Name/Title: Dry Water Skiing

Purpose of Event: To introduce water skiing without ever leaving the gym or classroom. This activity teaches students how to get out of the starting position while in the water. The starting position in water skiing is the hardest part of the sport.

Activity cues: Knees to the chest, keep legs close together, rock weight forward while rising up on both feet.

Prerequisites: Some background information on water skiing, how it started and why, some pictures or a video on water skiing.

Suggested Grade Level: 6-12

Materials Needed: Ropes (any kind of rope that resembles a tow line in water skiing, jump ropes work), old towels or extra socks that can be used to make the students' feet slick on the floor (the students could take their own shoes off and use their socks, but their socks get pretty dirty).

Description of Idea

After a brief explanation on how to water-ski (show video/pictures), the students should understand that one of the most difficult parts of water skiing is rising out of the water to get on their feet. This can be practiced without actually going to a lake by using a gym floor or other slick surface. Two to three students pull one student on the floor. The student that is the skier takes off his/her shoes or uses an extra towel under his/her feet to minimize friction with the floor. The skiing student holds a jump rope with both hands with arms straight. Two to three students grab the other end of the jump rope and begin to pull. After the student has picked up some speed, the skier brings his/her knees to their chest, keeps legs close together, and rocks his weight forward while rising up on both feet. As the skier rises, she/he must have knees bent to a 90-degree angle to absorb force (have "shock absorber" legs) while skiing. The skier must also have his rear end lower to the ground in order to avoid falling forward. Encourage the skier to lean back slightly to counter balance the pull of the rope. Begin traveling in a straight line. Cones or obstacles can then be used to give the skier and pullers additional challenges. Have the students rotate and do it again.


Set up cones (similar to a slalom course) so that the skier must lean one way or another to go around cones.

Try using scooter boards as kneeboards. Focus on the boarder leaning away from the pullers at all times.

Teaching Suggestions:

Strictly enforce a speed limit.

Try two pullers at first (three gets crowded).

Old ski ropes with handles would work best.

Spread groups throughout the gym to avoid collisions.

Adaptations for Students with Disabilities:

Students who are in wheelchairs or cannot use their legs can use scooters. While on the scooter, they can be pulled with a jump rope to simulate being pulled on a kneeboard or wakeboard. The included student also must change body positions on the scooter to keep their balance.

Submitted by Daniel Moxley in Mount Airy, MD. Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 8/29/2001.
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