French Lakes Water Skiing
Waterskiing is a sport where an individual (or more) is pulled behind a motor boat or a cable ski installation on a body of water.
The skier is either wearing one (slalom) or two (double) skis. The surface area of the ski (or skis) keeps the person skimming on the surface of the water allowing the skier to stand upright while holding onto a tow rope.
Water skiing was officialy invented in the USA in 1922 by Ralph Samuelson.
Water skiing is not an activity you can find on every French Lake, because of diferent regulations depending on the lake which are taken into consideration. Indeed, there are some lakes where motor boats are forbidden, therefore making it impossible to practice water Skiing. Water skiing is possible on lakes such as Lake Annecy, Lake Bourget or Lake Geneva.
Small bodies of water have been built for the purpose of waterskiing. These lakes provide calm water and safety for the skier by allowing only one boat/skier on the lake at a time. The typical size is 2000 ft x 300 ft, with a depth between 4 and 10 feet. Boats used are of the tournament style. Most competition skiing is now on private lakes.
Water Ski Variants
Trick skiing is performed using one or two very short finless skis rather than the conventional gear. Skiers try to perform tricks similar to those of gymnasts while being pulled along by the boat. On one trick ski, skiers do a variety of tricks. There are surface tricks and wake tricks, and skiers hold onto the tow rope in two ways. While the most common way is to use hands, more advanced skiers can slide their back foot through the handle and begin attempting tricks from this position.
In the context of water skiing, slalom means the use of only one ski. Slalom skiing is considerably more difficult, and so one usually learns on two skis before switching. Once one is comfortable on two skis, learning to slalom ski is accomplished by setting the binding loose on one ski so that it may be dropped. Once the skier is out of the water, he or she will step out of the loose ski and slip the foot into the toe plate binding in the slalom ski.
Water ski racing consists of a number of water skiers who race around a set course, as in motor racing. This is the fastest type of water skiing. A water ski racing team consists of a boat driver, an observer and one or two skiers.
The ski jump is performed on two long skis similar to those a beginner uses. Professional ski jumpers can travel up to 250 feet and hit the ramp at speeds up to 70mph.
Water Ski Events
International water ski competitions have been held since 1949 with the first World Championships in Jaun-Les-Pins, France. The World Championships are held every two years. Over the years cash prize tournaments have been held.
There have been various professional tours as well as many long term stand alone premiere events such as the Masters (USA since 1958) and Moomba (AUS since 1961).