Beginner's Guide to Buying a Water Ski Tow Rope
This article is aimed
at the novice Waterskier as it is assumed that an intermediate
or advanced rider will probably know most of this stuff already.
This is not intended to be an exhaustive study of Waterski towrope
design. Instead we have deliberately filtered out a lot of the
unnecessary jargon and technicalities and put together a simple
list of considerations that are relevant just to beginners. We
hope that you find this article useful and that it helps you to
choose the perfect Waterski tow rope for you.
Waterski Tow Rope Design and Characteristics
Choosing the correct waterski towrope can genuinely increase your learning curve. Choosing the wrong one can have the complete opposite effect. Waterski ropes and handles may look the same as wakeboarding ones but the different needs of the Waterskier mean that the rope and handle are also significantly different.
Waterski ropes are usually 60-75 feet long (including the handle) and are made of a relatively stretchy rope designed to be forgiving and cushion the load on the arms as the skier loads the line and crosses the wake. Competition ski ropes are split into sections. These enable the rope to be shortenned in pre-determined lengths during slalom competitions, thus increasing the skill required to complete a slalom course.
Waterski handles are generally 12 inches wide as opposed to Wakeboarding handles which are 15 inches wide. Wakeboarding handles are wider mainly to assist with tricks that involve passing the handle behind the rider's back. It is possible to water ski using a larger 15" wakeboarding rope but it will feel quite cumbersome and could hinder progression, especially for younger skiers.
"Easy-Up" water ski handles are aimed specifically at beginners. They are like normal ski ropes but they have the addition of a large "V" section that you put the tips of the skis in to keep everything nice and stable during deep water starts.