You can always tell the first signs of summer:  the streets are filled with hot rods, nighttime skies are lit with fireflies, and lakes are buzzing with water skiers!

Water skiing is an exhilarating sport that everyone can enjoy.  Follow a few basic water skiing tips, and keep your time on the water fun and safe.

*  Flotation Devices:  First and foremost, be sure that everyone on your boat is wearing a certified flotation device — especially weak swimmers and all passengers under the age of thirteen.

*  Know Your Surroundings:  Before you begin, make sure that you and all fellow skiers and drivers are familiar with the water and surrounding areas.  Recognize which areas have more boats, where the shallow areas are, and where obstructions, rocks and debris can be found.  Once you are moving it will be too late to stop or avoid an accident, so you need to know what to expect before you start.

*  Have a Lookout:  One extra passenger needs to act as a trustworthy lookout.  This person should sit at the back at watch the water skier at all times.  Accidents can happen in the blink of an eye.  It would be terrible if you looked back and couldn’t find your friend.  Don’t take any chances!

*  Equipment:   The right skis are essential to a fun and safe outing.  There are skis for beginners, and skis for the more advance water skiers.  If you are just starting out, don’t try to use professional equipment.  Beginner skis are designed to help you get up on the water, and stay up.

*  Hand Signals:
  Before you set out for your day of water skiing, establish good hand signals with the boat crew.  The boat motor and wind can be quite loud, and yelling just won’t work.  It is easier and safer to have simple hand signals to let the driver and lookout know what the skier wants and needs.

*  Circle Around Safely: 
If a skier stops or falls, the boat should always circle around slowly and reach the skier from the right side.  This allows the driver to see the skier and know exactly where he or she is in the water.  If the boat passes the skier on the left, there is a greater chance of the skier being hit or run over.

*  Accessorize for Safety:  Always remember to wear the right gear when water skiing.  A wet suit is best to wear, because it will keep you comfortable and won’t restrict your movement.  Wear fog proof and waterproof goggles to protect your eyes from spray and debris.

When summer arrives, be first to get out there and enjoy some water skiing.  Follow these basic water skiing tips, and you’re sure to have a safe fun in the sun!

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