Ski Boat Driver Level 1 (SBD1)

The purpose of SBD1
SBD1 is the number one qualification in the UK for recreational ski boat drivers at water ski club or as individuals.

The Ski Boat Driver Level 1 (SBD1) is designed for anyone who wishes to drive unsupervised for water skiing and/or other associated disciplines, it is, for many, the starting point on the ski boat driver pathway. It is considered the benchmark standard to drive at inland clubs throughout the UK.

SBD1 is formal proof of boat driving ability in relation to inland waters in the UK.

What is involved?
First, you will need to decide whether you need boat driving lessons, or if you have previous boat driving experience including towing skiers/riders. If you are an experienced boat driver and feel you may be ready to book a test, you can book a Speed Boat Driving Assessment for a much lower cost. Our examiner will review your performance and provide honest feedback as if you are ready or not.

If you have the required experience, the Ski Boat Driver Level 1 is roughly a 2 to 3 hour long program consisting of a theoretical based assessment (assessment of boat driving knowledge) and a practical based assessment (assessment of boat handing skills). Prior to completing the theoretical based assessment, candidates will attend a tutoring session designed to develop understanding of a number of key topics relating to driving a ski boat on inland waters, this will take approximately 1 hour. Following this, candidates will complete 17 questions, relating to the SBD1 classroom course.

It is advantageous if candidates have previously studied the driving assessment hand-out.

After successfully completing the SBD1 examination candidates will receive a new BWSW membership card which will state that the member is an SBD1 driver.

The practical boat driving assessment consists of a 30 minute familiarisation session (to familiarise the candidate with the boat, the site and the assessment procedure) followed by a 15 minute slow manoeuvring skills assessment and a 15 minute water ski/wakeboard driving assessment. Click here to see the driving assessment hand out, which explains the assessment in detail.

How much does it cost?

What do I need before applying for the SBD1?
Before applying to complete a Ski Boat Driver Level 1 all candidates must meet the following pre-requisites:
• Be a current member of British Water Ski & Wakeboard
• Be aged 16 years or over
• Have some experience of driving for water skiers (under supervision) or arrange to take lessons
Read, and be familiar with the SBD1 Assessment handout
The SBD1 qualification does not provide access to an International Certificate of Competence (ICC) for coastal or inland waters.