Have you ever waterskiied? If you have, I'm sure that you would agree that it is very fun and thrilling!
I have been waterskiing for about 9 years, and I have always been fascinated by how it works. When I was taught to waterski when I was 9, my Dad and Grandpa told me that it was just like getting pulled up out of a chair and standing up. So untl I was older, that is all that it ever was to me.
Well, it turns out that the physics behind waterskiing is actually very simple! But first, I will show you how waterskiing is done:
(These are pictures of me from 2011)
First you sit in the water with the rope in your hand, and your skiis out of the water:
Then you let the boat pull you and you gradually stand up and give a little resistance to the skiiis (look at those super big muscles):
You continue standing up until you are out of the water until you are nearly straight up, it is important to lean back!:
After you're up, you can ski around! I like to go in and out of the wake of the boat so I can go fast and corner quickly! I also enjoy dropping one of the skiis, and I go on only one:
Anyway, the physics side of things is not too bad: We know that Newton's Third Law of Motion states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. When the boat is pulling you, you will create an equal and opposite force back. When you lean back, you're countering enough force of the boat so that you do not fall over frontwards, and you will skid along the top of the water. This is all demonstrated in this graphic:
Needless to say, waterskiing is a very interesting sport and just like everything, can be explained with a little bit of simple physics! I hope that one day, if you get the chance, that you will try waterskiing since it is so fun!