July 2, 2010

Invention of Water Skiing – 1922

Ralph Samuelson took the first successful water skiing run on his invention on this day in 1922. At almost 19 years old, Samuelson had already unsuccessfully tried water skiing on  snow skis and on the staves from wooden barrels. He ended up creating new skis out of pine boards that he had boiled in his mom's kettle so that he could bend up the front tips. His brother drove the powerboat that pulled Samuelson along by a tow rope. Samuelson had to invent the method by which to get up on the skis, as well. In late June and early July of that year, he used trial and error to figure out that he could start a ski run by leaning back and raising up the ski tips.

Samuelson didn't patent his invention, and others ended up doing so and making money with such products as “Dolphin Akwa-Skees.” However, Samuelson is credited with being the first water ski racer, the first to go over a jump ramp, the first to slalom ski, and the first to put on a water ski show. He is acknowledged as the Father of Water Skiing.

The young man did his first experiments in Lake Pepin (between Minnesota and Wisconsin), but he traveled all around the United States with his stunt show.

Who Needs Skis to Water Ski?

Watch this Barefoot Water Skiing Champ not only ski, but do tricks. He's just six years old!

Barefooting was invented in 1947. It requires higher speeds than normal water skiing, according to this formula: (Skier's weight in pounds/10) + 20 mph. How fast would you have to go?


Even if you can't water ski today, maybe you can cool off and play in water in some other way.

Here is a word search puzzle with water skiing words.

Do a jigsaw puzzle of a water skier.

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