For some folks, their search for that adrenaline rush is never-ending. Even when they’re on the water, they need something that gets their heart beating fast and their senses engaged. Water skiing just like wakeboarding, is an activity worth taking up for those thrill-seekers, but before one can take part in it, they will need the right equipment.
In this article, we will talk about all things waterskis. We will discuss the different factors that can determine if a pair of water skis will work for you and we will also look at some of the top options that are currently available.
By the end of this article, it will be easier for you to identify the best water skis for your specific body type and desired style of skiing.
The Best Water Skiis are as Follows:
- O’Brien Vortex Combo Water Skis
- Connelly Aspect Slalom Water Skis
- Connelly SuperSport Combo WaterSkis
- Quantum Combo Water Skis from Connelly
- Airhead S-1400 Wide Body Combo Water Skis
Table of Contents
Water Ski Reviews
Now that we all know a little more about water skis, let’s take a look at some of the top pairs that you can get right now.
1. O’Brien Vortex Combo Water Skis
Not everyone is fortunate enough to be able to try out water skiing early on in life. Others may only be able to get that opportunity when they are adults and have kids of their own. That can make the process of trying to find suitable beginner water skis a bit of a challenge.
All hope is not lost for the adults out there though, especially with items such as the Vortex Combo Water Skis from O’Brien on the market.
At 65.5 inches long, this set of skis is ideally suited for people who weigh between 115 to 160 pounds.
Beyond the bindings, you’ll notice that these water skis fan out quite a bit. There’s a lot of surface area to work with up front. The moment you use these skis on the water, you will immediately notice how helpful that additional width is.
Even when you are forced into making a quick turn, you shouldn’t fall into the drink easily because the wide base is there.
These water skis also feature adjustable bindings. Once you gain more experience on the water using these skis, you can adjust the bindings to account for that.
The fin included with these water skis is made out of plastic and that’s not necessarily the best type of material to use. It takes something away from the overall durability of these skis.
Still, for adults looking to get into water skiing, the Vortex Combo Water Skis from O’Brien are good items to start with.
- The wide bodies of the skis are going to prove immensely helpful to beginners
- Adjustable bindings make getting comfortable an easier task
- Bindings are solidly built and will keep your feet in the right spots
- Additional toe piece on one of these skis is going to help with the learning process
- Comfortable to use even during longer riding sessions
- The best beginner water skiis for adults
- Plastic fins installed on the skis are not especially durable
2. Connelly Aspect Slalom Water Ski
We are done with the beginner water skis and are moving on now to the ones that more experienced riders will find useful, and we are starting with the Aspect Slalom Water Ski from Connelly. These are rated as the best slalom water skiis in this list.
These water skis are built for speed. You can see that in the way the bodies of skis are designed. The body is very narrow and it does not leave a lot of room for error.
Because of the way the body of the ski is designed, it should also have no trouble remaining high up on the surface of the water. That is going to come in handy if you want to execute sharp turns without having to slow down first. The manufacturers have also designed the base in such a way that you will experience minimal drag while riding on these skis.
The aluminum fin also features good durability and more importantly for those who want only the fastest skis, it will not weigh you down by dipping too far beneath the water.
Even the polyurethane frame is designed to go fast on top of the water. Unfortunately, that material choice also means that the skis themselves may not be as durable as some of the other available options.
- Skis are optimized for the purposes of gaining speed while in use
- Bodies of the skis are narrow but feature edges that allow riders to stay on top of the water
- Aluminum fin offers great durability without weighing down the skis themselves
- Minimal amount of drag will be experienced by riders who opt to use these skis
- Polyurethane material used in the creation of the water skis is not very durable
3. Connelly SuperSport Combo Water Ski (Junior)
If you’re already a good water skier yourself and want to enjoy that particular activity with your son or daughter, then you will need the appropriate teaching tools. Connelly’s SuperSport Combo Skis certainly qualify as good teaching items.
As you would expect from a pair of water skis designed for younger users, these are on the smaller side. These are not the skis that you should get for the whole family. Even the manufacturers note that only riders who weigh less than 135 pounds are supposed to use it which makes them great youth water skis.
Maybe you’re hesitant to spring for a set of skis that only one person in your family will be able to use, but if you do have the money to spend, this is a good purchase.
The manufacturers used reinforced composite material to construct these water skis. You can tell right away how big of a difference that material choice makes. These combo water skis are sturdier and stronger than many of the alternatives you’ll see in stores. That makes them better suited to teenagers who may frequently bump into things while using them.
The bar that spans the gap between the skis also serves as a good stabilizer. It will surely help your kids a lot.
A more durable glass-filled nylon fin is included with this pair of water skis, but there is a bit of an issue with the bindings. They are adjustable bindings, but the slide mechanism makes them somewhat awkward to use at first. Once that adjustment period is out of the way though, your kid should enjoy smooth sailing on these skis.
- Reinforced composite material used in the making of the skis provides great sturdiness and strength
- Bar that connects the skis is a good stabilizer
- Features more durable fins that are made out of glass-filled nylon
- Bindings are adjustable to aid with providing comfort
- Skis may be more appealing to younger users thanks to their colorful design
- best kids water skis on this list
- Water skis are not big enough to be used comfortably by anyone over 135 pounds
4. Connelly Quantum Combo Water Skis
Over the course of learning water skiing, you will eventually come to that point where you’re too experienced for the wide-bodied skis, but not good enough yet to use those speedy, narrow options.
To help address that persistent problem, the folks at Connelly have come up with the Quantum Combo Skis. Connelly are one of the most trusted water skiing brands out there. Their laser focus into water skiing allows them to acheive high customer satisfaction ratings for many of their products.
As you can see, the Quantum Combo Water Skis are actually quite slender and naturally, that would make you think that they are only for experienced riders. The key though is that the manufacturers have included inserts in the bindings that make the skis significantly more user-friendly. It’s a smart bit of design that makes a huge difference and I wish that more manufacturers would adopt it.
Sadly, the manufacturers decided that they would sell the bar separately. Instead of getting a great deal on your water skis, you will have to spend extra to get an item that should already have been included in the first place.
Still, if you do decide to pick up the bar, you will have a set of skis that are stable enough to be used by someone relatively new to this hobby while also being speedy enough to satisfy those riders who want to zoom along the water.
- Does well to serve as a bridge option for beginners looking to transition to tougher water skis
- Stabilizer bar inserts do a lot to keep these skis floating straight
- Solid bindings are adjustable and can fit quite a wide array of potential users
- Reinforced composite material used in the making of the skis imparts a good amount of durability
- The best combo water skis
- You will have to spend extra to get bar addition that will further stabilize the skis
5. Airhead S-1400 Wide Body Combo Water Skis
Some manufacturers will attempt to make water skis that cater to the biggest market possible by offering mid-range options. In a way, that’s what the S-1400 Wide Body Combo Skis from Airhead are supposed to be.
Let’s get to the positives first.
Similar to the first set of skis we examined in this article, Airhead’s set measures at 65.5 inches. That enables it to serve a pretty wide range of possible users. It can even be used by multiple people in the same family.
The bindings included with these water skis are super solid. Similar to the skis themselves, they are capable of serving a larger number of users because they are adjustable. If you feel any kind of discomfort on your feet while skiing, you can easily make adjustments to the bindings and fix that.
There’s also nothing bad to say about the type of durability these water skis provide. Both the skis themselves and the nylon fins are designed to last for a long time.
My main issue with these skis is that they don’t excel in any one area.
You can’t go especially fast on them because of the wider tips and they’re also not stable enough for newer skiers. The skis would have been better if the manufacturers went further in one direction.
- If exceptional durability is what you’re seeking in skis, you’ll be pleased with these items
- Length of the skis makes it possible for them to work for a larger number of individuals
- Bindings can also accommodate riders of different sizes and they are also highly durable
- Fiberglass-reinforced nylon fins are going to stay in service for a long time
- Because of the way the water skis are designed, they are neither ideal for beginners nor for experienced riders who want faster equipment
How to Buy Water Skis: Water Ski Buying Guide
Water skis maybe designed for a specific purpose, but they can be made in different ways to go about meeting that goal. In order to have the best possible experience on the water, you will require skis that adequately fit you and it’s also a good idea to pay attention to the fin types and bindings to ensure that they will work as expected. Look out for water skii brands that are experienced in water sports.
Water ski sizes :Which Size Do I Need?
When you’re out shoe shopping, you can’t just pick one that features the look you want and have it rung up. The most important part of shoe shopping is confirming that the pair you’re considering purchasing will actually fit you and the same goes for water skiing.
Here’s the thing with water ski sizes though. It’s not enough for you to just check if your feet fit inside them. You also have to weigh other important factors as well.
The first factor that must be considered when picking out a ski size is your weight. When you’re out on the water, you need the skis to be able to keep you comfortably above the surface.
If you’re too heavy for the skis you have on, then your feet could sink under the surface of the water, resulting in a very uncomfortable experience. Pick skis that are too light for your body and you may have trouble trying to keep them under control as you skate along the surface of the water.
Aside from your weight, it is also wise to take into consideration the speed at which you’ll be skiing before you select any items to purchase. Generally speaking, you will want smaller skis if you intend to ride at higher speeds.
Water Skis Sizing Chart
Water Ski World has provided a handy chart we can refer to when determining the right ski sizes.
- Skiers between 60 to 100 lbs. will require skis that range in size from 59 to 63 inches. Because those water skis are already on the smaller side, the preferred speed will not be a factor.
- For the folks who weight between 95 to 125 lbs., the maximum length for their skis must be 64 inches. If they intend to ski at speeds above 30 mph, they can go ahead and get skis that are 62 inches in length.
- The 115 to 140-pounders are going to need skis that range in size from 64 to 66 inches if they intend to cruise at a slower speed. The shortest they can go with their water skis is 63 inches.
- 64 inches is the minimum water ski length recommended for people who weight between 135 to 160 lbs. The longest water skis they can get top out at 67 inches.
- People who weigh in the range of 150 to 180 lbs. need water skis that are at least 65 inches in length. 68-inch water skis are also going to work for them.
- Skiers between 170 and 200 lbs. should shop for water skis that are 66 inches long at the very least if they plan on going fast. They will need 72-inch skis if they want to go slow along the surface of the water.
- Lastly, the skiers who weigh above 200 lbs. are going to need water skis that are no shorter than 68 inches even if they intend to move fast along the water. If they just want to enjoy a nice and relaxed skiing experience on top of the water, 72-inch skis will work well for them.
What Type of Water Skis Do I Need?
There’s more than one type of ski that you can purchase and if you want your outdoor excursion to turn out well, you will need the right type of ski on your feet.
Everyone has to start somewhere and when it comes to starter skis, the variants you must seek out are known as the combo skis and trainer skis.
The trainer skis are arguably the easiest ones to work with. They typically come equipped with specific features that are designed to make them user-friendly. Some of these trainer water skis feature bars that connect them to one another, ensuring that the user’s feet will not get separated over the course of the ride. Other trainer skis have platforms that provide the rider with more surface area to work with so that they are better balanced on top of the water’s surface.
Combo skis are also good to use for inexperienced water skiers because of the way they are designed. Per How Stuff Works, the combo skis are made to be wider up front and they also offer users a larger surface area. They are able to offer greater stability because of that.
Another advantage of using combo skis is that they are easier to pick out. Some combo skis can even be used by all the members of the family.
Once skiers have obtained some experience using the aforementioned water ski variants, they can graduate to the more challenging slalom skis. Within the selection of slalom water skis are additional variants that are suited to different types of riders. The slalom water skis that feature greater width are ideal for riders looking to get more comfortable, while the narrower ones are great for turning on the water and they will prove more useful to more experienced individuals.
What Are Bindings and How Important Are They to Water Skis?
Though you may be unfamiliar with what they are called, chances are you are already somewhat familiar with bindings if you’ve been water skiing at some point in the past.
For those who may not know, the bindings are those components usually placed on top of the skis that are designed to hold your feet. Some water skis are already sold with the bindings included, which is why it’s important for you to pay attention to them before buying anything.
Aside from holding your feet in position while you are gliding on top of the water, the bindings are also meant to give you a stable base. Instead of you wobbling while standing on the water skis, the bindings will keep your feet in the same spots.
So, what characteristics are found in good bindings?
In terms of material composition, you’ll be fine using bindings that are made out of either rubber or neoprene. Those materials are durable, flexible, and they play well with the water as well. Using bindings made out of either material will not make you feel uncomfortable.
Fit is obviously important when it comes to bindings and you will have to thread a fine needle here. The goal is to find something that will fit snugly around your feet while simultaneously offering enough space to make removing your feet an easy task to pull off. Take the time to try out the bindings you are looking to use together with your water skis. If the fit is not great, don’t hesitate to move on.
Hopefully, you will just be able to find adjustable bindings already installed on your preferred set of skis. That way, you won’t have to worry about fit too much.
It’s also important to look at what kind of wraps the bindings utilize. Both the single and double-wrap bindings offer sufficient security, but the latter provides the skier with more control.
Which Measurements Matter When It Comes to Fins?
The fin is an essential part of the water ski and configuring it in certain ways can prove helpful to you.
Beginners will want to have fins that sink deeper into the water. Fins that are able to dig deeper into the water are capable of granting greater stability, according to BoatingMag.com. When the fin is set at a shallower depth, it will be more conducive to turning and not offer that much resistance.
Skiers looking to make turning on top of the water easier will also want longer fins.
The wings that are attached to the fins are also important to take into consideration. The beginners need the wings to be more angled because they are more useful when it comes to providing stability. The narrower wings are going to help skiers pick up more speed as they move on the surface of the water.
After getting the chance to closely examine all the water skis listed above, I’m choosing the Quantum Combo Water Skis from Connelly as my favorite pair and the best slalom water ski.
The way it serves as a usable option for both new and experienced riders is quite impressive and it’s a rare characteristic to see in any pair of deep water skis. Sure, having to spend extra money to improve the performance of these skis is annoying, but it’s worth it.
If you’re looking for a set of skis to take out to the lake or to the beach this summer, you can’t go wrong with the Quantum Combo Skis.