Getting wet and wild
Powerboats are fun on their own, but toss in a rope and something to ride the waves and they take on a whole new dimension. Whether you hop on skis, a board or grab a springy rubber tube, water sports are an exciting, relatively inexpensive way to ensure your powerboat earns its keep.
Fun and carefree as these sports look on the surface, they all require at least three items:
- A life jacket designed specifically for water sports
- An experienced driver
- An look-out or observer
Though you might be fine while cruising the boat around the harbor, having a passenger in tow will change how you approach turns, and can create potential traffic issues. No driver can watch the skier and operate the boat safely at the same time, but take a few simple precautions and learn a few common-sense rules, you'll be splashing your way safely through the summer.
You can do any of the water sports below with a PWC but first make sure you have enough seats and life jackets. You'll need one for the driver, one for the observer and one for each person being towed.
A favorite for sheltered bays, rivers and small lakes, this classic water sport requires a stretch of relatively wave-free water (think a bay or inlet rather than a Great Lake). Although waterskiing requires upper body strength, it can be mastered by almost anyone, with practice.
No, it's not a typo. "Skurfing" is the Australian sport that began the wakeboarding craze. Combining the best of surfing, water skiing and snowboarding, this sport is a hotdogger's dream. No matter what you call it, you don't need a mountain or big waves to enjoy the ride. Although there's a learning curve, with practice, boarders can freestyle with relative ease. Because this gift from Down Under is still evolving, you make up the rules as you go.
Sometimes called "inner tubing" or "biscuiting," this water sport is ideal for children or novices, since there's little skill needed. Just hop in a round rubber tube and ride the waves created by the powercraft towing you. The aim of the game is to hold on as long as you can while the driver makes sharp turns hoping to toss you into the water. Great for the young and the young-at-heart, tubing is a family-friendly sport.