How To Make Trainer Water Skis? Learn How To Make Your Own and Start Shredding!

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Trainer water skis are an essential tool for anyone who wants to learn how to ski on the water. They are designed to assist beginners in finding their balance and getting comfortable on the water before transitioning to traditional skis. While you can purchase trainer skis from many sporting goods stores, making your own is a fun DIY project that will save you money.

In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of making your own trainer water skis. We’ll cover everything from selecting the materials you need to assembling your skis and testing them out on the water.

You might be wondering why you should bother making your own trainer water skis when there are countless ready-made options available for purchase. The answer lies in customization and cost savings. When you make your own skis, you have complete control over the size, shape, and color of the skis. Plus, you’ll typically spend less money than buying pre-made skis.

If you’re ready to take on the challenge of building your own trainer water skis, keep reading for step-by-step instructions!

Materials Needed For Making Trainer Water Skis


The first and most important material you’ll need to make trainer water skis is wood. The best type of wood to use for this project is marine plywood. It’s durable, strong, and can withstand being submerged in water for extended periods of time. You’ll need enough plywood to make two ski boards that are approximately six feet long and 10 inches wide.

When selecting your plywood, be sure to choose a grade that has been treated with waterproof glue. This will ensure the skis don’t fall apart or warp over time as they come into contact with water.

You’ll also need some additional materials to create the wooden core of the skis, including foam blocks and epoxy resin. These components help to add buoyancy to the skis and keep them afloat while you’re on the water.


Sanding is a crucial step in the process of making trainer water skis. To start, you’ll want to find sandpaper that is at least 80-grit. This coarse sandpaper should be used to smooth out any rough edges or uneven surfaces on the wooden boards.

After using the coarse sandpaper, you’ll need to switch to a finer grit paper (around 220) to create a smoother surface finish. Sand both sides of each ski board until it feels completely smooth to the touch.

A final pass with even finer grit paper ensures that all burrs and scratches have been removed before painting or finishing your skis.


The last item you’ll need to complete your trainer water skis is binding. Generally made from boat lockers or other similar materials, bindings hold your feet securely onto the skis, without hindering their movement.

You’ll want to measure your feet carefully and then cut the bindings so that they fit snuggly. A good rule of thumb is to leave approximately one inch of space between the binding and the end of your toes for added comfort and maneuverability on the water.

When installing your bindings, be sure to use a waterproof adhesive or glue to prevent them from coming loose while you’re skiing. Secure attachments will ensure that your feet remain in place and that you are able to control your movements effectively.

How to Cut and Shape the Wood for Trainer Water Skis

Measuring and Cutting the Wood

Before you start cutting the wood, it’s essential to measure everything correctly. You can use an existing pair of trainer water skis as a reference to have an idea of how long, wide, and thick they should be.

Once you have your measurements, mark the lengths on the wood using a pencil or chalk. It’s best to make two marks on each side of the board so that you can see where you need to cut from different angles.

When you’re ready to start cutting, grab a handsaw or jigsaw and follow your markings carefully. Remember to measure twice before making any cuts! Keeping things straight and level will ensure that both skis are identical and functional.

Shaping the Skis with Sandpaper

After you’ve got the rough shape of your bikinis, it’s time to sand away those sharp edges and give them a smooth finish. First, use coarse grit sandpaper to remove excess material and create a basic form of the ski. Then, switch to finer grit to achieve a polished and even surface.

The shaping process is critical since incorrectly shaped or uneven skis will cause difficulty in balance and maneuvering, leading to dangerous conditions. Ensure that both sides match perfectly symmetrically and avoid over-sanding the bottom face in comparison to the top.

The final step is to round off the tip and tail’s corners slightly, as this eases the skier’s entry into the water during starts and turns, reducing drag and increasing stability. Continue sanding until all surfaces feel silky and free of scratches. And that’s it – you now have a custom set of trainer water skis ready to hit the water!

How to Apply the Bindings to Trainer Water Skis

Locate and Drill Holes for the Bindings

The first step in applying bindings to trainer water skis is locating where they will be attached. This typically involves finding a spot on the ski with enough surface area that won’t hinder your maneuverability when skiing, but also allows you to easily reach down to release or tighten the binding.

Once you’ve located the desired spot, drill holes into the ski using an electric power drill. Be sure to use a drill bit size that matches the size of the screws that came with your bindings. You’ll want to make sure the holes are deep enough that the Screws are flush against the ski’s surface once tightened.

It’s important to double-check their placement and alignment before installing the bindings, as incorrectly drilled holes can cause the bindings not to fit properly. Make adjustments as needed until everything lines up perfectly.

Insert and Tighten Bindings

With the holes in place on the skis, it’s now time to attach the bindings. Place them over the matching holes making sure that they’re level and centered correctly. Start to insert each screw by hand at first, and then move back and forth between each screw, tightening gradually with each one so to keep from putting too much stress on any single part of the binding during installation. Finally, as soon as all four screws accounted for, give them one last check-up to ensure nothing has shifted out of position after the waxing process ended.

Note: Never overtighten the screws because doing so may crack your board (or snow/liquid vessel). Ensure that everything is snug but never under stress.

Adjusting Bindings for a Perfect Fit

The final step in applying bindings to trainer water skis is adjusting them for a perfect fit. Ultimately, your goal remains comfort alongside stability as you take your first steps on-skis.

For that purpose, adjust the bindings by moving each ankle strap’s placement until there isn’t too much slack left; yet it does not put unnecessary pressure or rubbing places on against your skin. experiment with ski boot size and width to seek what feels most comfortable onto your feet and conforms directly beneath your bodyweight-center upon the board.

If possible, get a friend to help adjust the bindings while you’re standing on the skis so you can make minor changes right away if needed. Take some time to find a balance of comfort, flexibility, stability and then lock it up! From here, You incredibly would capable of honing-in your skating and skiing proficiencies reaching new heights.

How to Use Your Newly Made Trainer Water Skis

Practicing on Land

The first step to using your newly made trainer water skis is to practice the movements required for balance and control. Start by placing your feet in the bindings of the skis while on land in a comfortable position. Find your center of balance while holding onto something stable like a railing or a friend. Begin to rock back and forth, moving your weight from one foot to another, while keeping your eyes focused on the horizon. This movement will help you find your footing and build the necessary muscle memory for when out on the water.

Next, begin practicing your stance. Make sure that your shoulders are parallel with the water skis and your hips and knees slightly bent. Keep your arms extended at your sides and maintain a steady grip on the ropes attached to your skis. Hold this position for a few seconds before standing up straight again and repeating. Practicing these movements on land can help to reduce the time it takes you to learn them on the water significantly.

When you’ve mastered these elements, try walking around with the skis on until you’re confident enough to move onto the next stage.

Starting Out in the Water

Once you’re ready, wear a life vest and head into calm waters. Have a well-experienced individual hold the ski rope steadily near the boat’s rear without starting the boat yet. Place your feet into the skis’ bindings, and ensure they are secure. When you’re set, signal your driver to start the boat slowly as you stand upright.

You should feel some tension on the rope while getting familiar with the initial pull. Don’t fight; instead, let the rope do what it wants and use your legs to adjust body positioning. Keep your arms slightly extended and try to stay tall on the skis. As you get comfortable, ask the driver to give more throttle, which forces water through the fins beneath your feet, allowing you to glide smoothly above the surface. Concentrate on balancing and staying relaxed while attempting to maintain the appropriate form.

Practice this repeatedly until you’re confident with your capabilities before moving on to more advanced techniques.

Tips for Advancing Your Skills

If you’ve mastered being towed at a moderate speed, it’s time to move to some more complex moves. Now that you have achieved basic stability, begin trying turns by angling yourself in one direction or another while maintaining control of the ski rope.

You can also proceed to jump wakes created by boats as they travel. When heading for the ramp, let elbows take the majority of the hard impulses instead of straightening like when on flat water; this will prevent discomfort in your wrists due to forceful pulling on the rope. Catch air side-to-side or do front flips; these skills are challenging and need time to adapt fully but once perfected, add extra excitement to skiing. You may work with professional trainers or watch instructional videos on YouTube to gain useful tips and practice sessions that’ll see progress over time.

As great as training wheels are, their purpose is only temporary, so don’t become too reliant on them. Be sure to keep practicing and eventually, those fair-weather friends will become obsolete.

Frequently Asked Questions

What materials do I need to make trainer water skis?

To make trainer water skis, you will need a few materials. First, you will need a foam block or core material that is lightweight and buoyant. You will also need fiberglass cloth and epoxy resin to cover and seal the foam block. Additionally, you will need fin boxes, fins, and bindings to attach to the skis. Other materials that may be useful include sandpaper, a saw, and a measuring tape.

What is the process for shaping the skis?

The process for shaping trainer water skis begins with cutting the foam block to the desired shape and size. Next, you will need to sand down the rough edges and shape the skis using a saw and sandpaper. Once the skis are shaped, you will need to cover them with fiberglass cloth and epoxy resin to create a waterproof seal. After the seal has cured, you can attach the fin boxes, fins, and bindings to the skis.

How do I attach the bindings to the skis?

To attach bindings to trainer water skis, you will need to drill holes in the skis where you want the bindings to be placed. Then, you can use screws and nuts to secure the bindings to the skis. Make sure to tighten the screws and nuts securely to prevent the bindings from coming loose. It may also be helpful to use a template or guide to ensure that the bindings are placed evenly on both skis.

What safety precautions should I take when using trainer water skis?

When using trainer water skis, it is important to take several safety precautions. First, always wear a properly fitting life jacket or personal flotation device. Make sure the skis are securely attached to your feet and the bindings are tightened properly. Start at a slow speed and gradually increase as you become more comfortable. Always have a spotter in the boat to keep an eye on you and communicate any necessary instructions. Finally, never ski in areas with high boat traffic or obstacles in the water.

Are there any tips for beginners using trainer water skis for the first time?

If you are a beginner using trainer water skis for the first time, there are a few tips that can help you get started. First, start in shallow water where you can easily stand up if you fall. Place your arms straight in front of you and keep your knees bent to maintain balance. Try to keep your weight centered over the skis and avoid leaning too far forward or backward. Communicate with your spotter and take breaks as needed to rest and regain your energy.

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