In the first ever GOODE Bracket Challenge faceoff between 36 and 34 mph skiers, Thomas Degasperi earned the win by edging Dave Miller, 3 at 41 off to 2 at 41 off.
Thomas’ win concludes a four-month virtual tournament that featured two halves of a bracket: one for 34 mph skiers and the other for 36. T-Gas had to beat Dane Mechler, Chris Parrish, and Daniel Odvarko to advance to the finals, while Dave also had to survive a tough lineup of Chet Raley, Ben Favret and Greg Badal for the right to ski in the last bracket.
While the competition was tough among skiers, it was even more fierce in the online fan contest. Five of the record 341 contestants ultimately tied for first place – boz’s picks, LLUSA, swerve_6, Wbaski and Win ski – with the tiebreaker ultimately deciding the winner. swerve_6 - aka Jack Lyons - correctly picked the winning score of the final round, 3 at 41, to win the tiebreaker. Clearly, Jack is pretty good at the Bracket Challenge game, as he took third place in last year’s contest.
If you stand on the shore of any prestigious tournament, watch, as those six liter engines roar around the corner, for something flashing back and forth above the perfectly crisp boat wakes. No, it’s not a dancing reflection of the sun. It’s probably Natallia Berdnikava or Adam Sedlmajer flipping and twisting through their trick runs. Have you ever wondered how they make it look so easy? Much is due to their extraordinary talent, but the board they choose to click their hard-shell into is also a key factor.
I rode the D3 CX for an extended period of time and learned some of my most point-worthy tricks on it, including my first five flips. I adored it. That is, until the advent of the D3 Aira. After taking the Aira for a few spins – literally – I came to the conclusion that my CX was forcing me to work too hard. The Aira is a whole new experience in all the right areas. I’m talking about edge control, explosive pop and effortless landings. I just ride the ski while it works its magic.
When I first experimented with the Aira, I didn’t adjust as quickly as I had hoped. I was used to exerting a lot of energy on a smaller and less innovative ski. In fact, due to the new design, D3 recommends that skiers move up an inch in ski size. However, with skis, an inch is like a mile. Not only did I have to adapt to a bigger ski, I also had to learn to stop driving the ski and let it take the wheel instead.
Although the first few sets on the Aira were a little frustrating, once I found the perfect settings and toned down the effort going into my tricks, letting the ski do what it was built for, I was ecstatic. Loading the rope off the wake is so easy, and even if a trick isn’t executed perfectly or the take-off is unsteady, I am still able to save the landings.
The flawless flair that skiers like Berdnikava and Sedlmajer possess is an exceptional perk, but, since we all don’t have their magic powers, with a trick ski like the Aira, we can be one step closer.
Andy Mapple will be remembered as the greatest slalom skier of all time. His legacy also includes his innovative technological ski designs and brand, MappleSkis. The Mapple Design Team will live on with former world record holder and Hall of Fame skier Kris LaPoint remaining true to Andy’s visionary design concepts, as well as his commitment to consultation, coaching and customization. Kris has been instrumental working with Andy on designs since the 1980’s.
Square One Distribution, parent company of Radar Skis, has been the manufacturer of the Mapple 6.0, 6.1, T1 and T2. Andy, with the assistance of Kris, recently completed the design of a new ski mold to be known as the T3. The R&D team, completed by former world record holder, Hall of Famer and current Big Dawg Champion Jeff Rogers, agree that the T3 is their best ski yet. Andy’s excitement about this new shape and his new Mapple Torque Box innovation was overwhelming. The water ski world deserves access to this ski. The Mapple T3 will be released on November 16th in Chapala, Mexico at the World Championships.
Andy would be thrilled with the preservation of his ski designs and the release of the T3. His passion was that every skier would obtain his or her personal best on MappleSkis. Andy’s relentless drive and competitive spirit will live on, through every buoy turned and every record broken. Radar Skis and the entire Mapple Design Team are honored to run the brand with the same excitement that Andy brought to his passion every day.
For information & T3 ordering 407-412-5971
From his biography in the USA Water Ski Foundation’s Water Ski Hall of Fame:
You can call Skip Gilkerson a lot of things – show skier, slalom champion, judge, driver and pioneer, but one name stands above them all: "Mr. Show Skiing."
Skip was born to entertain crowds, and was a natural at it even from his auspicious beginnings on Indiana’s Lake Freeman. After returning from a family vacation in Florida where he watched the world famous Cypress Gardens Ski Show, Skip pleaded with his father, Babe, to give him a chance to ski. Armed with his mother Ann's clothesline for a rope and her broomstick for a handle, 6-year-old Skip got up quickly behind Babe's 10 horsepower aluminum fishing boat. During that first ride, Skip hit some wakes, lost a ski and kept going, slaloming around Freeman his first time on skis. The seed was firmly planted.
Skip's love for skiing consumed him. He learned to barefoot soon thereafter, in the same fashion. Without instruction and having seen barefooting only once, Skip made a step-off on one of his very first attempts. The 11-year-old soon realized he not only wanted to spend summers skiing on Lake Freeman, but to spend the rest of his life on top of the water.
Through high school and college, Skip skied as often as he could in the chilly waters of the Midwest. Like all of the three-event greats before him – Alfredo Mendoza, Joe Cash, Barbara Cooper and others – Skip yearned to ski professionally, so he headed back to Cypress Gardens to fulfill his dream. His interview, during a college break, included a flawless barefoot run around a choppy Gardens show circle, and he was hired on the spot. Skip performed in a special show for Jordan's King Hussein the very same day.
In the summer of 1960, Skip defeated then "unbeatable" Warren Witherell in slalom at the Great Lakes Open, and later came within a buoy of the world slalom record. But it wasn't his slalom prowess that got him noticed. Word of Skip's show skiing mastery and the flair in which he performed acts quickly spread. Dick Rowe of Tommy Bartlett's Thrill Shows offered Skip a position at the Wisconsin Dells, Wis., theme park. After one summer, Skip was given the show director's position, which he held for 23 years.
During his tenure, Bartlett's show blossomed into the finest in the country. Skip incorporated many new acts and equipment into his shows, including show ski helicopter jumps, strap doubles and costume design. Skip is also credited for developing World's Fair and satellite ski shows for Bartlett, along with the Sea World of Ohio show.
Naturally, his work at the pro level trickled down to the amateur clubs. Skip was constantly called on to host instructional clinics for all skiing disciplines. In one year alone, Skip hosted three clinics in 11 states. Skip spread the gospel of skiing through his thousands of ski shows, hundreds of ski clinics and judge at every Show Ski National Championships. The Skip Gilkerson award is presented annually to the top male skier at the Show Ski Nationals.
Skip ended his Bartlett tenure at the calling of MasterCraft Boats’ owner Rob Shirley, one of Skip's former show skiers. Shirley enlisted Skip's help in the formation of the world's first cash-prize skiing series, the Coors Light International Water Ski Tour. As director of promotional activities for MasterCraft, Skip was instrumental in developing the tour's format, flow and legion of superstars.
He was the 35th inductee to the Water Ski Hall of Fame -- and the first show skier.
POLK CITY, Fla., Oct. 26, 2015 - USA Water Ski and the American Water Ski Association are pleased to announce that the 2016 GOODE Water Ski National Championships will be held at Broadside Harbor in Caldwell, Idaho. The dates of the 74th Nationals will be Aug. 8-13, 2016. The American Water Ski Association, one of nine sport discipline organizations of USA Water Ski, approved the bid from the Broadside Harbor Ski Club via a board of directors vote.
Broadside Harbor, a private water ski development featuring two world record-capability water ski lakes, is located outside Boise. It hosted the 2010 Western Regional Water Ski Championships and also will serve as the site of the 2016 Western Regional Water Ski Championships. For more information on Broadside Harbor, visit www.broadsideharbor.com.
It will mark the first time that the state of Idaho has ever hosted the U.S. Nationals and the first time the Nationals will be held in the AWSA's Western Region since 2007 (Arvin, Calif.). GOODE Skis, a gold level sponsor of USA Water Ski, has been the title sponsor of the Nationals since 2000.
More than 600 of the nation's top water ski athletes from across the United States are expected to compete for national titles in slalom, tricks, jumping and overall in respective age divisions and two Open divisions at the Nationals, the world's largest three-event water ski tournament. Advancement to the Nationals is primarily earned through placement on the national rankings list. Athletes also can qualify for the Nationals by placing in the top-five at Regionals or by placing in the top-five at the previous year's Nationals.
The first national championships was held in 1939 at Jones Beach in Long Island, N.Y. Except for three years during World War II (1942-1944), the Nationals has been held every year since 1939.
USA Water Ski has partnered with Columbia!
USA Water Ski is kicking off the Sun Safe campaign this fall, providing high-quality Columbia UPF products to keep you protected all year long. USA Water Ski has partnered with the Sun Safe leaders in the industry to provide education on healthy skin and eye care practices. Stay tuned for more information on how USA Water Ski Protects you and your family.
Protect what matters. Protect your life on the water. #USAWaterSkiPROTECTS