Top 7 Best Water Skis | 2021 Reviews (Airhead, O’Brien)

Flo Farmer
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Water skiing might seem like an old-fashioned pastime for tourists, but it’s actually a fun sport that brings out the daredevil in many people. Experienced water skiers have pulled off some awesome stunts and observed some truly insane wipeouts along the way.

When skiers get passionate about performing tricks, they want the best water skis they can get their hands on, and that’s where skis’ construction, flex, and difficulty level matters.

In this guide, you’ll find 7 expertly selected water skis on the market, and also learn some tips to make the most out of your water skiing experience, so whether you’re a beginner or a pro, you can get a kick out of it.

Here are the top 7 water skis for beginners and advanced skiers.

NameCategoryProduct
Connelly Supersport Combo WaterskisBest OverallConnelly Supersport Combo Waterskis
O'Brien Reactor Combo Water SkisBudget PickO'Brien Reactor Combo Water Skis
AIRHEAD S-1300 Combo SkisUpgrade PickAIRHEAD S-1300 Combo Skis

1. Connelly Supersport Combo Waterskis

Our rating: 9 / 10

Connelly Supersport Combo Waterskis

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Pros:

  • Made with quality materials
  • Will last a long time
  • Adjustable bindings
  • Great for intermediates

Cons:

  • Prone to breaking
  • Not ideal for professionals

At first glance, you would think that you’re looking at a pair of ski poles from the 19th century. This is because Connelly supersport combo waterskis are slightly thinner compared to most of its kind. However, this only makes it even much more efficient, and your BFF, if you don’t have any, will be yours in just a day or so.

The bindings are padded with neoprene, making it cushioned and comfortable. The footpads are made from injection-molded urethane, enabling you to stand on the ski firmly.

These poles were built to conform to the standards set by the US Ski & Snowboard Association and the International Standards Organization. That said, we don’t recommend you use them in competitions.

2. O'Brien Reactor Combo Water Skis

Our rating: 8 / 10

O'Brien Reactor Combo Water Skis

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The Reactor line is one of O’Brien’s absolutely top models. These skis come in the mens version and a lady’s version. The 67-inch length is perfect for beginners.

We know that accidents do happen. So, we liked the skis extremely well constructed.It is however a more expensive solution than some of its competitors, but the high quality of the materials is worth the extra money. When paired with a life jacket it is a fun ride for both kids and adults. Adjustable bindings gives you a great fit.

The only downside to the missiles is the width on the waist. Kids and smaller female riders have a hard time with this size.

3. Full Throttle Traditional Combination Skis

Our rating: 7 / 10

Full Throttle Traditional Combination Skis

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Pros:

  • Easy to use traditional water skis
  • Great for beginners

Cons:

  • Not suitable for hard surface water skiing
  • Can be a little difficult to steer

The Full Throttle Traditional Combination Skis from O’Brien are great for beginners and older skiers. It will take a few skiing sessions for you to get used to them but once you do they are very stable and provide a stable ride.

The wide heel platform is great for beginners and provides a stable platform to help you. As you are learning you will want all of the stability that you can get.

They also include a pair of over-the-shoe bindings that are easy to use and come with bottle opener to help you remove the skis.

4. AIRHEAD S-1300 Combo Skis

Our rating: 7 / 10

AIRHEAD S-1300 Combo Skis

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Pros:

  • A high quality water ski at a price that won’t break the bank
  • Excellent value

Cons:

  • Manufactured with inexpensive materials
  • Handle is uncomfortable

Review:

These are an inexpensive water ski that perform nearly as well as the more expensive products. The metal frames are solid and sturdy, and the bindings work very well. The wheels are large and solid. If you want a water ski that is decent quality for an affordable price, then this product is a great choice.

This is definitely a starter pair of water skis. They are best for general use and recreation. If you are looking for a high quality water ski for professional use or serious competition, then you will need to spend more money on a higher quality product.

5. O'Brien Celebrity Combo Waterskis

Our rating: 7 / 10

O'Brien Celebrity Combo Waterskis

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Pros:

  • Adjustable bindings
  • Handles or bindings are very easily adjustable and do not tighten down like many other waterskier handles
  • Classic style that does not feels bulky
  • Will work perfectly with people who are just starting out
  • Easily adjustable for wide feet
  • Adjustable size
  • Skis glide smoothly on the water

Cons:

  • Can get slippery when it gets wet, and you may lose traction.

This product has amazing customer reviews and has pulled in four out of five stars on every site it has been reviewed. This product is an ankle boot, not a thin sleak water skis. These waterskies tend to have a thinner sleeker look. This product comes with an adjustable bindings along with adjustable ankle boot that makes it easier for both adult and young skiers to use. This product is rated at 50 pounds, which is good for beginner until advanced level skiers. The upper part of the boots are made with fabrics and rubber inner soles and top boot which allows for warmth during the cold winter months. This product is rated for anyone over 6 years of age and up. The price is fairly affordable for most of today’s families and one of the best on the market.

6. HO Sports Blast Combo HS/RTS

Our rating: 4 / 10

HO Sports Blast Combo HS/RTS

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Pros:

  • Dual-position rider guards for unlimited water skis combinations
  • Risers will accommodate bindings for both high performance and beginner skis
  • Easily adjustable bungee line prevents water ski board from flying up before rider
  • Heat-treated aluminum shaft for increased strength
  • Skis will not slip on the shaft while riding
  • Paddleboard is incredibly lightweight at only 45 lbs
  • Easy to transport as a paddleboard
  • Comes with hand straps for easy carrying

Cons:

  • Skis handle is wider than others in its category which can be a real challenge for you to keep them on, especially for those who want to learn how to water ski for kids
  • Skis can go as fast as you can pull them, but it’s not too difficult to control the speed
  • Price is a little bit high for the quality

In conclusion, the HO Sports Blast V2 is a great water ski for the money. It is also a great beginner’s water ski. Founded in 1997, HO Sports has always been an excellent manufacturer of water sports products, especially water ski. This is a great product for beginner and intermediate riders. The grip is wide enough for both hands so you can get a good grip of your handle.

7. Nash Hydroslide Legend Adult Deluxe Waterskies

Our rating: 4 / 10

Nash Hydroslide Legend Adult Deluxe Waterskies

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Nash has a number of different models of the Hydroslide, depending on your needs. The Legend is one of the most popular.

This ski has a large surface area. That means you won’t lose your footing when you’re on the water. The front and back edges have metal rammers so you don’t catch on anything when you’re trying to pull your way up onto the water.

The Hydroslide Legend has low-key graphics…but the colors are definitely eye catching. You could consider them subtle.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Who makes the best water skis?

Water skis are made specifically for use while water skiing. Many of them are designed to perform best for a specific skill or age-level. Here are a few water ski manufacturers and distributors to consider.

Airhead: Airhead has been around since 1959, and they produce a wide range of water ski-related items, including inflatable water skis. They offer both competition and recreational style water skis, as well as water skis for flat-bottom boats. They also produce a number of accessories, which one wouldn’t expect them to.

What is the best slalom water ski?

It depends on your skill level! Rich knows a thing or two about water skiing, so we asked him to fill us in…

"The best slalom ski for you depends on what kind of skier you are. If you’re looking for slalom race frames, you’ll need to see if they have the “IWSF” label on the side. This is the International Water Ski Federation, and if a ski has this certification, you know it will work for you in a tournament. These are lightweight race frames that are perfect for a competitive slalom skier.

What is the best water ski rope?

Water skis come in a wide range of sizes, shapes, and designs. They are intended to be propelled across the water using a water ski rope and a pair of skis that have bindings in order to lock in your feet in place. A wide variety of water skis and other water sport accessories exist. Also, there are multiple options for water ski ropes depending on your skill and personal taste.

A rope is designed to help you maneuver the size and weight of the water ski. Luckily, there are several different types of ropes available. Some are designed for beginners and others are designed for people with some experience.

Ropes for beginners are typically either constructed of plastic or a poly-fiber blend and are very long. This makes it easier to learn how to water ski without getting the rope tangled around you. It also keeps the line where you can reach it when you are still learning how to ski.

What length of water skis do I need?

The answer directly relates to your skill level and body weight. But, typically, water skis are around 197 centimeters in length (6.5 ft). However, if you’re a beginner, shorter water skis can help increase your confidence in the water.

Secondly, the length of your water skis will play a role in its size. When you lay the skis down, you want to have at least 30 centimeters extra beyond your toes to make sure your water ski boots are securely on.

NOTE This only applies if you’re using metal water ski bindings. Water ski bindings have two parts the front and the back, where the back fits into the boot, and the front clips into the ski. If you are using plastic boots with only one piece, you shouldn’t worry about this distance.

Conclusion

When in the water, make sure that you’re prepared and wearing the best water skis. Though the right water skis may not be the best form of flotation, and that can be an issue for some people. The truth is that they help you stay upright longer, allowing you to learn the exact skills you’ll need to master before going without the water skis. Experienced water skiers that have a lot of confidence in themselves can usually get away with going on a longer ride without the use of any. It’s ultimately up to you how you feel comfortable using your equipment.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Connelly Supersport Combo WaterskisBest OverallConnelly Supersport Combo Waterskis
O'Brien Reactor Combo Water SkisBudget PickO'Brien Reactor Combo Water Skis
AIRHEAD S-1300 Combo SkisUpgrade PickAIRHEAD S-1300 Combo Skis