The twenties of the last century were for America the time of the dominance of technology. It was a time of motors and speeds. For less and less time, transoceanic liners crossed the Atlantic, pilots took a height record one after another, racers squeezed the maximum possible out of their Bugatti and Dewey. “Air attractions” toured all states, in which pilots performed aerobatics.
Ralph Samuelson, an ordinary guy from Minnesota, also wanted to become “one of those who make America great.” June 28, 1922, he made his first attempt to conquer the expanse of water on skis towed by a boat. Ralph stayed on the water for only a couple of seconds. But by trial and error, Samuelson achieved stability and already on July 2 a motor boat, driven by his brother, cut through the waters of Lake Pepin. Ralph Samuelson, holding on to a rope tied to the stern, rushed thirty meters behind.
The new attraction gradually gained more and more popularity. The tricks got more complicated: there were water jumps, instead of a boat, a skier, a plane towed. Soon, the first woman, Catti Lornerson, became a jet ski. In 1925, the first patent was filed by Fred Waller.
Amateur organizations, in 1939 unite in USA Water SkiC. Its founders: D. Haines and B. Parker structure a new sport. The first championship in New York. The World Water-Ski Union (in 1946) is being created. The main disciplines are: slalom, figure skating and jumping (from ski jumping). Then the rules of the competition are formed. With some changes, they are valid now.
On the slalom track there is a competition for the passage of six buoys, going in two rows. The winner is the one who will go round their larger number, subject to the fulfillment of all requirements. Each subsequent race is more difficult than the previous one. The speed of the boat increases by 3.2 km / h, gradually reaching a value of 55 km / h. Another feature of this discipline is the reduction in the length of the rope, with each successful passage of buoys. The skier continues to try until he misses.
Figure skating is a two-period competition in the performance of complex figures. Two skis are used for this: short and ribless. The athlete makes turns, slip, etc. For each “figure”, if it is made in accordance with the rules, points are awarded. The level of skill is assessed by the judges (three or five, depending on the level of competition).
For ski jumping, wooden flooring is 1.8 m and 1.5 m high, for men and women, respectively. The boat has a certain speed. For men, the speed is 57 km / h, for women 45 km / h. In order for the exercise to be counted, you need to go through a springboard, splash down without falling or touching the water, cross a specially marked line. For jumping use two long skis with tail.
In competitions, the athlete can use the so-called “stunt skiing” or one ski. Over time, the size and shape of the skis, the materials that go into their manufacture, change. Modern products are a combination of traditional and new forms: wood, aluminum, fiberglass. The length of standard skis is 1.7 m. Width is 15 cm. Each is equipped with a stabilizing fin and a secure mount eliminating the possibility of injury. Figured (stunt) skis are shorter.
Nowadays, World and European Championships, competitions for athletes with disabilities are held. In 1972, at the Olympic Games, water skiing was presented in the form of demonstrations. There is a professional association.
The most common sport in his homeland. Over 15 million Americans have been featured as competitors or amateur athletes throughout its existence.