Waterski Journal N°9

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Nate Smith is undefeated this season. He is known for pushing the rope to its shortest limit. Will he keep pushing that limit until he breaks his own world record? swimwear collection

While not everyone can run 41off, you can still look good around the lake.





N 9.


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Florian Parth making is way to his first pro event finals in San Gervasio We are right in the middle of the season and it’s a good one so far! Some brands released new skis, pro tournaments are delivering on their promises, and ski schools are open all over the world. Although there are no new designs from boat manufacturers, their latest productions are so great they would be hard to beat. The only downside to owning a boat is the price of gas going through the roof! But let’s not talk about that. There’s fresh blood on the water. The kids are knocking on the elites’ door without flinching, and I am not only talking about tricking. Florian Parth just made a name for himself at San Gervasio Pro-Am, smashing a 2@10,25m (41off) and winning a spot in the head-to-head final against … Nate Smith! We will focus on the next generation in this issue. Experienced stars are still doing what we expect from them: cutting the line short. Nate Smith is on a roll with 6 wins out of 6 tournaments … Mind blowing! Will Asher and Thomas Degasperi are keeping their momentum from last year, and the twenty years before that. They’ve showcased some incredible battles, like the head-to-head final in Spain at Botaski Pro Am, where the Italian earned himself a spot in the 2023 U.S. Masters. Regina Jaquess is dominating the pack, winning every event she has entered so far. Not to mention she earned her 8th victory in a row at the Swiss Pro Slalom, talk about domination… Don’t worry guys, the heart of the season is hot, and we still have plenty of waterskiing to enjoy before the end of 2022. Gregoire Desfond

Cover : Nate Smith, winner at San Gervasio pro am

Waterski Journal N°9

8 Unstoppable

48 Holy grail ?

Nate Smith is on the run for winning every single event he is entering this year. So far, so good!

The US Masters is an event that every skier is dreaming to attend. How hard is it nowadays ?

12 The Alien Joel Poland keeps pushing the limit of waterskiing in every discipline. He is now a trick pro event winner.

14 Junior Challenge San Gervasio pro-am has set a new standard for juniors. An invitational event gathering the very best of the slalom field, aged 17 or under.

18 From hardshell to rubber Bindings are one of the most important component of the skier's equipment. You might change ski, it's unlikely to change bindings.

20 Lookbook Some badass picture of our favorite sport

36 Lifestyle How do you dress to go ski ? Here are some ideas for a new boardshort.

38 Embrace the future Who is the next world champion ? Who will be on the cover of the magazines ? A lot of young guns are ready to rise and shine!

50 In my bag with Louis Duplan-Fribourg opens his ski bag for your eyes only.

52 Word with the coach Matt Rini is once again in the boat to help us out with our waterskiing!

55 Vlog, vlog, vlog The new trend to follow the action on Tour!

55 Portraits of the month Slalom: Jaime Palomino Jump: Taylor Garcia Trick: Mati Gonzalez

62 Waterski Pro Tour standings Who is the best waterskier ?

66 Contact Keep in touch.

66 Thank you You guys are awesome!



Nate Smith. Cover of this magazine and a name that we are used to seeing on top of the leaderboard. Since he ran his first 10,25m (41off), he took the lead in the sport and never looked back. I won’t review his whole career here. It would take too many pages. Watch “A Story of a Champion” by The Waterski Broadcasting Company. The video will give you a good look at this athlete. This article is simply to point out that Nate Smith is undefeated this season. What’s more, he won the last tournament of the season last year in Miami. As always, this season started on the Yarra River in the heart of Melbourne: The Moomba Masters. With a huge crowd watching, Nate not only managed to win the event, but also set a course record on one of the most challenging courses in the world. He had one under his belt to open the 2022 season! Next up, the Swiss Pro Slalom, which is known for having one of the most competitive fields of the year. For the past eight years, the event has taken place in Clermont, Florida, during the first weekend of May. Clermont is where most of the best skiers in the world live, so the Swiss Pro Slalom is a real test for every skier to see where they stack up entering the waterski pro season. Once again, Nate won the event, but not without seriously battling to get around 5 ball at 10,25m (41off), to beat Will Asher, who posted 4.5 buoys at 10,25m.

2022 TITLES Moomba Masters Swiss Pro Slalom Lake 38 US Masters Fungliss Pro San Gervasio Pro-Am French Malibu Open (since this article was written)

World Games US Nationals America's Cup Invitational

At Lake 38, Nate posted the lowest score of his season, where he won the event with 4@10,25m (41off). But that does not mean the competition was not fierce! Freddie Winter gave it his all to catch him, but crashed while trying to do so. Cole McCormick almost got a tie at 4 and managed to get his first silver medal at a prestigious pro event. The winning continued at the US Masters. One of Nate’s biggest goals is to reach Andy Mapple’s 14 victories at Callaway Gardens. Well, one less to go! Jumping on a last-minute flight to Dommartin, France to attend the Fungliss Pro Am, the American superstar tied the course record of 1@9,75m (43 off) and earned one of the highest cash prizes of the year. Before returning to the US, he stopped in beautiful Italy where the most iconic tournament in Europe took place for the 8th time in San Gervasio at Jolly Ski School. Once again, no one could catch him, not even Sacha Descuns in a head-to-head finals. Sacha got 4@10,25m (41 off), but Nate had already posted 9,75m (43 off). Returning to France, near the Atlantic Ocean in fantastic Lacanau for the French Malibu Open, Nate ran 10,25m (41 off) in all three rounds to take first place, leaving all of his opponents at 4 buoy: Dane Mechler, Brando Caruso and Jon Travers. We are now seven wins out of seven tournaments for the world record holder. What’s next?

Ph. by Eudes Metivier

Joel Poland the alien No surprise, the new overall world champion is continuing his conquests. With a podium finish in jump in October at Jack Travers Sunset Lakes, we already knew the Brit could fly. But could you have guessed that he would become a Jumping Masters champion this year? Well, obviously he has the skills. But it is one thing to kick the ramp on your home lake during a practice set, it is another story when Ryan Dodd and Freddy Krueger, not to mention Taylor Garcia, are sitting alongside you on the starting dock. Yet Joel Poland jumped 66,5m (218ft), 30cm (1foot), enough to beat Ryan and become a Masters champion. The season is not over, another continent, another discipline. The Botaski Pro-Am showcased a trick event. Not only did Joel score twice above 12,000 points, but also managed to do it in the finals, receiving his first pro title in trick in front of the Number 1 in the world: Pato Font. Slalomers, be ready, Joel is coming for you…

Junior challenge is the new cool! San Gervasio Pro-Am is obviously famous for being the oldest pro event in Europe. The event was launched nine years ago by Matteo Luzzeri’s motivation and the passion of the whole staff from Jolly Ski School: Matteo’s father Fedele, Claudio Bennati, former world champion Guenadi Guralia, Matteo’s sister Michaela, and all members of the lake’s crew. This tournament is now famous on the junior level for “the competition inside the competition.”

The Junior Challenge, supported by Radar Skis, is a unique invitational tournament. During the Pro-Am, the four best juniors (men and women U17) in the world are invited to compete against each other for a special title. The first round determines the seeding for the first heat of a head-to-head. The semi-finals and finals are like the pros: Head to Head! The level of skiing is not the only thing that’s high; the tension on the shoreline is ON! There is a really special enthusiasm around this event, and it is a true pleasure to watch.

Robert Hazelwood Set up: Syndicate / Edge (HO) / front Kicker (HO) / rear

From Hardshell To Rubber Dane Mechler Set up: T factor (D3) / front Kicker / rear

It is no secret that there are two types of skiers: those choosing a hardshell like Reflex, Goode, or Edge and those staying with a rubber boot. When you start waterskiing, you get your feet into those rubber boots. Most skiers switch to a hardshell once they have reached a certain level, and they are looking for something that will give them more edge on the ski and some security of release when they crash. The funny thing is that the best skier in the world, Nate Smith, has always used a rubber boot (currently the D3 T-factor) and it is not wrong to say that it is working pretty well. His success is having a wider impact. Young skiers look up at the World Champion and figure, why not use the same set-up as Nate if it is working. Equally interesting and rare, some skiers like Dane Mechler (currently ranked #6 in the world) have gone back to a rubber boot from a hardshell. Looking ahead, it will be interesting to see what kind of set-up skiers will be using.

Will Asher leader of the Waterski Pro Tour Hardshell front binding Kicker rear binding

Will Asher / Ph. Gregoire Desfond

Whitney McClintock-Rini / Ph. Gregoire Desfond

Robert Hazelwood / Ph. Gregoire Desfond

Allie Nicholson / Ph. Jay Humphreys

Dorien Llewellyn / Ph. Gregoire Desfond

Ambre Franc / Ph. Gregoire Desfond

Dane Mechler / Ph. Eudes Metivier

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There are some names that we have known for a while, but that does not mean that they are not here to stay for a while, Jaimee Bull for instance. We have talked about her skills in slalom for years. She was already on the podium at Worlds in Paris (France) in 2017, yet she is still only 22 years old. Some other names have popped out more recently like Jake Abelson. Although he is only 15 years old, he already stood on the Worlds podium last year and just scored 11,110 points in a pro event (Botaski Pro-Am, Spain). Lastly, there are some names that are known to us, but with a changed face, or rather adding a new one to the family. For example, Charlie Ross, who is now going for a Junior World Record every time he shows up at a tournament. Let’s take a look at these rising stars!

Edoardo Marenzi ITA

florian parth ITA

pol duplan-fribourg fra

Winter Garden Water Ski Home of Drew Ross Ski Academy

Insta: @wintergardenwaterski drewrosski@gmail.com (407) 383-6497

ali garcia usa brooke baldwin usa

vale gonzalez chi

jaime palomino mex

Kamil Belmrah mar

damir filaretov ukr

louis duplan-fribourg fra

Conley pinette can

mati gonzalez chi

allie nicholson usa

luisa jaramillo col

jake abelson usa

charlie ross can calum heath gbr

tom poole gbr

US Masters holy grail ? This is the tournament that every skier dreams about attending, and for the most tenacious, to win. The event takes place once a year in Callaway Gardens, Georgia. Over decades, the US Masters has become the most anticipated tournament of the year. It’s a highlight for every skier to show their abilities in front of the pavilion. Historically, the top six athletes in every category (slalom, trick, jump) got an invitation to the event. One spot was reserved for the winner of the LCQ (Last Chance Qualifier), held at Jack Travers Sunset Lakes. To qualify for the US Masters, you had to win the LCQ and get at least the reserved “qualifying” score (3@10,25m 41off, for example). For the last two years, however, the system changed. The current World Champion (fair enough) and the Moomba Masters winner received invitations. Additionally, there are now three events in Florida where you have to place first or second to win an invitation. The system is controversial. Most of the skiers not in favor argue that it increases the chances of American skiers to qualify and leaves out the rest of the world, which is not wrong. Another argument is that if the Masters are gathering the best skiers in the world, then judging a skier on three events, instead of its overall season, is pretty rough. Those in favor push the argument that it gives “hot” skiers of the moment an opportunity to shine at this prestigious event. There are no right answers. In the end, the Masters are delivering a hell of a show and most likely, the same skiers are on the water either way. Meanwhile, it will be interesting to see in the following years how the “qualifying” system evolves.

Louis is one of the most competitive overall skier in the world. Unfortunately, he was injured during the Worlds in 2021. He is now fully recovered and back on the water for the best! The World Waterski Overall Tour had a 1st stop in Lacanau, France this July. Louis won the competition in front of two fellow skiers, Joel Poland and Dorien Llewellyn.



SLALOM Handle 12 inch 1.060 Masterline blackrope Camaro vest Camaro short D3 gloves in L D3 ion 2 2022 66’ Edge and a wileys for my back foot Ajax shampoo

TRICKS Quantum 43’ D3 honeycomb rubber edge 42’ Reflex plate and ski boot Masterline hand trick handle (14 inch) Masterline toe handle size M without the big rope Masterline classic rope and a little bit of spectra Camaro short and top Masterline spray leg and a shin guard

JUMP Goodman ski 92 An eagle boxer A nike nba shooter sleeve (right) Camaro jump wetsuit in M Camaro speedsuit in L Stokes sling in M Stealth gloves in L Icaro helmet Masterline rope

matt One Key rini with the Biggest Impact

Hips up, shoulders back: this is an age-old tip from the great slalom skiers of the past that still has significant impact on high-level slalom. So many skiers who come to the school are still chasing this elusive position behind the boat. It’s old and it’s simple, yet so many skiers fail to see the ultimate goal; so hips up, shoulders back becomes vague and hard to perfect. Here’s a more modern way to achieve both; and an explanation of why it’s so important.

The goal of finding this stacked position is twofold. One is to become powerful and have leverage through the wakes as the intensity increases from shortening the rope. The second is to become torsionally bulletproof to the boat after the edge change. The way to have both of these things maximized is to understand the function of the ribcage. Let’s take a quick look at a deadlift: imagine deadlifting 80% of max and closing out the deadlift at the top for 10 seconds. How is the body stacked? The bottom of the rib cage and elbows connect as the hips squeeze forward, and the shoulders are slightly behind the hips to counterbalance the weight. The spine is perpendicular to the floor so that much of the force can be supported through the skeleton and not by the small surrounding muscles. The weight is pulling on the shoulder socket, much like the boat is pulling on the shoulder socket through the wakes. How does that translate to the water? The bottom of the ski is the floor and the skier is trying to keep the skeleton perpendicular to the bottom of the ski by rolling the rib cage upward until it touches the elbows. The skier counterbalances the pull of the boat by having the shoulders slightly behind the hips. This body alignment accomplishes both of the original goals: becoming powerful behind the boat and lowering the leverage point to the boat from the shoulder to the rib cage, allowing the back shoulder to become torsion-free of the boat after the edge change. This freedom from the boat allows the skier to continue the outward swing with the back shoulder, which keeps the skier wide and the line tight.

Troubleshooting balance: Rolling the rib cage up to touch the elbows will absolutely move your weight back on the ski. If you feel like you are on your back foot too much, turn the rib cage into the back arm more and that will bring your balance back to having 50-50 pressure in your feet through the wakes. It’s important to remember that the water is an unstable surface. So, in order to stay in balance you must respect the three planes of balance on a slalom ski. A skier who is more compressed (hips back) must have the shoulders more open to the boat to remain in balance. As the ribcage rolls upward, the skier must have the shoulders more closed to the boat to remain in balance. Both ways of skiing can be effective, but a more compressed position will increase torsional vulnerability after the edge change. (Remember one of the goals is to be torsionally bulletproof).

Dry land: Do a few deadlifts or pick up a weight on the dock and stand there in the most comfortable/stacked position. This will give you a good feeling to try to emulate on the water.

VLOG VLOG VLOG Follow them on YoutTube The more people who take initiative around the waterski world the better. We all have smartphones or tablets on which we spend hours scrolling through random videos on Instagram, Tiktok, or YouTube. If you want to watch some quality waterski content, you can now follow those skiers who provide us with an inside look at the life of a pro athlete. Whether it’s a practice day, a day off, or during a pro event, it is nice to see more of what it is like to be an elite water skier.

Dorien Llewellyn Dive into Dorien professional Red Bull athlete life

Robert Pigozzi Follow Robert on the pro tour and get to know what it is like to be a professional water skier.

Charlie Emmet Charlie brings us into in his journey of being a waterskier from England, living in Florida.

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Slalom skier of the month

Jaime Palomino WJ - How old were you when you started skiing?

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

JP - I started skiing when I was 3 years old WJ - Where do you ski now? JP - Now I mostly ski in Orlando Florida, I switch in between many lakes like Swiss Ski School, Hancock and more. But I mainly ski at Tgas Ski Club with my coach Tgas. Although on holidays when I go to Europe I ski in some different lakes there as well.

JP - Losing a three way runoff competing for two spots in the podium at the Junior Masters. The feeling of being so close but not achieving it was a bit disappointing. WJ - Favorite training partner?

WJ - How many set per week?

JP - My favorite training partner is my friend Niki Attensam. He’s a really good skier and he’s fun to train with, we laugh a lot and challenge each other a lot, which makes us push each other to be better.

JP - I do like 7-10 sets per week.

WJ - Your ultimate goal?

WJ - Do you have a favorite course?

JP - My ultimate goal is to be a world champion, I still have a junior worlds coming up soon so I will try to give it all there. But overall I just wanna be a well recognized skier who puts out big scores in important competitions.

JP - I like to ski in Sci Náutico Trento, it is a beautiful place in Italy and the environment is great. I also like skiing at the sea at Drepani in Greece.

WJ - Best set up? (lake, time of the day, boat, pilote, ski) WJ - Best waterski memory? JP - My best memory was in the Junior challenge of the San Gervasio Pro am. It was my first junior pro event going against someone older, and I won. And then, after a year I went back and won again, making me a back to back champion. WJ - Favorite tournament ? JP - For this one I have 2 tournaments. The first one is the San Gervasio Junior Challenge, skiing as a pro junior was just amazing, you get to experience the pressure of skiing as a pro and skiing head to heads. The other one is the Junior Masters, the place, the history, and the environment is amazing and skiing in the most prestige waterski tournament is just huge.

JP - I like to ski with my Goode XTR Team, in the sunset at Drepani Waterski Resort in Greece with my friends on the boat. WJ - What is your objectif for this season ? JP - This season I wanna improve on 10.75 and hopefully run it for the first time in competition. I also want to start to get more podiums in important competitions.


Jumper of the month

Taylor Garcia WJ - How old were you when you started skiing?

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

TG - I started slaloming at age 7 but did not start jumping till I was 11. TG - Breaking my neck at my first Open U.S. Nationals. This crash and injury really set me back both physically WJ - Where do you ski now? and mentally. To this day I cannot think of anything that scared me more than receiving the news from the doctor TG - I ski at Isles of Lake Hancock in Orlando, that my neck was fractured. But injuries are part of Florida. jumping and being able to return and overcome injuries is an important skill for a jumper. WJ - How many set per week? TG - 5-6 sets a week with half of those being open cut WJ - Favorite training partner? sets or cut and passes. The ramp is important but not as much as the cut and the turn. TG - Overall World Champion, Malibu Open Jump Champion, Sasha Danisheuskaya! WJ - Best waterski memory? WJ - Favorite place to ski? TG - My first time jumping six foot! At the Rocket Man Night Jump when I was 13 and still going 28 TG - Bullneck in Little Rock, Arkansas. It is the best mph! Scott Ellis was nice enough to let me jump but he jump site I've ever skied at and the is one of the most did not have time to lower the ramp, so they gave me enjoyable places to attend a tournament. the choice to jump at 6 foot or not at all. WJ - Your ultimate goal? At the time my coaches, Zack Worden and Jason Seels, pushed me right off the dock! It was an TG - I want to break 240 feet and join that incredibly incredible experience and one I cherish over 10 years exclusive club. It's a long way out but I will keep working later. WJ - Best set up? (lake, time of the day, boat, pilote, ski) WJ - Favorite tournament? TG - Bullneck Lake, 9:45am, Chris Warton driving, TG - Moomba Masters. The crowds, the history, and Scott Ellis coaching, Sasha getting ready to jump next, the commitment of the organizers to make the best MasterCraft 6.2L ready to rumble, and my pink D3 Skis. possible tournament for the athletes is simply unmatched.


Tricker of the month

Mati Gonzalez WJ - How old were you when you started skiing?

WJ - Favorite tournament?

MG - I was 2 years old when I skied for the first time

MG -Hard to choose between Jr. Masters and Moomba Masters but I prefer Jr. US Masters!

WJ - Where do you ski now?

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

MG - I ski at my home site Lago Valle Maipo and during winter I ski at Pickos Ski School. WJ - How many set per week?

MG - I don’t really have a bad memory from skiing! I always try to enjoy every time I am on the water and get the best out of it.

MG - 24 sets!

WJ - Favorite training partner?

WJ - Do you have a favorite course?

MG - Santiago Correa, Joel Poland, Pato Font, and Cory Pickos.

MG - Lago Valle Maipo in Chile for sure!!

WJ - Your ultimate goal? WJ - Best waterski memory?

MG - Win a World Championship. MG - When I broke the 11k barrier when I was 13 and my 2nd place at Moomba Masters in Open.

WJ - Best set up? (lake, time of the day, boat, pilote, ski) MG - My best set up is skiing at Lago Valle Maipo around 9:00am with a Ski Nautique and Antonio Peraza driving with my D3 skis. WJ - What is your objectif for this season ? MG - For this season I’m getting ready to compete at PanAms and then Jr. Worlds in a couple months.


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Editor Gregoire Desfond Corrector Karen Melnik Contributors Vincent Stadlbaur / Eudes Metivier / Joel Poland / Matteo Luzzeri / Mati Gonzalez / Brooks Wilson / Dorien Llewelyn / Pato Font / Neilly Ross / Taylor Garcia/ Lelani Travers Jon Travers / Marion Ellis / Scot Ellis / Drew Ross / Jaime Palomino / Matt Rini Paige Rini / Nate Smith / Freddie Winter / Manon Costard / Chelsea Mills / Clint Stadlbaur / Jay Humphreys Waterski Journal is edited by Amber Lake Management 42B avenue de Suffren 75015 Paris France +33 6 78 26 38 21 Printed by Printoclock 229 Rte de Seysses, 31100 Toulouse, France

Thanks to everybody that took part one way or another to make this Waterski Journal #9 edition. To name a few My wife Ambre Franc Karen Melnik Brooks Wilson and Radar Aide crew Edge D3 Will Bush Matt Rini Paige Rini Vincent Stadlbaur and the whole Stadlbaur family TWBC Freddie Winter Eric Franc Matteo Luzzeri Neilly Ross Drew Ross Dane Mechler Nate Smith les coureurs Valentin Lucas Olivia Merieux Pato Font Aline & Sergio Font ToYou Will Asher Robert Hazelwood Jon Travers Natalia Berdnikava Joel Poland Robert Hazelwood Louis Duplan-Fribourg Giannina Bonnemann Lauren "poochie" Morgan Eude Metivier Jay Humphreys Keusseoglou family Whitney McClintock Rini Robert Pigozzi Marion Mathieu Ellis Scot Ellis Flowpoint Method FFSNW IWWF Vincent Soubiron Boris Likatchev Gilles Cambray John Horton & BallofSpray Swiss Waterski Resort Jack Travers sunset lakes and the whole Travers family Monaco ski nautique Julien and Kelly Dassault my beloved parents and brothers