While reviewing some random GoPro photos in Spring 2014, I noticed the beautiful pattern in the water as the ski sinks during a landing. So I set out to capture that moment with nice light and colors. After nearly a dozen set on various skis, water conditions, and lighting, I started to figure out a few tricks for a better shot.

Good Luck!



The Money Shot!

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Radar Water Skis - How to get this epic GoPro photo


How I did it:

  • Sun should be high in the sky to illuminate ski and water.
  • Squirt RainX on the water housing lens cover just before riding to reduce water spotting.

water skiing go pro tips rainX

  • Place neck of clip between index and middle fingers during deepwater start (easier to hold camera and handle at the same time, bottom of clip is flat against the handle)

GoPro and Water Ski - How to Hold it

Best go pro tips for camera and handle water skiing

  • Set up for shot with sun overhead and slightly from the rear, but avoid skier’s shadow and spray shadow on the ski as it sinks.
  • 30-33 mph on 68-foot line, cut out hard left.
  • Out wide with reduced line tension – 2-3 quick hard blows (breath) on the lens cover to clear any water spots.

best GoPro Tips Wakeboarding blow on lens clear water spots

  • Twist handle vertical and hold camera on top to reduce splashing.
  • Cut across both wakes to flats on right side
  • After letting go of the rope (no gloves for better camera control), hold camera extended overhead (landscape) with both arms to avoid water splash
  • As ski starts sinking, press button to take burst (30 frames in 3 seconds)
  • Move camera from overhead position downward to about belly button during peak moments.
  • point center of lens about 12 inches back from tip of ski.

water skiing gopro tips

  • Watch sun angle and splash
  • Tail wind is best to reduce water spotting on the lens cover. Many great shots were wrecked by splashing.


With the right conditions I usually repeat this process 6-10 times…that’s 180-300 photos in one set.

The best shots are a perfect combination of ski and water color, sun angle, wind direction, keeping water off the lens cover, and quite a few attempts.


Best GoPro Slalom Ski HO Turbo

A nice combination of ski color, water color, and lighting. On my vintage 1980s HO Turbo.


Water Ski GoPro Tips

The darker water of Canyon Lake makes an interesting contrast with the white HO Turbo. I had a nice tail wind while taking this shot which kept the water splash down, but the afternoon sun was lower in the sky and there is a shadow on the ski cast from the water.


HO Freeride GoPro tips for water skiing

Great water color, but the black on this HO Freeride flattens this image.