Another Couple Peeps Doing 7’s

Well, it has finally come to pass.  Paul O’Conner of Mad-City is no longer the sole person doing 720’s in the show ski world.  We have a couple more people to add to the role call now.

First off, we have someone from the Waterhawks in Waterloo, Iowa doing a 7 of the ramp through some fire.

Next, we have a 16-year old named Nick Wilson, from the Lake City Skiers in Warsaw, Indiana land a 7.  
Not sure how consistent either of these people are throwing them yet, but much props to them for landing one.  Me, I still spin abot 330 degrees when I throw a heli.  Makes skiing away a bit difficult.
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Free Style!!!

Way back in the 90s, there was a little sport called Free Style Jump.  Back then, they did a whole lot more of the ramp than just flips, gainers and helis.  They’d do all of that, then they’d do it on just a single ski, throw in some 1 ski 540’s, mobes, back mobes and some other stuff that I’m really not sure what they are and you have some pretty slick free style jumping.
It still exists today to some extent.  Now it’s called show ski jump, but just a bit tamer.  They mainly stick to the three staples (helis, flips and gainers), with a handful of people doing a bit more. You see the occasional 720, some one ski helis, and the vary rare mobious, but you just don’t see them vary often.  In the show ski world, unless you can stick damn near everytime, it’s just not going to make the show.  It’s too risky when you’re going for a state, regional or national championship.
But here are some people that don’t care about scores.  They just care about making you go “what the hell did I just see?” or “wow” or “holy shit!” and occasionaly make you’re jaw drop.

Now some ski teams still push the envelope a little bit.  Mad-City has Paul O’Conner who’s one of a handfull of people who can through a 720, and probably the only one that lands it consistently.  They also have a stable of jumpers so they can put together double 1-ski gainers, or the more traditional triple gainers.  There’s also Jon Debelak who’s skied for RAJ & Badgerland that can through the Mobe and gets to pull it out once in a while.
Some other teams will put together some crazy jumps of people flipping over helis and what not, but nothing like old school free style jumping.
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Whole Lotta Updates…

Where to start… it’s been about a month since my last post. No, I haven’t gone away, just been busy dealing with “winter” stuff here in Wisconsin.

I guess the first big update from the last month would be I hit up Think Tank. For those that are wondering what that is, it’s a water skiing convention put on by the Wisconsin Water Ski Federation. You can go there and learn about a lot of different aspects of water skiing. 3-event, collegiate, wake boarding, barefooting and show skiing. Lots of show skiing stuff there. It’s a good way to get people excited about the ski season starting here in Wisconsin (not that it has yet, but it’s getting close). It’s also a good excuse to get a bunch of water skiers together and have a big party. Only real complaint from the weekend is the hotel bar at the Chula Vista is not big enough to hold all the skiers. Over at BFC, they’ve posted a pretty good update about there trip to Think Tank.

My personal experience there was a lot of fun. I had my friend Linda, a show skier herself, up from Florida for the weekend. We got up there late afternoon on Friday and hit the water park in the hotel. I think it’s the first time I’ve gone to a water park in about 15 years. That was a lot of fun. Then we hit the outdoor hot tub for drinks before changing and heading down to the doubles competition and fashion show (better known as 2 good reasons to drink at Think Tank.) Saturday was rough, dranks lots of water, taught my tank in the afternoon and partied some more that night.

Shortly after Think Tank, I heard about a new water skiing movie coming out this summer. H2O Extreme. Guess the plot synopsis is a talented water skier and hockey player moves from Wisconsin to Florida to pursue the big money in professional show skiing, passing on a professional hockey career. Personally, it’s like my life story. Grew up playing hockey, in Wisconsin no less, love to show ski and water ski in general, but still not getting paid. I guess the main difference between me and the guy in the movie, he’s got some made show ski skills. Flying high on the wakeboard and fronts and gainers off the ramp, where as I’m a chick hauler who likes to try and jump. Want some more details? Check out the trailer…

If watch the trailer closely, you’ll see the newest skis from HO (yes that’s a real ski company name), twin tip jump skis. Yes, they’ve been doing it for years on the slopes and now they’ve done it for jump skis. Seen on the water ski blog-o-sphere first over on the Row Boat, you can pick up your own pair for four bills over at waterskis.com.

While I’ve been lacking in my blog posts, the Row Boat has not. Then been posting up a flurry lately. Word on the street is the Row Boat has expanded a little bit. It’s no longer one man on the oars and it sounds likes he’s got a couple people over there helping to row himself around the lake.

Meanwhile, it looks like winter may actually be over here in Wisconsin. Spring officially starts tomorrow and my yard is pretty empty of snow (except where I piled it up clearing off the driveway). The lakes are still not open yet, and probably won’t be for a couple weeks yet. Too much ice needs to melt.

To compare the weather from this year (tons of snow) to years past (not tons of snow), back in 06 I actually went skiing without a dry suit and didn’t freeze on Good Friday. This Friday, which happens to be Good Friday I’ll definitely not be on the water. One reason, the water is still frozen solid. The second reason, which actually trumps the first, is it will likely be snowing here on Friday. Southern Wisco is under a winter storm warning from Thursday night thru Friday. 4 to 6 inches expected. Now you’re thinking “but it’s spring”? Well, spring here in Wisco still means we get some snow now and then.

Finally, been busy with Mad-City stuff. You’re thinking, but it’s winter, how can you be busy. Well, Mad-City goes year round. Being on the board keeps me pretty busy, but I’ve been helping out on the show committee helping to plan next years show, also keeps me pretty busy. Plus, we’ve had some winter practices. Those don’t take up much time, but they are there. We’ve got a small army of new people on the team this year and need to get them up to speed for climbing so once the water thaws, we can get the pyramids going.

We’ll, I try not to go a month before posting again. I’ll be getting my boat ready to hopefully hit the hopefully no longer frozen water the first weekend in April. Won’t be breaking my record season start of March 24 from last year, mainly because the lakes are frozen. Although as you can see from the previous post, I did get a little water time in January. (Still get shivers in my spine thinking about that.)

Couple last things… over on the right, you may have noticed it looks a little different. First off, there’s a section titled What I’m Reading. That’s mainly random funny or interesting things I’ve found on the net. Click on one of the links now and then, it might make you laugh. Just below that there’s my attempt to help cross promote the other skiing sites on the web as I Scour the Web for Water Skiing. The good sites that I’ve found, I’ve set up in a feed so as they post stories, you’ll see them in the feed there on the right. Way down at bottom of the right side column, there’s a place to sign up for email updates from here. Put your email address in, and after you confirm your subscription, these posts will come right to your Inbox. Inbox cluttered, just use the RSS feed… don’t know what an RSS feed is? Go here to get a crash course on what they are, then make your way over to Google Reader. Sign up or use your existing Google/Gmail account and it’ll keep track of all your RSS feeds.

Lastly, if you’ve made it this far, you’re a dedicated reader. Show your dedication by sending my a barefooting story my other site… Tales from the Foot. I want to get some reader generated content up there. Send me barefoot successes, failures or funny stories.

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Post Number 400… 7 Tumbles, 6 Bars, Lots of Friends

It has been busy couple of weeks since my last significant post. Sorry ’bout that. In my defense it has been a couple weeks since I’ve been on the water, so I haven’t had much to post about… but I do have a few things.

First up, a little critique of 7’s tumble turn skills. Back on Sept 29, the last day I’ve been on the water, 7 tried some tumble turns. I’ll give him an “A” for his effort. The trick can be broken down into about 5 primary steps…

  1. Sit back down on to the water and transition to your back
  2. Initiate the spin
  3. Spin
  4. Stop the spin
  5. Stand back up and continue barefooting

7 has steps 1 thru 3 down pat. In fact, he has step 3 down so well, he keeps spinning. He’s having some issues with step 4 though. Let’s go to the video…

I’m OK giving out a critique because I’m also willing to admit my last time trying tumble turns looked like this…

Trying to tumble turn or break dance? I’m honestly not sure?

Next up, Imse, the other person out in the boat that day, has been working on his back deeps for a while and at this point I would say he them down pretty well when he’s doing them on the boom. His back deeps themselves are very clean, but his backfooting did produce this awesome photo of one of his falls…

Awesome picture of a backfooting fall

Here’s some video of his back deeps…

As you can see, they look pretty clean. His next step is do them long line.

For a few more pictures from this outing, you can check out the pictures here… there are some good ones of 7 trying a flip on the wake board.

In non-water skiing related news, I’m sure you all remember the really old joke where people ask “Is your refrigerator running?” and most normally people answer “Yes” and then the joke is “Well you better go catch it!” For the past week I’ve been able to answer that joke with a “No” My fridge is dead right now and has been since last Tuesday. I’ve been living out of a mini-fridge from my college days for the past week and a half now and have been keeping my beer in a cooler on the deck. Here’s hoping the neighbor kids don’t find it or realize what’s in it.

Next, one of the most impressive feats of human determination you will probably ever witness… a high school girls breaks her leg and manages to finish her race. I found this on the The Big Lead, but wanted to share it…

At the time that The Big Lead posted it, not much was known, but since then ESPN has had a story on it as well.

A couple weeks ago I had a pretty busy weekend. Nothing too wild on Friday, but Saturday was a long day. Woke up, grilled out, watched the Badgers destroy Michigan in football, then headed downtown to meet up with some peeps… first I hit the Big Ten Pub to meet Paul, Joey, Josh, Cake and Solberg. They had some friends in town. Hung out with them for a while and when the started to head out about 630, I then walked down the street to the Regent Street Retreat to meet up with the Badger Bash Crew. Ran in to KTB, Bugsy, Tristan, Adam and a whole bunch of UW related skiers. By UW related I mean they either skied for the UW, still ski for the UW or skied against the UW in a collegiate event. Met Steve (again) and Meghan from UW-Whitewater’s ski team. Turns out she’s a WaterBug too.

After hanging out a Regent Street for a while, we hit up Toppers and then made our way to the KK… the Kollege Klub. Can’t say I’ve been there recently. About 1030 we migrated to Brats. Bugsy got friendly with The Captain, danced with some random people. Roller Girl showed up with some Healies on and slid up and down the isle… Bugsy, being “smart” asked me to move to my left to be more our in the isle. I had seen what she was doing and new what was going to happen. She came flying down the isle on her heals and ran right into me full speed. Not really an issue for me because a) I knew it was coming 2) the striped bibs she was wearing were hot… especially with the shirt on underneath and not much else from what I could tell and lastly) I’m not a tiny guy, played hockey in my past and knew how to take a hit, but in this case, taking a hit meant catching her so she didn’t fall down after running into her.

After enduring the chaos there, I finally departed about midnight and headed up to the The Dane to meet up with Sandy, Teri, Libby, Scotty, Beth and Sandy’s friend from Florida, Mark. Had some drinks and then we hit up Mike’s Horseshoe Inn near Sandy’s house. It was a little hole in the wall bar and had some great prices and a Patrone Margarita on the Rocks that can kick your ass. Finally, we ended up at Sandy’s for an after bar for a final beer before heading home… crawled into bed at 415am… way too late.

Sunday, watched the Packers blank the Vikings… which was awesome. 7 called during the game asked if I wanted to go the Badger B-Ball game… so we watched them struggle early before dominating IPFW.

Finally, found this video on the net over on BareFootSki Dot Com… guy put together what amounts to a remote control for his Sea-Doo and now he can barefoot and ski solo. No driver or spotter required. Not completely safe or legal, but I still want one.

And finally, finally, a word from Carl about the BCS. Just an FYI… he’s none to happy with the Giants either.

Carl on the BCS

I’ll have my own words on the BCS in the next couple days.
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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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