Water Skiing at Pyramid Lake, NV

Erik in a wet suit Erik on two skis near Anaho Island Erik on two skis with east shore of Pyramid Lake in background

I took up water skiing about five or six years ago at the urging of my friends while we were up at Lake Tahoe. I got up on two skis on my 4th try, and found that despite the difference in balance from snow skiing (you don't generally have a high-speed engine pulling your arms out of their sockets in snow skiing, unless you still use a rope-tow to get up the hill!) that many of the same techniques for balance and weight shifts still apply.

I have been slowly improving (I have much more strength in my legs than in my upper body, and some of the maneuvers in water skiing require more of your hands, arms and shoulders than I apparently have to give), as time permits, but I only get up to the lake between three and five times a summer. If I did it a bit more intensively (along with some conditioning), I'd probably do better.

This summer's accomplishment was getting up (and staying up!) on two trick skis, which is like trying to water ski on two bars of soap. Every time I tried to do a side-slide, I ended up face-first into the water. There's a balance transition from pulling against the boat to skimming on the water that I haven't gotten right (but hey, it was my first time on the squirrelly things!).

These pictures were taken on the first weekend in September 1997 (after Labor Day; the lake was not nearly as busy), near the eastern shore of Pyramid Lake. The lake is northeast of Reno and quite large too - it's where the water that runs off from Lake Tahoe into the Truckee River ends up.

Pyramid Lake is in the middle of the Paiute Indian Reservation at 3880 feet above sea level, and while it's much warmer than Lake Tahoe, most of my friends and I are still inclined to wear wet suits when we water ski in it.

Each picture is a link to a larger JPEG of the same photo.

Erik on one water ski Erik on one water ski

These two pictures showing me slaloming along are slightly deceptive; while I can ski just fine on one ski, I haven't quite mastered the take off - these were taken after I got up on two skis and dropped one.

Maybe next summer.

Erik on a knee board before start Erik up on a knee board

Of course, when you get tired of standing up, there's always the knee board...

Erik E. Fair <fair@clock.org>
October 1, 1997