Want to choose water skis like a professional? Even if you are new to watersports, or even a seasoned veteran, what do the pros look at when choosing their water skis? There are a few factors that classify the kind of ski a pro would use for high-performance skiing or races. There are also specific skis that pros use for tricks, jumps, and courses.

Slalom skiing, a common term used in the professional skiing world, involves a 26-buoy course that a skier navigates themselves through. Slalom skiing is typically done with just one single ski for advanced water skiers, whereas beginners typically start with trainer combo skis. Slalom skis fall into four main style categories which include the following.

World Class

World-class slalom water skis have rounded edges between the side and bottom, to allow for more aggressive turns during a slalom ski race. Sharp and aggressive turns are an important feature when slalom skiing between buoys on the course.

Wide Body

As the name implies, wide-body slalom skis have extra width, which makes them an excellent choice for water skiing novices. These provide stability for jumps, tricks, and jumping wakes. Beginner slalom skis also tend to have sharper edges between the side and bottom of the ski.


Traditional slalom skis are on the narrower side, and they are popular for competitive slalom water skiing because they turn easily. During a competitive ski race, fast, controlled turns are important to a skier.


Shaped skis are midway between wide-body water skis and traditional water skis. They typically provide great stability and control for the skier. A shaped ski also turns quickly and easily like the traditional ski. A shaped ski might be a great option for a skier who is new to slalom skiing because it provides an easy start and more stability on the water.

Whether you are a course skier, a free skier in lakes and rivers, or a bit of both, use this guide when you are deciding on your perfect skis. Visit your local Sun & Ski shop for expert advice on the different types of skis for slalom water skiing.