The Horton family and the water ski community lost a pioneer, a friend, an amazing father and an incredible grandpa today.
Rest in peace Jack Horton. With love, your family.
Below is a small excerpt on Jack Horton’s influence on our sport, written by his granddaughter.
A desert oasis, built by the brute of bare hands that were often marked by hard-earned callouses, the telltale sign of an athlete…a die-hard, dedicated athlete…a waterskier.
Horton Lakes was built in the 1960’s. From the moment the first pile of Mohave desert sand was shoveled and the banks were leveled smooth, a family history was born. But, it wasn’t until the two islands at either end of the lake were resurrected from the ground that a global legacy caught fire. If you haven’t heard of the Horton name, are you truly a water skier?
Jack’s cutting-edge design, constructed with wind-breaker tree lines and roller diminishing turn islands, is the reason why we can religiously wake up at the crack of noon and still be welcomed by a butter-smooth lake. In fact, this blueprint is one of the many contributions he made over his lifetime to our beloved sport and one of the reasons why he holds a spot in the Water Ski Hall of Fame.
At his little diamond in the desert, Jack opened his doors to anyone who was crazy enough to strap on one of his old pairs of Connelly combo skis (tied together by a faded, frayed rope mind you) and hang on to the paint-chipped white boom as he sat behind the wheel outfitted with an ear-to-ear grin and a straw hat brimming his face.
When Jack wasn’t tirelessly piloting his Ski Nautique, he was sitting in the coach’s seat, his sharp eye watching every buoy turn or edge to the wake, each set never complete without his most famous tip - keep your lead shoulder up!
Horton Lakes served as the catalyst for many skiers’ accomplishments. Whether it was opening his site as a training ground for the Masters or creating unforgettable summers for staff, Jack and his passionate love for life on the water impacted many and left an indelible mark on the sport.
Jack was a legend, a family man, a passionate water skier, and the best grandfather a family could have asked for. He will be dearly missed.
Building on the DNA of the 2019 GT-R, our 2020 flagship ski boasts epic efficiency, maneuverability and acceleration throughout the course. However, a lot of ski companies claim speed, control, and stability — promising effortless, polished passes. With today’s advanced technology, there’s no doubt that each brand delivers on their pledge. But in an era with so much talent and battles to the last buoy, it’s about the ski's performance at your last pass.
The house that Herb built is alive and well. Herb used the Lab to advance modern day waterskiing to new heights and in those advancements built a team around him that would continue his legacy to this day. Chris Rossi, Tim DeHate, Eddie Roberts and Jason Standley all work tirelessly to create innovation. It is in the Radar Lab that new foams are tested, different carbons are sourced, and the latest shapes come to light. Every concept is born here, and every Vapor is produced in this special place, thanks Herb.
We are skiers. It’s the reason we’re here. We have that insatiable desire to run more buoys. We wake up before the sun to get glassy water. We don’t sleep until we’ve figured out the perfect settings and we don’t stop there; we’re constantly innovating to find what will make skiing better. When a company is this devoted to building the best products, it’s fun what the outcome looks like. We can’t help it, it’s in our blood. Just go ski.
We present to you the full line of 2020 Radar, give it a look at radarskis.com.
Herb O'Brien instilled in us a passion to push beyond the norm, to create, innovate and shape the future of skiing. With that in mind, we created the most unique format around town. Skiers are given 6.5 minutes to run as many buoys as they can with as little rope as possible, high score wins. Skiers can fall, skip passes or do whatever they want, the only thing that matters is that they throw down and post a huge score! We invited the most progressive skiers on the planet to see what they can do. This year the Cup was awarded to Corey Vaughn who put it all on the line to get 3.5 buoys at 41 off. Check the mayhem that made up the 4th annual Herb’s Cup.
Let me start off by saying that I have been a waterskier and a fan of waterskiing literally for all of my life. Even though I became a wakeboarder, I feel my induction to the Waterski Hall of Fame this past April was because of my Overall love, passion, and dedication for all aspect of water sports. Even though I may not ski as much now, I still watch the live webcast from Masters and Moomba every year, and love to talk sking anytime I’m around my old three event friends.
I am always thinking ways I can possibly make Wakeboarding better or different and I have been thinking about slalom and talked with many skiers over the past year. Now, let me add, one of the coolest things about waterskiing is that they protect and keep the past relevant by keeping rules and variables the same through the years to protect past champions. With that said, this idea I’m thinking of would not change any records from the past. In my mind, this will just allow skiers more strategy to get the score they need.
Symmetrical Slalom Course.
The skier has the option to go through the gates in either direction, for choice of an onside one ball or for an offside one ball. It’s undeniable in slalom, you have a good side and a bad side. That’s just the way it is when you have a sport with a left or right foot forward stance. I’ve talked to skiers and they’d roughly say that 80% of professional men’s slalom events are decided between 2-4 buoys at 41 Off. I feel having a symmetrical course will give the skier the option to strategize the conditions for the score needed and very very critical moments at slalom tournaments.
Traditionally thinking, I know this sounds crazy, going through the course the other way. But if ya think about it, really on any ski level, not just professionals, this can help. When you only need 3 or so buoys on a run you often have trouble with having 2 out of 3 on your good side as opposed to bad side, that could possibly be the difference between a podium or not. Maybe some people would never try it, just because of what they are used to, and that’s ok. But for people getting into the sport or kids learning, It would be amazing if they only knew a slalom course as a symmetrical course. I think announcing events having this course will be easier and more compelling as they are explaining to the crowd why the skier is opting to run the course this way. Is it cause of bounce back rollers on 2 and 4. That their avoiding an offside? Is it the 15 mph cross wind why they opted to go the other way @ 39 1/2. It will really add a level of strategy to the sport or than just opting up a run due to head and tail winds. There will be many variables why I feel skiers would sometimes (maybe not always) but sometimes would want to go the other way. Conditions depending.
All in all I feel this could be a great addition to competitive slalom skiing, while still protecting all the old records from years past. Give it a thought, I’d love to hear what everyone thinks about it. I’m sure this is not the first time someone had this idea. But I think it would be cool to watch as a spectator and a fan of waterskiing! Thanks everyone for the time. Ttys
-Parks Bonifay : : : : : :
The company that forever changed water skiing with the introduction of carbon-fiber skis has done it again with the sport's first ever carbon core slalom ski. The new-for 2020 ReVOcc is the turbocharged version of the ski that won a Big Dawg Season Championship and topped the podium at major tournaments across the globe. The ReVOcc features:
This summer I spend a few weeks playing with the Feature Boards Side Cutter & Obstacler skis. At first glance, both of the skis look like trick skis but it is not that simple. These skis are durable enough to be used on the ramps and rails found in cable parks. To achieve this level of durability Feature Boards builds them with a poly base, wood cores, and ABS plastic sidewalls. I did not hit any rails or ramps during the review but I would be comfortable abusing these skis a lot more than a conventional trick ski.
The Side Cutter is a high performance trick ski that especially shines for wake spins, flips and ski lines. Pop off the wake is noticeably good.