Jake Abelson's World Trick Record Approved

Teen Sensation Jake Abelson Pushes Water Ski Trick Record to New Heights


Teen Sensation Jake Abelson Pushes Water Ski Trick Record to New Heights

Jake Abelson's World Trick Record Approved

Image: @karinsidiali

By Jack Burden

Jake Abelson’s world trick record of 12,970 has now been officially approved by the IWWF, bringing the sport to the precipice of 13,000 points. This incredible achievement caps off one of the most rapid ascents in water skiing history, with 16-year-old Abelson transforming from a promising junior to the highest-scoring tricker of all time in just a matter of weeks.

In mid-April, Abelson’s personal best was just shy of 12,000 points, ranking him 6th in the world for Open Men Tricks. At the Swiss Pro Tricks, he set solid scores to qualify for the finals mid-pack before achieving a new personal best of 12,230 points—a US National record. This score secured him a runner-up finish, his second of the year following a photo finish at the Moomba Masters.

The following weekend, Abelson improved his personal best by another 500 points, setting a new world record of 12,720 at the Ski Fluid Classic. This marked the first time an American man held the world trick record since Cory Pickos’ last mark 24 years earlier.

Fast forward another two weeks, and Abelson continued his ascent, setting yet another world record with 12,970 points. Over the span of just three weeks, the 16-year-old lifted his personal best by a full 1,000 points, increasing the world trick record by 280 points—equivalent to the combined progress in the 17.5 years between Nicolas Le Forestier’s last record and Patricio Font’s most recent one.

Abelson further intensified his run in the 2nd round of the Masters Qualifying event, swapping in a ski line seven back (SL7B) for his ski line back-to-back (SLBB). He fell on his last two tricks in that round, but had he landed them, the score would have been another 300 points higher than his current record, comfortably surpassing 13,000 points.

This proof of concept, with both falls occurring in time, shows that it is likely only a matter of time before Abelson or another skier cracks 13k. While Abelson’s record hand run of 7,670 is the highest of all time, there are other skiers with better marks on toe. The Chilean duo of Martin Labra and Matias Gonzalez hold the two highest toe runs in living memory at 5,680 and 5,600 points, respectively.

The men’s trick field, much like slalom, is the most competitive it has been in a long time, with three separate winners across the first three professional events of 2024. With such a large group of skiers capable of tricking in excess of 12,000 points, it is no longer possible for the top seeds to play it safe. Each skier must push as close to the world record as possible to win at any given event.

With two more professional trick events in Europe scheduled for the next month, we are excited to see how the rest of the season unfolds.

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