Ultimate Guide on Water Ski Behind A Pontoon Boat

Pontoon boats are popular for boaters who enjoy a leisurely day on the water with family and friends. Pontoon boats are popular for their stability, roominess, and flexibility, making them a great choice for various activities like swimming, fishing, and other water sports.

Water skiing is one of the most exciting water sports that can be enjoyed behind a pontoon boat. Whether you’re an experienced water skier or just starting, skiing behind a pontoon boat can be a thrilling experience that provides hours of fun on the water.

This guide will explore everything you need to know about water skiing behind a pontoon boat, from the equipment to the proper technique for getting up and staying on your skis. So, get ready to hit the water and experience the rush of skiing behind a pontoon boat.

What Size Engine you Need all Comes Down to Horsepower.

When choosing the right engine size for your pontoon boat, there are various factors to consider, but ultimately, it all comes down to horsepower. Whether you’re browsing pontoon boats for sale in Nashville or any other location, understanding the horsepower requirements for your vessel is crucial to ensuring a safe and enjoyable boating experience. The engine of your pontoon has the following listed horsepower.

1. 40 Horsepower Engine

A 40-horsepower engine is popular for small to medium-sized boats, including pontoon boats. These engines offer a good balance of power and fuel efficiency, making them a cost-effective option for boaters who want to get the most out of their vessel without breaking the bank. But, of course, it would help if you didn’t even attempt to ski behind a 40-horsepower fishing pontoon. Even at the speeds you need to ski, these boats are incapable.

2. 70 Horsepower Engine

A 70-horsepower engine is a more powerful option for boats than a 40-horsepower engine, providing greater speed and acceleration capabilities. However, a boat with a 70-horsepower engine can only do the bare minimum. For example, you can only perform basic skiing and tube towing; you cannot expect to travel at high speeds. 

You’ll also need to keep the number of passengers and staff on board to a minimum if you want to ski with this engine. This engine size is suitable for medium to large-sized boats, including many pontoon boats that require more power to carry heavier loads.

3. 90 Horsepower Engine

A 90-horsepower engine is a high-performance boat option, providing excellent speed, acceleration, and power. This engine size is typically suitable for larger boats, including pontoon boats requiring greater power to handle heavier loads or engage in high-speed water sports such as wakeboarding or skiing. A 90-horsepower engine can also be a good choice for boaters who frequently navigate rough or choppy waters, as the added power can provide greater control and stability.

4. 115 Horsepower Engine

A 115-horsepower engine is a high-powered option for boats with exceptional speed, acceleration, and performance. This engine size is typically suitable for larger boats, including many pontoon boats that require significant power to handle heavy loads or engage in high-speed water sports such as wakeboarding or tubing. 

Water Sports like skiing are best performed on a pontoon boat with a 115-horsepower engine. You won’t have any trouble achieving high speeds with this engine. Also, no matter how many people are on board, your boat will be fine.

How Quickly Should You Go skiing Behind a Pontoon Boat?

For someone to waterski or wakeboard behind your boat, it must be traveling at a minimum of 20 mph. You won’t be able to perform anything intriguing or difficult at this speed.

The recommended pontoon boat speeds for a variety of water sports are as follows:

  • Waterskiing at 21 to 25 mph while using two skis
  • Please move a little more slowly for children.
  • 16 to 25 miles per hour for tubing
  • Compared to water skiing, tubing requires less speed.
  • 16 to 24 mph for wakeboarding, slalom, and kneeboarding
  • Most wakeboarders want lesser velocities.

Related Posts: Comparison Guide: Pontoon Boats Vs. Tritoon Boats & The Best Pontoon Boat Activities to Enjoy This Summer 2022

What Distinguishes Ski Boating from Skiing behind a Pontoon Boat?

If your boat has adequate power, you can ski behind a pontoon. Yet skiing behind a pontoon boat is a very different sensation from skiing behind a ski boat. Nevertheless, serious skiers prefer ski boats for the following reasons:

  • Compared to skiing behind a ski boat, getting up behind a pontoon may take longer as the latter tends to accelerate slower. Ski boats are designed to quickly reach the optimal speed for skiing, whereas pontoon boats typically have slower acceleration and may require more time to reach the desired speed for water sports. 
  • While water skiers may enjoy the thrill of sharp turns behind a ski boat, this experience may not be possible behind a pontoon boat. Due to their design and handling capabilities, pontoon boats may need help to make the same sharp turns as ski boats, which can limit the amount of excitement and challenge for the skier. 
  • When skiing behind a pontoon boat, you may experience a different level of turbulence and jumps than you would behind a ski boat. This is because pontoon boats are typically designed to create a smoother wake, which can limit the amount of turbulence and challenge for the skier. 

Overall, skiing behind a ski boat is more thrilling and exciting than skiing behind a pontoon boat. Yet, it is fantastic for newcomers and those looking to have fun in the water.

Limitation of Skiing Behind a Pontoon Boat

Skiing behind a pontoon boat can be a fun and enjoyable activity, but it does come with certain limitations compared to skiing behind a traditional ski boat. The main two limitations of skiing from a pontoon boat are:

1. The Wake has Less Shape

One of the key limitations of skiing behind a pontoon boat is that the Wake created by the boat typically has less shape than a traditional ski boat. Serious skiers don’t like the shape of the Wake behind a pontoon boat. 

A traditional v-hull boat has a humped shape, while a pontoon boat makes a wake from the prop and two small wakes for the pontoons. This means you have less rough water to play with on your skis. You cannot get any jumps while skiing without a wake that skiers enjoy.

2. Pontoon Boats aren’t as Maneuverable

Another important limitation of skiing behind a pontoon boat is that the Wake created by the boat typically has less shape than a traditional ski boat. Skiing is exhilarating and fun as you are thrown from left to right as the boat turns quickly. Unfortunately, sharp turns are not something pontoon boats are built for. Because of their slow turning speed and large turning radius, pontoon boats are not the best choice for maneuvering.

What Are Some Safety Advice for Skiing Behind a Pontoon Boat?

Skiing behind a pontoon boat is a popular water sport activity, and safety is a top concern for many people interested in trying it out. While pontoon boats are generally considered safe for skiing, it’s important to follow some safety tips to minimize the risk of injuries. However, to avoid injury, you must follow the following safety precautions:

  • Wear a life vest that the Coast Guard has approved. This is crucial for all skiers, but it’s crucial in particular for those who struggle with swimming.
  • Have a spotter with you at all times. While you are operating the boat, the spotter’s responsibility is to keep an eye on the skier.
  • Only drive at a low speed for the skier to manage. A 30 mph faceplant into the ocean is not what you want. Skiing is best done between 21 and 25 mph. You could benefit the youngsters if you slowed down even more.
  • Always approach from the same side as you are when pulling someone out of the water so you can always see them.
  • Have them raise their hands to make themselves more visible if someone falls off the tube.

Summing Up

Water skiing behind a pontoon boat can offer a thrilling and delightful experience for individuals of various ages and skill levels. When contemplating the purchase of a pontoon boat for skiing or engaging in other water sports activities, it’s crucial to seek guidance from a trusted Nashville boat dealer. They can assist you in selecting the ideal boat that aligns with your specific requirements and preferences.