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Heading my own water ski schools at Dart's Lake, N.Y. and Nassau, Bahamas, I've found that water skiing is the one thing that gets everyone out. In a few short years it has become the favorite of resort-goers, and about 300,000 people are taking it up each year—three million all told by now. A few weekends spent following the instructions on the next few pages will make your vacations more fun. Keep these rules in mind: 1) Don't buy cheap skis; expect to pay at least $40. 2) Twenty-five horsepower or more is best for water skiing, but you can do with less. 3) With 25 hp or more, pick skis 6� inches wide and 5 feet 6 inches long if you weigh under 130, 5 feet 9 inches for 130 to 175, 6 feet 3 inches for more than 175. With less than 25 hp, use longer, wider skis. 4) Don't ski in shallow water or at night. Now turn page to begin your course of instruction.
FUNDAMENTALS OF STARTING
To start, wade into waist-deep water, then curl into ball, knees against chest, arms straight. Hold skis at 45� angle to surface, tips out of water. Boat driver should slowly take strain on rope, pulling skier along slowly to help him get into position. When in position, skier yells "Hit it!" and driver gives boat burst of power to pull skier up. As skier clears water, driver should gradually speed up to 20 mph. Start in deep water floating in same position as at left. In either case, be prepared for spills at first.
As boat pulls you forward, you will rise naturally to the surface (right). Do not try to pull yourself up but keep arms absolutely straight and knees against chest until skis are almost on surface, maintaining crouch which keeps weight evenly distributed on skis fore and aft. As skis start to plane (below) come slowly out of crouch and stay in bent position, letting boat pull you along for a way until you feel securely balanced with your weight slightly back, ski tips up a little. Keep both arms straight.
Assume correct riding position (right) as soon as you feel confident. Skis should be roughly six inches apart. Keep knees slightly bent to throw upper body back at an angle of about 10� and keep tips of skis up. Do not bend at hips or waist but keep back straight, shoulders thrown back and elbows straight. The erect riding position is much less fatiguing than the half crouch that many un-instructed skiers seem to maintain permanently. When the time comes to land, approach parallel to the dock.
COMMON START MISTAKES