May 10 2011 by Karla Henriquez
In 1922, a man named Ralph Samuelson created and experimented with the first ever set of water-skis. He got the idea from a pair of snow-skis he had just purchased, and wondered if the same technology could be transferred to the water. From that day on, a favorite American pastime sport was born. Now water skiing is one of the most popular spring and summer seasonal activities, and is competed in across the globe. Many different variations of water skiing now exist, from trick skiing to slalom skiing.
I started water skiing at an early age, my parents grew up being avid skiers and it was important to them for their kids to learn as well. I will never forget the first time getting in the water behind the boat and being scared of being pulled. Also, the excitement and ultimate satisfaction I felt getting out of the water for the first time on my slalom (single) ski. I was only 13 at the time and while that is no world record, I could not think of a moment that made me happier at that age.
Water skiing requires a lot of balance, upper arm strength and perseverance. It is not an easy sport to learn right off the bat, but once learned, it's like riding a bicycle.
Throughout the US there are many places that water skiers flock to for their favorite sport. Lakes, rivers and oceans are filled with weekend boaters during the spring and summer months participating in this almost century old sport. Depending on the location, wearing a wet suit to protect yourself from the icy water is definitely encouraged.
There are many small lakes throughout central Florida where people enjoy water skiing, specifically some of the larger lakes such as Lake Wales, Lake Weyohyakapka and Highland Park. These lakes are easy to access from main highways and roads, and are relatively small and shallow, which generally provides a safer skiing environment. Nearby cities such as Winter Haven provide easy access to these lakes, as well a plenty of lodging options. BEST WESTERN Park View Hotel, BEST WESTERN PLUS Auburndale Inn & Suites and BEST WESTERN Lakeside are several locations that are close to these lakes, and are ideal for families and summer time travelers.