The first two years of the SportsInsurance.com Queen’s Cup were very rewarding for the women slalom skiers who traveled to Little Mountain Lakes near Charlotte, N.C.
Rewarding in terms of self-esteem, comradery, accomplishment and, well, awards! As in $10,000 and more in cash and prizes.
The third annual Queen’s Cup, presented by SportsInsurance.com and Nautique dealer Race City Marine of Mooresville, N.C., is scheduled for Sept. 15-16 at Little Mountain, and the rewards -- spiritual and material -- will again make it an enviable event.
"Oh my gosh it's amazing!” said Maureen Mosteller, who traveled from Alberta, Canada for the inaugural Queen’s Cup. “I hope this continues to grow. It's such a great event! The people, the quality of the skiers -- just so much fun! Just really cool!"
The Queen’s Cup was recently recognized by the Women’s Sports Foundation, which once counted among its board of trustees the legendary three-event skier Camille Duvall Hero, a member of the USA Water Ski Hall of Fame. The WSF is onboard as a major sponsor of the Queen’s Cup.
The Queen’s Cup plays out on a made-for-slalom lake that has produced world and national records by Nate Smith, Jeff Rodgers and others. Joy Kelley (Women 6) and Cyndi Benzel (Women 7) took home U.S. records from the 2017 Queen’s Cup. In 2016, Leeza Harrison also broke the Women 7 record, and Mosteller and Rhonda Powell played tug-of-war with the Women 5 Canadian record as both topped the national mark in qualifying rounds.
This year’s event promises more of the same in terms of quality and quantity. Each skier is guaranteed two qualifying rounds on Saturday, with the top 16 advancing to Sunday’s head-to-head finals. There is also a way to win a prize without advancing, as the qualifying rounds will use a handicapped scoring system that allows a skier of any skill level to win by beating her average -- even if it’s her first tournament.
The top 16 and prize winners will be announced at the Saturday night on-site banquet, which will also feature ageless wonder Joy Kelley as the keynote speaker.
Women 30 and older (who have not placed in top 7 of an Elite points event in the past 2 years excluding Worlds) are eligible to enter, and all compete on equal footing, as boat speeds are not a factor. Women whose maximum boat speed is 30, 32 or 34 are scored equally for each line length.
Slalom skiers are an interesting breed. They are never fully satisfied with their score, constantly in pursuit of one more buoy and usually have some sort of gripe about lower back issues. Lower back pain plagues our sport as much as fin tweaking and spray leg. Maybe even more. And you likely have even experienced it yourself. Slalom skiing puts a rather complicated and heavy toll on our body every time we ski. We might not even be aware of it but the position is unnatural for the human body and our stance screams for compensation in our body.
This compensation, to make up for the unnatural stance, is necessary for us to ski our best and continue to gain more buoys. It is part of the game! But we have to understand that those compensations while we participate in our sport slowly cause the body to shift which more often than not results in bad posture and a myriad of other subconscious compensations.
So what do we do? It’s easier said than done but the concept is relatively simple: We must bring the body back to it’s neutral position.
Looking at a typical slalom position, we notice that we really try to resist the pull from the boat by pushing or holding the pull from the boat to create speed, torque and angle. As a matter of fact, waterskiing is one of not too many sports I see where you have two different sources of energy input. One is your upper body and the pull from the boat forward and the other input is the water where you resist against with your ski and lower body.
So you will notice that those two energy sources/inputs will meet somewhere. Ideally it should happen right in the middle of your body. Then you will feel “connected” to the boat as we like to say! But that’s also where we feel the most amount of pressure.
When we talk about a “normal posture” we mean that our hips are neutral (they feel tucked) straight under the center of our bodies and our back looks somewhat flat. This an ideal position.
In order to achieve a natural “normal” position, you need:
1. A really well-functioning core with substantial core strength
2. A mobile spine and a mobile yet stable hip.
As soon as any one of these areas begin to lack, you will subconsciously compensate in your day-to-day life which can result in long-term issues or can go completely undetected.
Where the two energy sources meet behind the boat and in the middle of our bodies, we create a ton of pressure and exaggerate those areas in which we are weak by leaning on the areas of compensation. So any slight compensation you had before will just get more pronounced and made worse. It’s a habit game because the muscles which are already causing the compensation in the first place will get activated even more and will exaggerate this compensation.
As an example, if you are lacking in core strength you are prone to do every single move you do over the day in hyperextension of your spine, shortening the distance between each vertebrae and in turn, shortening those muscles. In this instance the decreased muscles pulls your hips backwards causing the pelvis to sit at an anterior tilt or drop. This means that your pelvis falls forward, which decreases the space between vertebrae in your lower back even more. Muscles therefore continue to get tight and you will feel pressure in your lower back. Many people assume this means you have “lower back” issues when in realty it is a merely a symptom of an area of weakness.
So like I said before, you can go on without noticing, but putting it into the slalom skiing where we live in a slightly hyperextended and exaggerated environment, under an intense amount of pressure, for our spine to resist the pull forward, this compensation will wreak havoc.
The way to get out of this habit is pretty simple. If we already have this compensation, we work on relaxing / stretching and mobilizing the muscles in the lower back and hip and afterwards work on loosing the habit of our improper posture. Only after these first two steps are accomplished, we then train to strengthen the core and hip muscles (This includes your glutes, flexors, abductors and adductors).
By doing so, we have a chance of decreasing the pain and issues we bring upon ourselves through slalom skiing.
The last hurrah of summer vacation is (sadly) creeping around the corner. To help make Labor Day weekend one for the books, we’ve curated a list of epic essentials for the entire gang. So before you trade the summer for the fall, smash the link provided to get the goods necessary to go out with a bang.
GOODE skiers claimed 16 slalom titles – more than all other manufacturers combined – at the GOODE U.S. National Water Ski Championships held last week at Mystic Lakes in Maize, Kansas.
By claiming 16 of 28 slalom titles, GOODE skiers netted an amazing 57 percent of all slalom gold medals awarded.
Congratulations to the following national champions:
Girls 3 – Kristen Baldwin
Women 1 – Kelley Breeden
Women 2 – Keri McClure
Women 3 – Brandy Nagle
Women 4 – Gail Case
Women 5 – Alison Poulsen
Women 6 – Joy Kelley
Open Women – Regina Jaquess
Boys 1 – Luka Zazade
Boys 2 – Nicolas Nelson
Men 4 – Tim Henderson
Men 6 – Steve Ware
Men 7 – Steve Raphael
Men 8 – Bob Hardeman
Men 9 – George Adams
Masters Men – Greg Badal
Additional highlights of the week included:
Dating back to 2012, GOODE skiers have won 114 out of 207 U.S. national slalom titles, or 55 percent.
For full 2018 GOODE Nationals results, click here.
The Syndicate Alpha builds on the success of the Syndicate PRO design. Asher, Travers, LaPoint and Wingerter spent the 2018 season fine-tuning a loose and light iteration of the Syndicate PRO design; the all new 2019 Syndicate Alpha. The Alpha shares the same width profile as the Syndicate PRO, but is designed with a shallower concave depth in the tail of the ski, and a flatter tip rocker, for a loose and light feel on the water. With less downforce than PRO, the Alpha accelerates with less physical effort, and projects wider off the second wake. The shallower tail concave allows the Alpha to have more turn drift for tight rope turn finishes. Optimized for skiers who prefer lower drag, less physical effort, fast, light and quick turning skis, the Syndicate Alpha is ready for combat. Who dares wins.
ORLANDO, FL (August 11, 2018) — It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of boating hall of fame member and industry icon Ralph C. Meloon at the age of 100.
The middle of three brothers, Meloon was seven years old when his father Walter C. Meloon moved the family from New Hampshire to Florida and started the Florida Variety Boat Company (now Correct Craft) in 1925. Meloon was involved with the company then and continued his involvement until his death.
While upholding the tradition established by his father of “Building boats to the glory of God,” Meloon held many positions at Correct Craft over the years including President, Executive Vice President, Treasurer, and Chairman of the Board. He was instrumental in helping shape Correct Craft for over ninety years. On August 11, at the age of 100, Meloon passed away leaving more than just a memory—he left a heritage that will never be forgotten.
During his tenure, Meloon served in many distinct roles and was instrumental in tracking down and paying all creditors back from the 1960 company bankruptcy. He also established the first grassroots water ski promotional program to pull water ski tournaments in the Midwest and shortly thereafter he developed the first water ski promotional program in the United States. Meloon, known as the face of Correct Craft for decades, traveled to 85 countries for the company building the Correct Craft brand and exporting waterskiing boats all around the world.
In recent years as Correct Craft has grown substantially, including acquiring new companies and entering new markets, Meloon was always encouraging the team. There was no one more excited to see the success of the Correct Craft team than Ralph Meloon.
“Ralph was truly an extraordinary man who always encouraged everyone he met; our team understands that the work we do today was built on his shoulders and we are incredibly saddened by this loss,” stated Correct Craft President/CEO Bill Yeargin. “Personally, Ralph was a dear friend. He was always full of encouragement and many times he would pop in my office and say, ‘Betty and I prayed for you this morning, Bill.’ He rarely left my office without saying ‘We love you, Bill.’ As I have traveled the globe for our company, people all over the world would ask me about Ralph Meloon. So, as we celebrate Ralph’s life, we recommit ourselves to the values that Ralph so embraced; faith, integrity, and family – those are the things that were important to Ralph,” added Yeargin.
About Correct Craft: Celebrating 93 years of excellence in the marine industry, Correct Craft is a Florida-based company with global operations. The Correct Craft family includes Nautique, Centurion, Supreme, Bass Cat, Yar-Craft, SeaArk, and Bryant boat companies, Pleasurecraft Marine Engine Group, and Aktion Parks. For more information please visit www.correctcraft.com.
Introducing the RéVolution, a new ski from GOODE that delivers improved performance through breakthroughs in construction design, new carbon fibers and an advanced resin system. The result is a ski that provides a quicker, more progressive rebound, is more durable and weighs a quarter pound less than any other GOODE to date.
The enhancements drastically improve the consistency and overall performance of a shape whose winning lineage includes a Big Dawg Championship and multiple U.S. National titles, including Brian Detrick’s Open Mens slalom victory in 2016.
“This shape is a proven winner, but through a two-year R&D process we’ve been able to ncrease top-end performance as well as user friendliness and predictability,” said Dave Goode, founder and present of GOODE Skis.
A new advanced internal construction process features an internal backbone running from the tail of the ski to the top of the tunnel. This feature leads to a more progressive “wind up and wind down” out of the turn and into the first wake.
“The way the ski flexes into and rebounds out of the turn is one of the most important performance aspects in slalom ski design,” says Goode. “If the ski takes too long to rebound back to shape, you lose cross-course speed. But if it rebounds too quickly and in a jerky-jerky motion, the ski can be very inconsistent. The RéVolution’s flex and rebound is quicker than any other ski we’ve ever made, but it does so in a very smooth way that leads to great performance that you can count on.”
Through a new carbon fiber resin system the engineers at GOODE were able to increase the durability of the ski while reducing weight, thereby increasing cross-course efficiency and decreasing drag – and the extra work associated with it. Additional features of the RéVolution include a water proof core and a refined and more forgiving torsional flex.
What top skiers are saying about the RéVolution:
“Stable, predictable and fast across course. This ski is effortless.” – Chad Scott
“It gets you wide like a big ski and takes angle like a small ski.
This is the best ski GOODE has ever built.” – Chet Raley
“The RéVolution requires 20 percent less effort cross course than any of my previous skis, getting me to the buoy earlier and easier.” – Dave Miller
“This ski has amazingly fast, yet controllable speed. The backside turns are unbelievable and the cross-course direction is outstanding.” – Greg Badal
Learn more about the RéVolution here.
The Syndicate Alpha
The Syndicate Alpha builds on the success of the Syndicate PRO design. Asher, Travers, LaPoint and Wingerter spent the 2018 season fine-tuning a loose and light iteration of the Syndicate PRO design; the all new 2019 Syndicate Alpha. The Alpha shares the same width profile as the Syndicate PRO, but is designed with a shallower concave depth in the tail of the ski, and a flatter tip rocker, for a loose and light feel on the water. With less downforce than the PRO, the Alpha accelerates with less physical effort, and projects wider off the second wake. The shallower tail concave allows the Alpha to have more turn drift for tight rope turn finishes. Optimized for skiers who prefer lower drag, less physical effort, fast, light and quick turning skis, the Syndicate Alpha is ready for combat. Who dares wins.
This new design is available and can be found at the HO Skis/Syndicate booth at the AWSA National Championships in Maize, KS. Stop by, say “Hi” and check out the all new Alpha!
Lynnwood/White Salmon, WA – July 24, 2018 – Connelly Skis announced today that they have signed a purchase agreement to acquire substantially all the assets of North Sports, Inc., a leading producer of inflatable waterparks, inflatable kayaks, standup paddleboards, and related watersports products under the Aquaglide brand name. The company was originally formed in 1984 as a windsurfing accessory business, and has been involved with kiteboarding, snowboarding, and watersports products throughout its history. The Aquaglide brand was formed in 2004.
John Archer, President of Connelly Skis, commented, “We are very excited to welcome the Aquaglide team to the Connelly family. We believe these products will fit well within our existing dealer and consumer base and will also open new avenues of growth, especially in the inflatable waterparks and kayak categories. We are expecting great things!”
“I am very excited for Aquaglide and my team to have the opportunity to get to the next level. Said David Johnson, President/CEO of North Sports, Inc. “We are very proud of what we have accomplished and look forward to working closely with the Connelly team on the next generation of Aquaglide products.”
Aquaglide will be run as a separate division of Connelly. David Johnson will remain as Director of Product Development, while Jeff Cunningham will add the title of General Manager in addition to his duties as VP Global Sales.
Closing of the transaction is anticipated by the end of July.
All new 2019 Senate Pro! The Senate Pro is the latest creation to come out of the Radar Lab. For 2019 we updated our Senate to follow the design of our 2018 Vapor and with that we created the best Senate yet! We instantly knew we need to make it out of our signature ProBuild construction and manufacture at home in the Radar Lab!
PMI foam is undoubtedly the lightest, most responsive foam on the market. We wrap that foam in Textreme spread tow carbon to make this all-new Senate Pro the fastest, most aggressive Senate we've ever created. Now those skiing 32-34 MPH in the course truly have a racecar of a Senate to write home about.
The 2019 Vapor is here! Carrying the same shape as the 2018 Vapor, we have found this ski to be our most popular and successful ski yet. The ski features an updated Textreme Carbon woven with Innegra but other than that remains unchanged. Get out there and rip on the Vapor!
Malibu boats and Waterski Events LLC are excited to announce the upcoming Malibu Open set to take place August 17/18 at the beautiful Trophy Lakes located at 3050 Marlin Rd. Johns island, South Carolina .
This event will feature the worlds best professional water skiers in the world. The Malibu Open will host Open men and women’s slalom and jump events competing for a total purse of $65,000.00.
The event will conclude with the men’s night jump finals on Saturday night followed by live music on site.
The Malibu Open will also feature the worlds best boys and girls junior athletes who will compete in slalom and jump for a Malibu Open Junior Scholarship.
The Malibu Open is being held in conjunction with the Johns Island Summerfest featuring live bands throughout the day on Saturday as well as a bar b que cook off competition.
ORLANDO, FL (July 25, 2018) — Today, Correct Craft announced its newest acquisition, an electric boat drive system, Ingenity P220, that originated in Austria. The acquisition is a result of Correct Craft’s Watershed Innovations initiative and will help prepare Correct Craft’s Pleasurecraft Engine Group and the company’s boat brands for the inevitable future beyond internal combustion engines.
Previously built by Ortner Electric in Villach, Austria, the Ingenity P220 is the highest performing electric towboat propulsion system in the world. The significant demand in Austria for the Ingenity P220 positions the system well for substantial international growth.
The Ingenity P220 is available in the Super Air Nautique 210 and GS20 models in Austria and will soon be available in these models worldwide. Additionally, the Ingenity P220 will eventually be available in more Nautique models and other Correct Craft boat building brands.
Pleasurecraft Engine Group engineers have been involved in the evaluation of the system and will continue to provide insight and support as they work toward its future development with the team from Correct Craft’s Watershed Innovations.
Bill Yeargin, President and CEO of Correct Craft stated, “The world is quickly transitioning to electric power and the acquisition of the Ingenity P220 system will help position Correct Craft, Pleasurecraft Engine Group, and our boat companies for a successful transition to the future. I am thrilled we could complete this important acquisition.”
Yeargin added, “A few months ago, when Correct Craft kicked off our Watershed Innovations initiative, electric propulsion was one of many items on our list to address. The Watershed Innovations team is taking on all these projects to help prepare Correct Craft and our companies for the future. The future is bright but will undoubtedly be a lot different than today, so we are working hard to prepare our Correct Craft companies for these inevitable changes.”
"The top make and female pro skiers from the US are gearing up to compete at the America's Cup that will take place and of the Goode Nationals. Skiers will compete in the open division of the Goode Nationals as the prelims with the top skiers making the finals to be held Night. If you are attending Nationals extend your trip to watch this great event which features all 3 events, both male and female, including overall. Mastercraft will be pulling Mens Jump, Malibu Womens Slalom, and Nautique Mens Slalom and Womens Jump. Over $40,000 in cash prizes will be handed out. It's not too late to sign up, if you are a Level 9 open rated skier you qualify, and its only $50, sign up now online...Click here to enter
|OM Jump||OW Jump|
|Krueger, Freddy||Jaquess, Regina|
|Garcia, Taylor||Morgan, Lauren|
|Haines, Quinn||Greenwood, Brittany|
|Leutz, Benjamin||Kalkbrenner, Erin|
|Greenwood, Samuel||Hansen, Kennedy|
|Kalkbrenner, Cole||OW Slalom|
|Lang, Nicholas||Jaquess, Regina|
|OM Slalom||Truelove, Karen|
|Travers, Jonathan||Austin, Bailey|
|Detrick, Brian||Nicholson, Allie|
|Triplett, Brenton||Hawkins, Kassidy|
|Nicholson, Zane||Dobbertin, Jessie|
|Wilson, K.c.||Garcia, Alexandra|
|Hunter, Sean||Lang, Erika|
|Bullock, Michael||Greenwood, Brittany|
|Cord, Adam||Morgan, Jenna|
|Giacopuzzi, Cole||Hansen, Kennedy|
|Greenwood, Samuel||OW Tricks|
|Pickos, Adam||Lang, Erika|
|Haines, Quinn||Jaquess, Regina|
|Lang, Nicholas||Nagle, Brandy|
|Warner, Dan||Greenwood, Brittany|
|Leutz, Benjamin||Hansen, Kennedy|
A formidable force with an impressive winning streak, Manon Costard has asserted her dominance among the greats. During the month of July, Manon swept multiple gold medals across the globe. Her first win was claimed at Italy’s San Gervasio ProAm, where she breezed her way through 38 off in all three rounds and clinched the title with 4@ 39 ½ off. Shortly after, Manon took gold at France’s Fungliss ProAm with a massive score of 5@ 39 ½ off. To cap off an impressive month, our Connelly sweetheart ventured into Canadian territory and once again did not disappoint, claiming the top of the podium with 3@ 39 ½ off. There is no doubt Manon will be a favorite at her next appearance in the Malibu Open August 17-18. Keep your eyes peeled!
As water ski parents, we all want the same thing for our kids. For them to move up in speed and advance to shorter line lengths as easily and effortlessly as possible.
The key design feature I found myself looking for when my daughter started the slalom course was stability. I wanted a ski that performed well but would not make learning difficult or slow her progress. These are the same design concerns we have focused on in producing our newest junior slalom model.
Say hello to the new JR EVO-62.5”! A new slalom ski designed specifically to help our kids reach all of their slalom skiing goals. Sized perfectly for kids up to 100 pounds, this new junior model is 100% EVO from tip to tail.
The JR EVO features the same ultra-light core and full carbon fiber construction as the adult version of the EVO. The result is a light and responsive ski that will help your junior skier excel.
The D3 Accuset fin block and Accuset fin-blade are standard. Stainless steel inserts to accommodate Reflex, D3, Connelly, Radar and some HO versions are also standard equipment.
NO MORE JUNIOR BINDING PLATE required.
If you are looking for a new slalom ski for your future Nate Smith or Brooke Baldwin look no further.
Demo one today at d3skis.com or call us for more info at 916-714-9389.
POLK CITY, Fla., July 18, 2018 - USA Water Ski & Wake Sports is pleased to announce the hiring of Nate Boudreaux as the organization’s next executive director. Boudreaux, who will begin his new position with the national governing body of organized water skiing and wakeboarding in August, takes over for Bob Crowley, who announced his retirement earlier this year after eight years with the organization.
“I am confident Nate will work hard to make a smooth transition from Bob Crowley, who has been a stable rock of leadership in our organization,” said Tim Cullen, president of USA Water Ski & Wake Sports. “After receiving national, and even international, interest in the executive director position with many excellent candidates, we’re happy to have Nate join us. USA Water Ski & Wake Sports is at a critical juncture and will require an injection of energy, creativity and an inspiring leader who is capable of building on past success while spearheading the growth of our beloved organization.”
Boudreaux comes to USA Water Ski & Wake Sports after a four-year (2014-18) stint at the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), a non-profit organization made up of over 50,000 sports medicine and exercise professionals. At ACSM, he served as director of corporate partnerships and was responsible for driving new business and revenue streams, while also servicing a portfolio of more than 20 corporate partners. During his tenure at ACSM, Boudreaux increased sponsorship revenue by 64 percent and forged multi-year partnerships with major brands like adidas, Gatorade, Technogym and Polar.
"I'm excited for the opportunity to join a great organization like USA Water Ski & Wake Sports,” said Boudreaux, who prior to ACSM, spent nine years (2005-14) at USA Football, an independent non-profit organization endowed by the NFL that serves as the national governing body of youth and amateur football. “I look forward to working with the USA Water Ski & Wake Sports board of directors, as well as our 15,000 members, headquarters staff and sponsors to help take the organization to the next level."
At USA Football, Boudreaux served in numerous management roles within marketing, communications and sponsorships. Most recently, he was the organization’s associate director of business development and partnership marketing. Boudreaux also spent four seasons (2002-05) in the NFL as the media relations coordinator with the Cleveland Browns. He also worked as media relations director for a pair of Arena Football League teams (Carolina Cobras, 2000-02; Florida Bobcats, 1999), and spent time in minor league baseball with the New Orleans Zephyrs (1997).
A graduate of Loyola University of New Orleans with a B.A. in communications, Boudreaux earned a post-graduate certificate in Sports Industry Essentials from Columbia University.
Twenty-five years after revolutionizing water skiing with the first-ever carbon-fiber slalom ski, GOODE Skis is proud to announce the arrival of the 9970, the best-ever version of the legendary 9000 series that permanently etched the likes of Regina Jaquess, Jeff Rodgers, Kristi Overton-Johnson, Karina Nowlan, and Chris Parrish in the world record books.
“Everything we’ve learned about carbon construction and ski design over the past 25 years has gone into the 9970,” says Dave Goode, president and founder of GOODE Skis. “We knew we couldn’t bring the 9000 series back if this ski didn’t live up to the legendary legacy of the previous skis. That was something that was in the back of our minds throughout the development process.”
Designed with the 36 m.p.h. skier in mind but highly capable at all speeds, the 9970 capitalizes on a new construction method and newly sourced advanced carbon materials to weigh in at a mere 2.5 pounds on a 67-inch model – the lightest GOODE ever. Additional areas of design focus included a new rocker profile and a larger flat spot.
“The 9970 is very fast cross course and carries a lot of speed through the turn,” says Martin Kolman, GOODE’s newly added product manager, the world’s current No. 1 overall Men’s skier and a mid-41 off slalom skier. “The 9970 gets angle out of the turn like no other ski I’ve been on. It really wants to be ridden on an edge.”
The 9970 is narrower from the front binding to the tip than the GOODE XTR, a characteristic that allows skiers to carry more speed through the turn, something that 36 m.p.h. skiers, especially, will appreciate.
“Our skis have had unparalleled success at 34 m.p.h. over the last few years,” says Dave, “but I really wanted us to be a force again at the higher speed. The 9970 is a legendary ski, made better. It’s going to put us back on the map at 36.”
Learn more about the 9970 here.
Connelly Skis family has grown once again! This time, we are pleased to welcome Slovakia native, Martin Bartalsky. A once formidable force in the collegiate scene, Martin has also made his mark in the pro realm with impressive overall finishes at the World Championships and podium placements at U.S. elite tournaments. However, Martin’s prowess extends further than what he can accomplish behind the boat. Read below to learn more about our newest member, and don’t forget to check out the rest of our elite team at https://www.connellyskis.com/ski1.html
Tell me about your background (where you grew up, your family, what daily life was like, etc.).
I grew up in Slovakia. Most of the year I went to school like other kids, but I would miss a few weeks because of training and tournaments. Interestingly, my parents initially wanted me to be a competitive snow skier, and waterskiing was meant to be a summer hobby for staying in shape. Usually, I would go to school in the morning and spent afternoons and weekends at the lake, on the ski slopes or at the gym.
How did you get involved in waterskiing? Was it a family sport or did you discover it on your own?
My dad used to be a 3-event waterskier back in the day. Both of my parents loved spending time at the lake in summer. They were members of the waterski club back home and that's where I started. Since the beginning, I’ve always skied a lot.
How did you get involved in and get good at 3-eventing?
3-eventing seems to be a lot more popular in Europe than in the U.S. Most of the kids actually start as 3-eventers. We always had a jump at our lake. When I was under 14, tricks were my best event. When I was 18, jump was my best. I did not really learn how to step it up in slalom until my early 20s. I still love to hit the jump when there is a nice headwind! If there were more hours in a day, I would definitely keep 3-eventing! Jumping is still my favorite event.
When did you first move to the states and why?
I skied at the Junior Masters when I was 17, and a few guys came to talk to me from Monroe, LA. I pretty much committed on the spot, and I spent my last year of high school getting things ready to move. I knew if I wanted to go to college and keep waterskiing, I had to move overseas.
What are you doing when you are not water skiing?
I love hanging out at the lake even when I am not skiing. During the winter, I spend most of my time snow skiing and even got back into racing last year. That was a lot of fun. I also go to the gym quite a bit. Work also keeps me very busy (I work in e-commerce — digital advertising, building/managing web stores and sourcing inventory).
How do you best prepare for your ride when you are at a big tournament?
Over the years, I came up with a routine that seems to work for me. I usually go for a quick run and do my regular warm up. I do like to eat but not within less than 30 minutes or so before my turn. I hate skiing on an empty stomach. I like to have a few sips of Redbull to wake me up. I found that coffee does me no good before skiing. I ski the best when I am a little nervous, but not too much. I need to get myself under the pressure to ski my best.
Name some things other than water skiing that you are passionate about?
Like I have mentioned, I love snow skiing. I love to race, ski powder or just rip groomers. I also love to ride motorcycles up in the mountains.
What do you like about your new Connelly GT and the culture of the company?
Joining the Connelly team has been nothing but a pleasure from the very beginning. All of the employees and team members I have dealt with are awesome. I am extremely thankful and excited to be on the Connelly team. I have always been very picky with how my skis feel. I have to trust the ski in any type of condition. The Connelly GT impressed me from the very beginning. The ski is very stable, yet gets me side to side effortlessly. Both turns are symmetrical, and I can always predict what the ski is going to do for me.
What are your goals for skiing now and in the future?
I had a fairly slow start this year since it was cold in Utah and I did not travel as much as I was planning on. I would love to get back on the podium at a pro tournament this year. I have a few events planned for the next few weeks (Canada Open, Malibu Open, California ProAm and possibly Europeans), but I try not to plan too far ahead.
What is one thing you can’t live without?
Water and snow! Is that one or two things? Sorry!
Most embarrassing moment at a tournament?
I think there have been a few, but those usually happen to many of us. Two years ago I was at a tournament in Austria, and I begged the best driver at the site to get in the boat for Open Men. He did just for me, and I missed my gates by about 10 feet on my opener.
Favorite place to be in the summer:
Summer activity of choice (besides waterskiing)
Uh.. what's that? No waterskiing?
Favorite food to grill on a warm summer night
Ellie Horton is three event and third generation competitive water skier. She grew up skiing at Horton Lakes, which was built by her grandfather Dr Jack Horton, and began competing when she was ten years old.
Currently, Ellie is a second year student at Florida Southern College. She is studying journalism and skis on scholarship for the FSC water ski team. is ranked 3rd overall in the nation, 9th in the U21 overall world standings, and has her open women’s rating in overall.
She is a member of the D3 water skis Factory Team and is sponsored by CAMARO wetsuits and NewCity Clothing.
Her recent successes have included winning Division I women’s tricks at the 2013 collegiate nationals as well as taking the tricks and overall title at the U21 2014 Pan Am Championships.