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Water Skiing and Mono Skiing

What is water skiing?

Water skiing or water skiing is a sport that consists of sliding on one or two skis over the water, dragged by a long rope from a boat.

This sport has several modalities: slalom, acrobatics or jumps; there are even those who practice it barefoot.

It is a healthy and fun sport as long as it is practised by a professional.

A little bit of history…

In 1922 Ralph Samuelson, at the age of 18, thought that skiing could also be practised on water. His first attempts were unsuccessful.

He began by using barrel staves and tried to be pulled by a boat, after which he failed and tried again, in vain, with snow skis.

At this point, he decided to build his own skis that allowed him to ski on water. He succeeded with two boards of approximately 240 x 22 cm, to which he attached leather straps to hold his feet. He made a 30.5 m rope with an iron ring as a handle and tied it to a boat.

His brother was the driver and they reached a top speed of 32 km/h. This took place on Lake Pepin in Lake City, Minnesota. After this, Ralph held exhibitions of his new sport for the next fifteen years.

On a curious note, in addition to inventing water skiing, Samuelson was also the first to perform a water ski jump in July 1925, failing on the first attempt, but on the second he greased the jumping platform with lard and succeeded. Ralph was also the first speed skier to reach 130km/h, being pulled by a World War I seaplane.

As Samuelson never patented his inventions, in 1925 Fred Waller patented the first water skis.

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