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Strap on your skis and fly across the water in this adrenaline-fuelled adventure.

What to expect

Waterskiing is quite a new adventure, as it’s only been around since the 1920s! It involves being pulled across the water while wearing a pair of skis, holding onto a long rope that’s attached to either a boat or cable. The skis can also be swapped for a single board to stand on, a board you can kneel on or you can get rid of the board altogether and try barefoot waterskiing. Waterskiing uses muscles all over your body and it’s a great way to get active and look after your body while trying something new and exciting.

What you’ll learn

Keeping your balance at speed and holding on tight are the most important skills to take from waterskiing. As well as other watersports like kitesurfing, these might be useful for anyone keen on downhill or cross-country skiing, and anyone working on their rope-pulling abilities.

Fun facts

The record for the most skiers towed behind a boat was set in 2010 by Tasmania’s Horsehead Ski Resort, who somehow managed to get 145 skiers towed along by a single boat! That must’ve been crowded...

Handy hints

  • Different disciplines. Water-skis can be swapped for a wakeboard or kneeboard, so there’s something for everyone.
  • Keeping busy. If being towed by a boat, only one person can ski at a time. Try booking this adventure alongside other activities to keep everyone busy.


You must always:
Be safe outdoors:
  • Check the weather forecast
Be safe in water:

Everyone should be able to swim 50m wearing the clothing or equipment for the activity. Non-swimmers will need additional support.

Water can be dangerous - be aware of the risks.

The category of water depends on how safe the water is. Use our waterways directory to check.

Be sure to manage the group when near water, keeping everyone safe. 


Make sure that all equipment is fit for purpose and in good condition:

Everyone must wear a life jacket or buoyancy aid

The instructor must make sure boats are seaworthy

There are regulations you must follow if you are hiring a boat


Joint activities with other organisations:
This activity can be led by you or someone else in Scouts:
  • The activity leader must have an adventurous activities permit with the right level and permissions for your group

    • You don't need a permit for activities on Class C waters (safe, inland water less than 100m wide).

    • Where the group is entirely members over the age of 18 the permit scheme does not apply, please follow the rule 9.8 adult groups.

You can go to a centre or use an activity leader who is not part of Scouting:
You must find a suitable provider who meets the following requirements :

Activity Permit Scheme

Water Skiing

Class C Waters

Safety Boat Guidance


Waterskiing can give a great adrenaline rush and will also help build your agility, balance and coordination. These are the three fundamental areas of movement and are important in all sports, and lots of other activities too. Can you think of how you used agility, balance and coordination while waterskiing? Can you relate these to your favourite sport as well?

Sometimes sports and activities that seem very different can help build and create skills that help support one other without you even realising it.