Watersports such as waterskiing, wakeboarding, wake surfing, tubing, kneeboarding, and many more are great activities that people can do in both freshwater and saltwater. For the casual person, either saltwater or freshwater will do just fine for any water sport including skiing, but if your more competitive here’s what you need to know.
Freshwater is better for pretty much every water sport including water skiing, wakeboarding, wake surfing, tubing, kneeboarding, etc. This is because saltwater puts a lot more wear and tear on your boat. Also, saltwater bodies of water tend to have much larger waves than freshwater bodies of water.
These are only a few of the many reasons why freshwater is better for watersports than saltwater is. If you do plan on doing watersports in saltwater, it is still possible, but you might want to get a boat designed specifically for saltwater and/or clean your boat and motor regularly to avoid damage.
What is the difference between saltwater and freshwater in regards to water skiing?
There are many differences between salt water and freshwater, but theres nothing that makes a huge difference. Heres the deifferences:
- Saltwater is more buoyant than fresh water. Being more buoyant means you float a little more. This actually makes it slightly easier to get up on skis in saltwater, but it will make them faster.
- Most saltwater bodies of water have larger waves than freshwater bodies of water. Unless you’re skiing in small coves or bays, it might be difficult finding flat water. Going out early in the morning could help in finding flat water.
- Saltwater does more damage to your boat than freshwater. Saltwater corrodes your boat much faster than fresh water does. Making sure you have a saltwater capable boat and you clean your boat often is very important.
- Saltwater damages your water skis as well. Always clean of anything that comes in contact with the saltwater or is in the salty air around saltwater. It will corrode it.
- Your boat’s wake is generally smaller in saltwater. Due to the higher buoyancy, as I described before, your boat will ride higher in the water. This causes a smaller wake, which may be a good thing for skiing, but not for wakeboarding or wake surfing.
Is water skiing easer in freshwater or saltwater?
Although I say skiing is better in freshwater, it is slightly easier in saltwater. This is because your more buoyant, which means getting up and staying up is slightly easier (especially for beginners). But this is only true in calm water which can be hard to find in saltwater.
I still say freshwater is better due to the other factors I mentioned above, and it’s only slightly easier to ski in saltwater.
How to clean your water skis after being in saltwater
All you really need to do is get your hose and spray some freshwater on your water skis. Make sure to get in the boot and any place where saltwater got too. You shouldn’t need to use any soaps or anything (sometimes soaps could even make it worst).
How to clean your boat after being in saltwater
- Spray your boat with fresh water using a hose. A hose attachment such as this one here on Amazon will help you out.
- Flush your engine out with freshwater. Not many people do this because being straight up it’s a pain in the butt. Depending on your boat engine, it will all be different, but pretty much you need to connect fresh water to your water intake and turn your engine on. You can do this by either going to a freshwater body of water after being in saltwater or using a hose and a flusher such as this one on Amazon. Youtube vids such as this one are available that will help for whatever kind of motor you have.
- Clean interior and exterior with soap and vinyl cleaner. All surfaces should be cleaned every other week in order to avoid any damage from the saltwater.
- Make sure you get your boat waxed at least 2 or 3 times every season. Wax will protect your hull from harmful saltwater. Many detailing companies will do this for you, but you can also do it yourself. You’ll need some products though, such as a polisher and wax. The video below will help you out.