Sport-Specific Information
Sport-specific information and Technical Packages will be available in the fall of 2019.

Sport Contacts
Head Office
Waterski & Wakeboard BC
(888) 696-6677

Towed Water Sports

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Water skiing was invented in 1922 in Minnesota when a pair of boards was strapped to the feet of Ralph Samuelson and a clothesline was used as a towrope.  The sport gained popularity through the 1940s at a Florida theme park founded by Dick Pope.  Pope was the first to complete a jump on water skis and his son invented barefooting.  Water skiing was a demonstration sport in the 1972 Olympics and World Championships for the various disciplines have been held since 1948. 

Towed water sports includes competition in four disciplines: water skiing, barefooting, wakeboarding, and wake skating.  

Towed Water Sports

  • Rope length for slalom can vary from 18.25m to 9.50m 
  • Trick course is 175m long
  • Boat speed for jumps is 48 to 57km/h

Water skiing itself has three different events: slalom, tricks, and jumps.  Slalom is performed on one ski where the athlete skies back and forth around a set of six fixed buoys with various boat speeds and rope lengths.  In trick skiing, an athlete is allowed two 20-second passes in the trick course to perform as many tricks as possible.  Jumps has the athlete approach a jump ramp at various speeds in order to jump as far as possible.  Barefooting is exactly as the name suggests, skiing without skis.  Athletes perform slalom, tricks and jumps in modified forms.  Wakeboarding uses a single board (like snowboarding) with bindings.  A competition consists of performing a series of tricks each worth particular points.  Wake skating is an adaptation of wakeboarding, but the athlete is not bound to the board in any way and instead the surface is covered with griptape.

Towed water sports have been in the BC Summer Games for many years.  Notable alumni include: Breanne Wagner (Surrey) was on the Canadian National Water Ski Team, which won the 2009 World Water Ski Championships and Aaron Rathy (Nanaimo) the 2009 World Wakeboard Association World Champion.

Water Ski and Wakeboard British Columbia is the organization responsible for developing athletes, coaches, and officials at all levels of towed water sports.