Waterskiing by Kelley and Matt
We ride the waves all summer long on wakeboards, water skis, and on bare feet. But, performing a good trick isn't just skill. It also depends on our driver pulling us at the right speed. How do different boat speeds affect our waterskiing tricks?
What did we do?
We each chose four different tricks to test. We performed each stunt twice at slow, medium and fast speeds. Then we played judge and rated each other's performances on a 1-5 style scale. We also wrote down any notes we had about the trick. Here's how Kelly scored:
What did we find out?
After tons of action and even more wipeouts, we figured out that you definitely need different speeds for different tricks. Faster isn't necessarily better for every trick. Kelley performed her tricks at a speed of 14 mph. When she went any faster than that, she lost control. Any slower than 14 mph made her ski plow too deep in the water. I needed a speed of 18 mph to do my best performance.
- Use science to help you improve your performance in your favorite sport. Do you skateboard? How does the size of the board affect your ability to do tricks? Design an investigation to figure out which skateboard features are best for certain stunts.
- Snowboarders and skiers use wax to improve their glide. But too much wax can actually slow you down. Make up an investigation to find out how the type, amount and location of your wax affects your performance.
- Use this physics investigation as a science fair project idea for your elementary or middle school science fair! Then tell us about it!