When Cory Johnson came to me last spring talking about how he wanted to get a water ski team going I thought about how cool it would be just to be able to get out on a boat on Lake Tahoe. Little did I know that I was signing up for some of the most fun I’ve had in my four years of being a student at Sierra Nevada College.
When the Fall semester of 2014 rolled around, Cory had already talked to some people about renting their boat for Tahoe as well as getting time on a private lake down in Carson that has a jump and slalom course. After going to both, we quickly decided free skiing on Tahoe wasn’t the best way to practice and that we all started to get pretty excited about our progression on the private lake. We definitely weren’t the best group of skiers on the lake, some of us still trying to ski for the first time, but we stuck to it and ended up learning pretty quickly.
Once it was time to head down to Chico we were a little under trained and under geared seeing as how we had three slalom skis, one pair of jump skis, and one trick ski for people varying in height from about 5’4”- 6’3”, men and women, but we were excited just to be there and see what collegiate water skiing was all about.
We quickly found out that this was going to be even more fun than we thought. As we pulled up to the lake we see a huge group of people blasting music and dancing around, so we decided setting up our tents later would be the best plan. So we grabbed our bag of wine and box of beer and made our way to the music.
The next morning the first day of the tournament was under way and everyone was hyped to get in the water and take their first set. Unfortunately we didn’t do as well as we hoped in slalom with Marco Gooding getting our best score of four buoys at 15 off (15 feet taken off of the full length of a water ski rope). Then, some how we came out with amazing scores for a group of four who only have a couple weeks of jumping under their belts taking 9th, 14th, 15th, and 17th place out of 21 competitors. After jump was trick where you have the option to ride a short trick ski with no fins or a wakeboard so most of us decided we would just wakeboard. Marco definitely stole the show for SNC with this event as well doing different 180 and 360 variations as well as his laybacks and hand drags for the crowd on his ride back.
Once the tournament was over it was time to pack up and head back to Tahoe, that’s when we all started to realize how much fun we had. We may not of won anything but we made some new friends and had a great time. When we all got back you could tell some people were more excited to wake up early for practice and the competition between teammates began to grow, pushing everyone to jump a few feet further and get one more buoy on your next pass. Thanks to this we have placed 7th, 5th, and 2nd overall and plan to post some even better scores this coming semester, so if your interested in joining our team this spring please email me at SNWaterski@gmail.com.