What Are Riverskis


1.)  Can anyone Riverski?
A:  Yes. Anyone can master Riverskiing successfully! We always recommend the “On/Off Method” enabling a new Riverskier to become familiar with the sport, before committing to deeper water or moving water. (See below- Question 7.)  How do I learn to Riverski?)

2.)  Is Riverskiing on water similar to cross country skiing?
A:  Mastering the feel for Riverskiis will facilitate alternating weight between each Riverski and alternately extending one Riverski in front of the other while also alternating sides with the paddle to “track” in a way which becomes easy to understand, even when first starting out. For most, once comfortable with Riverski buoyancy, additional skills are acquired almost intuitively. Riverskis® offer a fantastic way to cross train for snow skiing.

3.)  How are Riverskis different from Stand-Up Paddle Boards?
A:  Riverskis are two separate floats, one for each leg, guided independently of one another whereas stand-up paddle boards offer one surface for a paddler.  Some other differences include:

  • The skis can be attached to a skier’s feet on land permitting the skier to walk with the skis attached, onto the water. Stand-Up Paddle Boards require the use of a dock to get onto the board or balancing on the board after a paddler has entered the water.
  • With two independent floats, one for each foot, Riverskis offer a “very natural feel” once buoyancy becomes second nature. Stand-up paddle boards, provide but one surface for both feet, which creates a bit more instability compared to Riverskis. A weight shift on an SUP, will cause the entire surface of the board to move by slanting it on top of the water. By contrast, as a Riverskier shifts weight between Riverskis, one Riverski will rise as the other submerges however the surface of both remain flat.
  • Riverskiis call upon different muscles than the SUPs and provide greater exercise.  Two separate floats require different leg muscles and target a larger area of a user’s core and upper back muscles due to the length of the paddle and the alternating direction the paddle enters the water from the left side to the right side and vice versa.
  • In summary, Riverskiis offer the first all body exercise paddle sport.

4.)  Can one Riverski support all of my weight?
A:  One Riverski alone, cannot support a Riverskier’s full bodyweight. Riverskiis are designed to provide optimal buoyancy, weight and balance equilibrium, speed, ease of transport, and cost containment. As part of the learning process we encourage skiers to slightly shift their weight back and forth, from the left Riverski to the right, and to reverse, in order to begin to develop a “feel” for Riverski buoyancy. If one Riverski alone had to fully support a Riverskier’s full body weight, the model would require a much larger ski, defeating design principles.

5.)  What if I lose my balance and my feet do not slip out of the boots?
A:  Keeping your laces loose when first learning to Riverski, will enable your feet to easily slip out of your boots. As you gain proficiency, you will achieve greater stability by tightening your laces. Then, it is all important to master self-release, a step which is part of initial “dry training” – training on the river bank.

6.)  How do I avoid doing a split?
A:  Riverski hulls are designed to work against this popular misconception!  (See Next Question- – Question 7.) How do I learn to Riverski? )

7.)  How do I learn to Riverski?  (FFRB in Three!)
A:  First of all, mastering Riverskiing, requires some leg strength.  The preferred method to learn to Riverski, the “On/Off Method” is helpful to all newcomers. Our studies show there is a tendency for a first time Riverskier to use far more leg muscles than is necessary.

We recommend all first time skiers, steadily enter shallow, still water, which means a body of water no deeper than one foot, and a body of water that is not moving. Remaining close to the river bank and shifting your weight slightly back and forth from one Riverski to the other, enables you to get the “Feel For Riverski Buoyancy” (“FFRB”) and to sense how Riverskiis respond to your movements. Within five minutes or so, a novice should return to the river bank and rest his or her legs for a few minutes.

Then step back onto the water a second time, and experience the phenomena of muscle memory kicking in!  A new Riverskier will not use as many muscles or tire as quickly on the second try.

Repeat the resting cycle once more, and by the third time out on the water, you will understand which muscles need to be deployed when on the water, (“FFRB in Three!”) and then you will be ready to relax and enjoy the sport!

As with any new activity, practice pays off and the more times a Riverskier practices the exercise of the “On/Off Method”, the easier and more enjoyable the sport of Riverskiing.

8.)  Is there an on water recovery method if one decides to go swimming and would like to remount the skis from the water?
A:  To remount from the water, two taco kayak clips can be attached to the Riverskis where the grab handles are located – a few inches from the boot toes.  By swimming between the skis, the paddle shaft which spans the distance separating the Riverskiis can be used to attach one ski to the other using the taco clips. The Skier puts one hand on each clip and pushes up, first inserting one foot then the other, back into the boots. This technique takes practice!

9.)  Why is a helmet required when skiing?
A:  You will be standing erect and upright when paddling on Riverskis.  A helmet provides protection from low hanging branches extending over the waterways as well any obstacles in rivers or other bodies of water both visible and submerged. For safety purposes, all skiers must wear a helmet.  Just like snow skiing, it isn’t worth the risk of head injury.

10.)  Can you use a stand-up paddle/single bladed paddle with the skis?
A:  A skier can use a single blade stand-up paddle with Riverskiis but the double bladed paddle which was created for use with Riverskis offers superior maneuverability.  Maneuvering in a river current is as simple and easy as dropping a blade into the water without the need to rotate a single blade from one side to another. Rotation consumes time and as your performance accelerates, the double bladed paddle, enables you to make instantaneous course corrections.

11.)  Has Riverski Sports thought about tethering Riverskis together with a cable for newcomers?
A:  Riverski Sports created a number of prototypes during a seven year, extended product development period, incorporating and testing any number of ideas, ultimately deciding against tethering for the following reasons; Riverskis are designed to satisfy a recreational appetite, and to offer a great exercise work-out and additionally, tethers, lines, and rope in water can constitute a hazard and be very dangerous. Riverski Sports has concluded it is far preferable to learn to Riverski without deploying any tethers.

12.)  Do the Riverski boots differ in size?
A:  There are three different boot sizes available: Size 5-8, Size 8-11 and size 11-14. These sizes are very forgiving, truly customized, due to the open toe design. A skier with a size 14 can fit into the 8/11 comfortably.

13.)  How much does each Riverski weigh?
A:  Each Riverski weighs 17 lbs.

14.)  Has Riverski Sports considered placing fins on the bottom of Riverskiis to assist with tracking in the water?
A:  Since mankind has been trying to walk on water for thousands of years, and the experience is now a reality, Riverski Sports is committed to providing durable, value priced, fool proof equipment.  Too many parts can complicate the equipment and breakage can occur by incorporating a fin design, especially when used on rivers.