A pair of water skis can add a dimension of skill and thrill to a regular day on the water. Even better, water skiing can be enjoyed by kids and adults alike. The skis we have picked below are sure to help get you out and having fun in the sun in no time.
Buying Guide for Water Skis
Why buy water skis?
From riding a towable tube to catching some fish with your favorite fishing pole, there is no shortage of activities to do when you’re out on the water. However, those with the need for speed and the desire for a challenge have found that water skiing is one of the most diverting and rewarding hobbies you can pick up. Water skiing also allows you to go at your own pace, whether you’re a beginner who is still learning how to ski or an advanced skier who likes their sessions fast and aggressive.
What should you look for in water skis?
- Ease of Use: Beginner skiers and children may want to start with water skis that sport a stabilizing bar. This will make it much easier to keep their balance. Most products with a bar have removable ones for when beginners are more comfortable on their skis. Beginners will also want to avoid specific-use skis such as slalom, jump, or trick skis.
- Load Limitations: A skier that is too heavy for their skis will have a tough time getting on top of the water to begin their ride. For this reason, pay close attention to the weight limits and choose a product that caters to your size and weight.
- Intended Use: Beginners should look for a nice, wide pair of combo skis for added stability on the water. These versatile water skis are not as weight-restrictive as slalom skis. If you are a more advanced skier, it is time to look for a slalom water ski. These afford greater control on the water to talented skiers and can even be found in advanced designs geared toward performing exhilarating tricks.
How flexible should your water skis be?
The ideal amount of “flex” your skis should have is usually determined by your unique skiing style. Those who like to ski in a fast and stable manner will usually opt for stiff skis since these aid in maintaining balance at high speeds. On the other hand, a flexible ski will be easier to turn with, allowing for better control for skiers who value maneuverability over speed.
Our Picks for the Best Water Skis
AIRHEAD S-1300 Combo Skis
These versatile combo skis are easy to stand up on and control, even for newbie water skiers.
Pros: If you’re seeking a pair of water skis that are as affordable as they are versatile, the AIRHEAD S-1300 Combo Skis leave very little to be desired. These skis are extremely easy to get up on and flourish when trailing small to medium-size wake boats, making them a great choice for both beginners and experienced water skiers. Their sturdy design and fiberglass reinforced nylon fins also impress and are paired with secure bindings to provide exceptional lateral support.
Cons: While beginner and intermediate water skiers will likely appreciate this product’s wide tails and tunnel-shaped bottoms since they make them easier to ride, more experienced skiers might find the extra bulk to be a cumbersome addition when attempting advanced maneuvers.
Bottom Line: The S-1300 Combo Skis from AIRHEAD are just about as versatile as they come, solidifying them as a great option for those looking for water skis that can flex to the preferences of a diverse array of skiers. Factor in the product’s unbeatable price, and you can see why they have generated so much buzz since they came onto the scene.
O'Brien Sequence Slalom Ski
This slalom ski sports a wide body design for added stability and simplified deep water starts.
Pros: If you’re a beginner or intermediate slalom skier who wants something that’s easy to ride right out of the box, the O’Brien Sequence Slalom Ski is a great choice. This slalom ski sports a wide-body design that affords it excellent stability when turning while also ensuring deep water starts are as easy as possible. Its bindings also impress in terms of comfort, so you’re unlikely to tap out after a couple of runs due to soreness.
Cons: While this is a stellar slalom ski for those who prefer a slow and controlled pace, those with the need for speed may detect a significant drop in performance when pushing the pace to their liking.
Bottom Line: This is a great product to invest in for those who recently graduated from their combo skis, as well as intermediate water skiers seeking something that’s easy to get up on. However, its design isn’t exactly geared toward precise control at high speeds, so speed demons may consider seeking an alternative slalom ski to meet their needs.
Rave Sports Rhyme Combo Water Skis
These rugged water skis minimize drag well and are great for accommodating older or heavier skiers.
Pros: Featuring a wide and sleek design that’s great for heavier skiers, the Rave Sports Rhyme Combo Water Skis are about as easy to pick up and ride as they come. They also impress in terms of durability, thanks to their rugged composite construction, and their simple to adjust bindings leave nothing to be desired in terms of stability. If you’re looking for a great pair of combo water skis that minimizes drag well and is accessible for beginners, this product checks off all the boxes.
Cons: These water skis are more buoyant than comparable models, so lighter skiers may have some issues digging into the water to make a side cut. Naturally, experienced slalom skiers may also avoid this product and opt for one with a narrower front end.
Bottom Line: If you’re a heavier water skier who has trouble finding the perfect skis, this offering from Rave Sports might be a great match. Due to its secure rear toe hold design, this is also a great option for those dipping their toes in the world of slalom water skiing.
O'Brien Children All-Star Trainers
These kids' water skis offer excellent stability, thanks to a built-in stabilizer bar.
Pros: If you have young children who are itching to get up on the water, the O’Brien Children All-Star Trainers might be the best choice. These training water skis come equipped with a stabilizer bar and trainer rope that allow your child to safely learn how to water ski without the unpleasant possibility of doing the splits. However, once the training bar and stabilizer are removed, these skis still offer plenty of stability and maneuverability for young water skiers.
Cons: Some reviewers have noted that the screws that secure the stabilizer bar to the water skis tend to loosen up on their own. This can cause some problems (especially if a small piece of hardware falls into the water), so regularly ensuring that everything is tightened is a good idea.
Bottom Line: Training little ones to enjoy water skiing isn’t always an easy task, but these training skis are great for ensuring that kids are comfortable and confident when learning the ropes. These are also fairly rugged compared to similar kids’ skis, so they should be able to be passed down to younger children once their siblings graduate to adult skis.
HO Blast Combo Skis
These combo skis pair a stability-first design with an affordable price tag.
Pros: The HO Blast Combo Skis come in a versatile selection of sizes and includes a budget-friendly price tag that will leave bargain-seekers licking their lips. Luckily, these highly-rated skis are no slouch in the performance department either, thanks to their V-bottom design, which makes maintaining stability at high speeds easy for beginners and experts alike.
Cons: While this product’s wide design makes it easy to get on the water, the design promotes stability over maneuverability. That being said, it’s still a great combo ski to train with for those new to the world of slalom skiing.
Bottom Line: Due to their affordable price and stability-first design, these water skis are an excellent option for those who are just beginning their water skiing journey. They also perform admirably for speed-focused water skiers, making them a reasonably versatile option for those who value speed and stability.
Water skiing might not be the simplest hobby to learn, but there is a reason why it’s a beloved pastime for people worldwide. Find the right water skis for you to maximize your time on the water.