Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Check out this ...

bit of waterski history, from down under.

This is from the 1975 Moomba Masters

This is ancient ski footage, from the 1965 Australian national championships.

Pretty cool footage, from Heather Bonney, or, as she calls herself on YouTube, heatherbonney.
I assume she is an old-timey pro skier from Austraila. Love the jump form, by the way.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

What else is there...

to say, but


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

What's the scariest...

part about this time of year????

Libby's Pumpkin

The thought of nearly 6 months without skiing.

Rykert's Pumpkin

hopefully there will be pics of my non-PC halloween costume by next week.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Old school storytime...

Part 2


They say the bonds of brotherhood are never broken. well, I don't know who the hell said it, but I'm sure someone did. Probably that same "they" idiot alleged to be the author of countless other aphorisms, witticisms, and helpful hints. But enough about authorless quotes, for now.

During my time at Auburn, I learned of Alabama's culture, a strong sense of family and a brittle truce between years of prescribed tradition and shift in attitudes induced by an ever-varying demographic, from Jodee and Jay Vick.

Jodee, who believed that freshmen should not be allowed to speak, was the only ski team veteran willing to put up with my eager, yet car less, drive to be a part of the ski team. for Jodee, "if a pig didn't die, it's just not breakfast." Part Jeff Foxworthian prototype, part socialist, he always provided conversation fodder for philosophy and psychology students.

Jay, right or wrong, must have concluded that time-released adrenalin was added to every can of Natural Light. He told me once "without an adrenaline rush every now and then, you might as well be dead." the sensations of speed and flight in slalom and jump, were at the base of his life force, and he sure could drink a lot. Getting drunk required a full commitment, and he often delivered. He was also the type who only missed church if he was jumping at a tournament, or the race began before noon.

They had a bond like JB weld (anyone who has ever used it to repair a trick ski knows what i mean). They lived together, drank the same beer, (natural light, they even converted Chad Kidwell for a time. Of course Chad is an industrial engineer living in the suburbs of Huntsville right now, so natty light is a bit below his present means), voted identically at club meetings, and bitched like blue-haired grannies while at the lake.

They both liked to get drunk on occasion, especially on Saturday night at collegiate tournaments. If we were competing in Milledgeville, they took it to another level (the drinking, that is. Jodee said he never slalomed for shit at Walmead). After the traditional Mexican feast at the El Sombrero (my personal favorite of all the ski-town Mexican dives). The whole team, well, the whole conference was out a a bar downtown. it was the place next to the opera house, and, I confess, I can't remember the name. The usual debauchery followed: drinking, dancing, regrettable hookups, emesis, and loss of consciousness.

Todd Titus of Clemson and Chad Kidwell performed a series of interpretive bodily convulsions, so no one else seemed too out of place on the dance floor. Sadly, neither Jodee nor jay could reach the floor. Whiskey, beer, and a bar blocked their path. near closing time, both were sloshed, fading in and out of the natural world. It was last call, jump comes ealry on Sunday morning, so it was time to go home (motels become "home" when involved in collegiate water-skiing). As usual, the first order of business was to gather up all those who could no longer take care of themselves. That night "those" happened to be Jodee and jay. Christy, usually a very sloppy drunk, stayed remarkably sober (by her own standards, which meant that she did not puke before finishing dinner).

Scouring the bar for the brothers, we found Jodee and Jay seated back-to-back, each supporting the other's now-numb body. Gazing from below, Jodee slurred "where's jay?." From behind, the drunk-tank crew heard Jay gurgle, "we can't leave without Jodee!" Amazing. Their awareness reduced to almost nothing, they were still each other's first priority.

A double in-bar pass out merely catalyzed the memorable part of that night. As always (from 94-98) yours truly was driving the drunk bus (the "drunk bus" was a 1991 mercury tracer, dubbed "the turtle" by Chad Kidwell). With great intestinal fortitude, Jay survived the trip to the motel without puking. After falling out the door into the Milledgeville Holiday Inn (what a great motel!) Jay could last no longer. He sprayed the right rear tire with partially digested tacos and natural light. The river of Jay's rejected caloric input seemed to flow endlessly, from his mouth all the way to the highway.

A few minutes later, Jodi Elliot transported Jodee and Christy to the motel room (officially, only four occupants slept in the room that night). Jay moved a bit more slowly. hauling nearly all of his now-gangly mass, yours truly helped him up the stairs and placed his ravaged body on the second floor balcony. Not wanting to puke on himself, Jay stuck his head through the railing. born with a neck narrower than his cranium, he was stuck. A few exhausted cries for help later, the sober driver hears him, and realized that no one else had a head clear enough to offer help. With a heave that rivaled that of men many times larger, he yanked Jay's head through the narrow space between the bars. Jay lay there all but unconscious. He could neither walk nor crawl across the four feet of balcony that separated himself from the motel room door, and near-death slumber. There was only one thing to do. Just like the caveman after selecting a mate, our sober hero slung Jay over his shoulder, walked him into the room and placed him on the floor. Jay was out cold.

By this time, the room's air conditioner could have given the shivers to a penguin. Jodee and Christy were both asleep on chairs. Lost in the dream of a Metallica concert mosh pit (at least that's my theory), Jodee's head bobbed furiously, but his sleep was not roused. Christy, infested with chill bumps, lay there lifelessly. All were asleep. Our sober hero pushed his way into a bed for much-deserved, (and much needed) rest. That morning, we all heard Jodee's first words of the day: "owwwww! my neck really hurts!" we told him why. Waking up in a cold shiver, Christy, now barely aware of her surroundings, screamed at the top of her lungs "I HATE ALL Y'ALL FUCKERS!" Christy must have believed that somewhere in the ski club by-laws (wherever the hell they are, if they even exist), the is a rule granting blanket priority to the first skier to pass out in a cold motel chair. Christy then stomped across 2 mattersses and the backs of 5 or 6 still-inebriated skiers. Her last step nearly heimliched Robert. After a concussive door-slam, she locked herself into the bathroom.

That was one hell of a tournament. Both Jay and Jodee jumped the next day, posting respectable scores.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Thanks to my College friend...

Robert for unearthing this from his vast archive of floppy discs. It was on the now-defunct Auburn Waterski Team alumni webpage, newly reincarnated on facebook.

This is a story, set in 1996, about nearly running out of gas in Deliverance, Georgia, while in transit from Auburn, AL to West Palm Beach, and that slice of Heaven on Earth, Okeheelee park.

It probably went something like this in Christy's accord:

"I’m almost empty, we'll stop in Columbus. Gas is cheap in Georgia," Christy said

"uhh huhhhhhhh," Jodee acknowledged.

Christy had the first shift, and Jodee was asleep. We took off at midnight so we could have the road all to ourselves. Chad’s jeep had almost half a tank.

"Hey Chad, we can hold out for a while. Let’s not mess with backing the trailer up to the pump." I said.

"Good idea, Rykert. What do you think, trey?" Chad asked.


"What’s taking them so damn long? We could have filled up the car and the boat already." asked Rykert.

"Look. Jodee just walked out. Maybe he wants you to split a lottery ticket with him?" said Chad.

"Shut up Chad!" Rykert snapped.

Christy’s car took off, her engine sipping the precious fuel. "P
"Pull over, you could pay for the entire trip if we stopped in at amateur night"

"Pig! All men are pigs!" screamed Christy!

"If you start running low on cash, don't blame me. I gave you an idea"

Jodee worked the folding seat and tilted the brim on his O’Neill cap. He was asleep in minutes, less than ten.
Ahead, Chad, Trey, Rykert, and 3000 pounds of Malibu response plodded along in Chad's Jeep Cherokee.

"Chad, i could never live in South Georgia. Open spaces are nice, but this is a bit ridiculous. I haven’t seen anything resembling civilization in an hour" exclaimed Rykert

"What are you talking about? This place is great. They play tough high school football down here" screamed Trey

"Trey’s awake!"

Chad's yellow fuel light kicked on.

"Trey, your state sucks, there's nothing down here except peanut farms, and NOTHING is open past 12 outside of Columbus!" explained Rykert

"It’s about time for some gas. Do you know if there's anything around here that is open? My light has been on for the past ten minutes."

"i just saw a sign that said Richland was 20 miles ahead. Usually any town big enough to get its name on a sign 20 miles away will have an all-night gas station."

"I hope so, or else we might have to siphon out of the boat."

"Chad, we ran the gas out of the boat this afternoon when we skied. Remember, the pissing in your wetsuit, Jodee nearly skiing into a bass boat?"

"This is gonna be close, I need to slow down a bit." Flashing trailer lights shook Christy out of her highway hypnosis

"Jodee, wake up, Chad’s pulling into this town. he must need gas. "

"Man, this place looks deserted. Maybe we should stop at this hotel and ask if they have all night gas"

"Chad, this place is a ghost town. It’s like that ray Bradbury story where everything in this automated town still worked but the all the people were dead."

"Yeah, it's kind of spooky."

"There’s the police station, let's pull in there and ask where the nearest place to get gas is."

"Look, there's Jodee and Christy."

The only signs of life in richland and trey all rolled out of those two cars. Rykert walked up to the front door of the richland pd. Then he turned back.

"Jodee, the police station is closed. I can't believe it. Of all the redneck, backwoods blue law southern nowheresvilles, I have never heard of one where the police station closes at night. I feel like I’ve died and gone to eternal mayberry."

Chad interjected "we're screwed, 'cause I’m running on fumes."

"Well, we could steal some of this police station gas. This pump looks like it works."

"What if we get caught?"

"Who’s going to catch us, all the cops are in bed?"

"There’s a light on in the house behind that tree, somebody could be watching, maybe a cop lives there."

"Turn the pump on and see if it works."

"It’s got a lock on it. What kind of tools do we have?"

Jodee studied civil engineering in class, but his dad, a few failed slalom course installations, a pocket knife, and good old fashioned redneck know-how all combined into a remarkable ability to jerry-rig on a minute's notice.

"Ok, here's what we'll do. Chad, you take off and head down the road. I saw a hotel up the road while me and Christy were looking for a gas station. There’s a hose around the side of it. If we park on the side, it's dark and nobody will see us. I’ll cut off a piece and we'll siphon gas from Christy’s car if you run out."

"Jodee, that's not going to work, somebody is going to see you. We don't have enough money to get you out of jail."

"It’s either that or sleep on the side of the road, hoping you don't hear dueling banjos whistling through peanut fields "

"Let’s go Chad, maybe we'll get lucky, I mean, get lucky and find a gas station. Don’t look at me like that!"

Everyone, now wide-awake from 35 degrees of dead Georgia air regrouped to his car.

"I can't believe we've made it this far. The light has been on forever. It’ll be any minute now"

"Just keep it around 40 and don't accelerate going uphill."

"I mean, this place is just dead! I can't believe there is absolutely nothing out here."

"Chad, that's Jodee and Christy coming up from behind."

"I hope he got... holy shit! Look out the window!"

The cars were right beside each other, window down. Jodee stuck out his arm, raising 10 feet of coiled garden hose to the black sky





"Ok, roll the windows up, I’m cold."

"Rykert, I would have given anything to see that: Jodee with his knees in the dirt, cutting as fast as

He could. "

"Yeah, and looking over his shoulder every five seconds. Of course that's not as funny as some of the

Just-in-case excuses that he was trying to invent at the time"

"Yeah, he'll be telling the cop: well, it was either that or steals gas from the police station, but i was afraid they had a neighborhood watch. Oh, what a nightmare that would have been."

About five minutes later, a gas station popped up over the hill. Chad put 20.5 gallons into his twenty-gallon tank.

Jodee and Christy evaded arrest twice on that trip. While driving through west palm, they detoured through an upscale Palm Beach county golf course. Both a little tipsy neither knew their location until they almost ran over a golf ball-washer.

Trey was only awake for about 30 minutes of the entire 14-hour trek. That time must not have included his driving shift through who-knows-where Florida. Chad and rykert were pale and nauseous from fear.

Speaking of Chad and rykert, the trip nearly claimed both their lives. After returning to auburn with nothing to do for a few days, they decided to drive straight through to Chad’s house in Huntsville.

Neither had the energy for the last leg of the drive. They swapped driving duty every fifteen minutes, then every ten, then every five, sometimes stopping to run around on the side of 1-65, at two in the morning.

For all the memories and blunders, no charges were filed.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Non-stop action...

From the Cy-Hawk Alumni tournament.

Clint Anderson, ISU alum

Tom Stelzer, current UI skier.
Tom, you are supposed to stomp your skis BEFORE hitting the ramp

Leah Timmerman, UI alum

Maggie Tierney, ISU

I don't know which team won, The scores have not yet been posted on

Unfortunately, the lights for for the ski show later that night, there was no night jump.

Check out the lenses in my sunglasses. You can see the back of the boat and the wake in one lens, and Brian taking the picture in the other. Nice shot Brian.

One last thing: Notice the slack rope in the air. That came courtesy of a 15 mph slack tailwind. I was glad I had to leave early on Saturday. I did not want to jump in those conditions. 100_0772

Thursday, August 28, 2008

My new...

secret weapon.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

"Part the last"...

Of my lame Regionals coverage. The pictures tell the whole story of the trip home.












Monday, August 11, 2008

"part the fourth..."

of my lame regionals coverage.

It had everything:

The Good:

Brian Ansel's winning jump, 165 feet. Sweet.

The Bad:

My last jump. When My right ski went below parallel to the water, I stopped giving a shit about riding the jump away.

The Ugly:

Leah. One second longer, and she would have face planted the ramp.

This Picture should explain the mishap above.
LEAH, DO NOT JUMP WITH A BROKEN FIN (or even the suspicion of a broken fin)

Pat Cook finished his Men 2 career with a 135 foot jump in conditions that wer more conducive to tubinbg and beer-drinking. Not bad, Pat.

Thanks again to "Flyin'" Brian Reed for the videography.
He passed this one, but posted a 130 ft. jump for a place on the podium.

Next: The Trek Home

Saturday, August 09, 2008

"part the third"

of my limited '08 Midwest Regionals coverage.

Camerawork courtesy of "Flyin'" Brian Reed.

Pat Cook:

He was most woried about his Wake 0

Brian Ansel's 2-ski pass:

Gotta love the two-ski stepovers.

My toe pass. I placed highest out of our carpool, But as a percentage of tricks attempted/tricks scored, Pat & Brian both tricked better than I did.

I dropped my Toe 0 after a few falls the week before in practice. After tanking my opener in slalom, I wanted to be sure I did not have a first-trick fall on the next day. Adding to the triumph, I had to repeat my Reverse Toe Back after sidesliding the first try.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

"part the second"...

of 08 regionals.
Nothing to complain about the site

Here is a miracle shot. someone actually got a pic of me slaloming. It's a miracle shot because after missing the handle around 2, I was not on the water for very long.
So much for a decent overal performance.

Brian was better that day. He got into 32 off

By the way, it was hot that weekend.

Next, tricks.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

"part the first"...

of 2008 Midwest regionals. It began well enough, as I loaded my sleep-deprived ass, as well as a shit ton of equipment, clothes, and water jugs, into Brian's 2000 Chevy Astro. After a stop in Cedar Rapids to pick up Pat (and his three event's worth of equipment, the aforementioned stop in Coralville for me and my stuff, and another stop in DSM to pick up Brian (and his three event's worth of stuff we had a full load.


And now for a couple of gratuitous Welcome to [state x] shots.

kansas enlarged
Here's your enlarged Welcome to Kansas shot.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Too much...

Karate Kid shit with my hands.

I finally had a fourth person with me while tricking. That means a driver, a pinner, and a filmer to get some toe trick footage. It's a little dangerous to film and release. It might lead to something akin to this:


This was actually a jump injury (get healed up ASAP Katie), but I think, loyal readers, you get the point.

Monday, July 28, 2008

My, what a long...


This past weekend, two things happened that seldom occur together. Ski tournament @ Dream Lakes in huxley, IA, & good skiing conditions. I did not quite take advantage of the smooth water as I managed to post average scores in all three events. That seemed to be the case all day Saturday. Few PBs, but then again, very few break-your-ski-into-a-thousand-pieces performances.

Pat Cook broke a long drought of not shortening the rope.

In the midst of a two-year research stint, Dr. Marie has a life again and can actually do some skiing.

At this angle, it looks like Jim can't get on the ramp. But, he got on...

Katie, do as...

I say, not as I do.

No, seriously, I mean it.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The reason for...

this year's sharp increase in a waterskier's cost per set.

Obama Pictures and McCain Pictures
see Obama pictures

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

First, the good...

news. I finally dialed in a decent spot to start my double wake cuts.

The bad news: I was, ever so slightly, on my heels.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The reason why...

I had no scoring jumps yesterday

Remember folks, the ramp is about 1000 feet away, this way: <---
It faces this way: --->

That's a nasty tailwind.
During practice on Friday, it was blowing 180 degrees in the other direction, the good direction.

Of course, I don't have that much of an excuse for not riding one out, being that Chuck managed to land a few solid jumps, like this one.

This picture makes me a little sad. I took my camera out 30 seconds too late to catch Steve P. doing an unintentional barrel roll of the top of the ramp. He was ok(though undoubtedly very sore right now) and all I got was a shot of the yard sale cleanup.


"I wonder if there's...

a cooler in the back of this car?"


Has Nola found a new accomplice??????

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Welcome back...

Clint, to the lake. He had not skied all year until today. On this pass, it showed, painfully.

That DID leave a mark.

Mad props to Mace Windu, my Jedi cameraman, for the shit-eating shot.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

One month to go...

until Regionals, give or take a couple of days. After a month's long shelving (thanks to a the second 500-year flood in the last 15 years) I am, basically, starting the season over from scratch.

I finally got a jump set in good conditions this past week. I could still be a little more aggressive, but It's getting there.

But, as you can see here, I've got to get there in a hurry if I want to make Brian nervous in Kansas next month

Much appreciation to Scott T. & Brian A. for inviting me out to take a few sets at Dream Lakes estates. It turns out they do get good water out there sometimes.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Trickin' it...

Old school.

I found these gems on Some hombre from Columbia's YouTube page.

Mapple, on a trick ski. Cool.

Aymeric Benet, circa 1989.

Patrice Martin, ce n'est pas une trick release.

Cory Pickos, still one of the best.

Legions of readers, I hope you enjoy.

Monday, June 30, 2008

This guy was...

an idol of mine.

I had about 8 of his Specials on DVD & Video, not to mention a couple hours worth of stuff downloaded, and 2 of his books. Oh yeah, and I saw him live twice, in 1997 & 2002.
Shit, he's dead. I'll Fuckin' miss him.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Why the hell...

is a short cut that starts on the same side of the wake as the ramp called a single, when a longer cut in which the skier crosses the wakes called a three-quarter cut? Last time I checked, .75 < 1.


A "three-quarter" cut

A "single" cut
single wake

The "single" looks more like a half-cut.
The "three-quarter" looks more like half of a double cut. Half of a double is a, what's it called, oh yeah, a single.

Go figure

*By the way, I must credit Libby, my wife, with the idea for this post. Every time I mention jumping and she is within earshot, she tells me that these two cuts are misnamed.

Don't you just hate it ...

when Mace Windu rides in the boat and doesn't even have the courtesy to keep his lightsaber turned off.

Maybe a disturbance in the force caused all of those damn rollers
(No picture, I don't want to be sued by Lucasfilm)

Shout out to the CRB-- The Lake of Sin is open for business! Of course it's full of backwash and it feels like the beginning of the year all over again (minus the drysuits/shrinkage)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

I forgot to...

tell Pat that we were only taking skiing pics. Pat, to paraphrase Shakespeare, "get thee to a [podiatrist]."


We hath begun to awaken...

the sleeping ramp.

Note: all spirited commentary courtesy of 6-year-old Rachel, soon to be a skier herself

Pat has been doing mainly cut sets

I've done a few singles

Screw the singles, I'll just do a few easy three-quarter cuts.

Rick is still slaloming

though not quite up to snuff yet.

Nola, as always, has been providing dockside encouragement/harrassment.

Next: a quandary over jump terminology

Thursday, May 22, 2008

This picture needs no...

clever description

fry pan

Back to skiing.

Neither Rick nor myself have slalomed much this year. The skiing doesn't deserve a clever description.



Too much of this

right now

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I'm not the only one...

spending too much time in the water these days...


How does that dog not need a wetsuit?

I still have to...

shake quite a few cobwebs off of my tirck ski

Edge all the way up the wake, you moron!

Don't let your ass get behind you on your way up the wake, you moron!
Notice how my ski is basically in the sideslide position when it hits the water, no wonder it slides right out from under me.

Early in the year, I like to do a lot of series of WB WF R R 's. It helps get me in a ryhthm of quick transitions between tricks.

I do the same drill with WBB's too, although this one looked like shit.

One days I need a fourth person when I'm tricking so I can critique my toe tricks in the same way. Unfortunately, hold release + hold camera= shredded ligaments

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Part 2 of I finally remembered...

my camera.

This is me riding my jumpers.

I always start with the crane drill.

Then I cut at (approximately-- the speedos on the Moomba are not yet calibrated) 35 mph

And there is the traditional crapping out at the end of the set.

I'm tired of just cutting. I want to hit the ramp

I finally remembered...

to bring my camera out to the lake.
See Tom*.
See Tom slalom.

See Tom's much improved technique. Well, I guess that's difficult because I didn't get any footage from earlier in the week. So instead, see blog reader taking poster's word for it.

*Tom is part of a family legacy On The University Of Iowa Waterski Team. His sister (Dr. Marie) skied @ Iowa from 98-02
marie done

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Potential potential...

for injury. I am in the process of making a hardshell trick binding out of an old rollerblade boot and a wiley jump plate from one of my my old jump binding


I used a Dremel tool (Thanks Libby) to slice the runners off of the boot.


I'm still working out a lot of the what-hardware's and the how-to's.

Optical illusion time: Doesn't it look like the water goes right up to the concrete?