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There is a first time for everything. The same applies to water skiing. When we’re out on the water, we might not think about where the sport came from or how it came to be. There are a lot of exciting things revolving water skiing. Once the water sport became popular, there were a lot of “firsts” that followed. Some of the water ski firsts include tricks, ski shows, and many more. From Minnesota to New York to France, water skiing has seen its fair share of adventure and accomplishments.

Water Ski Firsts

For starters, it was Ralph Samuelson that gave water skiing its first go in Minnesota. The year was 1922, and at the young age of 18, Samuelson figured that if he could ski on snow, then he could ski on water. Fast forward to 1925, we get Fred Waller accomplishing the first patent on water skis. Coming from New York, Waller made kiln-dried mahogany skis called Dolphin Akwaskees. When the sport became popular soon after, a lot of exciting things started to happen. For instance, the first ski show happened in 1932 in Chicago at the Century of Progress.  This lead to the first trick ski being invented in 1940 by Jack Andreson, who created a shorter and fin-less ski. The sport kept picking up popularity around the world and soon competition became apart of the culture. Excitingly, people gathered in France for the first World Water Ski Championship.

The water sport has not slowed down. 1997 the U.S. Olympic Committee gave the sport more recognition. Water skiing became recognized as a Pan American Sports Organization with the AWSA as the national governing body. Since then, the sport has churned out tons of athletes and dedicated people. If you haven’t taken the time to balance on the water, we think it’s about time that you do!


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