Waterski Journal N°4

Page 1





43 off

let's take a ride through history. Who are those who dominated the shortest line we can think about, or at least get there

trick, trick trick

our new reporter from Great Britain, Freddie Winter, usually known for insane pull behind the boat, gives us a portrait of another discipline: Tricks.

world records

a world record is made to be broken. Even if they are always deeper into insanity, the season is starting and skiers have to know what to look up at.





N 4. MAY - JULY 2021



Ambre Franc training set at Monaco Wake & Ski, Roquebrune-sur-Argens - Ph. Nicolas Plasmondon

New season, new shape! The Waterski Journal is not that old but already have been read by more than 15,000 skiers! We thought it would be cool to glow up the cover. Amazing things ahead: Waterski Pro Tour, Open Worlds, U21 Worlds, Senior Worlds, video project from our fav content producers in the game and … a new round for the Waterski Nation online trick contest! Those past few years, amazing projects have become ongoing business in the industry. I’m talking about the Waterski Podcast of Matteo Luzzeri, FlowPoint Method of Jenny LaBaw and Marcus Brown, The Waterski Broadcasting Company of Vincent Stadlbaur, Tony Lightfoot and John Waldorn, Distance from center with John Horton and Trent Finlayson, the eternal Ball of Spray from John Horton and there are few other out their that deserve our attention. Make sure you guys contact us if you need support in any kind of way. We’ll do our best! Also, for those that are willing to support the Waterski Pro Tour or Waterski Journal, shoot me an email at greg@waterskination.com, we can work on several partnerships. Time to go back on the water! Gregoire Desfond

Cover Picture : Samantha Dumala photographed by Gregoire Desfondi

Waterski Journal N°4 6 The untouchable 43 off every skiers have heard of it. Maybe witness it. Some guys are able to make it all through down the line. To the deepest rope possible.

legend is teaching you something, you better pay attention!

52 Waterski Pro Tour

13 Skis catch up following the previous Journal, we add up 3 new skis that couldn't be display prior this edition.

professional waterski will be backed up by the support of the waterski pro tour. A common effort to support pro events.

58 Skiers Particularity

14 Featured Lake il lago di San Gervasio. Amazing lake, amazing people, amazing experience. Hosting one of the best pro event of the year.

a new topic approaching the very own styles of top elite skiers. Thibaut Dailland is not the tallest, but he is taller than you on the ski!

60 Portraits of the month

19 World records recap amazing performances have been made. Let's take a look at them and see where skiers have to go to outright world titles.

Slalom: Will Asher Jump: Lauren Morgan Trick: Giannina Bonnemann

74 Rankings who are the best nowadays?

26 Lookbook some badass picture from photographer of our sport.

48 Matt Rini - Word with the coach


41 Future of tricks Freddie Winter walks us through the elegant discipline of tricks. Where it's at and where it's going.

78 Contact Keep in touch.



43 OFF 9,75M

First man to ever run 41off in a tournament was none other but Jeff Rodgers. Back then, the rivalry was insane as many witness reported. Andy Mapple was dominating the sport, but truth is, the opponents left him no rest. Best exemple is there.

No doubt Jamie is fully part of the legend skier group. Freddie Winter painted his portrait in previous Waterski Journal. Go read it if you haven't done so. You will find out how much passionate Jamie is. Not only about waterski where he achieved so many great things, but sport in general.

Jeff Rodgers was the first one in history to ever score into the 43off rope length. This is something you keep forever.

Jamie ran 41off (10,25m) for the first time at Trophy Lake, South Carolina. He remembers the driver was Dana Reed, driving a Mastercraft.

August 30, 1997, Jeff scored a full buoy at 43off. This define the kind of champion he is.

Jeff Rodgers



He ran it again afterward in Lacanau (France) and two times in class C tournaments.

Jamie Beauchesne


Andy Mapple October 4th, 1998 Andy Mapple joined his favorite opponent in the 43off club! With 168 pro tour event wins, 6 world championships titles and 14 U.S. Masters titles, no doubt the all time legend has the ability to finish the almost undoable 10,25m

Jeff Rodgers - source : www.lapointskis.com

Jamie Beauschesne - source : Todd Ristocelli

First time Jon took 10,25m was 10 years ago. Record tournament at Swiss Waterski Resort, not far away from his home lake.

First time happened in spring 2005 at Lake Hancock, Fl. Breaking the world record on that day. Boat : Malibu. Ski : OBrien Sixam 69.

He remembers he was pulled by a Nautique 200, driven by Jeff Kepcha.

Fun fact, Chris said he switched skis between Saturday and Sunday, "I actually went home that night on Saturday went from a OBrien Sixam 67 to a 69 and ran it open water no buoys and broke the record the next day !!"

Riding a HO A3 ski. Still one of the best ski ever made and this achievement is proving so. He has ridden this pass 8 times since.

He ran it 25 times in record tournament since.

Will Asher - Ph. Gregoire Desfond

Chris Parrish

2008 ?


Jon Travers

Will Asher Will Asher is one of the most intense skier out there. He probably part of the top 3 skiers having pro wins.


No doubt he would take part of that small 43' club. According to him "I don’t remember the first time, but I am constantly amazed at how challenging 10.25 is.". But I tell you what, he has a few under his belt, and a few more ahead for sure.

Chris Parrish - source : Instagram

Jon Travers - Ph. Gregoire Desfond

Swiss Waterski Resort Pleasure and Performance SKI LAKES - GOLF COURSE LAKEFRONT VILLAS - EXPERT COACHING

Clermont, Florida +1 407 968 3481

ski@swisswaterskiresort.com www.swisswaterskiresort.com

When you think about 9,75m, you think about Nate Smith for two reasons. First, he is able to take it on every lake, at every tournament. Secondly, he proved it. Since he took it for the first time, he never looked back and kept going back to back on this short line. Nate Smith has ridden 41off more times than every other skiers combined. Despite he has now ran it approximately 135 times in tournament, Nate remembers his first time. "My first time was in the fall 2010 and it was at Little Mountain. It was a MasterCraft boat Jeff Gilbert was driving I was riding a D3 X7 at the time"

Nate Smith

Corey is known for being a great competitor. Strong and powerful behind the boat, this guy does not let go the handle easily. You can count on him for pushing to his limits. Here is Corey's journey in this deep short rope. "As for tournaments, I first ran 41 in 2015 during an unscored runoff round. Joel Howley and I both ran 4@41 in the final round of a record tournament at Little Mountain. We did a runoff for fun. I ran cold 39, then 41 and 1@43. Joel was so amped up, he got 1/2 at 39. Of course, that score did not count. A couple months later - November 4, 2015 I ran 41 for the first official time. It was at Lapoint's Record. It was my last round of the last tournament of the year. My Grandfather had passed away just two months before and I was doing my best skiing ever. I was riding the Mapple T2 and the boat was the Centurion Carbon Freddie Winter - Ph. Gregoire Desfond Pro.


I've only run 41 once more in a tournament since then. It was in 2016 at Little Mountain's Spring Record. I was on a ski that Kris LaPoint made by hand. It was simmilar to the Mapple T2, but with LaPoint's touch. That score was behind a Nautique 200. "

Corey Vaughn


Freddie Winter 3rd Brit to do so. And he made it quiet few times already!


Might be the 2nd person on earth to be so efficient at 41off (10,25m). First time happened at Bennett's in November 2014. Ski : Goode Nano One XT. Boat: MasterCraft Prostar Driver: Chad Scott Freddie is one of the most intense guy out there, going all out for the win on every event. No doubt figures will keep rising. Even though winning pro event is the number 1 target.

Nate Smith - source : Jay Humphreys

Corey Vaughn - Ph. Eudes Metivier

Robbie is the youngest skier to ever score at 43off (9,75m) in history. 2018, Botaski Pro Am, Spain. Robbie scored 1@9,75m (43off) on the first round. He was tied by Sacha Descuns who ran it right after him. Jon Travers and Will Asher also ran 10,25m (41off) in secound round of the tournament. Robbie was skiing his famous Reflex Zen, behind a Nautique. Know for his extreme pull behind the boat, the neo pro knows out to ride a ski to get short on the line. You guys should keep an eye on this one for the upcoming season.

Sacha Descuns

2018 Thomas Degasperi

Robert Pigozzi

2006 2016 Sacha is used to be skiing at the highest level since he was a kid. Due to injuries, he had to be out of the water for two years. Thankfully, he returned stronger than ever. First time he took 41off (10,25m) was in a record tournament in Frespech (France). Ridding his Connelly GT behind a MasterCraft. He ran this pass 13 times in total.

Some say it does not count because it was in a runoff. Also, it might count because it was to win a pro event. Leave you guys with your own judgement there. Tgas ran 41off (10,25m) to win the Ski West Pro in France in 2006. He was in a runoff against Jason Parades (USA). Tgas did prove he was a true champion by winning 20 pro events and standing on more than 60 pro podiums. Not mentioning the 2 world titles.

SKIS CATCH UP We gave you a look at the new skis for 2021 in previous Waterski Journal. Some brands were not ready yet to display their new toy. Fresh out of the mold, here they are!






Italy is probably one of the greatest nation of skiers of all time. It can be on water, it can be on snow, italiens always find their way to be good and elegant. Lakes are all around the country, and if tourists are dying for chilling around Lago di Coma, skiers all want to chase buoys at San Gervasio! My first time their was special, I went out for the Pro-Am, so the tournament athmosphere overwelmed me straight forward. But, even if it's not a tournament week, Jolly Ski School is a place made for water skier. Perfect handmade lake, perfect installations, brand new boat and first class coaching! Weather is mostly warming over there. Unless you're crazy enough to get a ride with Matteo Luzzeri during the (cold) winter and must put a dry-suit on, you bettre bring your bikinis! Moreover, the whole experience at San Gervasio is something to experience. Riding your car in Milano provincia, go down some trattoria to get some prociuto, eat pizzas, enjoy a beer at the lake in the evening and a great dinner somewhere in Bresciano. Meanwhile, skiing hard behind those Malibu beast!

Early days of Jolly Ski School / Source: jollyski.com

Contact: www.jollyski.com sgervasio@jollyski.com

Schedule for 2021: San Gervasio Pro-Am : July 2-4

Via Delle Corti 77, 25020 San Gervasio Bresciano BS, Italie



San Gervasio has something special. First of all, it's the "first" event of that new wave of European pro tournaments happening between June and August. Matteo Luzzeri, pro skier and organiser of this tournament with all the Jolly Ski School crew has bring back the spirit of professional waterskiing in Europe. And we should all be grateful for that. We have now (exit Covid) between 6 and 9 pro events that are alive in Europe. If the European Waterski Tour finally arise, this has to be consider as the start.

So young and yet, so many traditions San Gervasio is not that old but has it all: spirit, top level athletes, fun, performance and traditions. First of all, the welcoming dinner with Bibs Ceremony. Italians are not only famous for their food nor their hospitality, well Matteo had the idea to bring everything together with this diner. Sharing italians specialties over a warm tables with families and friend the night before the tournament. Surrounded by the very best pros of the sport, coming to have diner with you and receive their bibs for the tournaments.

The Flag ceremony. At San Gervasio, every pro skier that enter the final deserve to rise their flag with pride in front of the crowd. The Head-to-Head finals. Pro tournaments over the years have been more and more scoring performance based. Matteo decided to bring back some old good face to face fight. If you want toRobbert advancePigozzi to the next stage, you'll have to beat me!



The webcast. It's now more and more commun thing to see Vincent Stadlbaur and the whole Waterski Broadcasting Company crew run around the lake with cables and cameras so that skiers can watch a pro tournament everywhere they are sitting in the world. Well, San Gervasio Pro-Am was the first event to give them a shot. Guess what, they nailed it! Epic stories and fight for the win. This is indeed something that no-one can control but it appears that if every conditions are set to be perfect for skiers, great stories happens! We all remember Manon Costard crushing 10,75m (39off) on a ski that wasn't hers (travel company lost her ski bag coming to Italy). 2019 edition display some astonishing battle for the win for both men and girls. Will Asher going out after Freddie Winter to get that extra piece of buoy and take the win. Amber Franc and Samantha Dumala both scoring 2@10,75m (39off) in Finals. Giving the title to Sam who came out first with that score.

Sam Dumala and Alice Bagnoli, Ph. by Andrea Gilardi

Stories will keep coming. It is just a matter of when. I can assure you one thing, the whole team of Jolly Ski is ready to set the next edition on fire no matter what !

Gregoire Desfond Allie Nicholson, Ph. by Andrea Gilardi

Robert Pigozzi, after his massive crash in 2019

Superstar, Thomas Degasperi

The man behind everything Matteo Luzzeri

Pro skier, HO athlete, PhD in Sport Psychology, Coach at Jolly Ski, Founder and Host of the Waterski Podcast AND Organiser of the San Gervasio Pro-Am

Tony Lightfoot and Alessandro Fiammenghi

Claudio Benatti - Aron Albert - Fedele Luzzeri

Freddie Winter, vice champion


Ph. Eudes Metivier

Records are made to be broken. As the season is about to start, we know the show will be as intense as what we are expecting. Though, it's hard to tell if a world record will be broken this year. Scores are already so high... Skiers are becoming so good, year after year, the level keeps growing. That is why it is interesting to have those numbers in mind when the boat will roar for the first time in competition soon.

Regina Jaquess score: 4,5@10,25m (41off) lake: Duncanville, Alabama date: 2019-07-06

Nate Smith


score: 2,5@9,75m (43off) lake: Ski Ranch Covington, La date: 2013-09-07

SLALOM Will Asher score: 3@10,25m (41off) lake: Santiago, Chile date: 2003-11-30


Jaimee Bull score: 1@10,25m (41off) lake: Hilltop Lake, Maryville, WA date: 2020-08-16

Erika Lang score: 11 260 pts lake: Jack Travers Sunset Lake, Groveland, Fl date: 2019-10-05

OPEN Aliaksei Zarnasek score: 12 570 pts lake: Isles of Hancock, Fl date: 2011-04-29



score: 10 530 pts lake: Shalom Park Water Ski Site, Edmonton date: 2019-07-07

Pato Font score: 12 220 pts lake: Lake Grew, Polk City, Fl date: 2020-11-18

Ryan Dodd


score: 77,4m lake: Stillwater Lakes Palm Bay, Fl date: 2017-07-01


Jimmy Siemers score: 69m lake: Santiago, Chile date: 2003-11-30

Jacinta Carroll score: 54,6m lake: Meuzac, France date: 2011-09-04

Jacinta Carroll score: 60,3 m lake: Lake Grew, Polk City, FL date: 2016-09-27


Adam Sedlmajer score: 2819.76 pts lake: Isles of Lake Hancock, Winter Garden, FL date: 2018-07-16

Natalia Berdnikova score: 3 177.26 pts lake: Sunset Lakes, Groveland, FL date: 2012-05-19



score: 2 758.61 pts lake: Shalom Park Water Ski Site, Edmonton date: 2019-07-07

Joel Poland score: 2 796.92 pts lake: Shalom Park Water Ski Site, Edmonton date: 2019-07-07

Samantha Dumala, 2019 San Gervasio Pro Am / Ph. Andrea Gilardi

Carlo Allais, 2019 Dommartin / Ph. Gregoire Desfond

Manon Costard / Ph. Tiare Miranda

Will Asher / Ph. Vincent Stadlbaur

Thibaut Dailland / Ph. Miks Cinis

Pato Font / Ph. Jay Humphreys

Corey Vaughn / Ph. Eudes Metivier

Benjamin Stadlbaur / Ph. Jay Humphreys

Jack Critchley / Ph. Gregoire Desfond

Giannina Bonnemann / Ph. Jay Humphreys Tricks are for kids. Or at least that’s what one might think when examining the last decade of competitive trick skiing. Previously it was not unheard of for precocious teens to take on and beat their more seasoned rivals: in 2001 fairly well known slalom skier Regina Jaquess won a World Trick Championship shortly after turning 17. However, recently teenagers conquering the world on their trick skis is not just more prevalent but more or less the norm. The recent dominance by a trio of 21st century boys and girls, Anna Gay (currently 21 years old, World Champ at 15), Neilly Ross (19, World Champ at 16) and Pato Font (19, World Champ at 17), is quite something, even before realising they are the first wave of a whole host of younger kids coming up. When World Record holder Erika Lang is a more senior member of the women’s field at 25 after 10 years at the top, clearly the kids are alright.

The youthful glow surrounding trick skiing would, in most sports, indicate a bright future in which young stars motivate each other to improve, in turn pushing the sport on to greater heights. However, those checking the calendar for their chance to see this cluster of raw talent on the competitive battlefield would be disappointed: trick skiing has an incredibly low number of serious tournaments. The only events that host top-level international trick skiing are Moomba Masters, US Masters and the bi-annual World Championship which, crucially and depressingly, offers no prize money. All other pro events have either dropped the discipline or never included it in the first place. With such a scarcity of competitive opportunity available, is there a risk that this golden generation will take its foot off the gas (or worse, move on altogether) before spurring the sport to new heights in the way they might have? If so, what needs to change to bring the sport back to health?

Neilly Ross / Ph. Vincent Stadlbaur

When posed this question, Neilly Ross is unequivocal: “if there were 12 events a year that I could train for and compete in, there’s no question, that would be what I’d fully chase.” She laments, however, that this is not the case. “There’s nothing fuelling the event. It’s really tough to put all of your time and effort into it when there’s only a couple of tournaments. I find it hard to say that trick skiing is not in a good place but right now it just is not.”

The layout of the sparse event calendar itself does not exactly promote year-round dedication. Every other year, when there is no World Championship, Moomba is in mid-March and Masters is at the end of May. This essentially presents trick skiers with a two and a half month season that ends even before summer has properly kicked off. Besides qualifying for Masters - which, due to the inadequate number of pro events, uses the score-based amateur world ranking list for qualification in tricks - all that’s left for trickers to do is to chase elusive World Records by competing in amateur record events. I can only speculate but I imagine that when June starts and with proper events over for the year, motivation might well not be at an all time high.

Beyond this, as wonderful as it is when athletes dedicate their life to their sport purely for the love of it, the less spiritually nourishing but ultimately pertinent financial side must be examined. With only two competitive opportunities to make money on any given year (with one an expensive half-globe flight away for most) and the limited sponsorships currently afforded to athletes in the discipline, making trick skiing pay to where it can be a main goal in life is difficult to say the least. No water skier is retiring to a yacht in the Bahamas at 40 from their career accumulations but even the very top trickers have it harder than most. Perhaps it is not unsurprising then that such a great number of those really pushing the sport are not those using it to support themselves but those still in education prior to an expectation to fully self-fund. This situation - few events and limited earning opportunities - is harsh for a discipline that is arguably the most technically diverse, given the great diversity of movements involved, and therefore the hardest to truly master.

Aliaksei Zharnasek

“This is the worst it’s ever been” says Aliaksei Zharnasek, a man who has done it all on a trick ski over the last 20 or so years. The World Record holder, now a veteran of the sport, talks of the brief but blissful time of optimism in the late ‘00s when there were far more events, including the IWWF’s World Cup effort (since seemingly put out to pasture). Trick skiers saw good times ahead but sadly this was short lived as event numbers dwindled to the current state. Having seen more lucrative days, the now 41 year old 3-time World Champion has had to adjust his motivations. “The last few years I’ve been doing it for myself, for my own goals and ego. What else is there to do it for?”

So, what reasons are there for competitive trick skiing to be so out of sorts? On paper at least, it is easy to imagine trick skiing being the discipline with the most events. There is no course or ramp to set up and more or less any body of water can be used. The only necessities for a competition to occur are skiers, a boat on some water, a camera and a panel of 5 judges to score the tricks.

Alexandre Poteau

Louis Duplan-Fribourg Trick skiing is also relatable both to those who have skied and those who have not. Anyone with any experience of gymnastics, skateboarding or any number of other tricks-for-points sports can understand the rotations and inverts on show. Joel Poland, a young (but not trick-ski-young) Brit increasingly captures the wider public’s imagination on Instagram with his untraditional but nevertheless impressive screwing around on a trick ski - @joelpoland, in case you were wondering. Even the finer details of the sport - the dual 20 second runs, each trick having a set point value and methodology - are easily digestible. Taking this all into account, it is confusing as to why a spectacular, relatable and easily displayed sport is suffering so much at the top level.

At this point a refresher on how trick skiing works seems appropriate. As a slalom skier who was gently encouraged to quit trick training aged 15 by exasperated coaches, I am not qualified to go beyond the basics of the trick ski scoring system. However, put simply, each trick has a point value assigned to it by the International Waterski and Wake Federation (IWWF). These points add up as the skier performs a series of tricks over two 20 second runs. Point values start at 40 points for a 90-degree ‘sideslide’ and end at 1000 points for the ‘double flip’, with everything else sandwiched in between.

Joel Poland / Ph. Joze Gonzalez

A side note on that double flip: it has never been performed either in or out of competition. Confusingly, no one I talked to could explain why it is in the rule book, let alone why it is the de facto the upper limit for points, squashing down the values of big tricks that have actually been achieved. Trick skiing has been around for the best part of a century, with more-or-less the same equipment used. Despite this, new tricks, each more impressive than the last, are still being submitted for inclusion in the rule book and assigned a competition point value. Joel Poland is the architect of the most recent inclusion: his ‘Supermobe 5’ - a backflip with a 540 degree spin and a flick of the rope under the ski - awarded a point value of 950. Poland himself can’t figure out where that 950 number came from. To him it is worth more given it’s extreme difficulty. At that point value, is anyone really going to take the risk and attempt it in a serious event where a fall is fatal to chances of competitive success? “The current system pushes skiers to focus on doing the medium stuff very fast to cram points in, over encouraging them to take risks on bigger, more exciting tricks. There’s no room for creativity”.

This lack of creativity is obvious when, at the biggest events, all the top skiers perform essentially the same sequence of tricks, with the winner being the one who performs it better on the day. Zharnasek again: “it’s like the point values are fed into a computer and an algorithm spits out the most efficient, safe run for the most points”. Oddly, the most aggressive (and perhaps therefore interesting) trick skiing is found at amateur level record events where risks are taken to get the big scores necessary for World Records or Masters qualification. Clearly a sport that promotes repetitivity and an emphasis on risk management over risk taking at its biggest events is on the back foot when trying to capture the attention, much less imagination, of the wider public. I put these issues to Candido Moz, Chairman of IWWF Tournament Council, the rulemakers of the sport. I was surprised that he was more or less in full agreement with the skiers I talked to. “Anyone who loves tricks, as I do, must realise that trick points need to change” he states, “currently point value is not reflected by the difficulty of the trick and that is a big problem. That is part of the reason trick skiing participation and competition numbers are going down, down, down”. Refreshingly, speaking from a personal perspective he went as far as saying “I don’t understand why the double flip is there. I believe that the double flip should be taken out of the rule book”.

Candido told me that trick reform is not a novel issue and serious discussion has gone before: “a few years ago I was excited to see trick skiers coming together to discuss a change. The problem is that the skiers could never agree on the point values so IWWF never received a proposal”. This is unsurprising: skiers that can perform a certain trick have a vested interest in pushing for its value to increase or at least be maintained while those who cannot do it are more likely to want to push the value down (case in point, last year’s occasionally feisty social media back and forth amongst some top trickers over the value of the front flip 180). The resulting stalemate ensures the status quo is maintained.

Funnily enough, none of the high level skiers or officials I talked to brought up my personal (and therefore perhaps ill-informed) biggest problem with competitive trick skiing: the 30 minute ‘trick sheet’ review period after the last skier has finished, during which scores often change based on skier protests, before being finalised. I remember, at the 2017 World Championships, watching as Josh Briant was lined up as the new World Champion for 15 or so minutes before the title eventually landed in the hands of Adam Pickos after points were moved around gut wrenching stuff for an athlete. Perhaps more importantly, this takes all the suspense away for the audience that the sport desperately needs to attract.

Would anyone care as much about the World Cup final if the result was finalised 30 minutes after the players had left the field, going back and forth depending on who can make the best argument for victory? Perhaps the fine detail combing is fairer for the athletes involved but I fear that, as it severely limits commercial scope, the sport and its competitors are worse for it overall. So what of the future? If trick skiing is to reverse it’s worrying course and grow again, there seems to be a universal agreement that something must change. Mr Moz of IWWF talks of the opportunity to “start from zero”: a blank sheet upon which to draw the future. Beyond finding a new agreement on point values, ideas for more fundamental changes to increase commercial appeal range from the conservative to the radical.

Erika Lang

At one end is the idea for partial credit to be awarded if only part of the judging panel scores a trick or credit being awarded when an attempt at a trick fails but a lesser trick is achieved. At the more extreme end of potential overhauls is the suggestion that trick skiing should do away with rigid point values and fall in line with snowboarding, diving, figure skating, amongst many others, where each athlete is given a subjective score, perhaps out of 10. This latest suggestion would send steam from the ears of trick skiing traditionalists but came to me from perhaps the best the sport has seen, Aliaksei Zharnasek. It appears overly radical until you consider the success of the aforementioned sports that do just fine with such a system and then count the number of successful sports you have heard of that use as rigid a scoring system as trick skiing’s. Zharnasek points to the Instagram-based Water Ski Nation Trick Contest of April 2020 that kept many water ski fans hooked during the first Coronavirus lockdown with its 10 second run format, no point values and a main focus on creativity: “that was so great! It’s a proof of concept that we can compete like this. We just need someone to put this contest on the water in real life”.

Whatever the eventual necessary change to trick skiing ends up being, it had better come quick. A potentially great spectator sport is being held back by a fundamentally un-commercial competitive structure with a confused scoring system that, everyone agrees, is in need of an overhaul. Currently the sport is only going in one direction. Sadly the absurdly talented young athletes of the sport, born over a decade after water skiing's late ‘80s heyday, could well be the last generation of ‘pro’ trick skiers. When those on both sides of the regulatory line have the exact same position - that change is needed - but nothing is being done, it takes definitive action from one group or other to steer a course towards a new, more beautiful horizon. It is clear that the time for action is now. Over to you, pro trick skiers. Over to you, IWWF. Freddie Winter

Joel Poland / Ph. Joze Gonzalez

As the season is starting, it is now official that Waterski Pro Tour is out! As a result of the effort of several people within the waterski industry, the willing to promote professional skiing became a priority. The Waterski Pro Tour will promote and report all the professional tournaments, results, webcast, news, schedule and rankings! Every information will be available on www.waterskiprotour.com Swiss Pro Slalom is launching the season as well as the Waterski Pro Tour.


M A T T R I N I Is your ski set up right for you?

Several years ago I stopped looking at how the ski worked and started looking at how the ski was allowing the person to make the movements I was trying to coach them on. We work on movements in our skiing and we need the ski to be set up to complement whatever movements we are trying to improve on. Not everybody is in the same spot with their skiing so it’s helpful to have the ability to adjust your ski setup to make your current skiing goals easier to achieve. There are several different ways to set up your ski; one extreme would be a really loose setting where the tail is more free to slide into and out of the turn. On the other side of the scale is a tight setting where you would need to lean away from your ski more aggressively coming in to the ball to leverage more roll from the ski. Understanding your strengths and weaknesses and what your coach is working with you on will help you decide which end of the scale is best for your ski setup. Beginner and amateur skiers, in my experience, do better with a slightly looser fin setup, so there is less resistance to their movements as they perfect them. Pro skiers and skiers who are running short of rope tend to need a slightly tighter setup, as skiing at short rope requires much earlier and more aggressive lines in the course. Boot placement plays a huge role in how the ski setup responds in terms of slide. Moving the boots forward is going to make the ski slightly harder to turn but will give it more power behind the boat which equals width. Running your boots slightly further back will make the ski turn easier but not provide as much drive behind the boat. For example, beginners who are not synchronizing their movements perfectly yet may want their ski to be set up on the loose end of the scale so they can easily move through the turn with less resistance on their ski. However, a short line skier who is trying to be committed to an earlier line may need more resistance on their ski so they can lean away from it earlier coming into the turn and feel like it’s not going to overturn or slide too much.

All skis naturally have different characteristics. But, understanding what your current needs and goals are will allow you to tailor your ride to best facilitate your improvement. All ski companies have a stock fin setting that they have tested and is a great starting point. At RadaR we have two sets of fin settings; one that is short and deep, and one that is long and shallow. Both surface areas of the fin are relatively close however they provide two fairly different feels to the same ski. Make sure you chat with your coach and ask them if your ski is set up best for the body movements you are working on. Your ski setup should always complement what you are trying to achieve with your technique. Matt Rini




Skiers Particularity

Thibaut is an overall skier. One of the best in the world. Meaning that he feels everything under his feet pretty well. We often hear the coach saying to be tall on the ski. Especially after the edge change. Thibault is the best demonstration of being tall. This is reachable for him because of this amazing connection he manages to keep between his chest and his elbows through the process. Giving him all the leverage he needs to reach the buoys, as short as it can get, while maintaining his balance on the ski

Slalom skier of the month

Will Asher WJ - How old were you when you started skiing?

WJ - Best waterski memory?

WA - I was 5

WA - Winning Worlds, Masters, Moomba or any pro event is very special, but one of my best memories is Winning college Nationals in 2003 & 2005 as a team.

WJ - Where do you ski now? WA- Mostly Clermont Florida from my house

WJ - Worse memory? You can choose, funny or serious hah!

WJ - How many set per week?

WA - Missing my Gates at Moomba.

WA - 4-14 depending if I’m training or skiing.

WJ - Favorite training partner?

WJ - Do you have a favorite course?

WA - I like skiing with a wide variety of skiers, more recently the majority of my sets are with Jon Travers.

WA - Hazelwood Ski World Lincoln England WJ - Your ultimate goal?

WJ - Favorite tournament? WA - To keep enjoying skiing, and the process.

WA - HillTop Pro Am for the vibe, or Moomba for the experience.

WJ - Best set up? (lake, time of the day, boat, pilote, ski) WA - Skiing from our house with my boat, with Nicole driving, and our dogs in the passenger seat.


Ph. Jay Humphreys

Jumper of the month

Lauren Morgan WJ - How old were you when you started skiing?

WJ - Worse memory? You can choose, funny or serious hah!

LM - I started slaloming at 9 and jumping at 12. WJ - Where do you ski now? LM - When i'm in Florida, I ski at Jack Travers Ski School. When I am in St.Louis I ski at Lodi with Dave Khrone. WJ - How many set per week? LM - If I'm lucky, I will jump about 3 sets per week. When I am down in Florida, I will ski a bit more. Maybe 5 or 6 sets a week. WJ - Do you have a favorite course? LM - I have a few. My PB is in Arkansas at Cedar Creek Ski Water Ski Park. I love skiing there with the Boskus family and Mark Lane each Summer. I think my favorite place to train, though, is Sunset Lakes. It feels like home and everything is always perfect. WJ - Best waterski memory? LM - One of my best water ski memories was my last trip to Moomba in 2019. There were so many special things about that trip. My cousins came to watch me compete, and we had a blast. It's also hard not to go back to my favorite year of competing in 2012. We had a pro jump event almost every weekend, there was lots of night jumping, and again, it was a really cool group. It's always been about the people in the sport that makes skiing so memorable for me.

LM - Hmmm... that's kind of a hard one. I think one of my most pivotal memories was the Open Worlds in Chile. I trained really hard and ended up skiing terrible. It motivated me to start taking school seriously, go to grad school, and led me to my career outside of the sport. I really look at that memory as a failure turned success though. There were a few of those throughout the years.... WJ - Favorite tournament? LM - My favorite tournament of all time was always the Russia Pro Event. I always skied well, we always had a good group of jumpers, and Russians always know how to throw a good party. Moomba is a close second for me.

WJ - Favorite training partner? LM - I have a couple favorite people I like to train with. I have been fortunate to ski with many great people over the year. Chris Travers, The Goodman Family, and Mark Lane are a few that come to mind first. WJ - Your ultimate goal? LM - My ultimate goal is to jump 180 feet before I stop competing. I don't know why it's always been that number. I definitely feel like it's within reach these days. WJ - Best set up? (lake, time of the day, boat, pilote, ski) LM - The ultimate setup is a 6 pm jump set on a Summer day (headwind of course). The driver is Ron Goodmon and the boat is strong.


Tricker of the month

Giannina Bonnemann WJ - How old were you when you started skiing?

WJ - Favorite tournament?

GB - I started skiing when I was about 5 years old together with my sister Chiara at a big lake in the Netherlands about 1 ½ hours away from my home town. As a family, we spend all our weekends out there at the lake.

GB- Moomba Masters – Best crowd and atmosphere. It is an incredible feeling to stand on the starting dock looking down the river towards the city and seeing thousands of people on the shoreline.

WJ - Where do you ski now? GB - When I am in the US, I love to ski with Cory at Pickos Ski School. In Europe, I switch around between Germany, Italy and Austria. WJ - How many set per week? GB - Since I am an overall skier, I always try to maximize my time on the water. Usually, it’s about 1520 sets per week, but it depends on the week and how my body is feeling.

WJ - Worse memory? You can choose, funny or serious hah! GB - Crashing in Jump in the Prelims of the World Championships in Malaysia in 2019. At that moment, I knew that my goal of making a podium in Overall was lost. WJ - Favorite training partner? GB - Dane Mechler because I simply love having him around me. He always has some good advice for my training and makes me smile after I am having a bad set. WJ - Your ultimate goal?

WJ - Do you have a favorite course?

GB - To win the Overall World Championship.

GB - Pickos Ski School Lake 1 for Tricks and Jump, and Lake 2 for Slalom

WJ - Best set up? (lake, time of the day, boat, pilote, ski)

WJ - Best waterski memory? GB - Winning the U21 World Championships together with Dane Mechler in 2015 and my sister Chiara getting third place in Slalom. We had an incredible support team from my family and Alexis Pickos. Looking back this made this tournament very special to me.

GB - 7 am Trick set at Pickos Ski School Lake 1 on my D3 Aira with Cory Pickos pinning, after having too much coffee and Javier Julio next to him, putting pressure on me.


Ph. Jay Humphreys


source: www.worldwaterskier.com


source: www.worldwaterskier.com


source: www.worldwaterskier.com


source: www.worldwaterskier.com

CONTACT subscription available on www.waterskination.com greg@waterskination.com IG: @waterski_nation

Thanks to everybody that took part one way or another to make this Waterski Journal #4 edition. To name a few Brooks Wilson and Radar Aide crew Edge Todd Schafer Schacres lake Matt Rini Alexandre Raton & Inter Urbis Vincent Stadlbaur and the whole Stadlbaur family TWBC Marcus Brown Ambre Franc Freddie Winter Krista Schipner and Black Oak Creative Eric Franc Matteo Luzzeri les coureurs Valentin Lucas Tiare Miranda Olivia Merieux Pato Font Aline & Sergio Font ToYou Chriss Rossi Will Asher Thomas Degasperi Jon Travers Natalia Berdnikava Joel Poland Robert Hazelwood Ryan Dodd Giannina Bonnemann Lauren "poochie" Morgan Eude Metivier Jay Humphreys Jose Gonzalez Keusseoglou family Paige Rini Igor Morozov Whitney McClintock Rini Robert Pigozzi & Pigoski Marion Mathieu Ellis Scot Ellis Jenny LaBaw Flowpoint Method D3 Todd Ristorcelli Denali MC Skis & Boris Laval FFSNW IWWF John Horton & BallofSpray Watergear.shop Swiss Waterski Resort Jack Travers sunset lakes and the whole Travers family Monaco ski nautique my beloved parents and brothers

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