Zack Worden, pro waterskier, brother and friend, suffered severe injury during a jump crash on September 11, 2021. During a practice jump while training for the Water Ski World Championships one of his ski tips was swept behind him and there was not sufficient time to recover the ski or commit to an OTF crash. Zack attempted to roll but was able only to tuck his head, spearing his body into the water and taking the full energy of the crash on his torso. The force broke his sternum and crushed his T6 vertebrae in every direction, something called a burst fracture which can easily cause permanent paralysis if it impinges the spinal cord. Fortunately the nerves of Zack’s spinal cord remained intact during the crash and a talented team of surgeons stabilized the thoracic spine, eliminating the risk he would lose feeling or movement of his limbs. They also confirmed that he wouldn’t suffer any life-threatening effects in his lungs or heart from the broken sternum. Zack’s friends, his family and the waterski world breathed a collective sigh of relief that he managed to avoid those outcomes.
For those not yet acquainted, an account of Zack’s waterski accomplishments reads like a comprehensive list of major junior, college, and pro events from the last two decades. Twenty years ago he won Boys 1 slalom at U.S. Nationals (then, like now, there was no Boys 1 jump event). The next year he won Boys 2 jump, starting a long streak of jump wins throughout the rest of his junior years and sweeping up gold medals at Pan Ams, Worlds, Masters, and the U.S. Open, sometimes in all three events, setting the Boys 2 (131’) and Boys 3 (191’) jump records as well as the Jr. Masters (188’), Jr. Worlds (190’) and Jr. U.S. Open (191’) records. In 2009 he graduated to pro and college skiing, dominating collegiate nationals every time he competed and setting the record there, too (195’). His first pro win came soon after, at the King of Darkness in 2010, spurring further wins in subsequent years at IWWF World Cup, Malibu Open, Madrid Pro, and U.S. Open, and countless podium finishes at Moomba, America’s Cup, Pan Ams, Masters, and Worlds. Zack set the National Mens 1 jump record (219’), the longest jump off of a 5-1/2 ft jump (228’) and sports a personal best of 234 feet, making him one of the top ten furthest jumpers since the birth of the sport nearly 100 years ago.
His proudest moment wasn’t even at a traditional pro event but rather something called the Twin Lakes CornFest where, in the fall of 2019 in Wisconsin, thousands of hungry mouths munching corn cobs were suddenly agape at the sight of a human being cutting a long arc through the sky. That human projectile was Zack, smiling from ear to ear, at the top of his game. When the event concluded Zack had won the “LD Jump” event and earned the infinitely unique and awesome title “Ramp Master Superstar”. Those in the ski world lucky enough to know the person behind the oversized checks, who can see past the charred remains of jump records from generations past, know a person who always keeps things positive. Of course his friends and fellow skiers, when asked, speak of Zack in superlatives: “legend”, “greatest of all time”, “Boy Wonder”, “Waterski Daredevil”. Yet the stories of his prowess on the ramp soon give way and are overshadowed by his stand-out attitude off the water. The man we know as Ramp Master Superstar has never failed to keep enjoyment of the sport his top priority. Less than two weeks after his surgery to repair multiple major vertebral fractures he briefly graced a group of his friends and amateur jumpers with his presence at a tournament at Fluid Water Sports. Superstar indeed.
Such unwavering dedication to the sport has shone throughout Zack’s career. Indeed anyone who hadn’t yet seen him ski would be forgiven for thinking he was simply a friendly and supportive fan of the sport who loves to be around people and help them have fun on the water. Among other things he has followed in his father John Worden’s footsteps serving as a technical controller, arriving weeks early to tournament sites to set them up and ensure skiers will have the best conditions.
With mounting bills and modest means Zack could use our support to make ends meet on his long road to recovery. We at Militia Clothing consider Zack to be one of us, and we are doing what we can to help him back on his feet. This special edition #flyforzack shirt is soft, comfortable, and it’s full of good feels for giving back to someone who has given our sport so much. All profits and any additional funds donated through this effort will go directly to Zack to support his recovery. Thank you.
This Fly For Zack shirt design features Zack's legendary 195' record jump from the 2011 NCWSA Collegiate Water Ski Nationals.
TWO WAYS TO HELP ZACK (ALL PROCEEDS GO TO ZACK’S RECOVERY)
BUY A “FLY FOR ZACK” SHIRT: https://www.mltaclothing.com/
In 1967, Jim McCormick located to Winter Haven, Florida and was quickly establishing himself amongst the community of emerging stars as the leading mind in training techniques, working with several athletes who were in the early stages of Hall of Fame careers.
As his ideas were innovative, Jim attracted those who were keen to achieve new heights. And Jim's ideas had already extended beyond the coaching of the athlete, and would permanently change the face of tournament water skiing--the vision of McCormick Lakes was vivid in his mind, and over the next several years would come to fruition. Jim purchased approximately 72 acres in nearby Seffner, Florida, just outside of Tampa, and began to build his dream. Designing and Carving the lakes himself, Jim labored for two years before completing the magical lakes in 1974, setting the stage for the start of something very special.
Over the course of the ensuing years, McCormick's became known amongst skiers from around the world to come for the world's best skiing conditions and instruction. Tournament after tournament, record after record, year after year--McCormick Lakes has been home to greatness. All four of Jim's children became National and International water ski champions, and son Michael continues as owner and operator of McCormick's today.
Today, McCormick's includes a world-class Rixen cable facility, the legendary McCormick ski lake, and 34 campsites that have remained and increased in demand. Spectacular and spacious, yet only minutes from the metropolitan area of Tampa, McCormick Lakes offers a unique opportunity like no other. The Tampa Bay area 2021 census of 2.8 million comes in as the fourth largest metropolitan area in the southeastern United States (after Miami, Washington D.C., and Atlanta). Yet, the vast open space of the property has retained the feeling of its once rural roots.
Ideal circular Rixen cable system, capable of hosting 30+ riders per hour, complete with boardwalks and leading features. The world famous McCormick tournament water ski lake, ideal for training in all three events in both a ski school, club, or private environment, complete with a bedroom bathroom home.
34 serviced campsites that enjoy the acreage of the estate as well as the proximity to the greater Tampa Bay area Open space suitable for future expansion.
Offered at $2,600,000. Contact Drew Ross for more information
Contact Drew Ross for more information
Chris Parrish is synonymous with slalom ski excellence. For those who have seen him ski, his powerful yet fluid position is something to try and emulate. His 6’5” frame gained him the nickname “The Tower” that has followed Chris through his career. CP counts 3 World slalom Records, 5 Moomba Masters Titles, 2 US Open Titles, 2 US Masters Titles and many more titles and records as his major ski accomplishments. For those who have met him though, intimidating is not at all the correct word to describe Chris Parrish. He’s lighthearted, fun loving & funny. Devastated by major neck injuries and the loss of Andy Mapple in 2014, Chris stepped away from the pro ski scene for a while. After a few years away and surgeries to repair his injuries, Chris is back. Although still competitive on the pro tour, CP now relishes his time skiing with friends and students and especially his time training at his stomping grounds on Lake Pickett with his lifelong ski buddy, his dad.
Chris’s now looks for a ski that provides more balance, speed, and efficiency to supplement his extra-large stature to make things easier and less taxing on his body. Now in its 2nd generation(Mark II), with Chris’s feedback we’ve further developed the rocker, bevels, and width properties of the Omega Max.
Now offered in 65”, 66”, 67” * 68” sizes and 2 builds(Syndicate Construction & Carbon Construction), this wider variant of the Omega program provides the acceleration from turn to wakes allowing for the early, tight line skiing skiers’ dream of.
Results already coming in:
Elisha Nelson got dialed in on Women’s Carbon Omega Max quickly, taking one of the first skis out of the mold and setting a new A2 world record of 1.5@32mph at the California Pro-Am.
Chris Parrish has returned to the pro scene in pro form. He ran 2@41’off at 36mph in the Hilltop Pro-Am, demonstrating that the Omega Max Mark II is not only great at slower speeds like 28-32mph, it rips at 34 & 36mph too!
Now live on the 2022 HOSports.com website and hitting stores soon, learn more about the Omega Max program, find out why it may be right for you to elevate your own skiing!
Syndicate Omega Max: https://www.hosports.com/
2022 HO/Syndicate Waterski Line: https://www.hosports.com/
International Waterski and Wakeboard Federation (IWWF) and Waterski Pro Tour are pleased to announce their new relationship as they unite to promote professional waterskiing.
Earlier this year the IWWF replaced the Elite Point structure that had governed professional waterskiing with an improved competitive framework developed by Waterski Pro Tour. In doing so, a unified, global tour of all IWWF-sanctioned professional waterski events was created. This tour brings together both the historic, tentpole events with the new and emerging under one banner in an effort to further capture the imagination of the growing pro waterskiing audience.
IWWF and Waterski Pro Tour have now taken the further step of officially partnering. This reflects their common goal of promoting awareness of, and engagement with, professional waterskiing globally.
Under the partnership IWWF will remain the regulators and decision-makers of the technical aspects of pro waterskiing. The Waterski Pro Tour will market pro waterskiing, foster corporate relationships and support existing and emerging pro waterski events.
“I remember the excitement of the Café de Colombia Waterski World Cup and Coors Light Waterski Tour and enjoyed watching ski legends battle each other for the gold. Today, we start a new chapter in professional waterskiing that will take our sport back into the public’s view for the new generation to enjoy.” – Jose Antonio Perez Priego, IWWF President
"I am very excited to see the IWWF and Waterski Pro Tour work hand in hand to give pro waterskiing the visibility it deserves. We are looking forward to taking the many opportunities to grow the sport we are all so passionate about." - Manon Costard, Waterski Pro Tour co-founder, IWWF Athlete Rep and current women's slalom World Champion
International Waterski and Wakeboard Federation (IWWF) is the world governing body of towed water sports. Founded in 1946, it is recognised by the International Olympic Committee as the sole authority governing all towed water sports and has over 90 affiliated member federations worldwide.
Waterski Pro Tour was founded in 2020 with the aim of accelerating public engagement with the global sport of professional waterskiing
Made in the USA, the Carbon V features Skelecore, our advanced core shaping technique that reduces overall core mass, allowing the fibers of the ski to react quicker and more naturally. The V is incredibly responsive and nimble ski features a hybrid tip and V-Tech to optimize the ski connection with the water. Also made in the USA, the V features the same advanced slalom geometries and base features but with a closed cell polyurethane core. For 2022 we added VersaTail to the V and Carbon V giving skiers the ability to alter the geometry and fine tune the ski to their preferences. Both skis will include the stock, square, round tail blocks.
VersaTail (patent pending) is the first and only interchangeable tail system. In the past, subtle tweaks in ski geometry and construction are all that has differentiated the myriad of options available. This revolutionary design gives skiers the ability to alter the geometry and fine tune the ski to their preferences. Changing these tail blocks will alter the flow of water off the tail of the ski, taking a step beyond the standard fin and binding position adjustments. If you find yourself in a different water temperature simply try another shape to get your tail higher or lower in the water.
Stock - Designed to offer a balanced tail depth through the turn and across the wake.
Square - A square tail shape that adds lift, support, and provides a clean release of water for speed.
Round - The round tail lets the ski sit deeper in the water into the turn, adding control at higher speeds for quicker turns and reduced tail blow out
Round to Square - Allows the ski to ride deeper in the water on left turns and provides more tip pressure on right hand turns. This may benefit the skier on their onside and offside turns depending on their strength and style.
Square to Round - Allows the ski to ride deeper in the water on right turns and provides more tip pressure on left hand turns. This may benefit the skier on their onside and offside turns depending on their strength and style.
The boot you’ve been dreaming about is coming this fall! 2022 Vapor boot will rewrite the rules when it comes to waterski footwear. If you’re going to be at Waterski Nationals swing by our booth for a sneak peek.
The American Water Ski Association's National Junior Development Committee is holding an online auction in conjunction with the 79th GOODE Water Ski National Championships. The auction runs Aug. 4-12 and features items from GOODE, Connelly, D3, HO, Radar, Coble Ski School, Ski Fluid, Travers Water Ski School, Corey Vaughn Water Ski Coach (Peace Love and Water Skiing), USA Water Ski & Wake Sports, and more. Click here to bid on items and support national junior development.
The funds raised from this auction will benefit the programs and awards of AWSA National Junior Development. This includes the National Junior Team, All-Stars, National and Most Improved Awards, and the Junior Banquet at Nationals. The auction runs from noon (CDT) on Aug. 4 until 8:00 p.m. (CDT) on Aug. 12. It is online only this year.
The American Water Ski Association’s Junior Development Program is a nationwide program for water ski athletes of all levels under the age of 18. The goals of the program are to attract new junior skiers, promote junior skiers and provide junior skiers with opportunities for assistance in improving their skiing skills. These goals are accomplished through various clinics and activities. Some clinics are for the beginner skier who wants to become a competitive skier, while other clinics are designed for the skiers who want to perfect their skiing expertise to reach a higher level of competitive skiing. The program also provides awards to junior skiers for their participation, as well as news articles in The Water Skier, which promotes junior skiers’ accomplishments.
The Junior Development Program has different teams for the many levels of skiing. Each of the five regions supports a team and from these teams, an All-Star Team is chosen each year for competition at the GOODE Water Ski National Championships. There also is a National Junior Team, which is chosen through the skier’s placement on the National Rankings List.
FENTON, MI., July 20, 2021 - Action Water Sports is proud to announce the charity auction of a one-of-a-kind MasterCraft ProStar to celebrate 50 years of partnership at its Fenton location. All proceeds from the auction will go directly to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
The auction opens on July 20th and closes end-of-day on August 4th. Anyone can participate and for more information on auction details, visit: actionwater.com/prostar-
The check presentation to St. Jude will take place on August 5th at the Action Water Sports of Fenton anniversary party. The anniversary party will feature live music, food and drinks. The party is scheduled for 5:00pm - 9:00pm at 8051 Old US-23, Fenton, MI 48430.
“Our mission at Action Water Sports is to bring families together on the water,” said Gregg Rising, General Manager at Action Water Sports. “When looking for someone to partner with to celebrate 50 years of business with MasterCraft, we wanted one that embodied family support and while we are bringing families together, St. Jude is keeping families together.”
The custom 2021 ProStar celebrates a 50-year partnership between MasterCraft and Action Water Sports. It is retrofitted with old-school stars and stripes to create an iconic look. In addition to all of the standard features of a 2021 ProStar, this one-of-a-kind ski boat also features a custom fiberglass bow cover, tandem trailer, 6.2L Ilmor engine, and gel coating.
St Jude’s is a worldwide leader in research, prevention, and treatment of catastrophic children’s diseases. Together, the two organizations found similarities in their mission.
“We’re all in this fight together against childhood cancer, and partnerships like this ultimately help us save lives,” said Megan Holt, Regional Manager at St. Jude. “We are truly grateful for the opportunity to partner together, to have some fun, to auction off an amazing boat, and save lives.”
For more information and how to bid, visit actionwater.com/prostar-
About Action Water Sports
Action Water Sports is a premier MasterCraft Boat Company and Crest Pontoons dealership specializing in sales, service, and the Midwest’s largest water sports proshop. With four locations in Michigan and Florida, Action Water Sports strives to set the bar for excellence for service within the Metro Detroit boating community. They are recognized as a top dealer in the nation for MasterCraft boats and voted by Boating Industry as a Top 100 Dealer in the nation. For more information, visit www.actionwater.com.
MasterCraft is a world-renowned innovator, designer, manufacturer, and marketer of premium performance sport boats. Founded in 1968, MasterCraft has cultivated its iconic brand image through a rich history of industry-leading innovation, and more than five decades after the original MasterCraft made its debut, the company’s goal remains the same—to continue building the world’s best ski, wakeboard, wake surf, and luxury performance powerboats. For more information, visit www.mastercraft.com.
THE U.S. OPEN IS BACK...AND IT'S BACK AT THE US NATIONALS...The US Open is one of water skiing's most prestigious major events. The Morilee U.S. Open presented by OJ Props is the second-largest cash prize purse of the 2021 season, and one of only 2 pro events to feature all 3 water ski disciplines for both genders including the only overall cash event of the season. This event is sure to bring huge crowds and the top athletes in the world.
Waters Edge, south of the city of Chicago, will host the 24th U.S. Open. We are excited to bring the event back after 5 years but even more excited to be bringing the U.S. Open back to the U.S. GOODE Nationals for the first time in 2 decades! An event many water ski enthusiasts have missed watching during their nationals competition.
The world's top water ski athletes will compete for U.S. Open titles in slalom, tricks, jumping, and overall during the two-day tournament.
The 24th U.S. Open will feature $78,000 in cash purse. With $12,000 in both men and women slalom, trick, and jump, and $3,000 in both men and women overall. Preliminary rounds start Thursday, August 12th, and the finals Friday, August 13th from 5 pm-10 pm, including Men's Jump under the lights.
Don't miss it! Free admission, music, food, beer trucks, and all the pro waterski action you could want.
When we first conceived the idea of Denali almost 10 years ago, we did not know where it would take us. We started with an idea that if we could figure out how to iterate our ski design ideas quickly (in terms of days or weeks), that we could leapfrog an industry that iterates slowly (in terms of months or years). That led us to build our first CNC mill on a shoestring budget that was just big enough to cut a mold, and to figure out what materials were cheap and would work well enough to make prototype ski molds. The first ski was Version 1.0, and it was based on a modified Sixam we had hand shaped. Since then, we have tested theory after theory by cutting more than 60 prototype molds.
We weren’t really sure where all this iteration would take us, but we bet that having the ability to design and test ideas quickly would lead us to something better than what other ski manufacturers had to offer. We looked everywhere we could think of for inspiration: race boats, surfboards, fighter jets, sailboats, snow skis, submarines, rockets...the list continues to grow. We tried some really out of the box ideas in those early days, with some skis being unbelievably bad, and others surprisingly good. The important thing then was that we were learning as we went, and the skis started getting better and better.
HO Sports is pleased to announce the 6th annual Syndicate Hilltop Pro-Am Water Ski tournament in Arlington, Washington, August 21st and 22nd, 2021.
The top professional slalom skiers in the world will compete alongside aspiring junior and local amateur skiers, combining the family-friendly atmosphere of water skiing with one of the largest cash prize events of the summer!Thanks to generous contributions by local skiers, the women’s grand prize and purse will exceed the men’s for 2021! With total payouts over $34,000, HO Sports is excited to welcome the world’s best slalom skiers to beautiful Hilltop Lake for a weekend of intense water ski competition and fun!
Women’s Purse $18,000 (6,350 Grand Prize)
Men’s Purse: $16,000 ($5,350 Grand Prize)
A lot of you know SkiDawg, aka Ward Mclain. Or his Uber-Athlete kids, Logan and Landrie. But fewer know how deep the competitive DNA runs in the Mclain family. Ward’s wife Kim is an OG baller herself. She used to get out and hold her own on a waterski when they lived at Olde Oaks in Shreveport. But her real forte is mountain bike racing. I recall her showing up at a waterski tournament to ski looking like she’d been in a brawl with a mountain lion. Only to find out she’d come straight from winning a mountain bike race to ski in a tournament.
Unfortunately, Kim did take a hard spill on her mountain bike on Monday April 26th, which had her being airlifted to a Level 1 Trauma center. She was left with a fractured left hip, the head of her right hip was pushed through the hip socket, a pelvic fracture, 2 sacrum fractures(I had to google that ouch!), and fractures in her L4 and L5 vertebrates. One monstrous 10 hour surgery later, humpty dumpty is put back together with bailing wire and duct tape, and back home on the mend. According to Ward she is looking at 8+ weeks non weight bearing on both legs. And faced with who knows how many months of physical therapy.
Even worse than the trauma from the injuries to Kim and watching her go through this for the rest of their family, Kim and Ward’s insurance wasn’t set to start for 2 more weeks. So now they are faced with the financial perils of not just a lost income for a significant part of the year, but also the mounting hospital bills as they arrive.
Ward and Kim have given so much to all of us, as well as to multiple sports. Friendship, first of all. Not to mention places to stay when we’ve been in town and mental support during races and tournaments. If you can afford to give to help out a great family in a time of need, please do so.
Donate to the Kim McLain Medical Fund
More details to come