Time to Get Wet!
Editor’s Note: With over 400,000 lakes, rivers and streams, Ontario and water sports seem like a natural combination. If you’ve never tried it before, where should you begin? Emily Tenwesteneind is an experienced wakeboard competitor, a volunteer for the Roots Wake Series, a course instructor for the annual CWSIC course, and a level two coach for the Cottage Toys Wakeboard and Water Ski School and The Wake Institute. Here, she shares her thoughts about water sports in the province.
gorgeous lakes that spread throughout the entire province. So, if you’re thinking about “testing the waters” when it comes to trying a new on-water activity, my advice for you would be to dive right in!
If you think you need to own a fancy boat or have access to a cottage on the water in order to enjoy these sports, this simply is not the case. Water sports are becoming easily accessible in Ontario for anyone looking to get up on a wakeboard for the first time, drop a ski, or even just get towed behind a boat on a tube.
And if you’re planning a summer family vacation, why not head to the lake? Most Ontario resorts offer water skiing, wakeboarding, tubing etc., as activities included in your stay. Visit www.ResortsOfOntario.com to see what resorts can accommodate your urge to get out on the water. When it comes to actually learning how to do a new activity, booking a lesson with a certified instructor is always the best way to learn any new discipline for the first time. It's also a great way to get out on the water and enjoy our short summer months!
With over 50 schools, clubs and cable parks located all across the province, it’s not difficult to find a water sports location in your area. Check out Water Ski and Wakeboard Canada for an Ontario school directory.
A Quick Rundown
If you’re not sure about what types of “water activities” I’m talking about, they basically involve variations on a person being towed across the water behind a moving boat. There are many ways in which a person can stay up on the surface of the water, some of the ways include standing on two ski’s (waterskiing), standing sideways on a board (wakeboarding), or sitting in an inflatable tube (tubing). The amusement and thrill that comes from being towed behind a boat has made these types of summer recreational activities very popular, and even competitive, with the exception of tubing.
Water Ski Wakeboard Ontario (WSWO) is Ontario’s own provincial governing body for towed water sports, and is dedicated to promoting and developing water sports in the province. By visiting their website or following them on twitter @wswo, you can become involved and up-to-date on local events, competitions, coaching courses (CWSIC) and much more. The Canadian Water Sports Instructors Course (CWSIC) is the top “learn to” course in Canada, following the same learning curriculum throughout the entire country.
As one of the official CWSIC course instructors, I would highly recommend this three-day course to not only those looking to become certified water sports instructors, but also to anyone looking to learn the “in-class” basics behind water skiing, slalom skiing, adapted sit skiing, bare footing, wakeboarding, cable wakeboarding, wake skating, wake surfing, water toys (tubing) and boat driving.
As someone who has been involved in the water sports scene for quite a while, I have personally seen it develop exponentially over the past ten years. Ontario is fortunate enough to have so many passionate staff and volunteers who dedicate their summers to running grassroots events, creating new programs, and making every effort to get more people involved in water sports. Whether you’re looking to take up a new recreational activity, or learn more about water sports and the community that surrounds it, there are numerous recources available for you to do so. See you out on the water!