And Now a Series of Crashes…

As promised, here is a variety of crashes from a variety of people… Not gonna do a lot of commentary, I’ll let the crashes speak for themselves…

First on the dock is Ben… he has his heli’s down pretty good and is working on his front flips… here is one of his attempts.

Next on the dock is Chad… like Ben, he’s a pretty good jumper… here’s a series of helicopters.

Next up is Tommy… he’s the best jumper of the bunch and he decided to just go out on 1 ski. Here are the results…

Finally, Andy tried hitting the ramp on his wakeboard… here are the results…

Hope you enjoyed the crashes… and the ones that they skied away from.

[Sorry this wasn’t up earlier this week as promised… besides life happening, I had some technical difficulties with Google not liking the videos for some reason, the uploader not cooperating, and my internet connection being flaky for a couple nights now.]

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Roadside Barefooting

I had this video sent to me last week… Chad from the Beaverland Must-Skis found a new place to barefoot… by the side of the road. The car has to have at least a little giddy up to it… looks like a Subaru.
Roadside Barefooting

The one thing that came to mind is I don’t think I’d want to face plant… the water doesn’t appear to be very deep and a face plant could be bad.

Based on the ending of the video, it appears that it was done as part of’s Show Ski Challenge.

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Adventures in Beaverland (and Lodi)

So my posting lately hasn’t been as frequent as it has been all summer… my bad. I had a pretty significant computer issue to recover from and there just hasn’t been as much skiing to talk about lately. Not that I haven’t wanted to go or had the time, but the Madison lakes are still pretty much slow now wake (although they have gone to a 500 foot no wake just recently).

So with the Madison lakes shut down for all practical purposes, I’ve had to resort to road trips for my skiing fixes.

The first road trip was a team road trip. The Mad-City Ski Team did a co-show with the Beaverland Must-Skis on August 26th. Both the Division 1 and Division 2 State Champions skiing together. A rare opportunity to see the best ski teams in the state together. Basically it was just a large exhibition show as we put out some pretty large acts. Our big act that night was soooo big, it needed to be in two acts. I skied in a few acts that night and here are some pictures…

Going out to OP

Opening Pyramid… I’m 3rd from the left, bottom row obviously

Conventional Doubles Start… far right

We are skiing into the sun… that’s why my eyes are closed.

The joy of conventional doubles… so much fun… I’m far left in this shot.

The Front Angel – I’m on the Right
I’m looking at the crowd and all the other guys are looking…
I can understand why 7 is looking straight ahead, but everybody else?

The Mad-City Conventional Doubles Intro…
she didn’t know she was getting picked up on to my shoulder…
worked out anyways.

All pictures in this section are from Jim’s Photos.

The following week, really didn’t get much skiing in. No wake in Madison was still going on… Did manage to get out on Memorial Day weekend, Sunday morning in particular. I headed up to Lodi, Wisconsin to do some skiing on Lake Wisconsin in Okee Bay. I met John, Sandy, Paul & Joey up there and we hit the water about 830 or so in the morning. It was a little breezy and we did get scolded by some of the locals for not waiting are turn (we knew them, so no big deal), but we did have some fun… here are the pictures from this nice last day of summer.

I started off the morning with a footing run…

Sandy decided to cut the water up with her slalom ski…
Here she is throwing a nice wall of water up!

I tried to get a good picture of John driving for Sandy…
This is a good one of Sandy skiing… but I kinda missed part of John

This is a good one of John driving, but the cut in the background isn’t as nice.

Joey busted out her swivel ski.

She’s a good swiveler… here she’s doing an overhead 360 or 720.

And the falls can be fun to watch!

John did some footing too!

I did some some surfing…

Paul on the board.

He’s doing a walk around on the board.

Occasionally, even Paul does fall and here is one caught on film.

John took a turn on the surf board…

John on the board…

Need to keep the nose of the board up…

Sky cam view…

John standing tall!

Another face plant at 9 miles per hour…

Our driver Sandy, alone in the front of the boat because everyone else is ballast…

Joey on the surf board…

…wishing she had the rope.

Joey and Paul

The Whole Crew… Paul, Wedge, Joey, Sandy and John

That night, John, Sandy, T-Bell and myself were up in Beaver Dam for the Must-Skis last show of the season. We were all hoping to ski, but they were only in need of some more male skiers, so John & I suited up. We mainly played the parts of chick haulers, but that’s why we were there. Sandy and T-Bell did a great job opening the show singing the National Anthem. Sandy does a very good job singing the harmony. Here are some pictures Sandy took during the show for me…

Pretty good size group getting ready for conventional doubles…

And the ropes are tight right NOW!

Front Angel…

The Must-Ski Conventional Intro

John hiding behind his Fat-O’s with Chad behind him

The Ending Pyramid that I was in…
the little girl was a new climber and didn’t make it to the top.

The Other Ending Pyramid

My Ending Pyramid Group

The Ending Pyramid Teams


After our cameo appearances in their show, we all raced back to Madison for the Mad-City End of Year Party at Jugsy’s Mansion. Jugsy is the new term for John and Bugsy. The party went late, we all had fun, and nobody was much use on Monday.

There was still high water in Madison so my boat stayed in the garage. I headed back up to Beaver Dam on the 5th with Paul. We wanted to jump and their jumpers wanted some tips from Paul. Their jumpers didn’t want any tips from me.

Paul went out with one of their newer members whose been working on an inverted trick for a while. Paul gave him some feedback on what to work on with the trick and made a lot of progress that night, but didn’t land the trick. He did make the very next day.

Meanwhile, I hit their ramp. This is the first ramp I’ve gone off that wasn’t a Mad-City ramp. I had heard it was a bit slicker than our ramp so I wanted do a ride over before I try out a heli. Here’s the first time off the ramp…

Next I tried some helis… didn’t make much progress on my helis, but it was fun. Enjoy the crashes…

That was it for the night up in Beaverland. Afterwards we headed to Morrey’s for some pizza and beer and talked shop, ski team shop. Generally had a good time.

I went up there again on the 12th for some more jumping. Tried some more helis, took some more falls… some not so nice. Here’s my first fall of the night… I land backwards.

What I was really working on while trying these it I use to go up the ramp with my hand that was on the braid literally gripping the rope. This can cause the spin to be slow, especially if there is slack between the hand on the braid and the hand on the handle. To correct that, I’ve been working on just holding my hand next to the rope to keep me from spinning so instead of needing to let go of the rope to start my spin, I now just move my hand away from the rope. I was doing good at this part, but I was doing this way too late. So even if I was spinning quicker, I was starting latter again which was negating any increase in my spin speed. I was also working on turning my head to the left to help initiate the spin. I don’t think I was doing this.

So I have a few things to thing about for next time… First, I need to spin sooner. I need to start on the ramp. Next, I need to turn my head to the left to help initiate the spin. Third, I need to pop as I leave the ramp (during my initiation of the spin).

Watching all the heli videos, I can see another thing that is probably contributing to my many falls. As I spin, my hand holding the handle comes away from my body when I get about 2/3rds of the way around. When it comes away, that will slow my spin, much like when you are sitting on a chair and spinning, if your hands are in you spin fast, put them out, you slow down. This same bit of physics is affecting me in my helis… I’d spin good and then my hand would come out and my spin would slow and I get pulled off access resulting in the many falls you’ve hopefully enjoyed watching…

After getting beat up by the ramp, a group of us headed up to a bar called Cocktails… it has a rooster on the sign. We had some drinks, talked, laughed and had a good time. At the end of the night, Ma & Pa Bell figured out they are locked out their vehicle. They have On-Star, but the vehicle account number is covered by a real estate flier. So I ended up driving them home.

I went back up there the next day, not for jumping, but to do some chick hauling. Did some pyramids and conventional doubles and then we hit Cocktails again. Had a lot of fun as they admitted that they are recruiting me hard to ski with them next year… I’m just visiting though, getting my skiing fix in.

To sum everything up… not enough skiing, a trip to Lodi, lots of trips to Beaver Dam, lots of fun skiing and many helicopter falls. Not nearly enough footing either!

For full quality versions of the pictures, you can get them at the links below.

Jim’s PhotosBeaverland Must-Ski Co-Show Album
Mad-City Co-Show
Skiing in Lodi
Skiing with the Must-Skis Again

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For Your Viewing Pleasure… This is me, trying to do a dance…

Back on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend, I skied in a show with the Beaverland Must-Skis (we were (and still are) experiencing high water in Madison.) Well, I was in the ending pyramid and after the ending pyramid, there is an ending dance. I knew this, but didn’t know the dance. And by didn’t know the dance I mean not at all. I tried to follow along but that didn’t go well.

Sandy, who was taking pictures, decided that pictures just wouldn’t do my dancing justice, so she capture it on video. I hope you enjoy the video…

Trying to do the ending dance with the Must-Skis

They’ll be some pictures and stuff coming from the last couple shows that I skied with the Must-Skis posted soon.
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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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