My Ribs are Staging a Revolt

As I’ve mentioned before, I did some helis on the Thursday morning of State with the last one causing my ribs more than just a little pain. I didn’t stop doing helis then. I’ve been persistent on trying them again. I tried them again last Tuesday on the 24th. Only did one though as it ended in a painful fall that my ribs did not care for. For your enjoyment, here’s the video…

That also didn’t stop me… it just slowed me down. I did some more skiing since then, but finally took a couple more trips over the ramp tonight. First one was close again, just need to work on my landing. This video also shows the beautiful technique I use to wrap the rope.

This was my second and final attempt on the 30th. Didn’t finish my rotation, landed sideways and my ribs decided to stage a revolt. This one just doesn’t look good. It is bad from the beginning.

As I just mentioned, I did do some skiing this past weekend. The water was rough by the ramp, so I didn’t do any jumping. Here’s a few pictures from the skiing on Saturday…

Some footing in the bay… so calm. Bay has opened up enough where we can do laps again.

Ronée did some swivel toe turns…

Scotty wowed us with his mad Sky Ski Skillz

Ronée also did some Wake Surfing

I did some surfing too… still need the rope way too much

Here are the 2 successful surfers… Ronée and Myself in case you didn’t know

Here’s Scott trying out the swivel ski… love the fact that he’s wearing a helmet!
The Mad-City Swivelers have nothing to worry about!

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Let’s Say Hello to Steve

After the ski team’s state tournament victory, we actually received some nice press coverage from Channel 3 WISC-TV. With Ronée pushing, I put together a short video clip that I dropped off at the station and they played it while interviewing our show director on July 24, 2007.

Thanks Channel 3 for some nice coverage. It probably contributed to one of the largest crowds I’ve ever seen at one of home ski shows on July 29.

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USA Water Ski Website

Not sure if you’ve noticed or not, but the USA Water Ski website has undergone a drastic redesign. And they did a good job. There are now RSS feeds for the announcements that they post. Each sport has a section and their own individual RSS feed as well.

The Show Skiing section is pretty decent too. Underneath the About Show Skiing there are two links to some very good articles about show skiing. The first link Show Skiing Background provides a very detailed history of show skiing starting with its origins and the beginnings of the tournaments. The second link A Guide to Show Skiing tells about how teams compete and are judged/scored in tournaments. If you’re going to your first show ski tournament or if you’ve been competing in them for years and never really knew how the scoring systems worked, this article provides an excellent background on what you’ll see and how the system works. Both of these articles are worth a reading… be sure to check them out.

They also have a nice little article about Mad-City’s recent state tournament victory.

Congrats USA Water Ski on an excellent site redesign. It’s been needed for a long time. If anyone knows when the new site came up, let me know… I’m curious.

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Hey Mad-City Peeps! I’ve got a Whole Lotta Pictures…

I gave Kara my camera during the show and she had a nice seat right down front on the beach and she managed to get some good pictures. I’ve posted them out on the net, here’s the link. If you browse the rest of the Picasa albums, you’ll see a whole bunch of pictures from the rest of the weekend. Here’s a couple from the show…

The Mad-City Dream Girls!!!
Best Ballet 2007

Adam’s just kickin’ it old school with his hot friend Taryn!

Everybody was Kung-Fu Fighting!

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State Tournament Weekend Recap

Probably the funnest weekend year has come and gone…

It started early Thursday morning with a quick ski set on the water with T-Bell and Imhof. I hit the ramp working on my heli’s and it probably would have been better if I hadn’t. Three heli attempts, 3 falls, each one worse than the one before. Main problem was rotating only 3/4 of the way around. That dramatically increases the difficulty of skiing away when you land on your side. Last landing really hurt too! Still feeling today. Here’s are the videos… enjoy my agony!

First fall of the morning… this one just looks painful!

Second fall of the morning… this one stung!

Third and final fall of the morning… this one hurt.

After putting the boat away and eating lunch, I crammed my car full of stuff as I packed for the long weekend and then headed up to Rapids… Took me longer to pack than I expected and I arrived just a little bit latter than I wanted to. As I opened the car door, I heard the beginning of Joey’s swivel song so I hauled ass to the beach to catch her routine. Then I sat through a lot of other swivel ski routines. As they were finishing up, I stopped by to see what the jump team was planning on doing and that is when I was asked what their music was going to be. I was dumbfounded… I’ve never been involved in team jump before. We had a quick discussion and we settled on the song On the Edge by Dee. Problem was, it was an MP3 on my computer, only 3 minutes long and there were on the water in minutes.

I ran up to my car, popped the trunk, flipped on the laptop and started working my magic. 5 minutes later I had a 6 minute version of the song and it was being written to a CD. As I shut down the laptop, I heard the beginning of Ann’s swivel song and once again hauled ass to go watch her ski before I handed the CD to the sound guy.

Then I did the photos for team jump and based on what I’ve heard back so far, I took some good ones. After a little time in the beer tent, we headed to our respective hotels or cottages to get settled. I checked in, unloaded my stuff and then made my way to Lake Sherwood Lodge for a nightcap.

After enjoying a very good pizza and a Stella Artois beer with some friends, others began to arrive… and more and more drinking was done. Here are some pictures from the evening…

We are all much happier after our pizza… [Wedge, Bugsy, Joey and Paul]

This is after a couple more drinks for everyone… [Kirk, Kristen, Wedge and Nick]

You can find more pictures from Thursday night in this album.

I headed back to the hotel late, wnating to wake up early to catch some ski shows, but was just too tired and too sore so I slept in. I did make it down to the Beaver Dam show and was very impressed with it. I also took a ton of pictures of it which you can find here. Yes, they one D2, found their holy grail and are now a proud member of D1.

After the Must-Skis show I headed back to the hotel to wash up quickly and then we headed to the Heilman Cottage for the team meeting and something I’ve been waiting for all summer… the delicious turkey sandwiches. I managed to limit myself to 5 of them this year. After eating, we practiced intros, danced, did the fills and then headed back to the hotel… show time was quickly coming.

Morning came early… left the hotel a little before 7 and headed to the ski site… quick meeting, then I wondered… more dance and skit practices and then I wondered… ate some breakfast and then I wondered… just couldn’t sit still. Finally, show time was arriving so I grabbed my trusty laptop and headed to the sound area. After a quick setup and mike test, I cranked up the volume to 11 and started the pre-show dances. First up the guys and then the ladies.

Adam and Matt’s Preshow Dance

The Ladies’ Preshow Dance… much nicer to look at

Then it was show time… Things didn’t go as well as we wanted, but we still skied a good show and the show portion wasn’t matched by anyone that I saw. Backfoot line had some falls, OP made it up, but had some falls coming back to the beach, montage had falls (but both Bells stood up for the first time at the same time), one act show was money and girls ballet rocked as well. Jump 1 had some falls, star swivel was great. Big act also had some falls and then the jumpers nailed Jump 2. Ending pyramid made it up, slowly, and then had some falls on the way down. One man jump wasn’t all we hoped and big ballet blew up. Crowd was on their feet after the SNL and Evolution of Dance 2 fills. Here are some pics from the show, courtesy of Jim’s Photos.

Show Time!

Back foot line!

Opening Pyramid!

Adam and Matt

The Bell Fliers!

T-Bell pointing to the crowd!

Paul on the Wakeboard

One Act Show!!!
Shoe Skier, 4 High Pyramid, Doubles and a Pin Wheel!

Doing their thing!

Best Ballet in the State!

Adam the Parrot and Matt the Pirate

Super Sized Pin Wheel!

Adam and his hot friend Taryn

Triple Fours for the Ending Pyramid!

Catching the rope with the ski on the second 720 attempt…
Notice one foot point one way and the other the other… not good!

Guys Ballet

The Hot Pick!

The Crowd!

After the show was over, I stuck around and watched the Aqua Skiers (click here for their web album) and Badgerland (click for their web album) shows. Then after a little beer tent time, it was off to get some dinner and wash up for the annual bus tour around Rapids.

I enjoyed some quality Little Ceaser’s and then watch a little TV. About 915 I get a frantic call form T-Bell… when is the bus coming? how do I get there? will I have time to change? I managed to talk her through driving into Rapids to the hotel. She arrives as the bus does and opts to follow it to the first bar so, like any good water skiers, she can change out of the back of her car and then come to the bar. As usually, the bars were a blast. We started at Johnny’s and then headed to Gooses. Here are a couple picks from the night…

T-Bell and I

Sandy and I

Sandy and T-Bell

Kristen and I

Holly and I

Joey and I with my trusty Margarita on the Rocks…

Laura and I… surprisingly it took 3 attempts for this picture… I couldn’t keep my eyes open.

Saturday night ended way too late and Sunday morning came way too early… After going to bed at 3am, I woke up at 630am to try to reclaim my humanity and then head to the ski site to catch the RAJ show (pictures of that coming soon). Arrived with some time to kill so I ate breakfast but was very disappointed that they had run out of milk to go with the pancakes.. I guess the disappointment was evident in my face as my pancakes were discounted because of the lack of milk.

Watched the RAJ show. As usually, they have good skiing, but like our show, too many falls here and there throughout the show… didn’t really bring either pyramid through the show course completely (opener a 5-high but ended up being a big 4-high, closers lost a pyramid). Jump acts had a scattering of falls as well. The whole show just seemed flat to me. No real energy to it.

The RAJ Opening Barefoot Pyramids

My initial comparison between our show and theirs… skied about the same, but we had the better show for entertaining the audience throughout the entire show. I took a few pictures of their show and you can find them here.

Then it was the long wait till awards… watched a few shows on off, but was really just to anxious to find out what happened.

Finally, the awards arrived. First off, congrats to the Beaverland Must-Skis on their repeat as D2 Champions. Welcome to D1. The show you skied would probably put you near the top 5 in my opinion.

As you’ve heard by now, Mad-City took 1st and also won best ballet, best jump act, best boat drivers, best female skier (Kristen Heilman) and best audio. It was a hard couple weeks before state, but it paid off. Now on to Nationals!

Matt, Adam and I… Best Audio Presentation!

After the awards we reconvened at the Lake Sherwood Lodge again. More pizza, more beers and many good times.. Poof pants, One Act ‘fo Show, watching the video, chaffing, cheese curd discussions and what they look like when they leave the body… fun in the little blue rooms, or green rooms as they were this weekend. I laughed for a long time that night before finally heading home at 1215am. Called Sandy at 2 to let her know I made it home safe and talked to a very drunk person who was laughing her ass off too. Unpacked, slept and slept some more…

Links to Web Albums mentioned…
Thursday at State
Beaverland Must-Ski Show
Mad-City Ski Team Show [Jim’s Photos Pictures]
Badgerland Ski Show
Wisconsin Rapids Aqua Skiers Show
The Bus Trip
Janesville Rock Aqua Jays Show

Watch for updates to this post… I have more pictures to post from ski shows and I likely forgot something that I wanted to include. I’ll put a comment down here indicating when I update it.

[Updated 1046pm on 7/25 – Added albums for Aqua Skiers and RAJ, Added RAJ Barefoot Pyramid Picture]

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Wisconsin State Show Ski Tournament Preview

This coming weekend the show skiing world will focus on a tiny lake in central Wisconsin to watch the world’s largest water ski tournament.

The place… the red sands of Lake Wazeecha, just east of Wisconsin Rapids. 25 Show Ski Teams from the State of Wisconsin will compete, probably about a 1000 or so people receiving many thousands of pulls behind the boats.

The man on the street is probably wondering how you can pull that many people that many times behind the boats in one weekend? The answer is actually very simple… put a lot of them behind the boat each time it leaves the dock. 2 people, 4 people you might be thinking… No. More like 10, 20, 30 or more all behind one boat at the same time. And they aren’t just skiing. They are doing ballet, swivel, jump, barefooting and pyramids.

Your also probably wondering what the hell is a show ski tournament? Well, each team gets 90 minutes to do their thing. They have 20 minutes to setup their show, 60 minutes to perform it and 10 minutes to clean up after themselves. The show consists of 14 acts and is judged based on difficulty, execution, flow and crowd appeal. The judges write down their numbers and at then end of the weekend they add them up and a champion is crowned.

Last year, my team, the Mad-City Ski Team, took home the gold and we are working hard to repeat as champions. We know that our neighbors to the south in Janesville want the title back and are doing everything they can to put out a better show than us and we’ll finally find out what happens this weekend. We ski Saturday about 11am and they ski on Sunday. Word on the street is Badgerland is bringing it too…

The crazy part of this competition, as we watch the other teams, we’re cheering them on, even though they are competing against us. We want to win, but we want to beat them when they bring their A-game.

Meanwhile, this weekend we’ll see people ski on everything from regular old skis, to their barefeet and even see people probably ski on some toilets. Beautiful ballet lines, strap doubles and maybe even get to see some doubles girls get tossed in the water so the guys can make it to jump on time.

And at the end of the weekend everyone comes home with red feet.

This week we had good water every night for practice, but had rough practices on Monday and Tuesday… Wednesday we finally had a good night on the water. Everything (more or less) is ready for Saturday…. Game On!!!

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You Spin Me Right Round Baby, Right Round… Heli Attempts Part IV

Tonight I hit the ramp again for some helis… there seems to be a pattern goin’ here. I’m now consistently getting all the way around, just need to get my landing down.

First heli, not my best of the night, but made it around. 2nd heli was money… last Friday I had a heli attempt that Paul that I could ski away from, I was rather doubtful about it, but it had been my best attempt so far. This heli, I should’ve skied away from. So close… 3rd one was more like the first. Last jump was just a ride over and I had a little too much love from the driver on the landing… just kept slowing down when after the initial bit of love, I needed some speed.

Anyways, the video clips from the the nights ramp action… Check them out below…

My second attempt of the night was soooo close. I so want to ski away from a heli soon. Need to resist the landing and find the handle. I have the spin down and I’m keeping my feet pretty close together. Gettin’ there.

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