Thursday, 18 February 2010

The Start of Waterskiing

Lets start this off with how watersking start - here we go!

In 1922, 18-year-old Ralph Samuelson of Lake City, Minnesota, became the first American to water ski. Back then, no one could visualize human water ski pyramids gliding gracefully through the water. Consider the hundreds of pounds of weight resting upon the shoulders of the bottom tier of skiers. A boat with sometimes as many as three outboard motors at 220 horsepower must be utilized. In the highest pyramids, the top person may tower over 25 feet above the water. Each tier must be built with care. A single mistake could topple the entire group and cause injury. It is no wonder human water ski pyramids have taken their place in history as an act with great crowd appeal.

In 1928, the New Jersey-based Steel Pier water ski show had a three person pyramid among other acts, according to Harold "Pee Wee" Care who operated the aquaplane which towed the skiers in the show.

In 1942, the Cypress Gardens Water Ski Show was birthed in Central Florida. Cypress Gardens became known as the "Water Ski Capitol of the World."

In 1948, the officially recognized first water ski pyramid in history rode the waters of Lake Eloise in the Cypress Gardens theme park. It consisted of two tiers. The twelve person pyramid became the ending act in the Cypress Gardens Water Ski Show.

In about 1950, one of the oldest of the Wisconsin water ski show teams was established. The team, the Min-Aqua Bats, hail from Minocqua, a city close to Wisconsin's northern border with Michigan.

The year 1953 found the Cypress Gardens water ski pyramid featured in "Easy To Love," a movie starring Esther Williams and Van Johnson. The pyramid consisted of three tiers, another first.

In 1974, the National Show Ski Championships were held in Janesville, Wisconsin, the city from which the Rock Aqua Jays originate. They became the first amateur team to build a three tier water ski pyramid.

In 1978, the first three tier water ski human pyramid with a double top was executed in Cypress Gardens.

Cypress Gardens again made history in 1979 when the professional show team created a four tier pyramid.

The year 1981 found the Rock Aqua Jays becoming the first amateur team to build a four tier water ski pyramid.

In 1987, Cypress Gardens showed the world's first five tier water ski pyramid.

In 1993, the Rock Aqua Jays became the first amateur team to build a water ski pyramid with five tiers.

In 2003, the Rock Aqua Jays competed with the first amateur water ski pyramid to utilize 44 skiers.

On September 16, 2006, four amateur Wisconsin water ski teams combined efforts to create a new world's record: four pyramids of 48 skiers total, the most skiers ever in a water ski pyramid combination. The feat was done on Lake Wazeecha in Wisconsin Rapids. The teams were the Mad City Team of Madison, Wisconsin, Badgerland of Waukesha, the Aqua Skiers of Wisconsin Rapids, and Beaverland Must-Skis of Beaver Dam.

Will there ever be a pyramid to use more than 48 skiers? Will there ever be a six tier human water ski pyramid? We will have to wait and see.

Wendy Pan is an accomplished niche website developer and author. To learn more about a history of waterski pyramids [] please visit Family Water Skiing [] for current articles and discussions

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