We may earn a commission if you make a purchase through one of our links. The LA Times editorial staff was not involved in the creation of this content. Learn more

Look Cool Behind the Boat with the Best Water Skis

  1. O'Brien Performer Pro Combo Water Skis
  2. Connelly 2021 Cadet Child Combo Water Skis
  3. Airhead AHS-1300 Combo Water Skis
  4. Airhead AHS-900 135cm Wide Body Watetr Ski
  5. Radar Firebolt Trainer Water skis
  6. O'Brien Impulse Slalom Water Ski
  7. AIRHEAD Wide Body Combo Water Skis
  8. RAVE Sports 02398 Rhyme Adult Combo Water Skis
  9. O'Brien Jr Vortex Kids Combo Water Skis
  10. Quantum Dynamic 2014 Trick Skis
  11. D3 CX Honeycomb Trick Ski
  12. D3 CX Trick Ski
  13. Buyer's Guide

When you think of water skiing, many things may pop into your head such as a crazy trick ski video seen on YouTube, an image of a GoGo's music video…or maybe you’re simply longing to get out there on your own set of skis. No matter what’s on your mind, you probably don’t realize just how many types and styles of water skis there really are out there. Whether you’re looking for a classic combo ski or a pro level trick ski, we’ve provided a helpful best water skis in 2022 and the buyer’s guide below with detailed information that will help you in your search.

Best Water Skis of 2022 Reviewed in Detail

O'Brien Performer Pro Combo Water Skis - Best Water Ski Overall

One trip out on the lake and you’ll know why the O’Brien Performer Pro w/X9 RTP STD Combination Water Skis are called the “Cadillac of combos.” Perfect for the quickly advancing water skier, these combination skis have a deep rocker and sharp beveled edges that make the Performer Combo skis turn on a dime. The aluminum fin and wider surface area make deep water starts a breeze. Featuring the X9 RTP STD binding with EVA foam foot bed, the Performer Pro offers unmatched comfort and fits men’s sizes 7-13. The O’Brien Performer Pro w/X9 RTP STD combination water skis are a performance ski at an affordable price.

Connelly 2021 Cadet Child Combo Water Skis - Honorable Mention

The 2014 Connelly Eclypse Combination Water Skis are the perfect pair of skis for the whole family to enjoy. Durable and easy to control, they are long lasting and easy to learn on. The aluminum fin makes this pair of skis track exceptionally well. This pair of Connelly Eclypse Combo Water Skis come with the option to get bindings that have a front adjustable rear toe strap so that everyone in your family can have the perfect fit. These skis are 67 inches long and made from a combination of carbon and fiberglass, making them lightweight and durable for years of family fun. The Eclypse also makes a great slalom ski for beginners.

Airhead AHS-1300 Combo Water Skis - Consider

The latest version of HO Sports Burner Pro Combo Water Skis is ideal for the intermediate to advanced water skier. The deep-V bottom strikes the perfect balance between stability and speed. The HO Sports Burner Pro Combo Water Skis are versatile. With a design based on HO Sports’ Comp Freeride Slalom ski design, the Burner Pro Combo is the perfect set of skis if you are interested in branching out into slalom skiing. These stylishly designed skis are 67 inches long and lightweight. The adjustable EVA contour boot provides a secure and comfortable fit for all day fun on the water.

Airhead AHS-900 135cm Wide Body Watetr Ski - Best Combo Water Skis

The 2014 Legend Adult Deluxe Combo Water Skis are an affordable addition to your weekend water sports repertoire. Whether you are a beginner or an avid skier, Legend’s Adult Deluxe Combo Water Skis has something to offer all skill levels. These combination skis have a wide enough surface area for easy deep water starts, making learning simple. The tail of the skis narrows sharply, allowing for fast turning and tricks for the intermediate and advanced skier. The comfortable slide-in bindings are easily adjusted and will have you up on the water in no time.

Radar Firebolt Trainer Water skis - Best Slalom Water Skis

The difference between a carbon graphite water ski and a fiberglass or composite ski cannot be understated, on the water it feels like the difference between running and walking. The 2014 Senate Graphite Slalom Water Ski by Radar is a carbon ski that is worth every penny. For the intermediate to advanced slalom skier, the latest incarnation of the Senate Graphite is Radar’s lightest and fastest ski to date. The perfectly beveled edges make this ski react quicker on turns. The Senate-C glides effortlessly over wakes thanks to the Aerocore core. The Senate Graphite Slalom Water Ski can slice through the water at speeds up to 35 mph and has a switchblade fin to improve tracking. This ski holds a great edge even at top speeds.

O'Brien Impulse Slalom Water Ski - Best Slalom Water Skis

The 2014 O’Brien Impulse Slalom Water Ski is a fast, affordable and durable water ski that a skier of any skill level can enjoy. For the beginners, the smoother rocker makes this slalom ski easy to control. The 2014 Impulse Slalom Ski has just the right amount of surface area for a fast deep water start and it accelerates quickly because of the design of the rocker. The concave tunnel gives extreme holding power at high speeds and in sharp turns. The Impulse comes in two sizes, 64 inches and 66 inches, and comes with X-9 bindings. The O’Brien Impulse Slalom Water Ski is the perfect buy for the skier who wants to quickly hone their skills.

AIRHEAD Wide Body Combo Water Skis - Best Slalom Water Skis

The Burner Pro Slalom Water Ski by HO sports is perfect for the recreational skier who wants to get serious about slalom skiing at an affordable price. The Burner Pro Slalom offers one of the most comfortable rides on the market. The newly designed Basis Bindings added to the best from the 2012 design to provide unmatched cushion and support so you can spend all day on the water. HO Sport’s Burner Pro Slalom ski is highly responsive and features a V-Bottom design that holds an edge while crossing a wake. New elements of the 2013 Burner Pro Slalom ski include a transitioning tunnel design on the bottom that reduces forward lean by keeping the tail of the ski deeper in the water.

RAVE Sports 02398 Rhyme Adult Combo Water Skis - Best Slalom Water Skis

The Connelly Outlaw Slalom Water Ski is a stable, yet fast riding ski that everyone in the family can enjoy. The unique design with a wider tip makes it easy to control. Plus, it makes getting up easier on deep water launches. The drop through fin makes the Outlaw track well at any speed, providing an effortless ride. Made using Connelly Advanced Profile Technology (CAPT), the Outlaw is a lightweight and durable ski with a polyurethane resin core and a fiberglass wrap that can withstand years of fun on the water. The Outlaw has four binding options and comes in three lengths: 65, 67 and 69 inches. Connelly is the only ski company that guarantees you’ll like their water skis or you can return it, no questions asked. With an assurance like that, you know the Outlaw has to be one of the best slalom skis on the market.

O'Brien Jr Vortex Kids Combo Water Skis - Best Trick Water Skis

The O’Brien Pro Trac Trick Skis W/X-9 STD Bindings are a comfortable and stable pair of trick skis that can help the intermediate skier quickly advance their skills. The tapered bevels give the rider massive lift off the wake and make deep water starts incredibly easy. The beveled edges also strike the perfect combination between a sharp and rounded edge, making this pair of skis easy to control without sacrificing speed. These trick skis are designed with a symmetrical rocker and full length grooves, giving the O’Brien Pro Trac Trick Skis the unparalleled stability that made them one of the most popular brands of trick skis on the market. The icing on the cake is the STD Bindings have a comfortable EVA foot bed that gives the rider better grip and improved edge. The bindings come in men’s sizes 7-11.

best Quantum Dynamic 2014 Trick Skis

Quantum Dynamic 2014 Trick Skis - Best Trick Water Skis

The 2014 Quantum Dynamic Trick Ski by Masterline has a lower flex than in past years, making this one of the fastest trick skis around. The carbon fiber layup and light foam core make for an extremely lightweight, but strong trick ski. This ski has more surface area at the center, narrower tips and a larger flat spot for added stability when executing spins. The Quantum Dynamic Trick Ski has an aggressive 3-stage rocker giving it effortless lift, speed and tracking. The concave bottom increases maneuverability and makes turns a breeze.

D3 CX Honeycomb Trick Ski

D3 CX Honeycomb Trick Ski - Best Trick Water Skis

The trick ski of choice seen in countless professional competitions, the D3 CX Honeycomb Trick Ski is an ultra lightweight single ski that is guaranteed to give you maximum air. This trick ski is built to endure the stunts of the most adventurous skiers. The D3 CX Honeycomb Trick Ski comes in four different lengths ranging from 41 to 44 inches. The 3-stager rocker consistently delivers fast acceleration and precision on the edge. The molded grooves give you greater grip on the water, making the D3 CX Honeycomb Trick Ski one of the most stable skis on the market. One of the best added features of the CX Honeycomb Trick Ski is the aerospace quality honeycomb core that is wrapped in carbon fiber laminate. This lightweight design delivers optimal flex.

D3 CX Trick Ski

D3 CX Trick Ski - Best Trick Water Skis

The D3 CX Trick Ski is a lightweight single ski that has one of the best strength to weight ratios out there. Made with a foam core with a carbon overlay, this trick ski is built to endure the stunts of the most adventurous skiers. The D3 CX Trick Ski is a consistent and precise trick ski that is designed to pop off of wakes. The molded grooves give added control and maneuverability. It is no small wonder why the D3 CX Trick Ski is one of the most popular trick skis on the market. One of the best added features of the CX Trick Ski is the ability to change the binding positions before mounting the rear toe plate, making it easy for you to find the perfect set up for you.

Buyer's Guide

Water skiing, a water sport that involves a person being towed with the aid of a boat is one activity that delivers just the right adrenaline rush the body needs. This water sport also has its health benefits.

In this section called the buying guide, we would be showing things to look out for when choosing a water ski. It might also interest you to know that these important considerations about to be discussed helped us in selecting the best water ski in the product review section above.

So, reading this buying guide will help you in finding the best water ski that suits your taste, skill level, and budget should incase the ones listed above don’t meet your specifications.

What is Water Skiing?

Water skiing is a water sport that involves a water skier gliding through the water while holding a rope attached to the back of a moving boat.

How to Water Ski?

If you are interested in learning how to water ski, here are some basic routines that will help

1. Start with the Deepwater Position

The Deepwater start position helps to teach beginner skiers how to stand on water. To get in this position, your skis should be under the water and should be placed together. Your hands should also be stretched out holding the rope. Lastly, keep making sure the board is balanced before the boat starts moving.

2. Relax and Move Only Your Feet

Once the boat starts moving, ensure that your toes stay flat and on top of the board. You can also choose to keep your heels at an elevated angle. Finally, remain in a crouched position until you are on the surface of the water

>3. Slowly Begin to Stand StraightAs your legs rise above the water, remember to bend your elbows slightly outwards with the handle of the rope near your hips and your back slightly bent. Once you are flat on the water surface, begin to stand up straight.

What are the Gears required for water skiing?

To water ski safely, you need these four gears

1. A boat that can go at a speed of 25mph or more.

2. A tow rope with handles. The rope should be at least 75foot long.

3. Water skis

4. Life jacket or personal floatation device approved by a coast guard.

5. Other essential gears include; hand gloves, wet suit, Goggles. Being able to swim is also not a bad idea.

How to Choose the Best Water Ski

Here are some things you need to consider when looking for the best water ski

The Type of Water Ski
Since there are different types of water skis, you should choose one that matches your skill level and use. Some of the most popular types of water skis include;

Combo Skis

These skis are perfect for beginners as they feature wider tips. In addition to this, they also give the skier more control. Combo skis are sold as pairs, and one of these pair is usually set up with two bindings while the other is made up of only one binding.

Shalom Skis

Shalom skis can be used by both beginners and expert skiers. They have the distinctive feature of having a wide forward binding and a narrow rear binding. Many pros love these skis because of their thin tails that favor rapid deceleration; this feature is particularly useful when the skier is trying to turn quickly.

Trick Skis

These skis come in short and wide shapes and have no fins. The absence of fins makes it possible to use them to perform spins, jumps, flips, and several other tricks on the water.

Youth Skis

Youth skis are made for lightweight and shorter or smaller skiers. They come with a rope or bar, which is usually attached to the pair of skis. This rope is also connected to the retainer. All of these features ensure that the child isn’t dragged underwater when the boat starts. In addition to this, the design ensures that the retainer is the correct distance away from the ski.

The Ski Binding

The ski binding is what holds the feet in place and keeps it steady on the skiboard. Ski bindings should be tight enough to allow you the freedom to control the skis, but at the same time, it should be loose enough to allow you to slide in your foot. Typical ski bindings include; Front wrap binding, double wrap binding, and adjustable wrap binding.

The Materials Used in Building the Ski

Today, skis are made from different materials. The materials used in making a ski affects the responsiveness, flexibility, and even the cost of the ski. Fiberglass, which is usually flexible, durable, and not too expensive is one example of a ski material. Other examples of ski materials include wood, carbon fiber, and graphite composite material skis.

Features to Look Out for When Selecting a Water Ski

These features below will help you in selecting the best water skis.


Fins make stability and maneuvering the ski easy. Their location will influence the stability and speed of the ski. The more forward a fin is, the faster the ski will be. Also, the farther back a fin is, the more stable the ski will be. In order to be able to adjust them to suit your needs, manufacturers have made these fins detachable


Rocker refers to the curvature of the ski from the tip to the tail. Skis with more curvature will turn quickly but will experience plenty of drag while skis with little or no corves are faster and more predictable.


The ski's flex affects its stiffness and determines how easy it will be to turn the ski. Too much flex makes it hard to control the ski as it makes the ski extremely stiff.


Is Water skiing a Good workout?

Water skiing is a good workout. When you ski you are engaging in a full-body workout that also helps burn calories. As you progress, your bones will get stronger, and your body fat level will drop significantly. Additionally, you will also notice an increase in your flexibility.

Are old wooden water skis worth anything?

Old wooden water skis are worth between $100 to $300. This price varies as it depends on the use condition of the skis, the brand, and the material.

Is water skiing popular?

Longer skis have the advantage of being able to float better. This is attributed to their large surface area, which makes them more stable.

Is water skiing popular?

Water skiing is popular in the United States and many parts of Europe. In the United States alone there are more than 600 water skiing associations.
bestcovery team.jpg
Our research team searches out the best of everything so that you can confidently pick the perfect products and services for your needs.
Related Content
Go to top