What is the best brand of water ski equipment?
To talk about water ski brands, it seems essential to start by talking about a person, Herb O’Brien, since although it may seem incredible, he is the founder of the main brands. He was the one who founded O’Brien Water Skis in the early 1960s with its revolutionary concave ski design, a first in the industry. Herb propelled O’Brien to become the dominant ski brand of its time, becoming one of the 50 most recognized brands in the world.
If history does not end here. In 1981, Herb founded HO Skis and, in the early 90s, founded Hyperlite, two brands that became leaders in the water ski and wakeboard industry respectively thanks to their revolutionary designs and creative manufacturing techniques.
Years later, in 2006, Herb and his teammates launched Square One Distribution, producers of Ronix Wakeboards and Radar Water Skis based in Issaquah, Washington.
After this introduction, let’s review the current landscape of water ski board brands for slalom.
We can consider that Radar is the most relevant water skiing brand at the moment due to the quality of its materials, its designs, and the wide range of equipment they offer. From combos skis with a quality far superior to that of their competitors, slalom skis with entry models, specific for boys and girls, a mid-range model for a wide variety of styles and levels, and some of the best competition skis that can be found, such as the Vapor Radar or the Vapor Radar Pro.
Besides, they manufacture boots for all levels and their corresponding bridges, ropes, gloves, vests, and all kinds of accessories.
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Another brand that is at the top of the water ski industry is HO. Its combo and slalom models for all levels, from initiation to competition, are among the best on the market.
HO is made up of a team of athletes, designers, and engineers, known for its continuous innovation in products and ideas. This, together with its experience, has kept the HO brand as one of the leaders in water sports year after year.
They also offer all kinds of accessories for the practice of this sport such as boots, vests, gloves, and ropes.
Another brand that has been in water skiing since the beginning is Connelly.
It has been around the watersports industry for over 50 years, from its early 1960s building mahogany and white cedar skis to the 1970s and 1980s when fiberglass skis dominated production, and today, with models of the highest range and quality.
Its products include all the necessary material for the practice of water skiing, with basic skis such as the Shortline or high competition skis such as the GT.
It is a brand that offers high-quality slalom skis but is reserved exclusively for high competition. Unlike other brands, it does not have a complete range of products to equip the skier, not even counting boots in its catalog.
As we’ve explained before, this is where it all started. O’Brien is a brand proud of its waterski heritage and wants to keep the tradition going. Whether it’s for beginners who haven’t even gotten up for the first time or professionals, there are O’Brien skis to suit your needs.
The well-known brand of water sports equipment also produces water skis, but combos and of low quality.
This brand that makes both water and snow skis was founded in 1975. Dave Goode founded the company and at their research, development, and production facilities in Ogden, Utah, they continue to innovate to offer the best material.
In addition to its skis, focused on the highest range and with a specific model for children, this brand is well known for its rigid boots with an external shell, the PowerShell that instead of being bolted to the ski, they are fixed in pairs to a plate that adheres to the ski using a special 3M velcro system. In this way, the boots always jump off the ski together, which avoids the possibility that one boot will come off and another will not.
Reflex was created in the 1950s and began to specialize in high-level equipment and competition with a small and exclusive production of wooden skis.
In 2000, the new century began with a new boss coming from the composites industry and hydrodynamic engineering.
In 2007 Reflex launched a new generation of 100% carbon skis with incredible technical properties.
This brand is best known for its boots, the SuperShell, which incorporate a system very similar to those of alpine skiing that jump under pressure.