Although costly, water-skiing on Saigon River has become a
favourite pastime among a number of young people in HCM City.
The equipment for the sport is quite expensive, yet very Sunday the section of
the Saigon River from Binh Thanh District’s Thanh Da area to Thu Duc District’s
Binh Trieu area, becomes exciting, with the sounds of boats and cheers from
onlookers and participants.
These events are put on by the Proland Club, the only of its kind in Vietnam.
Bui Thanh Long, head of the club, said that each member of the club must spend
at least VND15 million (USD714.2) on equipment to get started plus extra
expenses of VND3 million (USD142.8) per month to keep going. But there are a lot
of members who choose to continue.
“It is easy to get addicted to water-skiing after trying it once. It helps me
forget all the stresses of life," said Truong The Phuong, a senior club member.
Long shared that it only takes about a day to learn. However, it is not easy at
all to become a professional. He added that it requires a teamwork and
co-operation. Each member of the team must be aware to avoid any possible
“The first few times Proland Club met we had to hire a small boat from Thanh Da
Tourism Resort at VND20,000 per minute. Each day of the club’s practice could
cost VND4-5 million (USD190.4-USD238). Later, the members contributed money to
buy a boat for VND400 million (USD19,000),” Long said.
Truong The Phuong said, "Currently, only a small number of people in Vietnam
know about water-skiing because it is so expensive and most of the equipment
required has to be imported. For that reason a lot of people think that it is a
way for us to show off our status."
Club members practice twice a week. One of their goals is to introduce the sport
to Vietnam, with the hope that in the future the country will develop athletes
who are able to compete in international competitions.