Do people still water-ski?

I’m watching That’s Entertainment II, and they’re showing a clip of a huge elaborate Esther Williams number featuring dozens of people on water skis. It occurs to me that other than maybe a sqauirrel, I haven’t seen anyone water-ski since I was a kid. Does this sport still exist?

As a sport? Sure. It’s big. Is it as big a recreational sport? I can’t say. I live along the coast now. It was huge in Texas when I left 10 years ago.

I have only educated guess, but as a recreational sport dependent on motorboats powered by gasoline, I suspect that the number of participants in this activity will be greatly reduced this year, what with gasoline costing so much.

My family has a cabin on a local lake. My dad grew up water skiing. When I was young, there were quite a few water skiers, I learned at about age 7. But recently, I see mostly wakeboarders and innertubers. It’s like snow skiing; you still see people doing it, but younger people tend to pick up snowboards.

Going waterskiing tomorrow with friends. Also, I see people skiing most mornings when I drive across lake washington (seattle) in to work in the summer.

Florida resident chiming him here. I live by a lake, and water-skiing is alive and well.

Heh. Who knew? Well, other than you guys – and now me.

Thanks, all!

Haven’t thought about it, but when I saw this thread I realised that it seems like a 1970s thing to me. It was huge here then. Then the jetski craze. Now, I’m not sure. Haven’t seen a waterskier for a long time.

Hardly. Gasoline in the US is still much cheaper than it is in most of Europe, and water-skiing is alive and well in Europe. There are lots of lakes (flooded gravel pits) near me, and people are always water-skiing on them.

Lots of water-sports resorts will rent out water-skis and take people out on them. In the past few years I’ve done it in Turkey and Fiji. Good fun, and easier than it looks, surprisingly.

I still own and maintain an AWSA certified tournament towboat. It gets used pretty regularly by me and my kids. The lakes still seem pretty crowded to me. But to answer your question, the sport’s still going strong (although a lot of youngsters are taking up wakeboarding because it’s easier than slalom*).

*Before the wakeboarders starting haranguing me about the difficulty of inverts .vs. the buoy course, I was talking about just getting up. Not comparing the expert levels.

The water skiiers, and the wake boarders (actually, one of each behind the boat, ‘skiing’ together) were certainly up on my lake yesterday.

Of course, they came way too close to my canoe for my comfort, but I’m used to dealing with the wakes when I’m out on the water. A quick stroke of the paddle brought me stern-on to the wakes, and only a few fore-aft rocks were the result.

As others have said though, the tubes, and wake boards seem to be far more prevalent on the waters I frequent.

When I was a kid, I used to go see Tommy Bartlett’s water skiing show at Wisconsin Dells. AFAIK, the show is still there, along with some added attractions.

Looking at their web page, I found out that the lake has recently disappeared :eek:. I’m sure that they will repair and refill the lake.