Waterskiing in Texas (Travis, Conroe, Livingston, others?)

SSG223SSG223 Posts: 21 Baller
I posted awhile back about feedback on a potential move to Florida (from wet, cold, and dreary Seattle), and many of you were kind enough to share your insights. We're still exploring that (and working with a great agent there), but are also looking at the Austin / Houston area. Curious if anyone has experience with water skiing, surfing, etc on Lake Travis (Austin), or Livingston / Conrad in the Houston area?

The extreme lake levels with Lake Travis are a concern, but I'm curious if it's good for an open water guy (no courses needed or wanted)? Given the winding course of the lake, it SEEMS like one could find some good water most days.

Livinston outside of Houston looks like a HUGE lake, and not a lot of coves or channels, so that one looks like it's open to pretty bad conditions depending on the wind. Conrad looks a bit more "cut up", so it appears optically at least that you could find decent water most days? And it's not nearly as big as Livingston, which seems like an added feature.

Are there other lakes in either area worthy of consideration that I'm missing (not interested in private ski lakes, we want to be able to surf, and my son loves to do some bass fishing)? For work reasons, we need to stick within 60 - 90 minute commutes to a "bigger city" (e.g. Tampa in Florida, Austin and Houston in Texas).

Thoughts? Thanks as always to everyone in advance for sharing your thoughts and experience.



  • gregygregy Posts: 2,590 Mega Baller
    I grew up skiing Lake Travis. The levels vary a lot but the channels are really deep in the main part of the lake and its pretty easy to follow the channels because of the high cliffs on the bends. I always liked when the lake was down because it makes some nice beaches to park and hang out. Unfortunately its became a mad house on the weekends during the summer, surfing or wakeboarding is your best bet then. During the weekdays its not bad. I've been to Conroe a few times, you'd probably need to get someone to show you around there. There are places that have trees and stumps that could be dangerous.
  • SSG223SSG223 Posts: 21 Baller
    gregy - Thanks for the feedback. Our lake becomes a mad house as well, definitely have to get your sets in before 8:00, and even then you're fighting the early morning jet skiers and fisherman. With Travis, is it bad early as well, or just when it gets hot in the afternoon?

    Good point with Conroe, our lake is a man made lake, and there is one section that you have to navigate the stumps pretty carefully or you're getting towed back to the house!

    Appreciate you sharing your insights!
  • ThomasAliveThomasAlive Posts: 62 Baller
    We live on the south shore of Lake Travis and do a lot of open water skiing early in the mornings (mostly on weekdays). We're technically in Austin so that's pretty far downstream. The lake is very wide and super populated with large boats, surfing, and chaos down this far. If you don't want to ski at the crack of dawn then you'd need to be much further upstream near the Lago Vista area. We don't do any recreational boating on the lake, at least not in our ski boat. We ski and then flee.
  • ForrestGumpForrestGump Posts: 6,375
    I grew up in Livingston. In fact, I was born at the lake because the highways weren't in yet and my parents couldn't get to town due to rain at the time. It's a great fishing lake. But a sucky skiing lake. Lot of stumps and it's big enough that it gets VERY rough.
    Shane "Crash" Hill

  • lakeaustinskierlakeaustinskier Posts: 399 Crazy Baller
    Completely different cities with different culture and people. I would look at that first before I looked at skiing. I live on Lake Austin. PM me if you'd like to talk.
    Ted Thomson, Austin Texas, Aquaplex
  • gregygregy Posts: 2,590 Mega Baller
    You can get some decent water on Travis if you get out at dawn. Sunday's usually better than Saturday. The lake snakes around with high cliffs on the outside of bends so no matter what the wind is you can usually find smooth water somewhere. Fishing is ok, good if know where to go. I used to keep a floating course there, it probably still there on the bottom.
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