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Water Ski July - August 2016

United States
Bonnier Corporation
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life of a water skier

Notice how easy it is to rise early from bed when water skiing is on the morning’s agenda? There’s no snooze button necessary. You quickly sense the good times that await you at the lake, and you’re quickly out the door. The life of a water skier is a good life — one that shouldn’t be taken for granted. It means something a little different to each and every one of us. In our feature story, #Lifeofawaterskier on page 38, skiers from all over the world share their love for the sport with a memorable anecdote. For Germany’s Giannina Bonnemann, it’s about realizing her potential. “Every trick I learn, every quarter of a buoy I improve, every foot I gain in jump makes me want to continue and become better than…

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Adaptive skiers have another water-ski event to look forward to this year: Leap of Faith Adaptive Skiers will host its second event on Lake Ivanhoe in downtown Orlando from November 19-20. Since the ’90s, Leap of Faith founder Joel Zeisler has been creating opportunities for people with disabilities to ski on snow and water using adaptive equipment. “We started in Connecticut, where we’re based, working with blind and visually impaired people, and it grew,” he explains. Today, Leap of Faith includes wounded veterans, people with spinal-cord injuries, and individuals with autism and Down syndrome. Zeisler and his team are constantly in search of places where there’s a deficit in adaptive-skiing events. “Earlier this year, I called Lee Hester, the owner of adaptive-ski equipment manufacturer Liquid Access,” says Zeisler. “I asked him if…

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the rise of rob shirley

While in Panama in January 2015, Rob Shirley was stricken with an unexplained illness. When it seemed unlikely that he would emerge from a coma, his family realized that the only way they could save his life was to fly him back to the United States to receive better medical care. Unfortunately, the air ambulance needed for the journey back was not cheap, and the family had already spent a small fortune paying for care in Panama’s cash-based healthcare system. As the founder of MasterCraft, creator of the Pro Water Ski Tour, mentor and behind-thescenes benefactor to countless careers both on the water and the manufacturing floor, Shirley had built up decades of good will — and it was about to pay off. Rick Tinker, president of Skier’s Choice Inc., the…

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the skier’s smile

It’s as involuntary as the grip on a handle. It can show up at the end of the most challenging pass through the slalom course, or the jump or trick that elevates an average day to an awesome one. It happens at the end of most any set on the water, actually. It’s almost spiritual. Have you seen it? Felt it? It’s called “skier’s smile,” and it really is a thing. Lynn Carnes, an avid slalom skier and a leadership-development coach, began documenting the skier’s smile at Coble’s Ski School in Lillington, North Carolina. It was women’s week, and the 14 skiers there ranged in age from 43 to 86. Their skill levels ran an equally broad spectrum. “There is a certain smile you get right after skiing,” Carnes says. “It’s a…

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getting started the struggles of a new collegiate water-ski team.

Nobody ever looks back on college and remembers the weekends they got plenty of sleep, and a college water-ski tournament is certainly not one of those weekends — though they still might have trouble remembering some parts. Collegiate water skiing centers on feelings of fraternization and friendly competition, which makes it approachable to newcomers. But forming a team still isn’t easy. Motivated captains must overcome school bureaucracies, shaky membership and equipment problems before they can establish a collegiate water-ski team at their school. Starting a team takes more than just filling out some paperwork. Captains can be held responsible for their team’s actions long before their arrival, as University of Arkansas’ Sarah Campbell found out. “I know we don’t have a good relationship right now,” she told Club Sports. “I’m going…

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site to ski: mcginnis waterski

It’s good to be first: the first to discover electricity; the first on the moon; the first to win the Triple Crown. McGinnis Waterski was the first water-ski facility in South Florida — and considering that the entire ski world tilts toward Central and South Florida, that’s saying a lot. THE LONG AND SHORT OF IT “We were the first water-ski facility in South Florida,” says Ann Pitt McGinnis. “John and Joyce McGinnis bought the lake in 1974. It was dug out deep for its rock and sand, then quickly filled with fresh spring water from the Biscayne Aquifer, the underground water system that flows from Lake Okeechobee. Various skiers have run the lake over the years — Dave and Cyndi Benzel back in the ’80s, Rusty Carter Jr. in the late…