WaterSkiing Signals PDF Print E-mail

Hand signals are very important to learn before you start waterskiing.

The only time it is safe is at the very start of a run, the driver should call out "ready?" and the skier should respond with "hit it" or "wait". Yelling instructions over the noise of a boat is very dangerous, for instance, "go" and "no" can sound the same. Avoid frustration and go over these simple hand signals with the driver, spotter and skier:

Turn left
Turn Right
Speed is okay

Other communication signals are:

If a skier falls, they should raise both hands over their heads, touching their fingertips, forming a big "O" for okay. If a skier wants to let go of the tow-rope, they should move one hand across their neck simulating a slice.

Beginners like to be warned of oncoming wake waves. The spotter should let them know by extending an arm straight out to one side and moving it up and down. If the spotter sees a potentially dangerous path ahead, they should face the skier and put their arm out in front and wave it up and down, indicating, stay in the path right behind the boat.

The skier can let the spotter know they've had enough and would like to get back in the boat, by patting the top of their head with one hand. While a downed skier is waiting for the boat to come about to retrieve them, they should raise their ski or other equipment in the air, to alert other watercraft of their whereabouts.

It is important for the driver to indicate when they are preparing to turn, this is accomplished by raising an arm up in a 90 degree angle and rotating the forearm and hand around in wide circles, indicating the direction of the turn.

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