No Age Restrictions
- Age is not a factor, from 1-99 years old. Many die-hard waterski enthusiasts inquire about putting a baby seat in a boat for their baby or toddler. Hey, why not start them young? Babies start out floating in water in their mom's tummies, don't they? Many people bring along their baby's car seat and secure it beside the drivers seat, which faces backwards. On the other end of the spectrum, there's the 92 year old world famous barefoot water-skier Banana George Blair, who did not learn to barefoot until age 46.
The Popularity Factor
- There's no doubt the coolest parents in the neighborhood are the ones who have a waterski boat! So, parents grab your kids, head for the lake, and enjoy some recreational time with your family. Who knows, your kids may end up on a Pro Tour winners podium some day.
Opportunities Behind the Boat
- From traditional combo waterskiing to the younger sport of wakeboarding, there's something for each family member. What else is there to do behind a boat? Try hydrofoiling, kneeboarding, barefooting, jumping, or
trick skiing. If someone has no water skills at all, you can always throw them in a towable (tube), and sling them around. Chances are, they will have the time of their life just by hanging on for dear life.
Opportunities Inside the Boat
- Even if you don't like to get in the water there's a place for you. There's always a need for boat drivers and spotters. Inside the boat is not such a bad place. What better view to have of your child getting up on water skis or jump a wake on a wakeboard for the first time?
Clubs and Teams
- Waterski clubs are a great way to get involved in the sport if you do or do not have a boat of your own. Most clubs welcome children. Show waterskiing is a family affair as well. In fact, most show waterskiing teams love to have children participate because they are lightweight and can easily be lifted to the top of a waterski pyramid. Spectators at a ski show love to see kids in the act.
- There's even competition on a non-pro local level if you are interested. The INT League (International Amateur Waterski Wakeboard and Kneeboard U.S. Tour), self-proclaimed as the "Little League of Waterskiing," offers competition for all skill levels and ages. Meaning, it is likely the whole family can compete at the same tournament.
Family Professionals on the Pro Level
- Even on the Pro Tour level, there is a family-like atmosphere. If you have ever been to a pro waterski/wakeboard tournament you probably noticed the athletes often bring along their families. Spouses and children of former professionals Andy Mapple, Susi Graham, Kristi Overton-Johnson, and current competitor Jarett Llewellyn are often seen rushing to greet their parents as they come out of the water after competition.
There are far fewer athletes that make it to the waterski/wakeboard pro level compared to professional sports like football or baseball. This means the same boat-towed sports athletes compete against each other at nearly every tournament. This allows them to spend more time together and get to know one another. It is not uncommon to see athletes who are competing against each other cheer each other on... or even date and get married.
Professionals with Family Ties
- - Parks and Shane Bonifay (brother wakeboarders)
- Camille and Sammy Duvall
- Dallas and Robin Friday (brother and sister wakeboarders)
- Regina and Renee Jacquess (sisters water-skiers)
- Lori and Freddy Krueger (brother and sister)
- Tahn and Brit Larson (twin sisters)
- Andy and Deana Mapple (husband and wife)
- Toni and Bruce Neville (husband and wife)
- Curtis and Emma Sheers (brother and sister)
- Phillip "Froggy" and Robert Soven (brother wakeboarders)