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Joy Kelley is somewhat of an ageless wonder in water skiing.

She’s a three-event skier who breaks records and raises the bar almost every time she gets on the water. Kelley surprised probably everyone except herself in 2016 when, at age 58, she advanced to the head-to-head final of the Queens Cup women’s slalom tournament near Charlotte, N.C.

 The only disappointment was a fluke fall on her 28-off pass in the final against Sweden’s Josefin Hirst of Florida.

 Kelley, of Tennessee, will return for the 2017 Queens Cup at Little Mountain Lake on Sept. 16-17, likely still riding high from the event’s 2016 debut. Her Facebook post after the inaugural event summed up her feelings:

 “Wanted to show much gratitude to the sponsors of the Queens Cup! Since the weekend I have been in awe of the cash and prizes awarded, over $10,000. For a first ever event to reach such heights is a direct reflection of the passion, belief and support for women in water skiing and the daily, behind the scenes, focused efforts of the tournament organizers in securing sponsors who also share the same dedication to our sport! Hopefully, we gave the sponsors a good return on their investment by skiing our best, positively influencing others, sharing their product/service with others, and just being an overall strong woman of integrity and character!”

Hers was a popular opinion shared by many of the entrants after last year’s event. Year 2 is just around the corner with an even larger field to share the wealth. As Kelley posted:  

“From t-shirts to goody bags to prizes of ski lessons, ski bags, skis, gloves, etc., and cash awards, I have never experienced an event like this! Thank you so very much to all the sponsors! May the Queens Cup live on in ways that continue to exceed the expectations of everyone involved!”

For information on the Queens Cup, which draws support from area Nautique dealer Race City Marine, contact tournament director Jeff Gilbert at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or look for the tournament at It's also on Facebook at Little Mountain Lakes Waterski.

Obrien Logo

Snoqualmie, WA – September 1, 2017 - O’Brien Watersports announced today that they have acquired substantially all of the assets of Nash Mfg., which produces watersports products under the Hydroslide brand name; pool and lake leisure products under the licensed brand name of Margaritaville, and rotational molded coolers under the brand name Sub Z. Nash began making wood water skis in 1954 and is the oldest watersports manufacturer based in the United States with factory and headquarters in Fort Worth, TX.

Pete Surrette, General Manager of O’Brien commented, “We are very excited to welcome Hydroslide, Margaritaville and Sub Z brands to the O’Brien family. We believe these products will fit well within our existing dealer and consumer base as well as open up new sales avenues for the O’Brien brand in the pool and cooler businesses.”

“I am very excited to see the Nash brands turn the page on the next chapter.” Said Keith Parton, President of Nash Mfg. “It has been a great 50 years at Nash and I believe the new partnership with O’Brien will be even better. I believe this is a great opportunity for all of our customers.”

O’Brien is committed to the Hydroslide, Margaritaville and Sub Z product offerings. The acquisition of these brands also supports O’Brien’s strategic transition into other segments of the sporting goods industry.

O’Brien has been making quality Watersports products since 1964 - Providing fun on the water for the entire family!


The 2017 Malibu Open has been rescheduled for the weekend of September 29-30 at Trophy Lakes Sports in John's Island, South Carolina, just outside Charleston. Trophy Lakes boasts a world-class slalom course and promises to be an ideal location for the long-running skiing championship.

Originally scheduled for this weekend at Veterans Park in Milwaukee, Wis., the discovery of a blue algae bloom led the Milwaukee Health Department to cancel all activity on the Milwaukee Lagoon due to health and safety concerns.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. For more details, please visit

We regret to inform all the skiers, volunteers, and sponsors that the Malibu Open this coming weekend must be cancelled due to an unforeseen algae bloom at the Milwaukee Lagoon. The county has pulled our permit and will not allow the event to take place.

We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this will cause everyone. We attempted to work with the county to no avail. We have attempted to locate an alternate site near the area, but due to this being a last minute occurrence, a site has not come to fruition. Tony Drake worked tirelessly to help with a solution, however we have been unable to make other arrangements that would be acceptable to Malibu and our many sponsors.

We are planning on rescheduling the event at a later date to be determined soon.

Attached is a copy of the mail I received yesterday evening from the county.

Waterski Events LLC

Find Your Flow is a leadership program for adventurous executives and business owners. Since it’s being run by two water skiers (David Benzel and Lynn Carnes) we are sharing it with our Ball of Spray friends. The intention for the program is to take concepts like “hitting the target” and “navigating turbulent waters” from metaphor to real life (we are going to shoot guns and go whitewater rafting) to become even better at handling pressure as a leader. While this program is going to be fun, we are both experienced executive coaches who have helped our clients make substantial progress in their leadership practices. In other words, it will be a meaningful investment in yourself if you want to level up at work, in life and maybe even in water skiing! Entry in the program is by application only. You can hear more about it in the video above. Email Lynn Carnes at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you are interested in attending.

FindYourFlow DetailsBox

The Syndicate Omni is where precision meets efficiency.  Developed to enhance ski progression in the slalom course at the 30-34mph speed range, this hybrid-width crossover shape is built with our ultra-high performance Carbon Fiber/PVC Core Construction. The Syndicate Omni’s Flex-Frame provides increased torsional flex for the maneuverable feel of a traditional ski with the added speed & stability of a wideride ski. This allows the ski to twist creating tighter turns while added width provides the stable platform skiers need. The Omni was designed with a Hybrid Waist Width, halfway between those typically found in traditional skis and those in wideride skis. This provides for smooth instinctive turns at a wide range of speeds. See it first at the 75th GOODE Water Ski National Championships this week in San Marcos, TX. 

Jeff Rodgers made it a bookend finish at the Nautique Big Dawg World Tour stop at Little Mountain Lake in Maident, N.C., winning the fourth and final qualifier of the series on Aug. 6. Rodgers won the season-opening stop in Miami in May, and skipped the middle two events as they moved overseas to France and Spain. 

Next up is the series finale in Rio Linda, California on Aug. 25-26.

The Little Mountain Lake stop, with support from area Nautique dealer Race City Marine of NASCAR hotbed Mooresville, N.C., drew a season-high 35 skiers from coast to coast. The Big Dawg tour is for 34-mph male slalom skiers ages 35 and older. 

Rodgers, of Ninety-Six, S.C., ran 4 at 41 off in the first round of Saturday qualifying at Little Mountain Lake, then backed that up with 3 1/2 at 41 in the second round and advanced to Sunday's Sweet 16 as the No 1 seed. There, he opened with head-to-head wins against No. 16 Mark Brandt and then No. 9 Jodi Fisher. 

Rodgers faced No. 4 seed Seth Stisher in the semifinals, after Stisher won head-to-heads against Scott Larson and Clay Neill. No. 12 seed Neill, whose family owns and developed Little Mountain Lake, was an upset winner against No. 5 seed Chad Scott in the round of 16 before meeting Stisher in the final eight.

In the semifinals, Rodgers topped Stisher's 3 1/2 at 39 by getting 6 at 39, then met Greg Badal, the No. 2 seed, in the final. Both ran 39 in the final, and Rodgers got 2 at 41 to Badal's 1 1/2.

Next up for Little Mountain Lake is the Queens Cup for women on Sept. 16-17. Little Mountain and came together for the inaugural Queens Cup in 2016, with cash purse and prizes totaling $12,000. The event provides a Big Dawg-type tournament for women 30 and older, whose maximum boat speeds are 30, 32 and 34 mph. The format mirrors the Big Dawg, with two qualifying rounds on Saturday and Sweet 16 head-to-heads Sunday.  

Reigning champion Josefin Hirst will return to defend her title, and runner-up Joy Kelley is also returning to challenge.

by Kirk Lee

The International Waterski and Wakeboard Federation is the international governing body for all things waterski, but what do they actually do? We're all invested in the future of waterskiing, so it's time we spoke up.

When leaders speak behind closed doors, those on the outside are left only to stare at the door and wonder. The Dalai Lama says, “A lack of transparency results in a distrust and a deep sense of insecurity.” While it is not fair to compare the IWWF to the Chinese Government, many in the waterski world are left with a feeling of deep insecurity over what actually happens within the IWWF, and where the money is going.

The International Waterski and Wakeboard Federation is recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the international governing body for towed watersports. Its Mission Statement is to “advance and service all Towed Watersports through education, promotion, and administrative support as part of the Olympic movement.” Its overall priority is “to increase public awareness of Towed Watersports through major events at sites in urban or highly populated areas and through sustained media exposure of those activities.” Basically, if it's a waterski tournament that has “World” in the title, it's sanctioned by the IWWF.

There are three main criticisms of the IWWF: Over-regulation, detachment from skiers, and financial mismanagement.


 The fourth stop on the 2017 Nautique Big Dawg World Tour will be at Little Mountain Lake in Maiden, N.C., on Aug. 5-6.

It will be the Tour's second visit to Little Mountain Lake, with support from area Nautique dealer Race City Marine of Mooresville, N.C.

Little Mountain is the largest and last of four qualifying tournaments leading up to the Big Dawg season finale in Rio Linda, Calif., on Aug. 25-26. With some 40 skiers, Little Mountain will host the largest field of the season.

Chad Scott won the 2016 event and will return to defend his title. World record holder Jeff Rodgers will also be in the field, along with top competitors Ben Favret and Greg Badal. Little Mountain is the home site for another Big Dawg challenger, lake owner Clay Neil.

Rodgers won the season-opening Big Dawg stop in Miami in May, defeating Favret in a runoff after both Americans ran two buoys at 41 feet off in the final. He ran six at 39-1/2 in the runoff, to Favret's 3-1/2 at 39-1/2. Rodgers, a former Open Men world record holder, currently holds the 34-mph world record.

The next two Big Dawg stops moved overseas, with Frederic Halt of Switzerland winning in France, where he defeated Jeremy Newby-Ricci in the head-to-head final by one buoy, scoring three at 41.

Newby-Ricci of Great Britain was runner-up again at the third Tour stop, in Spain, as Ivan Morros won in his home country with two at 41 off in the final. Newby-Ricco scored a half at 41.

The Big Dawg World Tour is in its 12th season and is pulled exclusively by the Ski Nautique 200. The Tour features the world's best 34-mph men slalom skiers ages 35 and older. Each two-day stop includes two qualifying rounds, followed by a bracketed 16-skier head-to-head finale.

Little Mountain Lake will also offer a Big Dawg spinoff event for women, the Queens Cup on Sept. 16-17, for the top amateur female slalom skiers 30 and older. As with the Big Dawg stop, it will be the second season for the Little Mountain Queens Cup, sponsored by, after a hugely successful debut as a $10,000-plus cash-and-prizes event in 2016.

The Queens Cup, which drew 24 entrants last year, follows the same format as the Big Dawg, including the bracketed 16-skier head-to-head finish on Sunday. Unlike the Big Dawg, the Queens Cup uses a handicapped scoring system to include skiers whose maximum boat speed is 30, 32 and 34 mph.

In addition to its support of the Little Mountain Big Dawg stop, Race City Marine of Lake Norman, located 15 minutes from the world record lake, is also an integral supporter of the Queens Cup.

The Little Mountain Big Dawg event will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 5 and 10:30 a.m. Aug. 6.

For information, go to For Queens Cup information, go to the tournament schedule. Or contact tournament director Jeff Gilbert at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for information on either event.

Chris Rossi set out to recreate our new flagship ski with one goal in mind. He wanted to design a ski that carried more speed and generated better angle than anything on the market. Rounder bevels allow the ski to roll edge to edge quicker, ultimately sending you earlier into the buoy than ever before. A new concave gives the ski more support in the turn yielding tight, powerful turns that seem automatic. The final piece to the puzzle was our new rocker profile; moving the contact point closer to your feet makes the ski stay level throughout the entire pass. This increases speed behind the boat and allows you to carry this speed through the turn. The new Vapor is undoubtedly our best ski yet, give it a rip.


A new outline profile for Vapor in 2018 completely redefines what we previously thought possible on a ski. More width through the tail makes the ski sit more level and allows speed to be carried more consistently than before.  The area right under your front foot has an increased taper, which lets the ski move through the finish of the turn easier and allows the tip height to stay constant, ultimately increasing efficiency. The wide spot of the ski has been moved forward, which gives you the ability to stand over your front foot with confidence. 


Rocker defines the pivot point on a ski; for 2018 we’ve moved that contact point closer to the ball of your front foot, which helps the ski pivot easier. The tight radius quick turns are then balanced with our new tail rocker lines that add tail support off the buoy, giving you the ability to build more speed from a wider point. The last piece to the rocker profile is our updated tip rocker. More height here helps the finish of the turn happen more quickly and with more stability.


We’ve increased concave depth through the front half of the Vapor in 2018. This added depth gives the ski more lifting properties which translates into support for the skier. Due to the increase in concave depth and added mass in the middle of the ski, we’ve taken out the step found in the previous version of the Vapor. Removal of the step puts more pressure on the bevels of the ski and gives the ski the ability to roll on edge easier; this provokes more tip pull from apex to turn completion. More support combined with more pull is all any skier can ever ask for in a ski.


A new rounder bevel allows the Vapor to roll edge to edge more smoothly, provides the skier more ability to increase edge angle, and makes for smoother, more dynamic turns. The new bevels have increased contact with the water, which allow the ski to decelerate into the turn and allow the skier to have a tight line at apex. With the rope tight at the height of the turn the skier is able to generate speed from the wide point allowing for more angle and earlier lines in the course.


The addition of corrugated contours through the tip of the ski allows it to flex when loaded at the finish of the turn. Through the utilization of CorFlex, the ski is able to flex more with the same amount of carbon in the layup. By keeping the same amount of carbon, more energy can be created through the loading and unloading process in the turn.  The ski is easier to turn, quicker to accelerate, and creates space more efficiently before the buoy with the addition of CorFlex.

ProBuild Red Facebook Cover


BallOfSpray is proud to announce that NorCal MasterCraft has signed on as the title sponsor of the “NorCal MasterCraft BallOfSpray Cash Prize”. The event will be held September 16th & 17th at Bell Acqua Lake 3 in Rio Linda California.Pro and amateur skiers alike will compete for $6,000 in prize money. The event is comprised of 2 rounds of prelims and a final. Every competitor will ski 3 times and every competitor has an opportunity to take home prize money. The top 16 skiers will compete for $3,000 in a head-to-head final and the remaining skiers will compete for an additional $3,000 in a handicap final.


General Notes and Rules

  1. To be eligible for the handicap round, a skier must have scores from 3 or more different USAWS tournaments in the previous 12 months
  2. Handicaps will be calculated from each skier's USAWS 12 month 3 score average
  3. BallOfSpray reserves the right to tweak individual handicaps and entry qualifications as needed
  4. Non-USAWS skiers who can provide documentation of scores from other federations will be admitted at the discretion of the event organizer

All scores will be entered into the Cash Prize Score Book without regard to boat speed. The values for 34 MPH scores will be used for 36 mph and 32 mph skiers.

  • Example: 4 @ 38 off = 100 buoys at 34mph and at 36 mph and at 32 mph

Seeding for the Head to Head will be as follows

  1. Skiers with the 8 highest scores from prelims will take seeds 1 through 8
  2. Skiers with the highest combined scores from rounds 1 and 2 (but not one of the 8 highest scores) will take seeds 9 through 16

All rules are subject to change
Entries are non-refundable unless the event fills. Entry fees will only be refunded when a skier from the waiting list replaces a canceled entry.
The entry fee is $200

Click here to enter

NorCal MasterCraft


Read Comments about the event on the BallOfSpray Forum


Demo WOW goggles

Orlando, FL. July 12, 2017 - Jennifer Leachman-LaPoint, a 3x Women’s Slalom World Record Holder, founder of Women of Water Sports - On Tour, and Hall-Of-Fame Inductee, recently announced the introduction of a campaign designed to expand the spectrum of competitive water skiing. LaPoint is creating a new app focused on encouraging involvement in sports, her ultimate goal being to motivate millions of water skiers to participate in competition.

Water skiing is rapidly losing participants, and with lack of coverage from major TV and media outlets, there is a shortage of exposure to attract new participants. LaPoint’s project aims to remedy both issues. Because most slalom courses are restricted to private lakes, it is difficult for people to learn to compete or measure their skills. Her goal is to open a gateway.

“My concept, pegged ‘COMPETE,’ is an app for virtual reality water skiing,” Lapoint describes. “With the app, each player will be able to film themselves skiing and attain a water ski score and rank. The experience will be enhanced by special eyewear leveraging augmented reality technology to display the ski course buoys during their ride. This experience creates a whole new dynamic for the sport, bringing competition skiing to anyone, anywhere at anytime.”

As a collaborative app, COMPETE puts the “social” back in competitive water skiing, allowing players to challenge one another in impromptu competitions or match play. Players can gain points not only by buoy count, but also by every inch of water covered, endurance rides, biggest spray and most acceleration. To encourage younger participates, COMPETE will also allow kids to transform buoys into virtual creatures they can capture on the water. For fans, there are options to pick leaderboards and form fantasy teams. Furthermore, COMPETE will provide measurement, feedback and coaching in real-time.

“When people have a method to measure success and obtain feedback on their performance, they will be motivated to pursue it further,” LaPoint conveys. “Not only will it promote competition at the grassroots level, but it will also spur the pro level as COMPETE becomes a future source of revenue for media and TV, building the sport up from the bottom and pulling it up from the top. ”

Currently, LaPoint is in the process of fundraising the development of the proof of concept for the water ski version of COMPETE. Jaibil, a fortune 500 technology company, has shown interest in assisting with development. A Go Fund Me campaign is in operation for investments to fund the project by September, in hopes of full release to the public for spring of 2018. A future Kickstarter campaign is also being developed. Ownership opportunities in the business are available with larger investments. To contribute, go to

Corey Vaughn Welcome Photo

Radar Skis is thrilled to announce the addition of Corey Vaughn to the Radar Pro Team. Corey's passion for the sport his driven him to be one the the sports top athletes and coaches. He was one of the first ten people to ever run the illusive 41 Off pass and runs a successful ski school in Bumpass, VA. Buoy Wonder as the world may know him found success immediately after switching to the new Pro Build this spring. We're stoked to have him on board and after watching him place 2nd at the Andy Mapple Pro-Am on his new Vapor we know the future is bright for Mr. Corey Vaughn. Welcome.

eNeR Gy

noun - en·er·gy \ˈe-nər-jē\

Vigorous exertion of power:

The  capacity  for  vigorous  activity;  available  power

NRG- description – natural rocker geometry; see d3

NRG BOS release 7 21

The NRG is a different ski for D3. The NRG has been created for skiers who are looking for quicker turns and prefer a ski that can develop more angle as it approaches the wake. The NRG turns in the blink of an eye. The NRG’s new concave creates maximum holding power as it exits each turn and builds space to the next edge change. Skiers who ride the middle to back of the ski and want a quick turning ski will want to try the NRG.

Powerful, quick, fast… that’s the NRG.

NRG – 64”, 65”, 66”, 67” and 68” NRG-PINK- 64”, 65” and 66”

NRG starts shipping 7-26-2017 in limited sizes.
Get yours factory direct at
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 916-714-9389




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.

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