Tune into a live 90-minute broadcast of the World of X Games: MasterCraft Throwdown presented by GM Marine, on Saturday, August 8 at 2:30 p.m. ET on ABC. The live telecast will feature the world's top wakeboard athletes competing for medals and prize money, as well as a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® attempt for the world Skifly record!
BallOfSpray -It has been 10 years since the last Ski Fly event. Have you always wanted another shot to break the record? Why has it taken 10 years to get another shot at it?
Freddy - I have always wanted that shot and never felt like I got a jump of my potential when we were doing it. I think its taken 10 years because ski flying is crazy technical and dependent on conditions and it has to be athlete driven. I think the economy slowed down the possibilities and its just taken a unique opportunity like the Throwdown to hopefully spark the sport again.
BallOfSpray- What part did you play in bringing this Ski Fly event to MasterCraft, World of X Games & ABC?
Freddy - We've talked about skiflying with MasterCraft and Ilmor for years, and when Aarne Clow called me this January to ask if I would be interested, I didn't hesitate to jump at the opportunity.
BallOfSpray - With Ski Fly almost everything is supersized. The ramp is longer, the pylon is taller, the rope is 30 feet longer and the boat is going almost 10 mph faster. What is the one factor that is the most difficult to adjust to?
Freddy - The speed...no really the speed! Everything feels so much harder when your skis feel like they are skimming across the water rather than driving through it!
BallOfSpray - What one "Ski Fly" factor is most critical to get to 300 ft.
Freddy - The boat is a huge factor. It has to be able to accelerate strong and still have great wakes, which the Prostar has. Without a great boat, you have no chance. But everything from the rope, the skis, the ramp and the cruise has to be right to even have a chance.
BallOfSpray - As a jumper, what are the differences are between jump and Ski Fly?
Freddy - Timing is the biggest issue. With the faster speed and the longer rope getting the timing just right off the second wake is critical.
BallOfSpray - Is this a crazy daunting challenge or is this just turning up the fun meter all the way up?
Freddy -Honestly it is both! The fun and intensity of ski flying is right up my alley, but the push to go 300 feet on a certain day at a certain time, makes this a daunting challenge for sure!
BallOfSpray - You are going to be a part of a live event on national TV. This is a chance of a life time. What do you have to say about that?
Freddy - Honestly all I can say is Thanks to MasterCraft and ESPN and the Gregg Godfrey clan. To be a part of something this big on live national television is truly a life goal of mine.
BallOfSpray - Does your son, Dash, understand that you are going to be on TV? What does he think about it?
Freddy - Dash knows I have a big event coming up, but honestly he's not that impressed. He thinks its way cooler when we go swimming or play cars together. Hopefully someday he'll look back and think his dad is "cool" for this craziness.
BallOfSpray - Tell us about the MasterCraft ProStar that will used for the record attempt. What engine will be in that boat? What else is special about this boat? Can anyone order this boat?
Freddy - The boat is a standard Prostar with and Ilmor high output 7.4. Basically they take a 6.2 liter and strip it down, bore it out and do what they do best with high end racing parts. Mastercraft does offer the 7.4 in wakeboard boats, but we've never offered it in a ski boat before. The boat also has the coolest motor box in the business with a Ram Air hood scoop.
BallOfSpray - Do you use your regular D3 jumps skis or something special for Ski Fly?
Freddy - I'm still on my standard skis. If we had more time I might try some things with skis, but 6 weeks wasn't enough time for me to get comfortable enough to push for 300 and play with skis.
BallOfSpray - In 2000 you set the jump record at 232' and Jaret set the Ski Fly record to 299'. 15 years later you have moved the jump record up to 250'. Do you think that the 328' (100m) is in the realm of possibility?
Freddy - I'm a jumper so I'll say yes, anything is possible. But make no mistake...I'm looking for 301!
BallOfSpray - You have had great success at the Millennium Park site before. What are your thoughts on the site and the conditions?
Freddy - This site is one of the best I've ever skied at. The water is perfect for skiing and typically we have a controlled wind. If all goes well, I would say this is the best shot at 300 we ever had from a site standpoint.
BallOfSpray - How long did it take to feel confident Ski Flying again after 10 years?
Freddy - I've been going 6 weeks and I'm still not confident! Actually I was surprised at how easy it was to ride my skis behind the new prostar, but the idea of getting confident is just foreign to me. The anxiety just to practice is insane!
BallOfSpray - Do you train differently for Ski Fly than you do for standard 6 foot jumping?
Freddy - I train similar, but I do more cut and pass to work on my timing. The ramp impacts and landings are insane, so I'm trying to limit the time over the actual jump.
BallOfSpray - If the MasterCraft Throwdown goes as planned do you feel it is time to bring back Ski Fly as an event?
Freddy - I would love to see it done in a limited controlled environment. We burned ourselves out 10 years ago doing it too much. It needs to be a limited quantity.