Steve Raphael

HortonHorton Posts: 32,399 Administrator
edited January 28 in News & Other Stuff
I hardly knew Steve. This morning my phone is on fire with news of his passing. I think I only met him once or twice. Everybody who knew him seemed to adore him. Perhaps his close friends will say a few words here.

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Comments

  • DirtDirt Posts: 1,814 Open or Level 9 Skier
    Terrible news. Great guy.
    I learned everything I know not to do from Horton
    jayskiski6jonesbigtex2011
  • dbutcherdbutcher Posts: 543 Crazy Baller
    So sad. Great guy. Awesome slalom skier.
    bigtex2011
  • ToddLToddL Posts: 2,998 Mega Baller
    Well, shit.
    -- The future of skiing depends upon welcoming novice skiers regardless of age to our sport.
  • Ed_JohnsonEd_Johnson Posts: 2,303
    What the hell happened ?? Just saw him last summer and seemed healthy as could be. Really great Guy that will be missed for sure.

    Special Thanks to Performance Ski and Surf and the Denali Adam's !!!
    bigtex2011
  • LLUSALLUSA Posts: 300 Crazy Baller
    Covid doesn't chose sides. So sad
    LLUSA, Sr Driver, AWSA Board of Directors, Towboat Committee,Lake Owner
    bigtex2011usaski1Jordan
  • dvskierdvskier Posts: 810 Crazy Baller
    Wow I met him at SMRR nationals a few years ago. They called him”Mongo”, despite his imposing size he was a gentle giant of a man. RIP, may God receive him into His heavenly home. A great competitor.
    Dirtbigtex2011NameUnavailableDFWskier
  • eyepeelereyepeeler Posts: 220 Baller
    Mongo was bad to the bone! Ate nails for breakfast!
    Matt Dillon
  • ZmanZman Posts: 1,956 Mega Baller
    Wow. Definitely sad news. Only met Steve a few times. Always very gracious and fun. And, an amazing skier. What he did last year to win Nats in Illinois in high winds and huge chop was incredible. And, I believe it was the 2019 Nats where he tied for first, and after 3 run-offs still didn't break the tie, he and the other skier agreed and convinced the officials to just leave it a tie. Great stuff. RIP Steve. Condolences to his faimily and many friends!
    bigtex2011Jordanrichfosterdvskier
  • usaski1usaski1 Posts: 769 Mega Baller
    Steve (Mongo) was a regular at our Aquaplex tournaments. Great guy, always friendly, and great to talk to. Was just talking about him last night. Sad. He will be missed, and his absence felt by many here.
    Mark Turner -- Water skiing changed my life forever.
    bigtex2011Cooper_TrelawneyDFWskier
  • richfosterrichfoster Posts: 128 Baller
    He was a great guy who was always fun to talk with. He was always complementary, even when I thought I skied like crap.
    bigtex2011DFWskierAlvin_Neff
  • MISkierMISkier Posts: 3,439 Mega Baller
    A few years ago, one of Steve's closest competitors relayed a story about their conversation on the dock for the finals at the Senior Worlds in Chile. Steve said something about the culmination of the competition and the opportunity to compete and rise to the occasion in such a prestigious event was what they had been waiting for their entire skiing careers. It was a conversation about sportsmanship, competition, and appreciation for the moment with genuine respect for his fellow competitor. He was obviously well-liked.
    The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.
    Jordanbigtex2011dvskier
  • unksskisunksskis Posts: 657 Crazy Baller
    Sheer power on the water, and grace on land. Got to boat judge for him one time in 20mph head/tail didn’t phase him, and I’ve never seen a pylon and driver get worked like that. NTX skiers are very sad today.
    bigtex2011
  • The_MSThe_MS Posts: 6,844 Member of the BallOfSpray Hall Of Fame
    Terrible news. RIP Steve.
    bigtex2011
  • kckc Posts: 333 Crazy Baller
    edited January 28
    Another great member of our water ski family gone too soon. Anytime I boat judged Mongo, I laughed about how long it took for him to appear out of the spray when he got up each pass! He took full advance of his perk as a commercial pilot, and later, retired pilot, to hit record tournaments anywhere and everywhere, throughout the country the entire season in the pursuit of breaking another record. (Usually his own!) He loved skiing. His age division dominance for slalom titles at Nationals, is probably second only to Chuck Forrest, at least for male skiers. Prayers of comfort to Steve’s wife, Melinda, and all who knew him. RIP Mongo! You’ll be greatly missed.
    darinmontgomeryklindy
  • RGilmoreRGilmore Posts: 221 Baller
    @LLUSA "Covid"? Is that supposition, or do you know that as a fact?
  • HortonHorton Posts: 32,399 Administrator
    @RGilmore yeah the report is that he was in the hospital for covid when he passed away

    Support BallOfSpray by supporting the companies that support BallOfSpray

    Connelly ☆DBSkis ☆Denali ☆Goode ☆GiveGo ☆MasterCraft ☆ Masterline 

    Performance Ski and Surf ☆ Reflex ☆ Radar ☆ Rodics OffCourse ☆ S Lines ☆ Stokes ☆

  • 6balls6balls Posts: 6,081 Mega Baller
    Well hell. I didn't know him but remember the Mongo knickname, and any big/burly/hard pulling freakshow on the line---I would have loved to have known and surely connected with--great summary above from those who knew him--so cool of you to post memories that matter. Covid sucks.
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • APBAPB Posts: 437 Crazy Baller
    Met him at Aquaplex a few years ago. Great dude.
  • klindyklindy Posts: 2,903 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    A great man, amazing skier and even a better friend to those of us fortunate enough to ski with him and know him. I ski on the same Goode wide ride he did and we often discussed setup, etc. He never hesitated to give you his full attention to talk skis, planes, or life. I will miss him along with the whole ski community.
    Keith Lindemulder
    AWSA Chairman of the Board

    ski6jonesBruce_Butterfieldbigtex2011Zman
  • bkreisbkreis Posts: 326 Solid Baller
    I met Steve at Chets @Chet when I was beginner, 26mph 15off..Steve was always so encouraging to all levels of skiers, which carried over into his personal life. Steve was truly a genuine soul!!!
    It's interesting to me how this sport brings very nice, genuine, passionate people together! If anyone ever wanted to observe proper etiquette towards other humans, Steve would have been my choice of mirror! Just the salt of the earth guy!
    I will miss his companionship, insight, desire, drive, friendship, and fuck, just everything about the guy.
    He holds a dear place in my heart and many others..I wish Melinda, wife, all the love in the world!!!!!
    RIP Steve..a true loss to the planet!!!!!!!
    www.skyfitness.com
    darinmontgomeryDirtZman
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