Lake Arrowhead, CA, USA

McKenzie Water Ski School

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McKenzie Water Ski School

May 29, 2018

By Paola Zarate

Learn to (figuratively) walk on water at the McKenzie Water Ski School, with the McKenzie family! Every year, Memorial Day weekend through the end of September, the season begins in Lake Arrowhead. Whether you're a beginner or a pro, the McKenzie Water Ski School offers a tailored water ski experience to each of their customers. From learning the ropes to sharpening new skills, and developing & mastering new ones, McKenzie Ski instructors are well-equipped to handle a variety of customers. Age isn't a factor for these instructors either; McKenzie School has helped children as young two get up on water skis.

The McKenzie Water Ski School was founded in 1946 by George "Mac" McKenzie and his wife Lucy. Both had been regular visitors to Lake Arrowhead and had decided to share their enthusiasm for water skiing with others by becoming professional instructors. The couple had originally attempted to launch a McKenzie Water Ski School in Florida where they could have a year-long season. However, the humid, sticky conditions there sent the mountain couple back west. "My father was always a mountain man," Pam McKenzie, recalled of her dad. Today, Pam's son Justin Frank continues to run the school with his wife, Holly.

For the McKenzie's, family is at the core of what they're all about. Mac and Lucy McKenzie's dedication to the sport has created a positive force in the community that is committed to fostering a love for water skiing. Instructors, dressed in their characteristic red & white suits, (called McKenzie Reds) begin their lessons on the docks. Students are fitted with the appropriate life jacket and water skis or wakeboard. Beginners are then given safety instructions and are taught tried & true methods on how to get up on their skis. McKenzie instructors will jump into the water with their students and ski right beside them as they learn to rise, and glide on the water. After a student successfully rises on the water, instructors help you learn proper techniques and maneuvers. A usual lesson is a two-mile course taught in 15-minute blocks. At the half-way point around the course, your instructor will allow you a moment of rest in the water. After your rest your run resumes, and you make your way back to the dock.

Water skiing isn't the only thing you can do at the McKenzie Water Ski School. Wakeboarding and private boat charters are also offered through the ski school. Explore the beauty of the lake on a private boat charter, which are offered daily. Seating on the boat accommodates 5 passengers. Captains will take you on a tour along all the points of interests in the lake, from the tower to the island in Blue Jay Bay, and Point Hamiltair. McKenzie Water Ski School also offers reservations for sunset cruises.

As long as students have an inclination to learn, McKenzie Water Ski School can help you develop the skills you'll need to have a fantastic run on the lake. With over 65 years of experience under their belt, the McKenzie Water Ski School has helped teach students with autism, as well as deaf, and blind students.

The season is right around the corner, so come visit the McKenzie Water Ski School for an unforgettable time!

About the author

Paola Zarate

Paola Zarate

Paola Zarate traded in her hometown in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado to Arrowbear Lake in the San Bernardino Mountains of Southern California several years ago. She now attends college and is pursing a teaching career.

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