When Ralph Samuelson began water skiing in 1922, he
only wanted to take skiing to water. He wanted to
improvise skiing on ice to make it possible to do it
on water. But this concept of innovation and
improvising has stuck to the sport of water skiing
When Ralph started, his attempts at riding on water
were unsuccessful. “The first one to attempt anything
new is the one who would run into the hurdle first”,
goes the adage and it rang true in Ralph’s attempt
As his idea came from snow skiing, he wanted to try
using snow skis. However, this plan failed. He then
decided to make his own skis and fashioned two out of
The next requirement was a towrope, which is fastened
to the boat. The skier manages to stay afloat by
holding onto the other end of the rope.
Ralph Samuelson, for a towrope, used a long cord. To
be able to comfortably hold onto the one end of the
rope, he tied it to an iron ring.
With these contraptions ready, he got his brother to
ride the boat and started something that has today
become extremely popular among thousands of people.
Ralph was also the first recorded person to jump a
ramp. Several people have since improvised the
equipment that Samuelson used first. Today it has
become a science in itself.
By the time water skiing was included as an event in
several tournaments and meets around the world, the
number of equipment manufacturers and sellers had
multiplied with several equipment in varying types and