the while looking pretty cool doing it!

In wakeboarding, you are towed behind either a boat or a cable above (although some more experienced riders have started using winches to explore urban wakeboarding – See Redbull for more!). Boat and cable wakeboarding are often said to be different but use almost identical equipment and require a lot of similar movements and tricks. For both types of wakeboarding, you use a single board with non-release bindings while standing sideways (as with a snowboard or skateboard) and holding on to a handle. The board is buoyant, so you don’t need to worry about swimming or sinking – the handle is brought right to you by your driver while you just float.

Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to have done similar sports or have a particularly high level of fitness and strength to participate. When you have the right coach, you will be able to get up and ride on the water.

3. What’s the difference in cable and boat wakeboarding?

BOAT WAKEBOARDING:

Boat wakeboarding in simpler terms is where you are travelling at faster speeds (18-24mph), using the wake and planing on the water to do specific movements and tricks. Your board will have fins and ordinarily be lighter in weight as they have a foam core to help with your ‘grip’ on bumpier water.

In technical terms, the rope is mounted about 2 metres above the water and the boat is weighted and trimmed, with large water ballast tanks in order to give a larger wake. This basically allows for a lot of weight to be placed to create a bigger and more defined wake which riders use to cross, jump off and do tricks across! The wake is used as kickers or ramps would be on a cable system.

CABLE WAKEBOARDING:

Cable wakeboarding on the other hand is arguably more park/ freestyle orientated as the rider will often use kickers (jumps) or features such as boxes and rails to slide across or do tricks on. The cable will run at lower speeds (7-9mph) if it has 2 points where you go up and down (2.0 system cable), but at much faster speeds if it is a full system cable (like a circuit often with 5 or 6 points). Your board will not have fins and will often be totally smooth along the base with a more durable and robust build to allow for easier sliding on the water and more strength when hitting obstacles. The rope is high above you, therefore some often say it is easier for beginners to learn as you are pulled out of the water at a steeper angle.

Wakeboarding – the difference between Cable and Boat boards

WAKESKATE? WAKESURF?

A more advanced variation is wake-skating, which has extremely close ties to urban skateboarding. This consists of a similar shaped board with no bindings and often with grip tape on the top, like a skateboard. The rider stands on the board either barefoot or wearing a pair of trainers and performs tricks that would typically be performed on a skateboard. This can be used behind the boat or cable and is even often used by high level riders when learning new tricks for a wakeboard.

Wakesurfing is, as the name dictates, is like surfing. In wakeboarding, the rider is pulled by the boat via a tow rope while a wakesurfer only uses a tow rope to get them started on the wave. Once a wakesurfer is up and on the wake, they drop the rope and ride freely on the wave created by the boat’s wedge. Another difference is that wakesurfing happens much closer to the boat. This makes it more sociable as your friends can sit at the back of the boat and chat to you while you ride- hopefully with words of encouragement, but that depends on the friends.

Wakesurfing continues to grow in popularity as more people realise how much fun it is and how easy it is to get up and riding if you have a little professional tuition.

Get in touch to find out where you can get coaching!

(credit to: “Wake Up! Wakeboarding, Thailand)

TRICK DICTIONARY

As with many freestyle sports such as snowboarding and surfing, there is almost an entire language of terms to describe various tricks. The sport is growing enormously in popularity, with many participants finding it relatively straightforward to learn, whilst offering a massive opportunity for self-expression.

www.wakeboarder.com/tricks/tricks.phtml
IWWF Cable Wakeboard Trick List

 

WHERE CAN I DO IT?

The following WWS sites are where you can wakeboard and receive UKCC coaching:
Dunfermline Townloch National Training Site
Loch Lomond Wakeboard, Ardlui
Foxlake Adventures, Dunbar
Foxlake Dundee
Glasgow Wake Park
Kyle Waterski & Wakeboard Club
Aberdeen Waterski & Wakeboard

 

WHY SHOULD I DO IT?

Not only does wakeboarding improve your physical health and wellbeing, such as core strength, balance, agility, dexterity and even some cardio, but in fact it has been proven to help drastically with mental and social wellbeing. Wakeboarding is proven to help with confidence, self-esteem, improving moods and determination in positive scenarios where there is coaching and an empowering environment.

4. When can I do water skiing and wakeboarding?

Our peak season runs from May until September, but you can still ride in the colder months outside of this. Just make sure you have the right kit to have a safe and fun time out on the water! Get in touch for more info and advice.

5. What is this UKCC coaching?

www.bwsw.org.uk/coaching-and-qualifications/coaching-courses/ukcc-level-2-water-ski-and-wakeboard/

Our coaches are UKCC qualified, guaranteeing you a fun, safe and effective session with us on and off the water. We make sure our approach is skier/rider – centric, so we do what you want to work on and take your thoughts and feelings into consideration throughout when designing exercises and lessons.

Don’t worry, our UKCC coaches know exactly how to adapt to what you want and need in our sports. The process of learning will always be completely at your pace and allow you to voice what you want to learn and when.

6. I’ve never done either before – which one should I do?

WHICHEVER YOU WANT! BOTH, EVEN!
Historically, it was rumoured water skiing was “easier” for beginners, but this ended up being unfounded. Both are easy and challenging in their own ways, and different people with different backgrounds and physical abilities/ skills find different things easier. So, if you’re not sure, watch some videos on both, learn a little more about them and decide which one you want to do. It’s never set in stone, so you can always change your mind or even do both.

7. Don’t you have to be really strong and have done something like this before to do it?

Absolutely not. Sports such as wakeboarding, water skiing, climbing, alpine sports and more often have this misconception of ‘extremity’ and ‘difficulty’, when in fact if you just get the right coaching, you’ll be flying! These sports are much more about learning and understanding your body and movement before having to worry about strength or agility, so don’t be fooled into thinking you can’t when you definitely can. If you’re concerned for your health, make sure you speak to your doctor who will advise what is best.

8. I do alpine skiing/ snowboarding… does this help?

There is definitely a lot of cross over with these sports, so it will help, but definitely is not a prerequisite. Recreational waterskiing is very similar to alpine skiing. Both incorporate a similar body position and motion, with the key differences being the shape of the skis, the bindings and the surface upon which they are performed. However, as much alpine skiing/snowboarding offer advantages in learning, they also will highlight some habits you will need to get rid of! For example, in snowboarding, you use your edge and turn the board very often in standard movements, whereas in wakeboarding you use your shoulders and hips to lean and initiate ‘cutting’ to move from one side to the other. Of course, this is all very well explained by our UKCC coaches, so don’t ever let it stop you!

9. Is it safe?

Our sports are completely safe as our coaches and staff undergo robust and extensive training to make sure every session is fun, safe and effective. It is often a misconception that such “extreme” sports offer risk to the participant, but in fact when everything is done correctly and guidelines and regulations are followed, this will not be the case. For advice and more information, get in touch.

10. Who can do it? What is the minimum/ maximum age to participate?

In water skiing and wakeboarding, you will often find that operators work from the individual’s height rather than age when deciding if children are able to participate. At the moment, we do not run with a minimum age limit for skiing or wakeboarding. It’s about the size of the child rather than the age. Having said that, usually most kids are big enough by the age of 8. Some bigger 6 year olds also get on okay. Get in touch to find out more.

11. What opportunities are there to get involved?

Ladies nights, competition events, development team, volunteer routes, membership, other events. Get in touch for information on how you can get involved.
Active schools, clubs etc.

12. Who is your SGB? What do they do? Why do we need them?

This is your Governing Body for the sport. As the name describes, this group of up to 9 work on the ‘nitty-gritty-behind-the-curtain’ bits such as governance, safeguarding, strategic planning, financial management and decision making. We have an opportunity each year at the AGM as a WWS Member (other than junior or social members) to nominate a candidate aged 16 years or over to join the board. Without our board, we would have no true direction in our sport and our support systems would collapse. Our SGB work closely with sportscotland and other sport directors across Scotland & the UK to create a world-class sporting system that overall works to enhance and support active and healthy living in our communities with positive opportunities for everyone to get involved.

13. What is the difference between ‘NTS’ and ‘WWS’?

This is often a question which has come up across our sports delivery points and counterparts. The NTS is the National Training Site for Waterski & Wakeboard Scotland and its Governing Body. It is the ‘hub’ of the board of directors and is a non-profit organisation where all profits made from the site and its operations are reinvested back into the sport or in the site maintenance. The site acts as a place where training and learning takes place such as UKCC coaching courses and boat driving lessons for all members across Scotland. Kris Waz is Operations Manager for the NTS.

‘WWS’ is the overarching name of our Governing Body, Waterski & Wakeboard Scotland. WWS lead the governance and development of water skiing and wakeboarding across the country and work closely with sportscotland to enhance participation and learning. WWS staff include Alan Murray MBE, WWS Chief Operating Officer and Emma Kane, WWS Development Officer.

14. I love the sport and am interested in making it my career… can you help?

We are continuously trying to grow and develop our team of staff and coaches across WWS. If you become a member of WWS & BWSW, we can help signpost you to and even in some cases provide funding for training and qualifications (first aid training, child wellbeing and protection in sport, boat driving & cable operators licenses & lessons, UKCC coaching courses, etc.). Get in touch for more information and keep an eye out for dates. We have at least one UKCC session run per season so get involved!

15. How do I share my ideas with you about improving the WWS experience?

GET IN TOUCH! We welcome all ideas and opinions from our members, participants, spectators and staff. You can share your thoughts on site, via social media or via email. We want to hear from you! Please see our Contact Details to get in touch!