When Ralph Samuelson began water skiing in 1922, he only wanted to take skiing to water. He wanted to improvise skiing on ice to make it possible to do it on water. But this concept of innovation and improvising has stuck to the sport of water skiing since then.
When Ralph started, his attempts at riding on water were unsuccessful. “The first one to attempt anything new is the one who would run into the hurdle first”, goes the adage and it rang true in Ralph’s attempt too.
As his idea came from snow skiing, he wanted to try using snow skis. However, this plan failed. He then decided to make his own skis and fashioned two out of boards.
The next requirement was a towrope, which is fastened to the boat. The skier manages to stay afloat by holding onto the other end of the rope.
Ralph Samuelson, for a towrope, used a long cord. To be able to comfortably hold onto the one end of the rope, he tied it to an iron ring.
With these contraptions ready, he got his brother to ride the boat and started something that has today become extremely popular among thousands of people.
Ralph was also the first recorded person to jump a ramp. Several people have since improvised the equipment that Samuelson used first. Today it has become a science in itself.
By the time water skiing was included as an event in several tournaments and meets around the world, the number of equipment manufacturers and sellers had multiplied with several equipment in varying types and kinds.