Guide: Waterskiing hand signals

By Pat LynchPat Lynch

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Photo by iStockphoto/Thinkstock

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No matter what you use for hand signals, the spotter, the skier, and the driver need to be able to visually communicate with each other. And while your family may have its own unique set of gestures, a number of universal hand signs are out there to help all the players stay on the same page once the boat is in motion.

 

HandSignals10 1

Thumbs up

“Faster, please. I’m ready to skip like a stone across the water.”

 

HandSignals11

Thumbs down

“Whoa, Nellie! This is way too fast, even for me and my amazing ski skills. Slow down!”

 

HandSignals03

Point right

“Um, can you turn the boat right to avoid that oncoming steamship? Thanks.”

 

HandSignals04

Point left

“Did I say right? I mean turn left, turn left!” 

 

HandSignals05

Driver’s arm up, making circles with hand and forearm

“We’re going to be turning around. Get ready for the keyhole, and get back in the wake, cool guy.”

 

HandSignals06 

Circular motion with upraised hand

“There’s a party goin’ on ’round here! Take me for another loop, please.”

 

HandSignals07

Patting head (while skiing)

“Take me home, I’m toast. Back to the dock, please.”

 

HandSignals08

Bent arms, forming a circle over the head (after a wipeout)

“I’m okay. Just had an unexpected enema, but I’m not hurt.”

 

HandSignals09

Okay signal

“As Buckwheat once said, ‘O-tay!‘ This is just right. Keep on cruising at the same speed, Daddy-O.”

 

Illustrated by Michael Cho


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