Been Hitting the Ramp…

I’ve been hitting the ramp pretty hard the last couple weeks. Pretty much going every time I get a chance. I’ve been trying heli after heli after heli…

Earlier this week, I had my best heli attempt so far. Typically, I start spinning as I go off the ramp and the whole time I’m in the air I’m thinking to myself “make it all the way around, make it all the way around…” Well on Tuesday, on my first attempt of the night I hit the ramp, start my rotation and manage to get all the way around and see the boat. And then it hits me, I should grab the handle with my free hand. That’s the first time that thought has had a chance to even occur during one of my heli attempts. I usually don’t even get that far. I reach for the handle with my right hand and find it. Then my ass hits the water because I’m not over my skis enough and fall. I was still pumped though. It was the first time I had gotten all the way around and thought to put my hand back on the handle and did put my hand on the handle. Here’s the video…

Here’s one of my more typically heli attempts as of late… only rotate about 330 degrees and take some sort of rib shot…

One of the comments I heard that should help me out is I’m gripping the braid too much. Need to have a light touch so my rotation starts quicker. Also need to just turn my head to the left to help initiate the spin as well. Both should help me get around quicker.

Meanwhile, Bugsy has also been beating himself up as he works on flips… front flips to be exact. Here’s the footage of his four front flip attempts from this week…

When Paul watched these, the one comment he had for Bugsy was that he needs to stay tucked to finish the rotation. He’s coming un-tucked and that stops the rotation which provides spectacular falls for the spectators… something we appreciate, but something he’ll want to correct if he has dreams off skiing away from one of these.

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A Fatty Full of Fellowship and Fun…

A National Championship Recap!

This past weekend was long, hot, humid and a whole lotta fun. The Mad-City Ski Team competed in the 2007 National Show Ski Tournament in Loves Park, IL (near Rockford). We’re the defending national champions and are looking for our 3rd championship in 4 years.

The 2007 National Show Ski Tournament started off strong for the Mad-City Ski Team. Our jump team competed in the team jump competition on Friday afternoon. They hit the water first and put the bar way up high by performing a no fall jump act with a whole lotta difficult jumps including a four man front flip and a 720. Nobody else’s jump act was in the same league as ours. Here are some pictures from the Team Jump National Champions…

A Heli & Double Fronts

Quad Helis

Quad Fronts

The 2007 Mad-City Ski Team – National Team Jump Champions

For more Team Jump pictures, you can visit this Picasa Web Album.

After team jump, we headed to our hotel for our team meeting/practice. We started off with pizza party then held a short team meeting before heading outside to run through intros one last time before the tournament. We practiced intros and dances for about an hour or so and then the official team functions were done. A few of us we’re quite ready to call it a night yet and headed to a local watering hole called the Turtle Tap for some R&R.

I rode there with Taryn, T-Bell and 7. Taryn was driving and 7 was navigating and we had several cars following us. As we approach the stop light for the frontage road the hotel is on, the light turns yellow and Taryn guns it to make the light and leave the others stuck behind the red light. We then talked to Taryn about the etiquette of leading cars which consists of basically not running yellow lights so they can keep up.

After pulling over and letting the others catch up, we’re soon faced with the same situation. The light turns yellow and Taryn guns it and then she stands on the brake to bring the SUV to a very sudden stop. The funniest part is she puts her hand over to help keep 7 in his seat. She did the short stop from Seinfeld. Meanwhile, T-Bell and myself in the backseat nearly find ourselves in the front seat and we’re all laughing.

We walk into the bar and let’s just say I’m glad there was a large group of us walking in. Had it been a small group of us, we probably would have turned around and left. Cameras everywhere and a fairly rough looking crowd. In stark contrast to the crowd, they had this mural on the wall…


There was a “someone” with a mullet that went down to the middle of the back and it took us a while to figure out if the someone was male or female. Turned out to be female. We split up into two groups, one playing pool in the corner and another playing darts. I joined in the game of cricket. My team consisted of Laura, Kristen and myself. Whoever setup the cricket game actually setup a team cricket game so we were actually paired up with another team as well. For a long while we struggled, but in the end we caught up and helped our combined team win.

Kristen, Myself and Laura… Cricket Champions!

We headed back to the hotel just a bit after a 11 to get to bed at a decent time for our early wake up. We all had a lot of fun and had a nice relaxing night.

Saturday morning arrives and it is hot and humid, just like the day before. After enjoying the continental breakfast at the hotel (I made myself a really good waffle and drank a whole lotta milk) I headed to the ski site. Made it there at 730. Watched just a bit of RAJ’s show to see how the sound system sounded with crowd and to get an idea of it’s capabilities. Watching this bit of the RAJ show took a long time. They had 2 injury timeouts that delayed everything about an hour.

Finally show time arrives. After doing a quick hook up of the sound equipment and brief sound and mic checks, it was show time. Adam and Matt did their little pre show dance and then the ladies hit the stage. Adam and Matt have a funny pre show dance. The ladies just have a really good pre show dance.

Sandy and Libby doing the Pre Show Dance!

Moments later our show hit the water. It stared off strong with a 6 man barefoot line and a 4-double top 2-4 high pyramid coming through. Montage then came rapid fire after that as it usually does and also came through pretty clean. The Bell sisters made their fliers through some crap water and caught some serious air while doing their deeps. Cake made his sky ski pass. Kristen came through and threw 5 720’s in her single pass (apparently this is too many 720s and makes the trick seem easier than it is). Paul ripped up the water with his wake board. Here are some pics from the first few acts of the show…

6 Man Back Foot Line

Our Opening Pyramid Team… They saved the princess!

A Tale of 2 Ski Shows

Sir Talks-a-lot

The Bell Sisters

Watch Out for Flying Cake

Beau & Kirk

Mr. Paul O’Conner

Kirsten Heilman doing too many 720’s in one pass
Apparently 5 is too many…

After montage we put out a Mad-City original act. The One Act Show. This year we went big. A shoe skier, a 4-high human pyramid, a doubles couple and a pinwheel going over the jump next to all of that. It rolled through the show course and the crowd went wild.

Approaching the Ramp!

Doing their thing!

Next up was the Mad-City Dream Girls. Turns out they are the best all female ballet line in the nation. 23 strong with some great dances. I’ll let the pictures speak for them selves.

On the Dock!


23 Ladies on the Water!

Look at that ballet line…

Strike a Pose!

We even put some ladies on some mini stages…

Everybody Shimmy!

Then our jump team hit the water for their first jump act of the show. Had a couple of falls, but still a very good jump act. Then our star swivel hit the water and like jump had a fall, but still a very strong act with Kristen throwing a 1080. Then our big act took to the water. It also had a handful of falls, but also a very clean act. Here are a few more pictures…

Four Man Helis

Four Man Fronts

Captain Jack Sparrow



Every Pirate Needs a Pirate Ship, Not a Pile of…
The Parrots are the Smart Ones…

7 Staggered Trios

Conventional Doubles

Our Toe-Turnin’ Swivel Wenches!

Toe Turned!

Our Swivel Pirettes!

Ladies… stay away. I have chirpies. It’s a canaryial disease. It’s un-tweetable.

Oh, No He Didn’t!

Next on the water was our second jump act of the day. It was hot. Two fronts and gainer… Triple heli, double splits… and a super sized pinwheel (gainer, double fronts and a heli)… No falls. It would have been the highest scoring jump act, except we have one more jump act in store.

Triple Heli, Double Split

Super Size Pin Wheel

Then we had our SNL fill. Adam and Taryn put on a phenomenal production. This video will be on the internet soon. The crowd loved it. Here’s a couple pictures to keep your interest until then.

Then after an impromptu fill, our ending pyramid came through, a double top 3-2-4-2-4. We lost just a couple people off the dock that prevented the double top 3 from being a 4.

It was suppose to be a 4-2-4-2-4. This is pretty damn close!

After the pyramid we did a completely original version of the Evolution of Dance. This time Adam had a dancing partner with Matt sharing the stage with him.

Let’s twist again, Like We Did Last Summer!

Do the Locomotion!

Everybody was Kung-Fu Fighting!

It takes 2!

Still takes 2!

Oh, Oh, Oh Oh Oh Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh Oh
Oh, Oh, Oh Oh Oh Oh, The Right Stuff!

No Comment Needed, or Desired for this Picture

I’m a Barbie Girl

No comment on this one…

Bringing Sexy Back!

Then the Jaw Dropper took the water. One man, 3 jumps, never leaving the show course. Starts off with the gainer, then does a front and finishes with a 720. When it’s clean, it is an untouchable jump act. Sorry, I don’t have any good pictures of this act. Watch for the video.

Then we put our newest act on the water… our combo ballet line with a hot pick of the guys. We put on a phenomenal show and finished to a standing ovation.

Guys Ballet

Hot Pick

Big Ballet

Our show ends with several dances… here’s the first One!

Then Adam did HIS intro, to the dismay of the rest of the team…

I Love You, You Love Me…

Then we dance some more… What I Like About You!

Left, Right…

After the show, the long wait began. We’re done with our part and now need the rest of the teams to finish their shows. And it is a long wait.

Saturday night, after grabbing some dinner at the local Applebees, we all met up at bar near the hotel (at least those of us that stayed in Beloit). It was a blast that night. Everyone had lots of drinks and everyone had lots of fun. We definately rolled up a fatty of fellowship and fun that night.

Something funny was said… can’t remember what

Shots for the ladies…

Me, Sandy and Paul

This was taken at the end of the night, only a few hours before Brad was waken up and told to move the truck.

Paul and Kelly Dancing

Obligatory picture show both Bugsy and Tristan at the very end of the night at the bar…

Sunday morning came way too early, but I did make it in time to catch Wonder Lake and Little Crow’s shows, the two that I really wanted to see. Both had good shows, but not anything that could beat our show from the day before. Both had some phenomenal acts. Wonder Lake did their pre-fab pyramid hot pick again. They first take 2 pre-fabs off the dock. Then they loop around and come from behind the starting dock. Meanwhile, the starting dock has 2 more pre-fabs on it and their is a floating barge butted up to it with 2 more pre-fabs on it. As the boat pulling the pre-fabs approaches the dock, the barge comes free and gives the boat room to split the dock and barge and hot pics the four pre-fabs. Not sure what I mean, then just watch the video.

Little Crow also had an act that I thought was great. I’m not even a big fan of ATBs (around the boats) but they did an ATB act that was awesome. Just three people, but two went one way and the third guy went the opposite way and they went around the boat. The act didn’t stop there though, they immediately did another ATB, and then they did another. 3 guys doing 3 ATBs back-to-back-to-back. I wish I had filmed it.

Finally, the shows ended and it was awards time. As I’ve already posted, Mad-City swept the traditional box scores (dock & equipment, driving, pickup boats and sound) and some of the act awards (jump, swivel and ballet). A couple interesting facts… Mad-City had the 3 highest scoring jump acts and 2 highest scoring ballet acts. Here are some pictures from the awards ceremony…

The sea of Mad-City blue shirts waiting for the results!

Christ accepting the Best Ballet Award for our Combo Ballet Line
Normally all the girls accept the award. Personally, I think all 30 people in the act should have gone up there.

Paul, with Cyndi and Tony, accepting the Best Jump Act Award for The Jaw Dropper

The Best Swivelers in the Nation!
Ann, Kristen, Laura and Joey accepting the Best Swivel Act Award

Paul accepting the Skip Gilkerson award from Skip Gilkerson
for the Outstanding Male Performance at the tournament.

Some of our Dock & Equipment people accepting the award for Best Dock & Equipment

Best Pick-Up Boat Driving

Don, Jerry, Gary and Tony… Best Boat Drivers!

Adam, Matt and Me (Wedge) – Best Audio Presentation

Chris accepting the National Championship!

A River Full of National Champions!!!

After taking our swim we headed back to Madison for a little party at the Coliseum Bar and Grill. Originally, we planned to watch the production company’s DVD of our show but it didn’t work and appears to be a bad DVD. I made a call and arranged to get a DVD that my dad had made so the team could watch that. A lot of the people in the show don’t really get to see it, so for them it is the first time seeing it.

The night ended with Paul, Laura, Kristen, Bugsy and myself closing down the bar at midnight, all of us exhausted.

Picasa Web Albums in this Post:

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Friday Night Surfing

Friday at work was torturous. Hot, sunny, very little wind, very blue skies and my boat hooked up to my truck out in the parking lot. Makes for a very long day at work knowing what I’ll be doing at the end of the day.

The evening started off with Sandy, Imhof and myself hitting the bay before the crowd showed up for some good water and some good footing… I started of the night with some laps around the bay. Started off with a run nearly all the way around the bay and then a second run 3/4 of the way around the bay again before finally losing my grip on the handle. Here’s a shot from my one…

Laps around the bay at 40 MPH are nice… very nice in glass water!

Sandy was up next and pretty much did what I was doing… laps around the bay. She started off with a good run and then went out on the whip and was pretty much thrown into a tumble turn before she recovered to foot away.

Sandy’s run around the bay started off nice…

and then she was thrown into a tumble turn…

but footed away!

Imhof was up next. He did some shoe skiing. Here’s a picture of one of his starts, but mainly it is a cool shot of the blue sky.

Awesome picture of the skyline… Imhof is doing a deep water shoe ski start.

Imhof shoe skiing

And then we went to pick up most of the rest of the crew at the dock. Paul, Joey and Kirk were waiting for us. A couple runs later we picked up Ronée as well and now we had a full boat. And then we did a whole lot of surfing.

Kirk watched Paul go and then gave surfing his first try. Being a pretty experienced wake boarder, he popped right up and soon was throwing the rope back to the boat to really surf.

Kirk tossing the rope to the boat so he can really surf.

Kirk surfing!

Joey also hit the water on the surf board that night as well. And with the number of people in the boat, we had a nice wave to surf on.

Joey on the surf board.

We did find out the riding on the back of the boat does have it’s hazards… when you legs are dangling over the back of the boat resting on the ski platform, they are right where they can get hit with the surf board if it goes flying. Sandy learned this the hard way. We also learned the board can draw blood.

Sandy nursing her wound from watching wake surfing.

The minor flesh wound didn’t stop Sandy from re-learning how to surf. She said she had tried it a couple years ago, but hadn’t touched a board since. She was quickly up on top of the water.

Sandy getting up on the board

Sandy getting her surfing feet

She did fall a couple times and that is entertaining too!
Even she was having fun hitting the water in this picture… look at that smile!

Then Ronée took her turn on the board. She’d been out surfing last week and with all the people in the boat, she was able to quickly throw the rope to the boat and do some real surfing!

Ronée did some ropeless surfing!

But would occasionally need the rope back!

And we were sometimes just a second late with the rope!

It wasn’t all surfing though… well really it was, but those that were watching the surfing were having a lot of fun too. We had some ice cold beer on board…

Paul, Ronée and Sandy enjoying a beer on the back of the boat

Ronée and Sandy posing for the camera… this could be an ad for Miller Chill

Imhof took the water next. For a little guy, he managed to make a big splash when he hit the water. I had to be on my toes with the camera to keep it mostly dry.

Here he’s surfing and not really using the rope

Imhof on the board with Ronée and Sandy cheering him on!

And here he is making a big splash!

Then Paul took another turn on the board. He does the start a lot different from everybody else. Everyone else lays their feet on the board, rope comes tight as boat starts to move, board pops up on edge and then the boat takes off. Paul on the other hand just kind of stands on the board with the board under water, tells the boat to go and magically pops up out of the water. Here’s a picture of this in action…

Paul doing is unique start!

And here’s proof that Paul his human and does fall occasionally.

Paul’s asking for the rope back!

And gets it just in time!

Paul demonstrating that he doesn’t need a rope to get up on the surf board behind the boat.

Then I took to the board again. Surprisingly, when I’m not in the boat, the wake to surf on just isn’t as big, but I finally did manage to get comfortable enough to toss the rope to the boat.

Finally, surfing without a rope!

We did hire a helicopter to follow us around and they managed to get a few cool pictures of me!

Another picture from the helicopter!
In reality, Paul just held the camera in a precarious position and took some really good pictures…

Then we have what it the coolest group photo from the night… Everybody but me (because I’m in the water) managed to get in this picture taken using the mirror.

From left to right… Kirk, Paul, Imhof, Joey, Ronée and Sandy

Ronée and Joey

All three of us knew I was about to take a picture, but only two of us decided to actually smile and look at the camera…
not sure what Ronée was doing?

Kirk doing his “I’m a serious boat driver” look

Then the night came to a close as the sun finished setting. We managed to get a cool picture of the Madison skyline…

The State Capitol overlooking Lake Monona

And then as we headed back to the dock to end the evening on the water, I snapped this picture of the sunset.

Lake Monona Sunset

That wasn’t the end of the night though… I dropped off the boat at the house as others did there thing… about 945 I met up with Sandy, Ronée, Paul and Joey at the Stadium Bar for some food and beverages. Paul and Joey had finished their v-ball game while the rest of us were just plain hungry. Sandy and Ronée had ordered some sort of chicken pesto pizza while I ordered a side of cheese curds to share. The curds arrived we all ate them. Then the pizza came and the ladies did a nice job on it, nearly finishing the 16 inch pizza… they did have some help from Paul who stopped by to chat. I did try it, ate one tiny slice, and it was OK, but I think I like marinara sauce on my pizza. A couple drinks later and we all were headed home to make our 7am practice on Saturday morning.
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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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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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Goin’ to Portage

The Mad-City Ski Team had a road show tonight in Portage, WI. Not even sure what lake we skied on, but we skied at the Portage Country Club. We put on just a small show, but we had a blast doing the show and the crowd loved it. Here are a couple pictures from the night…

A “Pryo” in Portage

The Crew that Stayed Behind…
Back Row – Wedge, Russ, Beau, Kelly, Paul, 7, Imse. Front Row – Ann, Joey, Bugsy

All of the pictures, granted there aren’t that many, can be found in my Picasa Web Album here.

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My Adventures in Helicopters, Part Duex

Hit the lake after work tonight (with Joey, Paul, Ronée and Scott) and did another jump set…

Jump number was a planned ride over… lets just say I landed… on my back. Went off on my heals and it was a complete yard sale on the landing. Wish I had this one on video.. it would have been good.

Jump number two was suppose to be heli attempt number one. Well, I was still working on getting the wrap done as we approached the ramp and it finally got to the point where I wasn’t going to be wrapped so I just did a ride over. Nothing special, but I did have the feeling that I hate where it feels like I’m going to go out the front, which is in reality good, because then I’m over my skis. Anyways, landed it and received a standing O from the crowd on the Betty Lou that was going by.

Jump number three was my first heli attempt of the night, and third overall. I made it 270 degrees around and had an ugly fall from the boat’s perspective. Nothing bad from mine. It seems that I’m starting the heli way late. Need to initiate it just before I leave the ramp, not eight feet later. Here’s the video…

Jump number four, heli attempt number two. Hit the ramp, initiated the spin at the very top of the ramp (still late, but earlier than before)… started spinning and saw the ramp and then I saw the boat again. Yes, I had finally spun 360 degrees. Had a landing I could have skied away from (according to Paul – skis flat, but they were in front of me), but didn’t. So close. Never been so happy after a fall. Instead of coming up with just a wave that I was OK, I came up with both fists pumped in the air.

I try to limit myself to 4 jumps (5 if I’m skiing away) per set so I called it after that one. Don’t like to get too tired and then injure myself. I had taken 3 pretty good falls.

Ended the night with a little wake surfing. I need more weight in the boat to make a bigger wave. Joey swiveled, Paul instructed, Ronée did some toe turns and Scott acted as our third after J &P left for v-ball. Fun night all around.

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Weekly Skiing Report

It’s been about a week since I’ve last checked in with my water skiing activities and thought it was time to give an update…

Last Tuesday, after catching Transformers the night before, I went out skiing with the family. My parents took their boat out and I took my boat out and my sister and her entire family came along too. Everybody did some skiing and my niece Anna went skiing long line for the first time without any problems. Tuesday night at practice I talked with John, Sandy and T-Bell about skiing Wednesday morning. John and Sandy were in… T-Bell wasn’t sure where she’d be.

Wednesday started off looking bleak. Overcast and gloomy and looking like rain, but I checked the radar and it was clear. I called John to let him know that skiing was on and then headed to the gas station while leaving T-Bell a message that we were headed to the lake. Just as I’m pulling into the gas station, I get a message back from T-Bell. “omw” Not being fluent it text massage, I wasn’t really sure what it meant, but as I finished gassing the boat up, it came to me. “On My Way.” By 815 everyone is there.

We start the morning with some jumping. I take a set, John takes a set and tries some helis and then T-Bell goes again. Here are a few video clips of some of the better ones jumps and falls…

After jumping we head to the bay to do some footing. I started off the footing by taking a quick set of 6 back-to-back runs. Everyone else takes a few runs as well before I take one more set. Here are a few clips of some footing…

After all of the footing, we were pretty much content with the amount of skiing we had done, but decided to cruise down to Waubesa to see if Paul and Joey were out on the lake. After stopping for some drinks, we finally found them floating with a boat that wasn’t running very well. Ronée was out with them and wanted to work on some toe turns so we pulled her on a few runs. She made some turns but was really leaning on Joey for support. After that, we grabbed some more drinks and finally called it a day. It was now a very hot day and we were all getting burned.

Ronée swiveling with Joey

Next up on Thursday, it was a relatively quiet day of skiing, just a ski team practice.

Friday we got back on the water behind my boat and did a whole lot more skiing. I did a quick jump set, Joey did some swiveling, Paul surfed, Rob wake boarded and made what I think is his first inverted trick (a front roll to fakey?), T-Bell did some surfing and then I learned how to finally get up the board, then Kyle had his first towed experience behind a boat when he got up on the wake surf board. Finally it was time for people to get to their volleyball games so we called it a night. Here are the pics…

Me Jumping

Paul Surfing

Rob going ballistic

Finally, made it up on the surf board

T-Bell riding the wave

Kyle’s first pull behind a boat

Rob’s a surfer now!

This is when it got interesting… I’m leaving the boat launch area and heading to the main parking lot as I’m starting the drive home when I feel my truck get yanked backwards and my boat starts to jump around. I quickly stop. I hop out and look and don’t see anything evident on the drivers side with a quick glance. Then I hop over the trailer tongue and see that the trailer wheel is no where near to being in the right location. Not good. The axle was completely loose.

That wheel is not in the right spot!

As luck would have it, my parents happened to be driving through the launch looking for my brother to see if he was out on Monona with their boat. My dad pulled one of the damaged u-bolts off the trailer and ran to Farm & Fleet. About and 75 minutes later he’s back with the parts, a jack and jackstands and we start re-attaching the axle to the trailer. An hour later, at 1030, the trailer is road worthy again.

Wheel’s back in place, fender is still messed up

Then I head out to catch the volleyball post game activities.

The next morning I wake up and head to the jump practice to get a few jumps in. Water wasn’t great, but my jumps went OK. Then T-Bell shows up and does some jumping, which I thought was great because she normally wants really good water conditions, but went jumping anyways. Then, she’s been thinking about trying flips for a while, and a few people know this. They mention that the tail wind is good for front flips and she decides to give it a whirl. I’ll let the videos speak for themselves. Here they are…

She wanted me to try heli’s too, but I declined saying I’d try them Monday night. Bugs was also inspired to try fronts and vowed to try them on Monday as well. Then we talk to Paul to make sure he can come instruct.

Sunday was a quiet skiing day for me…

Then Monday arrived… a day of reckoning… the weather cleared out by the afternoon, but just before we arrive at the lake the wind shifts and starts to come out of the north east… that means a head wind and rough water. Bugs goes first and tries his flips. Actually has a few good attempts. [Video coming soon]

Then I get some instruction for trying helis. Now to go back in time, this isn’t the first time I would spin as I leave the ramp…. year’s ago in 1992 I was jumping and my rope caught on the top corner of the ramp. As I reach the top of the ramp, I’m now facing the top corner of the ramp, which isn’t the right direction. I let go of the ramp, my spin continues and I land on the back and as I slide away from the ramp, the back end of my skis catch and that causes the front of the skis to come rushing at my face. Smack in the lip. Took out a big chunk of my to the point that I thought I had lost teeth. So, long story short, it took a lot of nerve for me to just decide to try a heli.

Back to today… I’m approaching the ramp, jumping from wave to wave with the rope wrapped… I finally skip onto the ramp and I’m going up. On my toes, thinking about not dropping my shoulder. I reach the top of the ramp, still a little shocked that I’m actually wrapped and trying a heli, then realize I need to let go of the rope with the one hand so I start my spin. And I make it all the way around so I land going backwards and almost on my skis. I completed my first attempt. Didn’t ski away, but I did it. Here’s the video…
My First Heli… or should I say 180?
(7, thanks for the advice about needing to make it all the way around…)

Next attempt, a little better… I make it about 3/4 of the way around.

After we were done jumping, Paul did some more wake surfing… it’s his new addiction. Then he tries something new. He grabs one of Bugsy’s jump skis and starts jump ski surfing…

Jump Ski Surfing?

Then I did a little surfing and we called it a night.

For all the pictures in one convenient location, you can check out the Picasa Web Album with all of these pictures and some more.

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Busy Week of Skiing

This past week I managed to get a whole lot of skiing in. Started on Monday night. I hit the water with T-Bell & Imhof. I mainly did a lot of footing, T-Bell hit the slalom course and Imhof worked on his flip turns. Nice relaxing night on the water.

T-Bell on the course in front of the Madison Skyline!

Tuesday night was a regular night of show ski practice… nothing major for me.

Wednesday night I was looking forward to stopping by practice for a quick jump set, but found out that no one could bring the boats down. Pretty much everyone that would normally be available to bring the equipment was attending a show committee meeting. So as I left work at 515 I started making calls. Rounded up T-Bell & the Bug Man for a quick jump set. Met them at the lake at 615 and we jumped. Not my best night of jumping, but T-Bells looked good and Bugsy did his typically super slow motion heli’s on my skis.

T-Bell and her crash helmet

Thursday was another typical show ski practice.

Next up… Friday. Met T-Bell & Imhof at the landing and then picked up Paul at the jump site. We started off with T-Bell & I doing a couple jump sets each. I went 4 for 5 on my first set and 2 for 3 on the second set. One of the things that people have been telling me is to stay on my toes when I hit the ramp as this will help keep me over my skis while in the air, instead of behind them. Well, lately it has felt like I was almost going out the front, which usually meant I actually had good position. Well, my last jump off the night felt like I was really going to go out the front. And I did. I’ll post some video of this soon. T-Bell took a set of ride overs and then tried some helis. I’ve got video of that too.

After we jumped, Imhof worked on his flip turns, which he is making, and his back steps, which he isn’t. Then Paul busted out his new wake surfing board. Then we did some footing in the bay and finally ending up back out on the main lake as everyone else tried the wake surfing board. Here are some pictures from that night…

When T-Bell comes to ski, she comes to do a lot of skiing and brings a whole lotta stuff!

One of T-Bell Jumps

One of my jumps

Footing in the weeds

But the weeds mean it’ll be glassy calm

Close Up!

T-Bell on the Wake Surf Board

Imhof Surfing

Paul Surfing…

Paul was the only one that could actually surf without the rope

But we would have to throw it back to him now and then

I did make time to attend my cousin Lindsay & Jeff’s wedding. It was held at the Deer Valley Lodge in Barneveld, WI. Saturday was a very nice day for an outdoor wedding (or some skiing!)

Lindsay & Jeff

Me dancing with the Bridesmaids and one of the many margarita on the rocks that I had that night

My Aunt Louise and I at the end of the night…

The weekend ended with our typical Sunday night ski show. I was recovered enough to ski the opening and ending pyramids. My first pyramid start was a little rusty (I hadn’t done one in a few weeks) but I did make it.

Looking at my feet for some strange reason?
Photo from Jim’s Photos

I did make it though. By this point my legs were burning just a bit.
Photo from Jim’s Photos

My second pyramid went much better. Even though the girl I took off the dock in the ending pyramid wasn’t the tiny little lite girl I had from the opening pyramid, the start went world’s better as you can see…

Rock solid start!
Photo from Jim’s Photos

Landing at the “beach” with T-Bell
Photo from Jim’s Photos

And with the show over, the crazy week of skiing pretty much came to an end. We did go watch the Janesville Open show again and after that, I crashed. Exhausted and ready to sleep.

That’s what I am right now… ready to sleep so I can be back on the water tomorrow at 8am! And yes the time stamp on this post is accurate. It is a 245am.

There are more pictures and full quality versions of all these pictures over on my Picasa Web Album. Check it out.

Some of these photos, as noted in the captions, are from Jim’s Photos, one of the ski teams sponsors. You can contact him if you’d like a high resolution copy of one of the photos.

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Brief Skiing Recap

Just to recap a little bit… had a good footing set last night until I hit a log… manged a couple nice solid one foots and here’s a picture for your consideration.

As I said, I hit a log. Well we fished it out of the lake so we wouldn’t hit it again or have someone else someone suffer my same fate, or worse. I went back to the landing today to take a look at again and snapped a picture of it so you can see exactly what I hit. Still not sure how I don’t have a broken foot. Must be all the milk I drink. Sandy felt bad about me hitting the log since she was driving, but there really was nothing that she could do. She didn’t see it until it popped out of the boat wake and couldn’t really do anything. She stops, I’d slide into it, she turns, who knows what happens. I told her not to worry about it. My foot’ll be fine in a couple days. Just bruised badly now. Nothing broken.

One foot from Friday night

Here is the log I hit. My foot hit the end near my sandal. It was sticking up out of the water.

Anyway, had another footing set this morning with Dale and Sandy. Very early set, 530am. That’s 2 weeks in a row I’ve been up at the crack of dawn for some footing sets. Today I took the first set. Between the cut that is still healing on my right foot that gets re-opened a little each time I take a run and my very sore left foot from the log, my runs were comfortable, but I did have some nice runs. Kept them short though.

530am footing run

Next up at practice I snuck in a jump set before the show run thru. Putting on my jump ski was painful. It is swollen up just a bit. Hitting the ramp was painful. Hit the water on the landing even worse. Took 3 jumps. Ramp was a bit slicker than I’m use to since we now have running water on it. Kept my skis tight on the ramp, they stayed close together in the air but split apart a little before my landing, creating room for my ass to act as giant brake and popping the handle. With my ankle I was 0-fer the day, but had good jumps, just couldn’t take the landing. Would have had pictures, but for some reason the person using my camera didn’t actually take any pictures.

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