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Sport of planing and jumping on water skis, broad skilike runners that a rider wears while being towed by a motorboat. The sport originated in the U.S. in the 1920s. International competitions have been held since 1946. Single-ski slalom competition is held on a course consisting of a specified number of buoys around which the skier must negotiate. Jumping competitions employ a ramp; skiers are judged for distance and style. Barefoot and trick skiing are also part of some competitions. A later development in waterskiing, wakeboarding began in the U.S. in the 1980s when surfers began riding their boards as they were pulled behind boats. Since the mid 1990s wakeboarding has been an event at both the Gravity Games and the X Games (seeextreme sports) and has become the fastest-growing water sport worldwide.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on waterskiing, visit Britannica.com.