You’ve worked hard all week knowing that, when the weekend arrives, you’re going to be heading out with your water skis and wakeboards to let loose with the type of adrenaline-pumping excitement that only towsports can provide. Too bad, then, when you get out onto the river and realise that conditions are incredibly rough and choppy. But don’t worry — all is not lost. You can still have a great time out on the water on days like this — you just need to readjust your goals a little bit. In this article, we’ll offer five great tips for surviving rough water skiing conditions.
1. Don’t aim too high
Let’s be honest — when conditions are particularly rough, you’re not going to be breaking personal bests. You’re going to have to take things easier than you normally do, because the water is going to make things harder in its own right. Instead, consider different ways that you might be able to challenge yourself. For example, it could be that your goal for the day is simply completing a single pass; if you’re still game, try using a shorter rope length and completing another. If you like to ski competitively, you’ll find that a day like this can give you more confidence for surviving rough conditions on event day.
2. Work on the basics
All experienced skiers like to get out on the water and go full pelt, completing tricks or perhaps multiple passes on the slalom course. However, on a day like this, you probably need to admit to yourself that your usual goals aren’t possible. Instead, go back to working on your timing, direction and other basics; it’s the perfect opportunity to improve yourself as a skier, and if you can improve your technique in rough conditions then you’ll be better positioned for the butter days.
3. Improve your conditioning
The fact of the matter is, water skiing is going to take it out of you — it’s a highly physical activity and the more you push yourself, the stronger you’re going to have to be. With this in mind, use these rough days as an opportunity to work on your conditioning; try and push yourself a little bit harder, perhaps by taking less of a break in between passes. Once again, if you can come through the rough days okay, you’ll be in a great position when the conditions are nice.
4. Come up with new challenges
Everybody wants to beat their personal best, but on rough days you need to swallow your pride and admit that it’s almost certainly not going to happen. Instead, why not come up with new challenges and games to play among your friends? You can even place some friendly stakes for the challenge — perhaps the loser has to buy drinks at the end of the day. And who knows — you might surprise yourself when you realise you’re more capable of handling rough conditions than someone who is usually more able than you on the butter!
5. Above all, when you take your water skis out on a rough day, take extra care regarding safety! Conditions can often be treacherous and nothing’s more important than coming back in one piece.