My First Ski Love

A Summertime Fling

My First Ski Love
My First Ski Love

My First Ski Love
My First Ski Love
My first ski love was Water-skiing!

When I was younger and there was about 40 pounds less of me I was a fanatic about water-skiing. I would ski as often as I could, and got to be fairly good at it, but never had the chance to measure myself objectively.

I am not the most athletic person. When young I was very slim and had a metabolism that let me eat gargantuan amounts of food and not gain an ounce. I was physically active when young, but such action was not well coordinated. So, when I started trying to water-ski I had a hard time getting up. Part of it was fear.

Eventually, I did get up and the fear turned to enthusiasm. My brother and I quickly advanced to the point where we would ditch a ski and slalom. I have never seen a slalom course set up on the lake where this was taking place so I could never get a good measure of how good I was or compare myself to others. One lake I skied on did have such a course but I did not enter or ski the course, can’t recall the reason.

I remember one summer weekend skiing around home on Long Lake with some of my high school buddies (Lee Radtke, Chad Kiekhaefer, and Randy Sheehan). These guys were serious and accomplished athletes and I was Les from Funky Winkerbean. Chad & Lee did just fine water-skiing. Randy Sheehan had a harder time of it. Long Lake was in full algae bloom so the water was a definite green color. Randy is a red head. I can still picture him being pulled behind the boat with that red head of his surrounded by a green bulge of water. I can’t recall if he did get up or not.

Eventually, it was my turn. I put on my life-jacket, jumped in and took the rope. I got myself situated, and gave the go signal. It was hard getting up, the boat was a little underpowered but I did get up. I skied on two skis for a while and then I dropped a ski. Unfortunately, the boat’s power was not up to that and I had a harder time finding the rear cup, actually, I never did find it. When they got the ski and picked me up, they were all amazed at my ability to do that. Funny thing was, I was kinda upset for not finding the cup, but we all admitted the boat was underpowered.

In the years since those days I have not water-skied all that much. In fact, it has been a long time since I’ve dropped a ski and certainly a longer time since I (deep water) started on one ski! Last summer, after a day of cutting, hauling, and splitting fire wood we all changed into our water gear and broke out the water skis. I was wearing contact lens something I had never done while water-skiing. I wondered if I was going to be able to get up. I did, I sat back a little longer than I used to and I stayed right behind the boat. I whooped and hollered, the boat people could hear and I am sure the people on shore could too! Unfortunately, we ran into a convergence of multiple boat wakes and I crashed. I closed my eyes so I did not lose my contacts. I then tried to get up twice after the crash, but my legs had had it. I got back in the boat and we returned to shore. It was great to be back on those boards and to be able to see while doing that.

With the biking I am doing my legs should be better able to handle the load and there is probably about 10 pounds less of myself too, and it could very well be 15 pounds less!

Good Stuff!

2 Comments on My First Ski Love

  1. My first ski experience was on water, too. Maybe in high school, though I can’t remember. I do remember that it was a tiring experience, (partly) getting up, falling down; (barely) getting up, falling down; getting up, riding around for a while, and then collapsing into the water.

    I thought this experience would help me take on snow skiing, but the instructors all said, “No, it’s going to hurt you, because you developed motor memory of leaning back in your stance.” They were right.

    In time I became a competent though not spectacular strong intermediate (snow) skier, far exceeding any skills I had developed on the water.

    One difference between the two types of skiing is that iti’s easy (though costly) to go snow skiing by yourself, but you can’t go water skiing by yourself. Perhaps there are businesses which will give water skiers, for a fee. But I’m not aware of them.

  2. Agree, yeah water-skiing requires two others aside from yourself a driver and an observer. I was getting to be good on waterskis and I don’t have any footage of me doing it but some photos show me getting my shoulder close and a modest rooster tail kicking up. It requires much more strength and stamina than alpine skiing does, especially upper body strength.

    Since I did not take up alpine skiing at that time I had no problem as you describe and then when I took up alpine skiing I was far enough removed from frequent water skiing I had no tendencies to try to work any water skiing technique into my alpine skiing.

    Now that there is much less of me and what remains is stronger and fitter, I hope I can at least ditch a ski again.

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