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Just as in snow skiing, water skiing can be adapted. The single most significant factor influencing the participation of mobility-impaired individuals in water skiing was the development of the sit ski, or adapted water ski.
The increased popularity of water-skiing has led to the establishment of the Disabled Water Ski National Championship, a sanctioned event of USA Water Ski.
Guidelines, depending on your ability
It's important to get deep-water practice mounting the ski from the side or rear. You need to find your skis' balance point.
A "beginner ski" has a notch at the top with a rope attached. It allows a skier greater stability. (When using the towline, a quick release at the boat is mandatory for safety.)
An assistant can provide some stability by riding the tail of the ski until the skier is up and appears to have established balance.
A second boat can be used as the pick-up boat; a slower start/pick-up boat is used for a sit skier.
A wider ski will plane more easily out of the water.
Boats with stern-mounted platforms make transfers easier.
Removable seat cushions can be used as flotation devices and are a good idea for any boat.
Ski Booms are not to be used if the towline is attached to the ski, but can be used effectively with a short V-line held by the skier.
These let you enjoy water skiing from a sitting position which will require less balancing. Outriggers can be attached to the main ski, ideal for someone who is unable to balance a Sit-Ski.
Some skiers may find ski discs, saucers, or kneeboards, easier to use in the beginning. Wider and more stable than conventional skis, saucers can be used in the prone, kneeling or standing positions.
Most water ski shops carry a device called a ski-trainer which incorporates wide tails, flat bottoms, and a training harness to make learning easier.
This device provides additional stability to skiers who do not have the leg strength to prevent lateral movement of the skis.
A person with a missing limb or an inability to use one arm will benefit from using the Delgar sling, as it helps compensate for the uneven pull of the rope they'd experience while water skiing. If the skier falls, the handle is easily dislodged to prevent injury.
Dual Ski Rope Handle
For those with visual impairments, the use of dual ski rope handle with a sighted partner is the best alternative.
USA Water Ski
Safety for All Water Skiers
Beginners should first consult their physicians with any questions regarding their ability to participate.
A wet suit should be considered to protect against extreme heat loss, or cuts and bruises.
Beginners should receive a complete on-land introduction to ski equipment.