Camping is an outdoor activity involving overnight stays away from home in a shelter, such as a tent. Participants leave developed areas to spend time outdoors in more natural ones in pursuit of activities providing them enjoyment. To be regarded as "camping" a minimum of one night is spent outdoors, distinguishing it from day-tripping and other short-term recreational activities. Camping can be enjoyed through all four seasons. Luxury may be an element, as in early 20th century African safaris, but including accommodations in equipped fixed structures such as high-end sporting camps under the banner of "camping" blurs the line. Camping as a recreational activity became popular among elites in the early 20th century. With time, it grew more democratic, varied. Modern campers frequent publicly owned natural resources such as national and state parks, wilderness areas, commercial campgrounds. Camping is a key part of many youth organizations around the world, such as Scouting, which use it to teach both self-reliance and teamwork.
Camping describes a range of approaches to outdoor accommodation. Survivalist campers set off with as little as possible to get by, whereas recreational vehicle travelers arrive equipped with their own electricity and patio furniture. Camping may be combined with hiking, as in backpacking, is enjoyed in conjunction with other outdoor activities such as canoeing, climbing and hunting. Fastpacking involves both running and camping. There is no universally held definition of what is not camping. Just as with motels which serve both recreational and business guests, the same campground may serve recreational campers, migrant workers, homeless at the same time. Fundamentally, it reflects the nature of activities involved. A children's summer camp with dining hall meals and bunkhouse accommodations may have "camp" in its name but fails to reflect the spirit and form of "camping" as it is broadly understood. A homeless person's lifestyle may involve many common camping activities, such as sleeping out and preparing meals over a fire, but fails to reflect the elective nature and pursuit of spirit rejuvenation that are integral aspect of camping.
Cultures with itinerant lifestyles or lack of permanent dwellings cannot be said to be "camping", it is just their way of life. The history of recreational camping is traced back to Thomas Hiram Holding, a British travelling tailor, but it was first popularised in the UK on the river Thames. By the 1880s large numbers of visitors took part in the pastime, connected to the late Victorian craze for pleasure boating; the early camping equipment was heavy, so it was convenient to transport it by boat or to use craft that converted into tents. Although Thomas Hiram Holding is seen as the father of modern camping in the UK, he was responsible for popularising a different type of camping in the early twentieth century, he experienced the activity in the wild from his youth, when he had spent much time with his parents traveling across the American prairies. He embarked on a cycling and camping tour with some friends across Ireland, his book on his Ireland experience and Camp in Connemara led to the formation of the first camping group in 1901, the Association of Cycle Campers to become the Camping and Caravanning Club.
He wrote The Campers Handbook in 1908, so that he could share his enthusiasm for the great outdoors with the world. The first commercial camping ground in the world was Cunningham’s camp, near Douglas, Isle of Man, which opened in 1894. In 1906 the Association of Cycle Campers opened its first own camping site, in Weybridge. By that time the organization had several hundred members. In 1910 the Association was merged into the National Camping Club. Although WW1 was responsible for a certain hiatus in camping activity, the association received a new lease of life after the war when Sir Robert Baden-Powell became its president. In the US, camping may be traced to William Henry Harrison Murray 1869 publication of Camp-Life in the Adirondacks resulting in a flood of visitors to the Adirondacks that summer; the International Federation of Camping Clubs was founded in 1932 with national clubs from all over the world affiliating with it. By the 1960s camping had become an established family holiday standard and today camp sites are ubiquitous across Europe and North America.
Different types camping may be named after their form of transportation, such as with Canoe camping, car camping, RVing, backpacking, which can involve ultralight gear. Camping is labeled by lifestyle: Glamping combines camping with the luxury and amenities of a home or hotel, has its roots are in the early 1900s European and American safaris in Africa. Workamping allows campers to trade their labor variously for discounts on campsite fees, campground utilities, some degree of pay. Migrant camps are formed not as a temporary housing arrangement. Campgrounds for custom harvesters in the United States may include room to park combines and other large farm equipment. Another way of describing camping is by the manner of arrangement: reservation camping vs. drop camping. Campgrounds may require campers to check in with an employee or campground host prior to setting up camp, or they may allow "drop camping, where this is not required. Drop-in campsites may be free or a drop-box may be provided to accept payments on the honor system.
Although drop camping is specifically allowed by law, it may exist in a legal grey area, such as at California's Slab City. Social media oriented towa
The Young Men's Christian Association, sometimes regionally called the Y, is a worldwide organization based in Geneva, with more than 64 million beneficiaries from 120 national associations. It was founded on 6 June 1844 by Sir George Williams in London and aims to put Christian principles into practice by developing a healthy "body and spirit". From its inception, it grew and became a worldwide movement founded on the principles of muscular Christianity. Local YMCAs deliver projects and services focused on youth development through a wide variety of youth activities, including providing athletic facilities, holding classes for a wide variety of skills, promoting Christianity, humanitarian work. YMCA globally operates on a federation model, with each independent local YMCA voluntarily affiliated to their national organizations; the national organizations, in turn, are part of both an Area Alliance and the World Alliance of YMCAs. With regard to the history and purpose of the founding, this "organization and its female counterpart were established to provide low-cost housing in a safe Christian environment for rural young men and women journeying to the cities."
It was associated with the movement of young people to cities to work. The YMCA "combined preaching in the streets and the distribution of religious tracts with a social ministry. Philanthropists saw them as places for wholesome recreation that would preserve youth from the temptations of alcohol and prostitution and that would promote good citizenship." The YMCA was founded by three men, led by George Williams, a London draper, typical of the young men drawn to the cities by the Industrial Revolution. His co-founders included Rev John Stewart FEIS who served as the association's first Secretary under Williams' chairmanship; the three were concerned about the lack of healthy activities for young men in major cities. Williams's idea grew out of meetings he held for prayer and Bible-reading among his fellow-workers in a business in the city of London, on 6 June 1844, he founded the first YMCA in London with the purpose of "the improving of the spiritual condition of young men engaged in the drapery and other trades."
By 1851, there were YMCAs in the United Kingdom, Belgium, France, the Netherlands and the United States. In 1855, 99 YMCA delegates from Europe and North America met in Paris at the First World Conference of YMCAs, held before the 1855 Paris World Exposition of the same year, they discussed joining together in a federation to enhance cooperation amongst individual YMCA societies. This marked the beginning of the World Alliance of YMCAs; the conference adopted a common mission for all present and future national YMCAs. Its motto was taken from the Bible, "That they all may be one". Other ecumenical bodies, such as the World YWCA, the World Council of Churches, the World Student Christian Federation have reflected elements of the Paris Basis in their founding mission statements. In 1865 The Fourth World Conference of YMCAs, held in Germany, affirmed the importance of developing the whole individual in spirit and body; the concept of physical work through sports, a new concept for the time, was recognized as part of this "muscular Christianity".
Two themes resonated during the council: the need to respect the local autonomy of YMCA societies, the purpose of the YMCA: to unite all young, male Christians for the extension and expansion of the Kingdom of God. The former idea is expressed in the preamble: The delegates of various Young Men's Christian Associations of Europe and America, assembled in Conference at Paris, the 22nd August, 1855, feeling that they are one in principle and in operation, recommend to their respective Societies to recognize with them the unity existing among their Associations, while preserving a complete independence as to their particular organization and modes of action, to form a Confederation of secession on the following fundamental principle, such principle to be regarded as the basis of admission of other Societies in future; the YMCA was influential during the 1870s and 1930s, during which times they most promoted "evangelical Christianity in weekday and Sunday services, while promoting good sportsmanship in athletic contests in gyms and swimming pools."
In this period, continuing on through the 20th century, the YMCA had "become interdenominational and more concerned with promoting morality and good citizenship than a distinctive interpretation of Christianity." Today the YMCA is more focused on their families to exercise and be healthy. In 1878, World Alliance of YMCAs offices were established in Switzerland. In 1900, North American YMCAs, in collaboration with the World Alliance, set up centres to work with emigrants in European ports, as millions of people were leaving for the USA. In 1880, the YMCA became the first national organization to adopt a strict policy of equal gender representation in committees and national boards, with Norway being the country that first adopted it. In 1885, Camp Baldhead, the first residential camp in the United States and North America, was established by A. Sanford and Sumner F. Dudley, both of whom worked for the YMCA; the camp located near Orange Lake in New Jersey, moved to Lake Wawayanda in Sussex County the following year, to the shore of Lake Champlain near Westport, New York, in 1891.
Woodworking is the activity or skill of making items from wood, includes cabinet making, wood carving, joinery and woodturning. Along with stone and animal parts, wood was one of the first materials worked by early humans. Microwear analysis of the Mousterian stone tools used by the Neanderthals show that many were used to work wood; the development of civilization was tied to the development of greater degrees of skill in working these materials. Among early finds of wooden tools are the worked sticks from Kalambo Falls, Clacton-on-Sea and Lehringen; the spears from Schöningen provide some of the first examples of wooden hunting gear. Flint tools were used for carving. Since Neolithic times, carved wooden vessels are known, for example, from the Linear Pottery culture wells at Kückhofen and Eythra. Examples of Bronze Age wood-carving include tree trunks worked into coffins from northern Germany and Denmark and wooden folding-chairs; the site of Fellbach-Schmieden in Germany has provided fine examples of wooden animal statues from the Iron Age.
Wooden idols from the La Tène period are known from a sanctuary at the source of the Seine in France. There is significant evidence of advanced woodworking in ancient Egypt. Woodworking is depicted in many extant ancient Egyptian drawings, a considerable amount of ancient Egyptian furniture has been preserved. Tombs represent a large collection of these artefacts and the inner coffins found in the tombs were made of wood; the metal used by the Egyptians for woodworking tools was copper and after 2000 BC bronze as ironworking was unknown until much later. Used woodworking tools included axes, chisels, pull saws, bow drills. Mortise and tenon joints are attested from the earliest Predynastic period; these joints were strengthened using pegs and leather or cord lashings. Animal glue came to be used only in the New Kingdom period. Ancient Egyptians invented the art of veneering and used varnishes for finishing, though the composition of these varnishes is unknown. Although different native acacias were used, as was the wood from the local sycamore and tamarisk trees, deforestation in the Nile valley resulted in the need for the importation of wood, notably cedar, but Aleppo pine and oak, starting from the Second Dynasty.
Woodworking was essential to the Romans. It provided, sometimes the only, material for buildings, transportation and household items. Wood provided pipes, waterproofing materials, energy for heat. Although most examples of Roman woodworking have been lost, the literary record preserved much of the contemporary knowledge. Vitruvius dedicates an entire chapter of his De architectura to timber. Pliny, while not a botanist, dedicated six books of his Natural History to trees and woody plants, providing a wealth of information on trees and their uses; the progenitors of Chinese woodworking are considered to be Lu Ban and his wife Lady Yun, from the Spring and Autumn period. Lu Ban is said to have introduced the plane, chalk-line, other tools to China, his teachings were left behind in the book Lu Ban Jing. Despite this, it is believed; this book is filled with descriptions of dimensions for use in building various items such as flower pots, altars, etc. and contains extensive instructions concerning Feng Shui.
It mentions nothing of the intricate glue-less and nail-less joinery for which Chinese furniture was so famous. With the advances in modern technology and the demands of industry, woodwork as a field has changed; the development of Computer Numeric Controlled Machines, for example, has made us able to mass-produce and reproduce products faster, with less waste, more complex in design than before. CNC Routers can carve complicated and detailed shapes into flat stock, to create signs or art. Rechargeable power tools speed up creation of many projects and require much less body strength than in the past, for example when boring multiple holes. Skilled fine woodworking, remains a craft pursued by many. There remains demand for hand crafted work such as furniture and arts, however with rate and cost of production, the cost for consumers is much higher. Woodworkers relied upon the woods native to their region, until transportation and trade innovations made more exotic woods available to the craftsman.
Woods are sorted into three basic types: hardwoods typified by tight grain and derived from broadleaf trees, softwoods from coniferous trees, man-made materials such as plywood and MDF. Hardwoods, botanically known as angiosperms, are deciduous and shed their leaves annually with temperature changes. Softwoods come from trees botanically known as gymnosperms, which are coniferous, cone-bearing, stay green year round. Although a general pattern, softwoods are not always “softer” than hardwoods, vice versa. Softwood is most found in the regions of the world with lower temperatures and is less durable, lighter in weight, more vulnerable to pests and fungal attacks in comparison to hardwoods, they have a paler color and a more open grain than hardwoods, which contributes to the tendency of felled softwood to shrink and swell as it dries. Softwoods have a lower density, around 25-37lb/cu ft, which can compromise its strength. Density, does vary within both softwoods and hardwoods depending on the wood's geographical origin and growth rate.
However, the lower density of softwoods allows it to have a greater strength wi
A kayak is a small, narrow watercraft, propelled by means of a double-bladed paddle. The word kayak originates from the Greenlandic word qajaq; the traditional kayak has one or more cockpits, each seating one paddler. The cockpit is sometimes covered by a spray deck that prevents the entry of water from waves or spray, differentiating the craft from a canoe; the spray deck makes it possible for suitably skilled kayakers to roll the kayak: that is, to capsize and right it without it filling with water or ejecting the paddler. Some modern boats vary from a traditional design but still claim the title "kayak", for instance in eliminating the cockpit by seating the paddler on top of the boat. Kayaks are being sailed, as well as propelled by means of small electric motors, by outboard gas engines; the kayak was first used by the indigenous Aleut, Inuit and Ainu hunters in subarctic regions of the world. Kayaks were developed by the Inuit, Yup'ik, Aleut, they used the boats to hunt on inland lakes and coastal waters of the Arctic Ocean, North Atlantic, Bering Sea and North Pacific oceans.
These first kayaks were constructed from stitched seal or other animal skins stretched over a wood or whalebone-skeleton frame.. Kayaks are believed to be at least 4,000 years old; the oldest existing kayaks are exhibited in the North America department of the State Museum of Ethnology in Munich, with the oldest dating from 1577. Native people made many types of boat for different purposes; the Aleut baidarka was made in double or triple cockpit designs, for hunting and transporting passengers or goods. An umiak is a large open sea canoe, ranging from 17 to 30 feet, made with wood, it is considered a kayak although it was paddled with single-bladed paddles, had more than one paddler. Native builders designed and built their boats based on their own experience and that of the generations before them, passed on through oral tradition; the word "kayak" means "man's boat" or "hunter's boat", native kayaks were a personal craft, each built by the man who used it—with assistance from his wife, who sewed the skins—and fitting his size for maximum maneuverability.
The paddler wore a tuilik, a garment, stretched over the rim of the kayak coaming, sealed with drawstrings at the coaming and hood edges. This enabled the "eskimo roll" and rescue to become the preferred methods of recovery after capsizing as few Inuit could swim. Instead of a tuilik, most traditional kayakers today use a spray deck made of waterproof synthetic material stretchy enough to fit around the cockpit rim and body of the kayaker, which can be released from the cockpit to permit easy exit. Inuit kayak builders had specific measurements for their boats; the length was three times the span of his outstretched arms. The width at the cockpit was the width of the builder's hips plus two fists; the typical depth was his fist plus the outstretched thumb. Thus typical dimensions were about 17 feet long by 20–22 inches wide by 7 inches deep; this measurement system confounded early European explorers who tried to duplicate the kayak, because each kayak was a little different. Traditional kayaks encompass three types: Baidarkas, from the Bering sea & Aleutian islands, the oldest design, whose rounded shape and numerous chines give them an Blimp-like appearance.
Most of the Aleut people in the Aleutian Islands eastward to Greenland Inuit relied on the kayak for hunting a variety of prey—primarily seals, though whales and caribou were important in some areas. Skin-on-frame kayaks are still being used for hunting by Inuit people in Greenland, because the smooth and flexible skin glides silently through the waves. In other parts of the world home builders are continuing the tradition of skin on frame kayaks with modern skins of canvas or synthetic fabric, such as sc. ballistic nylon. Contemporary traditional-style kayaks trace their origins to the native boats of Alaska, northern Canada, Southwest Greenland. Wooden kayaks and fabric kayaks on wooden frames dominated the market up until the 1950s, when fiberglass boats were first introduced in the US, inflatable rubberized fabric boats were first introduced in Europe. Rotomolded plastic kayaks first appeared in 1973, most kayaks today are made from roto-molded polyethylene resins; the development of plastic and rubberized inflatable kayaks arguably initiated the development of freestyle kayaking as we see it today, since these boats could be made smaller and more resilient than fiberglass boats.
Kayak design is a matter of trade-offs: directional stability vs maneuverability. Multihull kayaks face a different set of trade-offs; the paddler's body shap
Boating is the leisurely activity of travelling by boat, or the recreational use of a boat whether powerboats, sailboats, or man-powered vessels, focused on the travel itself, as well as sports activities, such as fishing or waterskiing. It is a popular activity, there are millions of boaters worldwide. Recreational boats fall into several broad categories, additional subcategories. Broad categories include dinghies, paddlesports boats, daysailers and cruising and racing sailboats; the National Marine Manufacturers Association, the organization that establishes several of the standards that are used in the marine industry in the United States, defines 32 types of boats, demonstrating the diversity of boat types and their specialization. In addition to those standards all boats employ the same basic principles of hydrodynamics. Boating activities are as varied as the boats and boaters who participate, new ways of enjoying the water are being discovered. Broad categories include the following: Paddlesports include ears and oceangoing types covered-cockpit kayaks.
Canoes are popular on lakes and rivers due to efficiency on the water. They are easy to portage, or carry overland around obstructions like rapids, or just down to the water from a car or cabin. Kayaks can be found on calm inland waters, whitewater rivers, along the coasts in the oceans. Known for their maneuverability and seaworthiness, kayaks take many shapes depending on their desired use. Rowing craft are popular for fishing, as a tender to a larger vessel, or as a competitive sport. Rowing shells are long and narrow, are intended to convert as much of the rower's muscle power as possible into speed; the ratio of length of waterline to beam has much importance in marine mechanics and design.. Row boats or dinghies are oar powered, restricted to protected waters. Rowboats are heavy craft compared to other has Sailing can be either competitive, as in collegiate dinghy racing, or purely recreational as when sailing on a lake with family or friends. Small sailboats are made from fiberglass, will have wood, aluminum, or carbon-fiber spars, a sloop rig.
Racing dinghies and skiffs tend to be lighter, have more sail area, may use a trapeze to allow one or both crewmembers to suspend themselves over the water for additional stability. Daysailers tend to be wider across the beam and have greater accommodation space at the expense of speed. Cruising sailboats have more width, but performance climbs as they tend to be much longer with a starting over-all length of at least 25 feet re-balancing the dynamic ratio between length of waterline and beam width. Freshwater fishing boats account for 1/3 of all registered boats in the U. S. and most all other types of boats end up being used as fishing boats on occasion. The boating industry has developed freshwater fishing boat designs that are species-specific to allow anglers the greatest advantage when fishing for walleye, trout, etcetera, as well as generic fishing craft. Watersport Boats or skiboats are high-powered Go-Fast boats is designed for activities where a participant is towed behind the boat such as waterskiing and parasailing.
Variations on the ubiquitous waterski include wakeboards, water-skiing, inflatable towables, wake surfing. To some degree, the nature of these boating activities influences boat design. Waterski boats are intended to hold a precise course at an accurate speed with a flat wake for slalom skiing runs. Wakeboard boats run at slower speeds, have various methods including ballast and negative lift foils to force the stern in the water, thereby creating a large and "jumpable" wake. Saltwater fishing boats vary in length and are once again specialized for various species of fish. Flats boats, for example, are used in protected, shallow waters, have shallow draft. Sportfishing boats range from 25 to 80 feet or more, can be powered by large outboard engines or inboard diesels. Fishing boats in colder climates may have more space dedicated to cuddy cabins and wheelhouses, while boats in warmer climates are to be open. Cruising boats applies to both power and sailboats, refers to trips from local weekend passages to lengthy voyages, is a lifestyle.
While faster "express cruisers" can be used for multiple day trips, long voyages require a slower displacement boat with diesel power and greater stability and efficiency. Cruising sailboats range from 20 to 70 feet and more, have managed sailplans to allow small crews to sail them long distances; some cruising sailboats will have two masts to further reduce the size of individual sails and make it possible for a couple to handle larger boats. Diesel- powered Narrowboats are a popular mode of travel on the inland waterways of England. Racing and Regattas are common group activities in the sub-culture of boaters owning larger small
Archery is the art, practice, or skill of using a bow to shoot arrows. The word comes from the Latin arcus. Archery has been used for hunting and combat. In modern times, it is a competitive sport and recreational activity. A person who participates in archery is called an archer or a bowman, a person, fond of or an expert at archery is sometimes called a toxophilite; the bow and arrow seems to have been invented in the Paleolithic or early Mesolithic periods. The oldest signs of its use in Europe come from the Stellmoor in the Ahrensburg valley north of Hamburg and dates from the late Paleolithic, about 10,000–9000 BC; the arrows were made of pine and consisted of a main shaft and a 15–20 centimetres long fore shaft with a flint point. There are no definite earlier bows; the oldest bows known so far comes from the Holmegård swamp in Denmark. Bows replaced the spear-thrower as the predominant means for launching shafted projectiles, on every continent except Australasia, though spear-throwers persisted alongside the bow in parts of the Americas, notably Mexico and among the Inuit.
Bows and arrows have been present in Egyptian & neighboring Nubian culture since its respective predynastic & Pre-Kerma origins. In the Levant, artifacts that could be arrow-shaft straighteners are known from the Natufian culture, onwards; the Khiamian and PPN A shouldered. Classical civilizations, notably the Assyrians, Armenians, Parthians, Koreans and Japanese fielded large numbers of archers in their armies. Akkadians were the first to use composite bows in war according to the victory stele of Naram-Sin of Akkad. Egyptians referred to Nubia as "Ta-Seti," or "The Land of the Bow," since the Nubians were known to be expert archers, by the 16th Century BC Egyptians were using the composite bow in warfare; the Bronze Age Aegean Cultures were able to deploy a number of state-owned specialized bow makers for warfare and hunting purposes from the 15th century BC. The Welsh longbow proved its worth for the first time in Continental warfare at the Battle of Crécy. In the Americas archery was widespread at European contact.
Archery was developed in Asia. The Sanskrit term for archery, came to refer to martial arts in general. In East Asia, one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea was well known for its regiments of exceptionally skilled archers. Central tribesmen of Asia and American Plains Indians became adept at archery on horseback. Armored, but mobile archers were excellently suited to warfare in the Central Asian steppes, they formed a large part of armies that conquered large areas of Eurasia. Shorter bows are more suited to use on horseback, the composite bow enabled mounted archers to use powerful weapons. Empires throughout the Eurasian landmass strongly associated their respective "barbarian" counterparts with the usage of the bow and arrow, to the point where powerful states like the Han Dynasty referred to their neighbors, the Xiong-nu, as "Those Who Draw the Bow". For example, Xiong-nu mounted bowmen made them more than a match for the Han military, their threat was at least responsible for Chinese expansion into the Ordos region, to create a stronger, more powerful buffer zone against them.
It is possible that "barbarian" peoples were responsible for introducing archery or certain types of bows to their "civilized" counterparts—the Xiong-nu and the Han being one example. Short bows seem to have been introduced to Japan by northeast Asian groups; the development of firearms rendered bows obsolete in warfare, although efforts were sometimes made to preserve archery practice. In England and Wales, for example, the government tried to enforce practice with the longbow until the end of the 16th century; this was because it was recognized that the bow had been instrumental to military success during the Hundred Years' War. Despite the high social status, ongoing utility, widespread pleasure of archery in Armenia, Egypt and Wales, India, Korea and elsewhere every culture that gained access to early firearms used them to the neglect of archery. Early firearms were inferior in rate-of-fire, were sensitive to wet weather. However, they had longer effective range and were tactically superior in the common situation of soldiers shooting at each other from behind obstructions.
They required less training to use properly, in particular penetrating steel armor without any need to develop special musculature. Armies equipped with guns could thus provide superior firepower, trained archers became obsolete on the battlefield. However, the bow and arrow is still an effective weapon, archers have seen action in the 21st century. Traditional archery remains in use for sport, for hunting in many areas. Early recreational archery societies included the Finsbury Archers and the Ancient Society of Kilwinning Archers; the latter's annual Papingo event was first recorded in 1483. The Royal Company of Archers was formed in 1676 and is one of the oldest sporting bodies in the world. Archery remained a small and scattered pastime, until the late 18th century when it experienced a fashionable revival among the aristocracy. Sir Ashton Lever, an antiquarian and collector, formed the Toxophilite Society in London in 1781, wit
Water skiing is a surface water sport in which an individual is pulled behind a boat or a cable ski installation over a body of water, skimming the surface on two skis or one ski. The sport requires sufficient area on a smooth stretch of water, one or two skis, a tow boat with tow rope, three people, a personal flotation device. In addition, the skier must have adequate upper and lower body strength, muscular endurance, good balance. There are water ski participants around the world, in Asia and Australia, Europe and the Americas. In the United States alone, there are 11 million water skiers and over 900 sanctioned water ski competitions every year. Australia boasts 1.3 million water skiers. There are many options for competitive water skiers; these include speed skiing, trick skiing, show skiing, jumping, barefoot skiing and wakeski. Similar, related sports are wakeboarding, discing and sit-down hydrofoil. Water skiers can start their ski set in one of two ways: wet is the most common, but dry is possible.
Water skiing begins with a deep water start. The skier enters the water with their skis on or they jump in without the skis on their feet, have the skis floated to them, put them on while in the water. Most times it can be easier to put the skis on. Once the skier has their skis on they will be thrown a tow rope from the boat, which they position between their skis. In the deep water start, the skier crouches down in the water while holding onto the ski rope; the skier can perform a "dry start" by standing on the shore or a pier. When the skier is ready, the driver accelerates the boat; as the boat accelerates and takes up the slack on the rope, the skier allows the boat to pull him/her out of the water by applying some muscle strength to get him/her into an upright body position. By leaning back and keeping the legs bent, the skis will plane out and the skier will start to glide over the water; the skier turns by shifting weight right. The skier's body weight should be balanced between the balls of the heels.
While being towed, the skier's arms should be relaxed but still extended so as to reduce stress on the arms. The handle can be held vertically or horizontally, depending on whichever position is more comfortable for the skier. In addition to the driver and the skier, a third person known as the spotter or the observer should be present; the spotter's job is to inform the driver if the skier falls. The spotter sits in a chair on the boat facing backwards to see the skier; the skier and the boat's occupants communicate using hand signals. Water skiing can take place on any type of water – such as a river, lake, or ocean – but calmer waters are ideal for recreational skiing. There should be a 60-metre-wide skiing space and the water should be at least 1.5 to 1.8 metres deep. There must be enough space for the water skier to safely "get up", or be in the upright skiing position. Skiers and their boat drivers must have sufficient room to avoid hazards. Younger skiers start out on children's skis, which consist of two skis tied together at their back and front.
These connections mean. Sometimes these skis can come with a handle to help balance the skier as well. Children's skis are short – 110–150 centimetres long – reflecting the skier's smaller size. Once a person is strong enough to hold the skis together themselves there are various options depending upon their skill level and weight. Water skiers can use one ski; the heavier the person, the bigger the skis will be. Length will vary based on the type of water skiing being performed. A trick ski is around 40 inches and wider than combo skis. Again the skier rides it with her dominant foot in front, it has no fins. Competition skiing uses designed towboats. Most towboats have a small hull and a flat bottom to minimize wake. A true tournament ski boat will have a direct drive motor shaft that centers the weight in the boat for an optimal wake shape. However, some recreational ski boats will have the motor placed in the back of the boat, which creates a bigger wake. Permitted towboats used for tournament water skiing are the Mastercraft ProStar 197, MasterCraft ProStar 190, Nautique 200, Malibu Response TXi, Centurion Carbon Pro.
These boats have ability to pull skiers for trick skiing and slalom. Recreational boats can serve as water skiing platforms as well as other purposes such as cruising and fishing. Popular boat types include bowriders, cuddy cabins, jetboats; the towboat must be capable of maintaining the proper speed. Speeds vary with the skier's weight, experience level, comfort level, type of skiing. For example, a child on two skis would require speeds of 21–26 km/h, whereas an adult on one ski might require as high as 58 km/h. Barefoot skiing requires speeds of 72 km/h. Competition spee