McClintock's Water Ski School + Pro Shop

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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Q: I HAVE NEVER SKIED BEFORE. WHAT CAN I EXPECT WHEN I COME OUT FOR MY FIRST LESSON?

A: During a beginner lesson you will start with some dry land instruction to get comfortable with what to expect once you are out in the boat and getting into the water. Once your instructor feels you are ready to begin you will go out one-on-one for your private lesson. You will begin on a bar called a 'boom' that hangs out the side of the boat. Starting on the boom keeps you close to the instructor allowing them to talk you through finding the perfect skier position, it also gives you more control to build your comfort on top of the water.  Once you have gotten up a couple times using the boom you will progress to a handle which is hanging off the boom so that you can learn how to get up using a rope. Finally, once you have gotten up a few times on this short line, you will be moved to the back of the boat where we will have you up and having fun!

Q: ARE ALL LESSONS PRIVATE?

A: Yes! We always want you to feel as comfortable as possible, and therefore only members of your group will be present in the boat.  If you are participating alone we will have an additional staff member ride as a spotter for safety.

Q: CAN MY FAMILY OR FRIENDS RIDE IN THE BOAT WHILE I SKI?

A: We always welcome anyone who you feel comfortable with watching you ride! Our boats can accommodate 2 extra riders in the boat. Over this limit will not be allowed for safety and liability reasons. For children's lessons we often notice that shy or scared kids learn better without parents or siblings in the boat with them. We will always customize this to your child's needs and are happy to set them up for the greatest success on the water!

Q: WHAT CAN I EXPECT FROM A LESSON IF I HAVE SKIED BEFORE?

A: We are a full service ski school, and can help you with anything you are looking to improve to take your skiing to the next level. When you first come to the dock your instructor will chat with you about your ski history and what you are looking to improve on. From here we will take it pass by pass. You will be pulled down the lake, then drop in, and your instructor will instruct you on what to focus on next to improve your performance. This process will repeat at each end of the lake, ensuring that you get the absolute most out of your time on the water.

Q: WHAT IF I DON'T WANT ANY INSTRUCTION?

A: You are more than welcome to opt out of any instruction from our coaches. This will just ensure that you will have shorter break times at the end of each pass, and more time on the water. If you don't need instruction and are interested in becoming a member, please see our club member rates or contact us anytime.

Q: WHY ARE YOUR LESSONS ONLY 15 MINUTES?

A: After almost 40 years in the business we have learned that one thing is for sure... 15 minutes and your arms feel like they are about to fall off! We get asked this question more than anything else, as people have a misconception that lessons should be an hour long. Not only would it be unethical, as you would be paying a lot more money for time you wouldn't be able to participate in, but it would be highly impossible to ski for an hour straight! It is common that recreational skiers have been pulled in the past around in circles for a great deal of time, but we prefer to utilize that time on the water teaching you how to become the best you can be.

Q: WHAT IS YOUR CANCELLATION POLICY?

A: A credit card will be required in order to book. If your lesson is cancelled up to 24 hrs before your scheduled lesson time your card will not be charged. If you cancel within the 24 hr period your card may be charged a cancellation fee. If you "no show" to your appointment you will be charged the full amount.

Q: WHAT IF THE WEATHER IS BAD ON THE DAY?

A: If the weather is bad, or there are circumstances beyond either of our control, we will be happy to reschedule you at no extra charge.

Q: HOW OLD SHOULD MY CHILD BE BEFORE THEIR FIRST LESSON?

A: As a general rule of thumb we say that 5 years old is the perfect starting point for a child to learn. However, every child is unique, and we have taught children as young as 3 years old how to get up on the water. If your child is comfortable in water, knows how to swim (even if it's just with a life jacket on) and is eager to learn they will do great! The most important thing with children is it has to be their decision to learn. If parents or siblings pressure them into it, they will almost always panic and quit.

Q: WHAT IF MY CHILD PANICS AND DOESN'T WANT TO GET IN THE WATER?

A: Working with children is an ever-changing experience, and every child is different. In our decades of experience we have truly seen it all! There is nothing we understand more than fear of the water or learning something new. Sometimes the child just simply needs to be taken to a quiet area of the lake, away from spectators, where they can truly be with the instructor one-on-one and focused on the task at hand. Other times, they outright refuse to get in the water, kicking and screaming! Relax! We are happy to give you a credit to bring them back at another time! Our main goal always has been, and always will be, ensuring that everyone has fun and walks away smiling.

Q: AM I TOO OLD TO LEARN TO SKI?

A: Is your heart still beating? Can you stand up out of a chair with no assistance from your arms? Yes? Great! You can ski! You're never too old to learn something new.

Q: DO YOU OFFER SUMMER PROGRAMS?

A: Yes! Starting June 1st every year we begin running Monday to Friday ski camps. During a ski camp you will have 3 lessons per day. This is a great option for those who are looking to perfect their skills in a short amount of time, or for parents who want their kids to get out and be active throughout the summer. It is very common that we have had participants learn to ski on Monday and running through the slalom course on Friday! Click here to see Water Ski Camp Packages.

Q: HOW MANY LESSONS UNTIL I KNOW HOW TO SKI OR WAKEBOARD?

A: Everyone learns at a different pace. Typically within your first lesson you will learn how to get up on two skis and leave being fully confident in getting out of the water behind the boat. From there your progression is all just based on the amount of time between your lessons (like anything, the more often you do it the faster you will learn) as well as your desire to progress. Once you are comfortable on two skis we will happily teach you how to get up on one ski (slalom skiing) and from there the sky is the limit. For wakeboarding you will likely feel comfortable getting out of the water in the first lesson, and from there we will work on edge control and beginner tricks in your future lessons.

Q: WHEN DO I ARRIVE FOR MY LESSON?

A: Please arrive 15 minutes early to sign waivers.

Q: WHAT IF I DON'T HAVE MY OWN EQUIPMENT?

A: We are happy to offer full use of our equipment for all lessons. Included in our lessons are your skis or wakeboard, a rope and a life vest. Personal equipment such as bathing suits, wet suits, gloves or towels will not be provided down at the dock. Some items are available for purchase in our Pro Shop.

Q: WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING FOR CAMP DAYS?

A: Towel, Fitted Bathing Suit, Waterproof Sunscreen, Water Bottle, Light Snacks, Wet Suit or Rash Guard (recommended)

Q: WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING FOR OVERNIGHT CAMP ?

A: In addition to the above, Pillow and Sleeping Bag, Toiletries, Extra Towel, Clothes for evening outings.

Q: WHAT DOES “CLUB” MEAN?

A: We have two Club Memberships, Recreational + Performance. Based on your goals, Recreational Club is for the skier who just wants to get out on the water as much as they can and as affordable as possible, and does not require or desire any coaching. Performance Club is for those who want to improve their skills and receive instructions during each set. All members must be active members of Water Ski Wakeboard Ontario (WSWO).  To sign up click here.

Q: ARE WSWO FEES COVERED IN CLUB MEMBERSHIP COSTS?

A: No, they are not. For WSWO prices click here.

Q: WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING TO MY SKI LESSON?

A: Towel, Fitted Bathing Suit, Waterproof Sunscreen, + Water Bottle