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How your addiction began ?

rodltg2rodltg2 Posts: 1,051 Crazy Baller
edited July 2015 in News & Other Stuff
@Horton thread got me thinking . We want to grow the sport so remembering how did I get so excited about waterskiing.

Go back to 1977. I was growing up in Foster City , Ca. At the time not to many homes and I could see the lagoon from over my fence. My babysitter would take me for walks along the lagoon and I would just love seeing the water skiers. Then it was the waterski show at Marine World. I used to beg my parents to take me there. Fast forward to the eighties. Going to Lake Shasta on houseboat trips. Silverthorn Marina had a waterski show Wednesday nights. Boats would tie up and watch an awesome show including jumping ,slalom and barefooting.
Then they would pass the hat for tips. I remember going to the marina I would get so excited when I saw a comp boat parked . They were a rare sighting back then. Unfortunatley my parents had a big century bow rider. Skiing behind that boat scared me and I turned to jet skiis instead.

Those type of events are long gone but last Saturday I took my 4 yo son to check out the wakeisland. They have cable park , floating obstacke course , paddle boarding and a ski lake that sits unused. Anyway he reminded me of myself at 4 but completely in awe watching the wakeboarders. Could not peel him off this fence. Fyi he is on the trainer ski now too.


  • GAJ0004GAJ0004 Posts: 1,095 Baller
    Watching my cousin Darren trick and slalom when I was a kid, and my friend Alan Valeriano barefoot. Learned to ski at age 12, ran the course for he first time at age 15. Started trick skiing around the same time. Learned to barefoot when I was 18.
    Gary Janzig Streetsboro Ohio, skis at Lake Latonka, Mercer Pennsylvania slalom,trick,kneeboard,barefoot
  • dislanddisland Posts: 1,425 Mega Baller
    @OB dude what happened to you. Did you hit your head in a OTF or something. come on man.

    Somewhere some time somebody took you skiing for your first time
    Dave Island- Princeton Lakes
    pgmoore[Deleted User]
  • dislanddisland Posts: 1,425 Mega Baller
    1992 or so, I mostly was a surfer. Thats real waves (big ones) not the bullshit they do now behind a boat. I went on a house boat trip to lake Shasta. Somebody put in a portable course. I said I got to try that. I havent done much barefooting since. Moved to Texas, no waves, I was 40 started skiing at Princeton lakes. There was a jump. I said I got to try that.
    Dave Island- Princeton Lakes
  • RogerRoger Posts: 1,588 Mega Baller
    edited July 2015
    Well, mine's kind of strange I suppose. When I was 33, I fell off my motorcycle for the 2nd time in my riding career and removed a fair amount of skin (70mph get off on a bad RR crossing). So, my soon to be wife said something like "we have to find a sport where you're not laid up for 2 months when you fall off" and we started looking at boating. Tried outboards, IOs first with pleasure boating in mind (wanted to ski recreationally too, but had only followed the boat around in the past). Stumbled across McCormick ski school and tried a tournament boat and bought it. A friend my wife was doing contract programming for turned out to be a tournament skier and got us started. 20 plus years and I hate to think about how much money later and I'm still at it (she is a scorer to take care of the weekend widow problem). Okeeheelee does not seem to be suffering like some sites as we consistently fill our tournaments... Hope to see some Ballers at Nationals in a couple of weeks!
    Roger B. Clark - Okeeheelee skier. Senior driver, Senior Judge
  • swc5150swc5150 Posts: 2,416 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    In 1984, when I was 11, saw my first Mastercraft pulling a slalom skier passed our dock. It was the coolest thing I ever saw. My parents were awesome in sharing my brother's and my enthusiasm, and bought our family an MC shortly after. Been addicted to skiing ever since.
    Scott Calderwood
  • MrJonesMrJones Posts: 1,804 Mega Baller
    Went to get a filter for our IO at an area boat shop in Duncan Oklahoma. Saw a flyer on the door for a "Beginner/Novice Water Ski Tournament". "Open practice Saturday, tournament Sunday."

    Hooked ever since.
  • gt2003gt2003 Posts: 726 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Started going to the lake with a friend back in the 80's. Started on 2 behind a very old Kingfisher bass boat with a 55HP Evinrude. Eventually progressed to 1 ski with a double handle rope and the rest is history.
    2014 HO TX
    1996 Malibu Echelon
  • gregygregy Posts: 2,589 Mega Baller
    @ob that funny. I remember waiting for hours to finally get a turn. Got the opposite problem now. Hard to find someone to ski with. Maybe just a few more people.
    [Deleted User]
  • Texas6Texas6 Posts: 2,197
    I can say that @OB has been consistent with his thought process here for several years, and still sticking to his guns that bigger isn't necessarily better. I disagree, but I do appreciate tthat he has t wavered on the subject
    Daryn Dean - Lakes of Katy, TX
    ***Robbed out of Hundreds of Panda Worthy Posts***
    [Deleted User]
  • rodltg2rodltg2 Posts: 1,051 Crazy Baller
    If it was bigger it could get cheaper !
  • thagerthager Posts: 4,990 Mega Baller
    I joined AWSA in 1968 using a post card that came with the skis I bought at the boat dealer in Mankato, MN. Cost me $15 dollars! I think I was in 7th grade. AWSA sent me a packet of informational water ski booklets. After learning to ski on one ski my buddy and I grew tired of just skiing around the lake all day so we built a slalom course out of Hilex bleach jugs using info from those booklets. Had no idea what we were doing but have been hooked ever since!!! Someday I hope to be good at this!
    Stir vigorously then leave!
  • 94009400 Posts: 641 Crazy Baller
    My brother bought a 14' Glassmaster with a 70 HP Evinrude that we learned to ski behind in salt water creeks. I would ski behind anything/anywhere if I got the chance. In 1979 a friend of mine offered a chance to go to the Master's, it was the first time I saw someone ski a slalom course or hit a jump. I was someone hooked at that point but still didn't have any access. A few years later I was part of a group that built a jump. So I spent months building a jump, bought jump skis and equipment before I ever even went over a jump. Then 30 years went by and I'm kind of still doing it.
  • Stevie BoyStevie Boy Posts: 2,139 ★★★★Quad Panda Award Recipient ★★★★
    edited July 2015
    I was a out going Guy and thought I could handle almost anything, then it happened, Depression the sort of Depression that stopped your body functioning, I was blind for six weeks and my body would not take any vitamins in, it came from nowhere, who would think that you could wake up normal go to work and within 20 minutes be a blithering wreck, needless to say I did not go to work for 7-8 month's.
    During that time I found that being out in the fresh air helped a lot, at that point I discovered cable water skiing and spent many hours swimming back to the bank, the fact that why you were doing that, you were not thinking about anything else helped, slowly I recovered and took back control of my life, I was so close to ending it all, but thanks to the support of my Wife and Water Skiing, I made it through.
    My Wife and Water Skiing Saved My Life !
    34yrs later, still skiing, Just wish I was better at it.

    If Only I Was Perfect

  • Pat MPat M Posts: 759 Crazy Baller
    Grew up on a lake, I guess I loved watching it first, or maybe the first time I got up on two. I can't remember the when, but I just know I can't stop this addiction.
  • SofakingSofaking Posts: 2 New Baller
    I had never been behind a boat until I met my wife. Went on vacation with her family in 2005. Watched her ski, had to try it. Started on two my first ever pull, dropped a ski after about 40 seconds(to boring on two). Got a few horrible cuts in, then it clicked, I got one real good hard cut and ate shit at the wake. The adrenaline rush of that one time got me hooked. Now I'm learning more every year, my personal best is [email protected]' off at 34mph.
  • JohnNJohnN Posts: 128 Baller
    Found a milk jug course somebody set at the end of a bay on Lake Powell. It all progressed from there.
  • JordanJordan Posts: 1,243 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    In the early '70's my parents rented a cottage and in one of the neighbouring cottages there were some 20 somethings that had a tri-hull with an 86hp outboard. They used to ski every day at 5:00pm as the lake calmed down....used to watch them wishing so badly that I could try.

    One year, when i was about 9 years old, we rented elsewhere down the shore on the same lake. One of the neighbours had a son who was older than I was and he was into skiing. One day he waved and yelled at me to come over and ski. I remember being so excited. I can still picture the red wooden pair of kid's skis....went behind his 12 foot aluminum boat with a 9.8hp mercury outboard on it

    I was so thrilled to finally ski....
  • WayneWayne Posts: 514 Solid Baller
    My friend was better than me at wake boarding so not to be outdone I got up on a slalom ski and never touched a wake board again. That was almost 20 years ago.
  • rawlyrawly Posts: 526 Crazy Baller
    Well.....I think it all started with the olives from my parents martinis. I learned that the longer you waited to ask for one , the more it burned.... Oh yeah , wrong story. First tried skiing when a sophomore in high school.Still have the scars on fingers from dragging double handles across the deck of the single ski , fingers hurt , but the feeling of gliding across the water made me forget all about it. Did it about once a year with friends family. Bought a jet boat at about 22 and replaced it in a year with an inboard when I discovered a buoy course on the L.A. River in Long Beach. That is when skiing took hold of me. Met lots of cool people along the way. What a journey it has been.
  • ALPJrALPJr Posts: 2,232 Mega Baller
    edited July 2015
    I was 13 and my friend Paul Barrett had a 13' Whaler with a 20hp Johnson. We learned on Cypress Gardens Bronco Combos in Great Egg Harbor Bay in Somers Point NJ. A year later I bought a 14' MFG Corvette II with a 60hp Evinrude which was a little rocket with that V4 60. Got up on one no name wooden slalom with Russell Ramey diving the boat in the mouth of the Egg Harbor River. That was the summer of '75. Have skied every summer since and still loving it!!!
  • bishop8950bishop8950 Posts: 1,188 Open or Level 9 Skier
    Parents moved onto Sherman Lake (Kzoo MI) when I was in 5th grade. Started skiing then but really got into it in college and first ran the course then and started tournaments. Been doing it ever since. My parents bought a used 1989 Ski Centurion which they still have, and I skied behind today with my dad at the wheel. No ZO, no PP, hand driving and free skiing. Fun to get back to where it all started!

  • EdbrazilEdbrazil Posts: 1,396 Historical Baller
    About 1951, the family next door had a Garwood wooden boat. 3 tries to make a dock start.
    Later on, they started the Opechee Junior Water Ski School. Their boy, who was a year older,
    was a decent competitor. Good Summer times at the OJWSS. I was never all that good. First
    tournament in 1956. My buddies all pretty much quit after the 1959 Nationals on our lake.
    I took some time off, but came back in 1962, when I was in Mens. 90 feet in my first tournament.
  • gregygregy Posts: 2,589 Mega Baller
    edited August 2015
    @bishop8950 my first comp boat was an 85 Centurion. My family had a 19' Sea Ray at the time that wasn't much to ski behind. My brother and I were the only ones using it anymore so I talked my father into letting me trade it in on a comp boat. I had my heart set on a MC but I was at the Boat Show in Houston, this sells guy made me at deal on the Centurion.

    I really got hooked on skiing when I was about 7 years old skiing with my family. I had learned before that but it didn't really click until then. My freshmen year at college there was guy that was on the ski team on my dorm floor, I'd seen him carrying his 3-event Kidder bag in and out. I got to know him and he was helping me with slalom. I tried out for the team but didn't make it that spring. I was kinda bummed out but made me realize I wasn't near as good as I thought I was. I went to Bennett's for spring break that year.

    I had already traded the Sea Ray by then and the great salesman that sold me the Centurion was Charlie Pigeon. He ended up later working for Master Craft and Founded Tige boats. Charlie had told me to call him and he'd take me out and show me where a course was. First thing come summer I called him. He and another guy showed me a course on a public lake (Watergate ski club's site on Lake Houston). They were pretty good skiers and I remember being really impressed. I went to Bennett's again that summer and met a guy there same age that went to the same school I did. He, I, my brother and one of my brothers friends went out to that course that summer as much as we could. I don't know if Charlie Pigeon would remember me but he was a hell of nice guy and really made a big contribution to me getting started in the course.

    Not too long after college graduation I went back for a second degree then start working. I skied less and less. Finally just didn't hardly ski for about 10-15 yrs. A few years ago I heard about Tuesday night ski school that @ToddL ran and went out tried to run the course and my addiction was been renewed.
  • Texas6Texas6 Posts: 2,197
    Oddly I have no idea what drew me to skiing. Used to go for camping/skiing weekends with my family as a kid and always loved every minute of it. Back then we would stay on the lake all day once you got in the boat. I remember having my Dad swing me close to trot-lines in the lake so I could act like the milk jug marking the line was a buoy. Hard to believe my Dad went for that in hind-sight. At 17, I drove to Louisiana in the early 90's to ski a few days at Bennetts Ski School and then to Shreveport to watch the Bud Pro WaterSki Tour live with a ski buddy of mine. I remember Rhoni Barton was coaching at Bennetts that summer. Ended up at a bar with a bunch of skiers that night (I believe in Louisiana in those days, 16-17 years old was the same thing as 25 in most states and under age drinking was completely acceptable somehow), and somewhere their are pictures of me asleep in that bar proving I was too young to handle myself well at that age.That week was the real start of the lifelong addiction for me.
    Daryn Dean - Lakes of Katy, TX
    ***Robbed out of Hundreds of Panda Worthy Posts***
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