The first thing on my Summer Bucket List was to learn a new skill, and last weekend I was given that opportunity by the Woodham Ferrers Water Ski Club. The WFWSC shares the clubhouse with our Yacht Club, and I’ve always wanted to try it out for myself. We do, after all, live on a river, so why deny ourselves the pleasure of all it has to offer?
The chance to try water skiing arose because it was the taster days for both the Yacht Club and the Water Ski Club. Gemma, Holly and I signed up to try it out, and off we went at 8am on Saturday on a beastly power boat with two great instructors, Tim and Rob.
Now, most of our area of the River Crouch is under 8 knot restrictions, because there are lots of moorings and it’s a popular location for sailing and kayaking, so we went to Clements Green Creek, just down the river. We were treated to a full throttle ride on the motorboat which made us all feel a bit like James Bond before setting up for the water skiing experience.
I can honestly say I thought I was never going to be able to do it. Given that my joints are prone to injury and I have several healing sprains, it probably wasn’t the best idea in the first place, but thanks to the boom (a metal pole used to teach water skiing), I was able to distribute my weight enough that I didn’t fall into the water. I did, in fact, apparently have the best form when standing up out of the three of us! I have a feeling that the ultra fashionable helmet was possibly my favourite part of the entire trip.
After we powered up and down ‘The Hammerhead’, the almost completely still body of water at the top of the Creek, it was time to step it up a notch. Tim, helming the motorboat, started introducing us to turning on the skis, whilst Rob instructed and videoed us. It was a very strange experience, but I would liken it to turning on a ski slope with a bit more resistance on your legs and salt water smacking you in the face.
One thing I didn’t expect to do on Saturday morning was try skiing on the rope. It seemed a bit too advanced for three young women who hadn’t tried water skiing at all prior to that morning, but the guys said we should, so we did! It’s much more important to keep your arms straight on the rope because as soon as you give the line slack, you go into the water, and that was the most difficult part to remember. It’s instinctive to bend your elbows if you feel a bit out of control, and bring your arms into your body, but you have to fight that and keep to the form you’ve been instructed to take.
Overall, it was a fantastic experience, even if I did end up drinking half of the water in the Crouch! Hopefully we’ll be able to do it again very soon, and I have to once again give a massive thanks to WFWSC for taking the three of us Machiavellian Hopkins girls out for a spin, and showing us how the other half live!