Lake Powell Waterskiing and Wakeboarding
Skiing, wakeboarding and other water sports are extremely popular at Lake Powell. The big reservoir is often described as one of the best places in the world for water sports.
Many people tow their own boats to the lake. Others rent ski boats and equipment – you can rent everything you need at the major marinas. Many who houseboat on the lake also rent or bring a ski boat. Anchor the houseboat somewhere and use it as base camp, then use the ski boat to explore and play.
Skiing is allowed in most areas on the lake, except right around marinas, docks, floating restrooms and a few other spots where boats must operate at wakeless speeds.
Lake Powell consists of a series of wide bays and side canyons, connected by the main channel. (The main channel is the area over the old riverbed.) Water in the main channel often becomes choppy because of boat traffic.
Several large bays are very popular for skiing and playing. Some have nice sandy beaches. Popular spots include:
Warm Creek Bay
Rock Creek Bay
Halls Creek Bay
Side canyons offer some protection from the wind and often have the best conditions for skiing. It is great fun to ski full-throttle up a twisting side canyon. But beware because side canyons can become very narrow. There may also be submerged obstacles in bays and canyons. The park service tries to mark obstacles in popular areas on the lake, but the water level can change rapidly and so it is impossible to mark all of them, all of the time. Boaters need to take responsibility to avoid obstacles.
The water is often glassy during the early morning – perfect for skiing. Wind sometimes comes up in the afternoon and can make the water choppy.
The water sport season at Powell extends from April into October. Some enthusiasts push the season by wearing wet suites. The lake never freezes and so water sports are possible year-round. In spring, water in the lower lake warms more quickly – cold water flowing in from the rivers keep the upper lake cool. By mid-April the lower lake is usually warm enough that most people enjoy getting wet.
At least three people are needed to ski: the driver, skier, and an observer. Keep a brilliant orange flag up when someone's in the water. Never ski after dark.
Kids (12 years old and younger) must wear Personal Floatation Devices (life jackets) while on vessels. Anyone skiing or wake boarding, or riding on a pull toy, must wear a PFD.
Cliff jumping and diving is illegal at Lake Powell.
Lake Powell has no lifeguards on duty anywhere. Swim at your own risk and always with a partner.
Kite tubing is prohibited at Lake Powell. That restriction applies to any device that is towed by a boat and allows the user to take flight.
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