Use Apple Watch for Water Ski Tracking

Can you wear an Apple Watch water skiing?

The simple answer to this is yes, but you risk ruining the watch. That is, at least if you have the standard apple watch. If however you have an Apple Watch Ultra, then you should be all set to head out on the water. That is because the water proof rating is different for the Ultra than it is for others. Apple Watch Ultra is held together through mechanical connection, not just glue and gaskets, which means it can higher water pressure including the types you are likely to encounter while being towed behind a boat. 

apple watch ultra water skiing symbol

So far though the limitations have led to a lack of any great apps for tracking water skiing. In theory there are some interesting stats including distance traveled and speed that can be achieved through simply creating a run, cycle, or open water swim event on the watch. This will let you import the data for your outing into other systems, but be careful as categorizing things as the wrong event will make it hard to take your personal records seriously (unless you beleive you could achieve a 4 minute mile in an open water swim!)

So will the Apple Watch be accurate  when out on the water. This of course comes down to the accuracy of the GPS. Since GPS is not linked to cellular service there is a good chance that even on the open water it is going to be accurate. Even so, the same accuracy problems that create extra fast measured speeds for downhill skiing using the apple watch will be present when being towed. Still, the watch itself is likely to be more accurate than just guessing based on boat speed. Weaving back and forth behind a vessel can get you moving significantly faster than the vessel itself. 

Is Apple Watch Waterproof Enough for Waterskiing?

We know from Apple’s marketing that the Apple Watch is fine for swimming, but Apple Watch is not recommended for water skiing. The justification here is anything with “high velocity water”. This is likely because the seals on the watch are only so strong, and if you point a jet of water directly at them something is bound to squeeze through. At the same time, that still means that if you can eliminate the risk of high speed water coming into the watch things should be fine.

There are a couple ways to do this, the first is to provide some sort of cover or protection that would slow down the water. This could be anything from a sweatband or shirt, to the full sleeve of a wetsuit. The other option is simply not to fall. Really one of the only times you will have high speed water is when you are crashing into it on a fall. This is risky enough to simply loose a watch, as many of the bands will not hold up to a fall of the wrong type. However, if you are an accomplished water skiing and plan to coast to a stop after letting go of a tow rope, there is little risk of having anything resembling high speed water impacting the watch.