Freddy Krueger: 30 years of professional water ski jumping

Freddy Krueger: 30 Stats For His 30th Season of Professional Jumping

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Freddy Krueger: 30 stats for his 30th season of professional jumping

Famed waterski jumper Freddy Krueger is entering his 30th season as a professional jumper

The winningest men’s jumper in history (image: MasterCraft)

By Jack Burden


From professional victory milestones to world records and more, it’s a parade of unbelievable stats for the greatest jumper of all time. With his entry in the US Masters this weekend, Freddy Krueger steps into his 30th consecutive year of professional water ski jumping. Here are 30 career stats to celebrate this remarkable achievement:

He has won a professional jump event for 26 consecutive calendar years. Only in the 1997 season of his 30-year career did he fail to secure at least one victory.

His first professional victory came at the Shreveport, Louisiana stop on the 1995 Bud Pro Tour. Over two-thirds of his competitors on the Waterski Pro Tour last year were not born at that time.

He took 21 out the fronts in his first three seasons as a professional. While we associate Krueger with longevity today, his path to the top was anything but easy.

He set his first world record at the 1999 U.S. Open, taking the record off Bruce Neville and Jaret Llewellyn, the latter of whom had set his mark in the preliminary round of the same tournament.

He has broken the world jump record more times than any skier, male or female. His eight world records surpass Sammy Duvall’s six.

His reign as the world record holder, from 2005 to 2017, is the longest in the jump event. Only Tawn Larsen Hahn (tricks) and Jaret Llewellyn (overall) have held records for a longer duration.

He holds the world Ski Fly record as the first and only man to jump over 300 feet. His mark of 95 meters (312 feet) from 2015 may never be broken as the discipline is no longer practiced.

He has the most professional victories of any skier, male or female, in the 21st century. Krueger has won over 100 professional events since the turn of the century.

He is the oldest skier, male or female, to win a professional water ski event at 48 years, 4 months, 13 days. The next oldest is Thomas Degasperi at 42 years.

He is the only jumper to win a professional event over the age of 40. Ryan Dodd is the next oldest at 39.

He’s tied with Jacinta Carroll and Ryan Dodd for the most world titles in jump, with five. Only Patrice Martin (men’s overall) and Andy Mapple (men’s slalom) have more in a single event.

He now has the most World Championships medals in a single event. His silver in 2023 brought his total to 11 podium finishes in men’s jump, surpassing Andy Mapple’s 10 in men’s slalom.

He’s now tied for the longest span between first and last World Championships medals, winning his first in 1999 and most recently 24 years later in 2023. Jaret Llewellyn’s first and last were also 24 years apart, from 1991 to 2015.

He has a winning record against every single jumper in professional events for the last 20 years. His closest rival in this period, Ryan Dodd, has beaten Krueger at 42 out of 96 events since 2005 for a 44% winning record.

He has not missed the podium at a jump event he has entered since 2017. That’s over 30 consecutive podium finishes.

His first season championship came on the 2000 U.S. Pro Water Ski and Wakeboard Tour. Krueger edged out Jaret Llewellyn despite only winning a single stop to Llewellyn’s three.

His most recent season championship came on the 2023 Waterski Pro Tour, 23 years after his first.

He has been on the professional circuit so long that he now competes against his main rival’s son. Krueger and Jaret Llewellyn were one of our sport’s greatest rivalries through the 2000s; now, however, Krueger regularly competes against Dorien Llewellyn, Jaret’s son.

He was the number one ranked elite men’s jumper for 11 consecutive years from 2004 to 2014. Jimmy Siemers and Ryan Dodd were the only other skiers to claim the top ranking during the 18 years of the list’s existence.

He matched Andy Mapple’s 14 U.S. Masters titles, the most by a man. Liz Allan still has the most of any skier with 24.

He has won more Moomba Masters jump titles than any other man. Krueger has nine victories on the Yarra between 2004 and 2020, before even counting his night jump titles.

He has won over 50% of all jump events on the Waterski Pro Tour. That’s a lot considering he was 45 when the Pro Tour began.

He is the only skier to make the finals on the U.S. Pro Tour in both jump and wakeboard. Krueger was a regular on the professional wakeboard circuit during the 1990s.

He has been a part of five World Championships winning teams for the U.S. In total, he has won nine medals as part of Team USA.

He was a strong three-event skier before specializing in jump in the mid-2000s. Krueger placed 10th in overall at the 2001 World Championships and competed in all three events through to the 2005 Worlds.

He jumped 200 feet for the first time in 1995, making him the 16th member of the 200-foot club. He won two pro tour stops that year, his debut season.

He jumped 70 meters (230 feet) for the first time in 2002, making him the 4th member of the 70m (230’) club. He was preceded only by Jaret Llewellyn, Scot Ellis, and Jimmy Siemers.

Since then, he has jumped 70 meters (230 feet) more times than all other skiers combined. Krueger has scored over 70 meters 139 times.

He holds the World Championship tournament record. His mark of 72.4 meters (238 feet) was set during the 2007 Worlds in Linz, Austria.

He has the record for the longest distance at night, jumping 73.1 meters (240 feet) at the 2011 Louisiana Night Jam.

American water ski jumper Brittany Greenwood-Wharton

Injury Update: Greenwood-Wharton Makes Tournament Comeback

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Injury update: Brittany Greenwood-Wharton makes tournament comeback after major knee surgery

American water ski jumper Brittany Greenwood-Wharton

“On the water, in my happy place” (image: @focus.501)

By Jack Burden


American water ski jumper Brittany Greenwood-Wharton marked her triumphant return to tournament action this past weekend at the Masters Qualifying Series, showcasing an impressive performance by jumping 49.7 meters (163 feet), to clinch a place in the 2024 Masters. After nearly two years away from competitive skiing, Brittany demonstrated her resilience and determination to overcome adversity.

“The last 1.5 years have been wild mentally and physically. Performing like myself again feels amazing,” shared Brittany, who celebrated a significant milestone in her recovery journey earlier this spring after completing a half marathon.

The Arkansas native’s journey back to the water has been long and hard. A jump crash at the 2022 California Pro Am left her with severe injuries, including a torn ACL, torn meniscuses, torn posterolateral corner, damaged cartilage, and a fractured femur. Despite these daunting challenges, Brittany remained undeterred in her pursuit of returning to the sport she loves.

“My last set before California Pro Am. We knew something was wrong with my knee. I was only able to jump every few days and maybe tolerate 1-2 jumps per set. But this is what I love so I fought through,” she recalled.

Complications during major knee surgery and ACL reconstruction further hindered her recovery, with the development of blood clots prolonging her rehabilitation process. “We are almost there, the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s been a freaking year. 1 new ACL, 2 fixed meniscus, 2 blood clots, 1 cartilage defect. 365 days of thinking about how to keep getting stronger and grinding. 365 days of a lot of support from friends and family. Feeling so thankful and overwhelmed,” she shared last year.

Prior to her injury, Brittany had established herself as one of the most consistent performers in women’s jump, with multiple podium finishes and membership in the exclusive 180′ club (55 meters). Her return to competition signals a welcome resurgence for the talented athlete, who is eager to continue pushing the boundaries of her sport.

The women’s jump field has been marred by injuries in recent years, with Brittany, along with Lauren Morgan, Taryn Grant, and Valentina Gonzalez, missing substantial portions of the 2023 season. Additionally, world record holder Jacinta Carroll took time off for the birth of her first child before retiring from professional competition earlier this year. The challenges posed by injuries underscore the sport’s physical demands and the tenacity required of its athletes.

Canada's Jaimee Bull has had success on the Waterski Pro Tour

Quiz: Most Women’s Waterski Pro Tour Wins

Quizzes

Quiz: Most women’s Waterski Pro Tour wins

Canada's Jaimee Bull has had success on the Waterski Pro Tour

Image: @jmommer2

By RTB


2 minute play

In this quiz, you have to name every female skier to win a Waterski Pro Tour event.

The Waterski Pro Tour began in 2021 and is at the beginning of it’s 4th season now in 2024. The list contains 13 skiers, all of whom have won at least one tournament on the Waterski Pro Tour. The woman at the top has won titles in multiple disciplines for almost 25% of all possible wins. We have mentioned their country and the events of their wins.

Includes all Waterski Pro Tour events through December 31, 2023.

Jacinta Carroll competes in night jump at the 2023 Moomba Masters

Jacinta Carroll: Undefeated, Unmatched, and Unforgettable

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Jacinta Carroll: Undefeated, unmatched, and unforgettable

Jacinta Carroll competes in night jump at the 2023 Moomba Masters

Carroll won her 10th consecutive Moomba Masters title this year (image: @vincephotography)

By Jack Burden


The sport of water skiing farewelled an all time great this past weekend. The lively Moomba Masters crowd relished the chance to witness Jacinta Carroll hit the jump ramp one last time, even as she pushed herself to compete just 100 days after giving birth. No woman, perhaps no skier, attacks the ramp with quite the same intensity as the powerful Australian.

Carroll, who grew up just outside Melbourne in Geelong, has dominated women’s jump for over a decade. Her most recent achievement, securing her 10th consecutive Moomba Masters jump title just three months after giving birth, serves as further evidence of her brilliance. No one would have blamed her for skipping this year’s tournament as she recovered from her pregnancy.

Yet, at the same time, the occasion was bittersweet. As I watched her take to the water, I didn’t want it to end, because, even before she officially announced her retirement, her recent absences had hammered home the fact that the greatest female jumper of all time wouldn’t be around forever.

Despite her ongoing dominance, Carroll has stepped back from elite-level competition while still at the pinnacle of her career. Her last competitions outside Australia were in 2021, where she secured her fifth consecutive world title. Since then, she has continued to compete at the Moomba Masters but has primarily focused on her career as a physical therapist and her growing family.

Carroll’s achievements have completely overhauled expectations in women’s jump. As the first and only woman to surpass the 200-foot mark, she has maintained an undefeated streak in professional events since 2013. Carroll hasn’t just won every event; she has won them by unprecedented margins, commonly beating the rest of the field by up to 5 meters.

Yet, this dominance has prompted reflection within the sport. Carroll herself has expressed unease about the unintended consequences of her success, with some competitors assuming a secondary position before even competing.

In a candid discussion on The Water Ski Podcast, Carroll highlighted the dilemma: “It’s good that girls now can pursue 200 [feet] and can go ‘she can do it, why can’t I?’ That barrier is not there anymore. On the flip side, I know in the past there have been girls that have said ‘why would I come to Moomba for second place?’ Now they’ve lost it already.”

The debate centers on whether close competition or the pursuit of the highest possible performance is more captivating for the sport. Carroll poses the question, “Is it more exciting to see two girls battle it out, somebody has to win on their last jump, they win by 10 centimeters, is that more exciting? Or is seeing somebody go much further trying to chase a record more exciting?”

While a hyperfocus on records and performance can sometimes be detrimental to the sport, ultimately, it is big names and storylines that draw people’s attention. Asking if Carroll’s dominance has hurt women’s jumping is a bit like asking if other dominant athletes like Serena Williams or Lindsey Vonn were detrimental to their respective sports. We wouldn’t ask an athlete like Usain Bolt to run a little slower to make the race more interesting.

In fact, having one or two dominant competitors can be beneficial for a sport, at least for a period. This dominance can inspire others to strive for similar heights. Look at Andy Mapple; his prolonged dominance significantly raised the bar in men’s slalom.

For a generation of water ski fans, Carroll epitomizes women’s jump. Storylines like her quest for 200 feet have captivated us. Everyone’s had a favorite pick at some time or another for who the next skier, perhaps still an up-and-coming junior, would be to beat Carroll. Most importantly, she has redefined the expectations for women’s jump.

Women’s skiing, and in particular jump, has always struggled for the same recognition and publicity as the men. Even looking at the sport’s so-called golden age, women’s jumpers had a hard road to becoming professional. It was ultimately the star-power of Deena Brush Mapple, Carroll’s closest historical peer, that helped to get jump added to the Coors Light Pro Tour for its 4th season in 1987. Brush went undefeated for over 20 tour stops, including the entirety of the 1988 and 1989 seasons, yet no one looks back and speculates that her dominance hurt the sport.

In the post-Jacinta landscape, women’s jumpers have a hard road ahead. It’s true that everything they do will always come with comparisons to Carroll. But this is no different from the shadow of Andy Mapple hanging over men’s slalom. Ultimately, having a GOAT to compare and contrast the current athletes creates intrigue around each new milestone. Certainly, no one would question Mapple’s legacy on the sport; likewise, we applaud Carroll for all her sacrifices and contributions to women’s jump.

Monday’s performance seemed like the perfectly orchestrated exit, a final victory at the event that launched her professional career. A lap of honor in front of the hometown crowd. Retiring with her undefeated streak intact, stretching across 12 consecutive seasons. Few athletes are given the opportunity to retire on their own terms, at the top of their game. But then Jacinta has always been special.

Is it too much to ask, as fans, to see Carroll jump just a few more times? It appears so. She has given everything she has and more. It is our loss; the sport is just a little bit richer with her in it.

Nautique Athletes Shine at Moomba Masters!

Scorching Success: Moomba Delivers Yet Another Unforgettable Event

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Scorching success: Moomba delivers yet another unforgettable event

Nautique Athletes Shine at Moomba Masters!

Image: Nautique Boats

By Jack Burden


Water skiing’s coliseum. Nothing quite compares to the roar of the crowd, standing shoulder to shoulder along the banks of the Yarra River. Here, champions are tested, legacies are crafted, and the sport basks in the spotlight.

Moomba Monday, a public holiday in Melbourne for the annual festival, holds a significant place in the sport of water skiing. This year’s finals added another compelling chapter to the rich history of the longest-running professional water ski tournament.

A heatwave kept the crowds slightly lower than usual, as fans and festival-goers sought shade from the searing Melbourne sun. However, as evening descended, the banks were packed with spectators, especially for the night jump events.

In the trick event, the showdown between Canadian Neilly Ross and American Erika Lang ended with tied scores after the preliminary round. Ross stuck with a conservative run in the final, earning a solid 9,780 points. However, this left the door open for Lang to secure a comfortable margin of victory for her sixth Moomba Masters title, despite falling at the end of her toe run.

The men’s trick final promised to be a spectacle, especially after Jake Abelson and Matias Gonzalez set the two highest scores ever recorded on the Yarra River during Junior Moomba earlier in the week. The final was closely contested, with only 70 points separating Abelson and the reigning world champion, Patricio Font. In the end, a tight timing call decided the winner, giving Font his third Moomba title.

The women’s slalom event was dominated by the Florida contingent, with Elizabeth Montavon and Whitney McClintock Rini putting up solid scores. However, they fell short of world record holder Regina Jaquess, who claimed her first Moomba Masters slalom title on her first visit to the Yarra since 2012. Jaquess’ victory filled the only discernible gap in her long and illustrious resume.

Lucas Cornale, a rising star in world slalom skiing, made waves by becoming the first junior to run 10.75m (39.5′ off) on the Yarra earlier in the week. He continued his stellar performances in the open division, securing his first professional podium by beating seasoned professionals such as Thomas Degasperi and Corey Vaughn. Although Joel Howley set the bar with 0.5 @ 10.25m (41′ off), it wasn’t enough to fend off reigning world champion Freddie Winter, who claimed his first Moomba Masters title.

In the jump event, although the scoresheets may have suggested everything went to script, they failed to capture the exhilaration of the event. The women came out strong, sensing an opportunity to put pressure on an underprepared Jacinta Carroll, who was competing just 100 days after giving birth. All six finalists improved on their preliminary scores, some by several meters, but it was still Carroll, the greatest female jumper of all time, who took the win on her second jump with 51.8 meters (170 feet).

In an emotional speech following her 10th consecutive Moomba Masters victory, Jacinta announced her retirement from professional water skiing, sharing, “I started my professional career here in 2011 when I won my first Moomba Masters, so it was only fitting that I come back this year for my last professional jump event.” When asked if there was any chance we could see her back in 2025, Jacinta responded, “there’s a glimmer, and that’s why I sold my boat before this event,” marking an end to one of the most decorated careers in our sport.

The men’s jump final was equally gripping, with Jack Critchley and Pol Duplan-Fribourg posting solid scores over 200 feet but probably feeling that they had left the door open for a one-and-done Ryan Dodd victory. The 39-year-old Canadian stumbled, slipping out on his first two attempts before finally ripping off the biggest jump of the tournament on his third and final to win his fifth Moomba Masters jump title.

In the night jump finals, the younger competitors took center stage, with Critchley recording the biggest jump off the 5.5-foot ramp in the first round. Ultimately, Duplan-Fribourg emerged victorious in a one-jump shootout with Dodd, becoming the youngest to win a professional jump event since Critchley’s first title in 2017.

Overall, the 2024 season kicked off in spectacular fashion, with drama, intrigue, first-time champions, and record-breaking performances on the Yarra River. Once again, Melbourne has delivered an unforgettable event, leaving fans eagerly anticipating the next edition in 2025.

Jacinta Carroll Retires from Professional Water Skiing After 10th Consecutive Moomba Masters Victory

Jacinta Carroll Retires from Professional Water Skiing After 10th Consecutive Moomba Masters Victory

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Jacinta Carroll retires from professional water skiing after 10th consecutive Moomba Masters victory

Jacinta Carroll Retires from Professional Water Skiing After 10th Consecutive Moomba Masters Victory

Image: @jacintacarroll

By Jack Burden


Jacinta Carroll, the Australian powerhouse in women’s water skiing, has announced her retirement from professional competition following her incredible 10th consecutive Moomba Masters jump title. Remarkably, she achieved this feat just 100 days after giving birth, solidifying her legacy as one of the sport’s greatest athletes.

In an emotional speech shared after her victory, Carroll expressed gratitude for her journey in the sport, stating, “I started my professional career here in 2011 when I won my first Moomba Masters, so it was only fitting that I come back this year for my last professional jump event. I officially would like to announce that I’m retiring from the women’s jump event.” When questioned about a potential return in 2025, she dismissed any possibility, saying, “there’s a glimmer, and that’s why I sold my boat before this event.”

Her final victory was perhaps her toughest yet. Carroll had just two weeks of on-water training in the 12 months leading up to this event after giving birth to her daughter Amelia on December 2nd last year. She underwent a strict regimen of nutrition and strength training to recover in time for the event, with help from an international team of experts. Her message to other recent mothers contemplating a return to the jump event this soon is simple: “Don’t try this at home.”

Commenting on Carroll’s decision to return in 2024, announcer Glen Williams praised her tenacity, saying, “Hats off to Jacinta for putting that unbeaten record [on the line]. She has got the record for the most consecutive professional wins in water skiing and it’s [42 consecutive elite victories]. Last [42] tournaments she has entered she has won. Now she has put this record on the line coming back here to Moomba because she’s taking on Regina Jaquess, she’s taking on Sasha Danisheuskaya, who are both magnificent jumpers, and she has only just gotten back into jumping, hardly done any training, just had a baby, she’s put that record on the line for her competitive spirit and also to support Australia’s big water ski tournament.”

Known affectionately as “Rabbit,” Carroll has been a dominant force in women’s jumping since her teenage years. Since her runner up finish at the 2013 Moomba Masters, Carroll has maintained an unprecedented winning streak, triumphing in every professional event she has entered. This unparalleled dominance includes ten consecutive Moomba Masters titles and seven consecutive U.S. Masters titles. Additionally, she clinched five consecutive world titles between 2013 and 2021 and has held the world record since 2015.

Carroll’s retirement announcement comes after a several years of limited participation in major events. Following her dismissal by Nautique, her major sponsor, for setting the world record behind the ‘wrong boat,’ she has made only sporadic appearances in professional competitions, primarily to uphold her winning streak at the Moomba Masters.

Carroll’s achievements have set a benchmark for excellence in the sport, and her legacy will endure for years to come. As she embarks on the next chapter of her life, Carroll leaves behind a void in the sport that will be challenging to fill. However, her contributions have undoubtedly elevated women’s water skiing to new heights, inspiring future generations of athletes.

Scot Ellis Waterski Jumping

Quiz: Every Man Over 40-Years-Old to Jump 200 Feet (60.9m)

Quizzes

Quiz: Every man over 40-years-old to jump 200 feet (60.9m)

Having No Difficulty In Keeping Up With Youth (image: The Ledger)

By RTB


3 minute play

In this quiz, you need to name all the male skiers over 40 years old who have jumped over 200 feet (60.9 meters).

The list has 14 skiers, all of whom belong to the exclusive club of men who have jumped 200 feet at least once in a world ranking tournament while over 40 years old. For the purposes of this quiz, age is measured in ski years, which means the skier’s age on January 1st of the year the score was achieved. You have three minutes to guess as many as you can. We have mentioned each skier’s country, as well as their year of birth, and top score achieved over 40.

Data updated as of October 31, 2023