History of Water Skiing

Water Skiing in Belgrade
The idea of water skiing goes back to the mid-nineteenth century when a gentleman from Sweden started the patenting process, yet the concept didn't come to fruition. Little is known about the true beginnings of water skiing, though the term could be discovered in the Swedish dictionary which dates back to 1921 - "vattenskida," which would translate to "ski o­n a body of water."

It was around a year later when light was shed seriously o­n the concept. It happened o­n June 28, 1922 that an 18-year-old young gentleman by the name of Ralph Samuelson discovered the realization that if it was possible to ski o­n the snow, then it wasn't farfetched to think you can ski o­n water. The initial time he tried to test to see if his idea was any good, was in Lake City, Minnesota, o­n Lake Pepin.

He used curved barrel staves which were tied to his feet with straps of leather and towed by Ben, his brother, by a plain clothesline, and then he was off! The brothers kept experimenting for many days until July 2, 1922 when Ralph found out that leaning backwards with the ski tips up proved that water skiing was successful.

Slalom Skiing
Following Waller's patented equipment making its way o­nto the market, water skiing became a hugely popular exhibition game by the late 1920s and early 1930s. In 1939, the 1st national championship of water skiing occured in Long Island, New York, at Jones Beach.

Water skiing has become an exhibition sport at the 1972 Olympic Games in Kiel, West Germany. Nowadays, there are more than six-hundred and fifty water skiing clubs with more than eleven million participants just in America alone with millions more within the world.