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Best Public ski lakes

We have all shared the frustration- getting out on the water(even very early) trying to get a couple decent runs in and fighting the boat traffic. Besides our fellow skiers, we have the wakeboarders, wake surfers and tubers. With that in mind, what are the best public lakes to ski on in the USA? Shout out your favorites(if you have any)


  • ghutchghutch Posts: 160 Baller
    I agree its getting harder to find good water on public lakes. Even going @ 6am its hard. Fishermen are all over the place and won't sit still, then they pull out and the wallys are getting out for the day. I just accepted it and it wasn't that bad but last year was exceptionally frustrating mainly because I'm finally running 35 a little more and trying to work on 38. Hard to do with crap water. With covid I guess they were looking for something to do as well.
  • Fastguy888Fastguy888 Posts: 36 Baller
    I live in Los Angeles County, In San Dimas, CA. What got me back into the sport is our very small one direction rotation Bonelli Park aka Puddingstone Reservoir. About the size of 5 tournaments lakes running parallel. Despite being surrounded by 13 million people; I can almost grantee flat water in the morning year-round. In the winter there are plenty of 70*+ days and I may be the only boat on the lake for half the day on a Saturday. In the summer though; once 3 boats are running, lake becomes un-skiable; luckily if you wait 30min you can usually find decent enough water for a free-ski set.

    Unfortunately now that I am addicted to chasing buoys; I have a 2h drive to almost any course this time of year.
  • Jody_SealJody_Seal Posts: 3,161 Mega Baller
    edited January 25
    Its been my experience here in the panhandle one can just about find flat water any time on public access lakes to free ski on. However the first time one installs dots in the lake the fish hunters take over the area.

    Hobby Boats can be expensive when the hobbyist is limited on their own skill and expertise.

  • DaveDDaveD Posts: 950 Mega Baller
    edited January 25
    I haven't been on them in over 20 years but I always liked our houseboat trips to Dale Hollow and Lake Cumberland. Big lakes with lots to do when you're not skiing the course. I would assume a lot of the TVA lakes are similar to those 2 lakes.
  • LoopSkiLoopSki Posts: 782 Mega Baller
    I got to throw Lake Shasta in. Can usually find good water anytime.
  • oldjeepoldjeep Posts: 3,753 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Pretty much any lake in MN at 6AM ;)
    Chuck P
    Not a mechanic but I play one at home
  • jimbrakejimbrake Posts: 1,388 Mega Baller
    @Fastguy888 - I was just looking at Puddingstone Res on Google Earth because I'm working on a nearby site in Pomona. Amazing and great that there is a lake in the middle of the LA Metro area that you can ski on. Very cool.
    "...all of the basic fun banter"
  • Orlando76Orlando76 Posts: 1,294 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    2 courses on Dora chain in Central Florida. Typically good water on 1 of them. Just nobody skis there.
  • cougfancougfan Posts: 301 Crazy Baller
    The Columbia river in eastern Wa not a lake but with all the dams on it the stretches between the dams seem like lakes. You can ski 40-50 miles between dams and the water in the summer time can be like glass for miles. Usually run out of energy before running out of good water. There are even a couple of courses around Entiat. My family takes an annual week long vacation to lake Entiat (the water between Rocky Reach Dam and Wells Dam) every summer. One of the best weeks ever right up there with the Wednesday night crew’s annual trip to lake Curlew. Another great ski lake in eastern Wa
  • elrelr Posts: 328 Mega Baller
    Ed Rink - LSF Texas
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