Ready for Real Fun? Try Hilton Head Waterskiing and Wakeboarding
The waters of Hilton Head Island offer tremendous fun for the entire family. There are water-based activities to suit everyone’s taste at H2O Sports, located on the pier in Harbour Town. One of the island’s favorite attractions is Hilton Head waterskiing or wakeboarding and it is easy for you, your family and friends to do just that. But when you play on the water, have you ever wondered about the science behind what keeps you afloat. Fascinating and useful, an awareness of the physics of waterskiing and wakeboarding could allow you to become better at the sport and hone your technique. That means more thrills and fewer spills.
Starting simply, you need to know about all the counteracting forces that are acting on you while you are being pulled across the water on skis or a board. First, there are the upward and downward forces. The upward force comes from the water as you are pulled forward and the downward force is of course gravity. The force exerted will depend on the weight of the skier. When you try to stand up on your ski, you will have to keep your skis or board tilted at such an angle that the horizontal force of the water that acts as the boat propels you forwards is turned into a downward force. When the resultant equal and opposite upwards force is sufficient to match the downwards gravitational force then you will be able to successfully stay afloat.
Upward and downward forces are also dependent on several other scientific laws, but not only must we consider the vertical forces, we must also consider the force exerted by the rope, as well as the forward propulsion exerted by the boat. By leaning back you are exerting some force – but the boat exerts more and so you will be pulled forwards, up and out of the water – as long as your skis or board are at the right angle. When you travel directly below the boat in a straight line, as long as the rope remains taut you will be going at the same speed as the boat pulling you. However, as people who have tried waterskiing or wakeboarding before will now, at times riders can be going much faster than the boat pulling them.
How could this be? Well, there is another force acting of the riders that we have not yet discussed. Centrifugal force is imparted as the rider swings outward in a circular motion around the boat – this happens because of the rope that joins boat and rider. When a waterskier or wakeboarder moves in a curve around the boat they accelerate.
That is just a brief introduction to the physics of waterskiing or wakeboarding on Hilton Head Island. For an up close look at the action, come join us for an adventure of your own!
For more interesting facts about Hilton Head, cool pictures, and the many fun things to do on Hilton Head Island, visit us at www.h2osports.com or give us a call at (843) 671-4386 to book your fun-filled day on the water!