Top 10 Water Skiing Movies and Documentaries to Hold Your Attention

If you’re a water skier who’s been sidelined by winter, we know what you’re going through.

You miss the feeling of getting out on the water early in the morning before the crowds ruin it. You even miss the surprised looks you get from people when you tell them you can water ski. 

This handy list of movies about water skiing should be able to tide you over until the world gets back to normal. If you’re ready to get back out on the water from the safety of your couch, check out this list of the best movies and documentaries about water skiing. 

Top 10 Water Skiing Movies About Water Skiing 

We scoured the web and found the best movies and documentaries about water skiing. There’s a little something for everyone here, but each of these movies features water skiing. 

1. Jaws II (1978) 

Starring: Roy Scheider, Marc Gilpin. Lorraine Gary, Keith Gordon

Available On: Hulu, HBO Max, Amazon Prime, YouTube, Itunes, Google Play

When it comes to water skiing on film, Jeannot Szwarc’s classic shark movie Jaws II is probably one of the most notable mainstream film releases to deal with water skiing. Although, to be honest, this is a shark movie with some water skiing thrown in, but you get the point. 

Jaws II earned the distinction of being the highest-grossing franchise sequel in history until Rocky II dethroned it in 1979. In 1983, Jaws 2 was followed by Jaws 3D.

2. Sleepaway Camp (1983)

Starring: Felissa Rose, Desiree Gold, Jonathan Tiersten, Robert Earl Jones

Available On: Itunes, Amazon Prime, YouTube, Shudder, NBC Peacock

This is a tongue-in-cheek summer camp slasher that helped launch an entire subgenre of modern horror cinema. Sleepaway Camp tells the story of Angela, a traumatized young woman who’s been sent to Camp Arawak where, at least in theory, she will begin to socialize and connect with other people her own age as she begins to enter adulthood. 

Needless to say, nothing goes according to plan. While she’s away at Camp Arawak, nerdy, introverted Angela incurs the wrath of the other campers, is nearly molested by a cook, and of course, the other campers begin dying one by one. The soft-spoken and innocent protagonist finds herself right in the center of it. 

3. A Pig’s Tale (1994)

Starring: Joe Flaherty, Sean Babb, Mike Damus,

Available On: Comcast Xfinity Stream 

This is another summer camp movie (with a little water skiing thrown in) that went after a different audience. Directed by Paul Tassie, A Pig’s Tale is the story of six boys who are dragged kicking and screaming to a third-rate summer camp. There’s bullying, an unrequited crush, clueless counselors, and a ton of gross-out humor. 

This is one of those movies that didn’t last long in the theaters when released in 1996. Still, in the decades since, it has come to be recognized as an underappreciated classic that belongs in the same category of young adult cinema as The Goonies and The Sandlot.  

4. The Secret Spot (2004)

Starring: Gary Hickson

Available On: Not available for streaming

Coming in at just over an hour-long, this documentary captures the danger and camaraderie of the sport of water skiing and its various offshoots. Besides water skiing, the documentary spends a great deal of time following barefooters, wakeboarders, and kneeboarders as they complete death-defying stunts and try not to get injured or killed. 

Despite its short run time, this little documentary nonetheless packs quite a punch. Featuring an amazing soundtrack with the likes of the Black Tie Dynasty, Slur, and INXS, this below-the-radar documentary is still watched, revered, and talked about by water skiers nearly two decades after its release. 

5. Into The Wild (2007)

Starring: Emile Hirsch, Vince Vaughn, Catherine Keener

Available On: Netflix, Youtube, Amazon Prime, Itunes, Vudu, Google Play

Our final entry on this list is a film adaptation of the book of the same name, written by John Krakauer and published in 1996. The film version of Into The Wild was directed by Sean Penn and was released in theaters in 2007, where it got rave reviews. 

This film is probably the most serious and, in some ways, the most tragic entry on our list. Into The Wild tells the story of Chris McCandless, an accomplished but troubled young man with a dark past who gives away everything he owns and spends his twenties and thirties hitchhiking across America. 

6. Piranha 3D (2010)

Starring: Christopher Lloyd, Richard Dreyfuss, Elisabeth Shue 

Available On: Itunes

This movie is a reboot of the 1978 original, which was directed by Joe Dante. There’s not much to say about a modern reboot of a B horror film, except that every year the population of the sleepy resort town of Lake Victoria, Arizona, is filled with waves of rowdy college students who arrive for spring break. 

As is usually the case with movies like this, the arrival of legions of drunk and horny college students coincides with a massive underwater earthquake that releases hordes of massive (and hungry) prehistoric piranhas into the lake. Hijinks and tongue-in-cheek gore ensue. 

7. Meatballs 4 (1992)  

Starring: Corey Feldman, Jack Nance, Sarah Douglas, Bojesse Christopher 

Available On: Hulu, HBO Max, Amazon Prime, Vudu, Youtube TV

If you miss being able to water ski and you’re in the mood for some nonsensical early-nineties fluff, then Meatballs 4 needs to be in your streaming queue. Starring the eponymous Corey Feldman as Ricky, a down-on-his-luck water ski instructor who’s been hired to teach water skiing at the summer camp where he spent time as a child. 

Once he arrives at his old summer camp, Ricky discovers that the camp is in financial straits and that the owner of a bigger, more popular nearby summer camp intends to force them out of business. You can probably guess where it goes from here. If you’re looking for a movie to help you forget about the current state of the world, there are worse options. 

8. InFlight: The Water Ski Fly Movie (2018)

Starring: Ryan Dodd, Igor Morozov, Scot Ellis, Zack Worden 

Available On: Youtube

This is a short film that was produced by the International Water Ski and Wakeboard Federation. Starring some of the best and most renowned water skiers today, this film is a solemn and surprisingly reflective homage to water skiing. This film provides an insider’s perspective on this niche sport if you can get past the somber narration and the over-the-top production values. 

Although this film is about water skiing in general, the film spends most of its time dealing with water ski jumping and captures some truly awe-inspiring shots of the sport’s biggest names launching themselves off of ramps hundreds of feet into the air. With award-winning camera work and choreography, this is a short film that will have you ready to get back into the water at the first opportunity. 

9. Grown Ups (2010)

Starring: Adam Sandler, Selma Hayek, Kevin James

Available On: Vudu, Amazon Prime, YouTube, Google Play, iTunes 

Another buddy comedy about five friends trying to find themselves again in middle age, this movie follows a man with a drinking problem; a father estranged from his three daughters, an overworked stay-at-home dad, a jaded Hollywood agent, a jobless burnout as they gather to pay tribute to their childhood basketball coach who has recently passed away. 

Even though it was critically panned, this is another middle-of-the-pack comedy that’s gone on to build up a cult following in the years since its release. The plot is a bit on the predictable side, but there are some truly heartwarming performances from Adam Sandler and Kevin James. 

10. Seasons (2016)

Starring: Adam Silcio, Austin Keen, Ben Watts, Bryan Magaldi, Callaway Ford

Available On: YouTube 

This documentary from Remedy Films was directed by Jamie Graff, the same director who made “A Single Day” and “Magic Hour.” Technically, this is a film about wakeboarding, but water skiers will appreciate the depiction of preparation, training, and camaraderie.  

Like two other entries on this list, “InFlight” and “The Secret Spot,” this is another short documentary that cuts right to the chase and relies on professionally choreographed landscape shots, in-person interviews, and a killer soundtrack featuring music from Manchester Orchestra and MIIA. This is an independently produced documentary that should tide you over until you can get back out on the water for real. 

A Few Other Water Skiing Movies and Documentaries Worthy of Mention

In case the movies above weren’t quite enough for you, we went ahead and threw together a quick list of honorable mentions. Here are some movies about water skiing that we didn’t have enough time for. 

  • Caddyshack (1980)
  • Clambake (1967)
  • Weekend At Bernies (1989)
  • Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach (1988)

We also have some other articles with the lists of must watch boarding and surfing movies:

Wrap-Up

So we all know that it’s going to be quite a while until the world gets back to normal. But in the meantime, the five films on this list should be at least a passable substitute for actual waterskiing. Hopefully, they will help your days pass a little faster and will help you remember why you started water skiing in the first place.  

Scroll to Top