COMBO SKI BUYER’S GUIDE
One of the biggest considerations when purchasing combo skis is to keep in mind the size of the skier. The biggest mistake beginning skiers make is getting on a pair of combos which are to big for them to handle in the water. The appropriate size of skis will make it much easier for your young skier to handle and help them achieve success on the water.
KID’S TRAINER WATER SKIS
Water Ski Trainers are typically 46” long and are built for kids under 90 lbs. These are available in both wood (Bambo) and fiberglass models. These have a plastic trainer bar which is attached to the front of the skis and a rope which keeps them connected in the back. The Trainer Bar keeps the skis in the correct position to make it easier for your young skier to get up. It is an easy process to remove the trainer bar and the attached rope as your child gets better. All trainers come with a rope which has one end attached to the skis with a handle and one end which is held in the boat with a handle by an adult. This arrangement makes it easy for the adult to release the rope if the child falls so that they will not “drag” behind the boat. All of these skis come with a Rear Toe Strap mounted on one of the skis, so that it may also be used as a slalom ski.
59” & 54” COMBO WATER SKIS
These skis are the appropriate length for skiers up to 135lbs. Many of these skis come with a trainer bar which connects the skis together to make it easier for beginning skiers to keep the skis together in the water and achieve success. The trainer bars are removable as they develop their skills on the water. The O’Brien Jr. Vortex Combos are a 54” combo which will work for skiers up to 135lbs because of the wider width in the front of the skis. Wider skis come in shorter lengths and are easier to control. The extra width helps with lift coming out of the water and makes it easier to get up. All of these skis come with a Rear Toe Strap mounted on one of the skis, so that it may also be used as a slalom ski.
63” COMBOS WATER SKIS
These skis are the perfect in between pair for those teenagers or young women under 160 lbs. Again losing the extra length makes it easier to control these skis in the water. Some but not all of these water skis are available with the optional trainer bar to hold the skis together. All of these skis come with a Rear Toe Strap mounted on one of the skis, so that it may also be used as a slalom ski.
ADULT 67” & 68” COMBO WATER SKIS
The skis that we all know and love. Made for all Adult Water Skiers Adult Combos are perfect for all riders 140 lbs and up. There are wider combos to give you more lift coming out of the water and stability. Many of these skis are made with a slightly wider shape. You will also find the traditionally shaped water skis that have been around now for almost 100 years. These will turn a little faster but you give up any extra lift that you get from wider skis. All of these skis come with a Rear Toe Strap mounted on one of the skis, so that it may also be used as a slalom ski. When you are purchasing your skis take a close look at the bindings. Most of the lower priced combos have what we all grew up with a sliding “horseshoe type” binding. These are adjustable to fit up to a size 13 foot but tend to be a little narrow for wide feet. If you step up to one of the lace adjustable binding they tend to fit a lot wider foot. Designed for foot sizes from 6-14 lace up bindings have a lycra piece which fits on the top part of your feet and is adjustable by tightening down the laces. Just slide your foot in, no soap or goo required, tighten the laces and away you go. Lace up bindings are easy to use, and much more comfortable than the old style bindings. Some of the adult combo skis have inserts which allow you to attach a trainer bar to help with training beginning adults to get out of the water. This is usually sold as an accessory on adult combos and will only work on combos that have the insert installed by the factory.
Please keep in mind that the weights listed here are intended as a general guideline. If you have someone who is taller and thinner they may be more comfortable in a longer pair of skis. Usually we have found the biggest thing beginning skiers fight is trying to hold skis tips that are too long in the correct position when trying to get up. It is much easier to learn to ski with skis that are the appropriate length. Also the trainer bars we have mentioned help to keep the skis in the correct position until your new skier learns how to do this on their own. These are all removable as your young skier progresses.
All prices are in USD.