First you'll need water skis. There are four types: combination pairs, slalom, tick, and jump skis. New skiers should start with combination pairs, since they are wider and easiest to learn on. Make sure your skis have been checked and that they fit properly. You will also need a flexible towrope that has a floating handle.
All water skiers wear life vests (a.k.a. personal floatation devices or PFDs). You should wear a special water skiing life vest that is approved by the Coast Guard. You and your parents should check this out to get the official word on which life vest is right for you.
Finally, since you're outside, you need to guard against the sun. Want more info on gear for staying sun proof?
Water skiers need to be good swimmers and always wear a life jacket that fits properly.
Safe water skiing requires three people: the skier, an experienced boat driver, and the spotter to look out for the skier's signals. Since the noise from the boat is so loud, it's important that everyone agrees on and understands the hand signals to use so you can talk without saying a word! Remember, you need to master hand signals before you begin cutting across the water on your skis!
When you're out on the water, be sure you're in a safe area to ski. Don't ski near docks, boats, rocks, or in shallow water. The only place to start is in the water — dock or land starts should be left to the pros.
If you start to lose your balance while skiing, just bend your knees and crouch down so you don't fall. If you do fall — and everyone does — remember to let go of the rope! Then, find your skis and hold one of them up to signal you're okay and to let other boaters know you're in the water.
Before you start, get H2O smart about what to do on and in the water.