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Waterski Terminology

Waterski Terminology

Some common waterski terminology and adaptive equipment you may come across while volunteering at LOF:


Aquaplane – A small board used for riding on water; can be the precursor to jump skis for small children under 60 lbs.

Bindings – The “boots” attached to waterskis which skiers place their feet in.

Block – A small block on the end of a sit ski to which a rope attaches.

Boom – A large pole attached to the side of the boat; used to train first time skiers.

Cage – The seat which attaches to a sit ski.

Deep V Handle – A handle used by novice sit skiers which has a longer bridle than a standard handle.  This allows the skier to begin with the tip of the sit ski contained in the handle, allowing for symmetrical pull during start (rather than pull from one side of the body, which occurs with a standard handle).

Delgar sling – An adaptive device used for stand skiers with a weakened side, typically due to stroke or other injury, which stabilizes the weakened extremity and attaches directly to the boom.



Dock jumper – When a skier is released near the dock after skiing, dock jumpers jump into the water to help guide the skier and his/her ski(s) back to the dock.

Dockmaster – A volunteer who directs boat traffic in/out of his/her designated dock and manages the dock jumpers and participants waiting on that dock.

Dragger – A volunteer who helps lower a sit ski into the water and stabilizes a sit ski during a sit skier’s launch. (sometimes referred to as a “water starter”)


Handle – An apparatus tied to the end of a tow rope that a skier grips.

Jet ski jumper – A volunteer who rides on the back of a jet ski following a sit skier.  If the sit skier falls and/or needs assistance for any reason, the jet ski jumper is designated to assist him/her.

Jump skis – A standard pair of waterskis used by most skiers at LOF.

Long line – A skier who has progressed from the boom to the “long line” is now skiing with a standard tow rope.

Quick release – A mechanism on the boat that allows a spotter to immediately release skiers’ ropes from the boat in the event of a hazard (ex. Floating debris) or impending crash.


Outriggers – Small skis mounted on either side of a sit ski which serve as “training wheels”.

Short line – A short tow rope attached to the boom by a pulley system; serves as an intermediate step between the boom and long line.


Sit skier – A skier who skis while sitting due to lack of strength and/or function in his/her lower extremities.


Slalom ski – A narrow ski used by a skier who navigates a slalom course (weaving through buoys).

Spotter – The spotter’s job is to operate the quick release on a boat, if necessary, and to search for potential hazards.


Stand skier – A skier who skis while standing.


Tow rope – A standard rope used by most waterskiers.

Wake – The wave pattern of water downstream of the boat.

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