We teamed up with White Birch Lodge to present the latest installment of the Shandy Ski Squad. Who knew drinking Soft Parade Shandy would be so much fun?

The first annual Lake 38 Pro-Am, held outside of Tallahassee, FL on June 9 -10th was the stage for an epic slalom battle between two top Syndicate pro skiers: Jon Travers & Will Asher. Coming into the finals, Travers had two rounds of 2 @ 41′off/36mph under his belt in Saturday’s preliminary rounds. His scores propelled him in joining fellow Syndicate teammates Beny Stadlbaur & Will Asher who along with 3 other skiers ran 3 @ 41′off going into the 8-man final round on Sunday. Unlucky for Jon, the early finals seeds faced heavy rain that tapered off as the finals drew out. Undeterred by the rain, JT doused a pair of wood-working goggles, strapped on his Syndicate ski and put out a massive 4 @ 41′off, the top score of the weekend. As the finals drew on, Travers remained atop the leader-board as skier after skier failed to match his huge score. That was until fellow Syndicate teammate Will Asher stepped to the course. Blazing his own 4 @ 41′off, Asher tied JT for the lead, forcing a run-off for the Lake 38 Pro-Am title.

 After suiting back up and losing the coin-flip, Travers wowed onlookers by running a cold 39.5′ off the dock. Having not skied in over 45 minutes(5 skiers), running his 39 off pass with no warm ups stood as a tall task for Jon. However, skiing just inside of 4 @ 41′off, ending with a runoff score of 3 @ 10.25m,Travers showed no sign of rust. Asher, running his cold 39.5′ couldn’t quite match Travers 41′off score, conceding victory to his Syndicate teammate.

Congratulations to Jon Travers on the well-deserved win, Asher on his hard-fought 2nd place, and also to Stadlbaur(6th) on his big 3 @ 41 prelim score & Matteo Luzzeri (9th) on his 5 @ 39. Shoutout to Lake 38 on their first Pro-Am event and all who made it happen! You can check out the full Lake 38 Pro-Am webcast HERE


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Just outside Seattle, WA lies the most hallowed grounds in waterskiing. Herb O'Brien dug Radar Lake in 1972 and since then it has become the most iconic lake in the sport. In August of 2017 we hosted a skiing extravaganza in a fashion that would make Herb proud. The Pros were given 6.5 minutes to post the highest score possible, they could skip passes, miss and try again, the bottom line was they had 6.5 minutes to post as high of a score as possible. Once the skiing was done, the fire was stoekd and campfire shenanigans ensued. Check out what unraveled to be a once, maybe twice in a lifetime opportunity.

I get to hang with Dave Wingerter, HO Skis Vice President, as he works through the questions brought to him by you guys, via BallOfSpray.

Just a sample of the questions covered in this podcast from BallOfSpray Forum:

  • There seems to be a lot of back and forth with the Ballers about binding design. People have discussed toe height, release mechanism design, cuff height, buckle tension…etc. What are your thoughts on these things and the future of binding design at HO?
  • Are modern skis better better specifically because they weigh less or do they weigh less as a result of better materials?
  • Bob LaPoint is a 5 time world champion from another era and you are an engineer with an aerospace background. When started to work together were there any unexpected revolutions. Can you share some the ideas that he brought that you did not expect or vice versa?
  • Been told by many, that ski companies will design the mid weight ski such as 66” and 67” skis and the 65” and 68” don’t have the design time, instead just scale the ski to size. And due to that its better to go with one of the mid weight ski. Any truth to that?
  • How do release dates play into the design process? Do you feel pressure to get something new out “in time”? What if the design is not ready? Would you consider skipping a model year to prefect a design you’re confident in?
  • I have the Syndicate Hardshell front and the HO choptop on the rear which I really like. But apparently HO has done away with the choptop (its not on your website any longer). So what good options does HO provide for the rear foot if somebody has the hardshell in the front? I am not a toe-loop guy.
  • What happened to the step bottom used on S2, seems like you guys spent a bunch of time working on that innovation. P.S. I really like that ski.
  • When was the A1 first released and could HO produce an anniversary production run?