Neilly Ross Tricking in the Womens Trick Final at the 2023 Masters

Quiz: Women’s Trick Winners at the U.S. Masters this Century


Quiz: Women’s trick winners at the U.S. Masters this century

Neilly Ross Tricking in the Womens Trick Final at the 2023 Masters

Image: Vince Stadlbaur


3 minute play

In this quiz, you need to name every female skiers to have won the U.S. Masters trick title since 2000.

The list has just 12 skiers, all of whom have won the title at least once. While the quiz might seem easy, there’s a catch – you have to guess them in chronological order. We’ve given you the skiers’ country as a hint. Good luck!

Abelson Sets Pending World Tricks Record At Masters Qualifier

Abelson Sets Pending World Tricks Record At Masters Qualifier | USA Water Ski


Abelson sets pending World Tricks Record at Masters Qualifier

Abelson Sets Pending World Tricks Record At Masters Qualifier

Image: @tiaremirandaphotography

By Scott N. Atkinson

USA Water Ski & Wake Sports

Jake Abelson (Holderness, N.H.) set his second pending men’s world tricks record in the past two weeks on Friday at the Nautique Masters Qualifying Series 1 event at Lake Ledbetter in Winter Garden, Fla.

Abelson scored 12,970 points – the highest score among all competitors in either round of the tournament – in round 2 to earn a spot in the 2024 Nautique Masters. If approved by the International Waterski & Wakeboard Federation, the score will eclipse the current world record of 12,690 points held by Mexico’s Patricio Font.

Full article at USA Water Ski.

Nautique Masters Qualifying Series 1 Results

    Abelson sets pending world trick record

    Abelson and Poland Set Pending World Records at Ski Fluid Classic


    Abelson and Poland set pending world records at Ski Fluid Classic

    Abelson sets pending world trick record

    Image: @tiaremirandaphotography

    By Jack Burden

    This past weekend at a record tournament in Central Florida, the season opener on Lake Grew saw the establishment of two pending world records. Fresh off his first score over 12,000 points at the Swiss Pro Tricks, Jake Abelson set a pending world trick record of 12,720. Meanwhile, Joel Poland managed to surpass his current world overall record by the narrowest of margins after delivering strong performances in all three events.

    Abelson, the 16-year-old trick phenom, recorded the highest-scoring hand pass of all time, totaling 7,670 points, which included a crowd favorite wake seven front (W7F) right at the buzzer. His score of 12,720 is 30 points higher than the current record held by Patricio Font, but 50 points lower than the pending world record set by Font at the Swiss Pro Tricks last weekend. Consequently, Abelson’s performance will only be recognized as an open world record if Font’s score is downgraded upon review. Additionally, Abelson’s score has the potential to set the under-17 and under-21 world records as well as the US national under-17 and open records. If approved, Abelson will be the first American to hold the men’s world trick record since Cory Pickos in the year 2000, seven years before Abelson was born.

    Meanwhile, Joel Poland, the super talent from Great Britain, showcased incredible performances across all three events to surpass his current mark by a razor-thin margin. With scores of 1 @ 10.25m (41’ off), 11,680 points, and 70.3 meters (231 feet), Poland scored just three overall points higher than the current record set at the 2023 Malibu Open. While Poland is capable of more, particularly in the slalom and trick events, the pending record was only his second time surpassing 70 meters (230 feet) since he set the British record of 71.7 meters (235 feet) at the 2023 California ProAm.

    Poland shared his elatement with the performances on social media, stating, “Still room for improvement, but I couldn’t be happier! There was a time where I couldn’t even imagine running these scores.” He emphasized, “Some will call it talent, but those around will know it’s a commitment to improving every day.”

    The tournament witnessed countless other notable performances, including Freddy Krueger jumping 71.5m (235’), Patricio Font posting another score over 12,000, and the ‘retired’ Scot Ellis leaping 59.5m (195’) in the master’s men’s division.

    Joel Poland wins the inaugural Swiss Pro Tricks

    The Rise of the Trick Event, Water Skiing’s Best Kept Secret


    And now, for our next trick… The rise of water skiing’s best kept secret

    Joel Poland wins the inaugural Swiss Pro Tricks

    Joel Poland often appears to be a one-man excitement machine (image: @johnwaldronimages)

    By Jack Burden

    Hardest, bestest, fastest, strongest – Announcer Tony Lightfoot may have found himself rifling through the thesaurus as he searched for more superlatives during Sunday’s exhilarating action. The second edition of the Swiss Pro Tricks marked the kickoff of the 2024 Waterski Pro Tour in spectacular fashion, showcasing the remarkable talent of elite trick skiers and leaving fans yearning for more. Could trick skiing be on the brink of a surge in popularity?

    A survey of the most popular waterski athletes on social media certainly suggests so. Athletes like Joel Poland, Neilly Ross, and Nikolas Plytas routinely draw hundreds of thousands of views with their trick-based content, hinting at the potential for trick skiing to reach a wider audience.

    Unlike distance jumping, where it can be difficult to appreciate the speed and scale on a phone screen, trick skiing thrives in the digital realm. Close-up angles captured from the boat provide viewers with an intimate look at the intricacies of high-level trick skiing, making it a captivating spectacle even through video streams. Sunday’s live action during the Swiss Pro Tricks event exemplified this, quickly becoming one of the most anticipated TWBC broadcasts of the season.

    Advancements in technology, such as EyeTrick, utilized throughout the WWS Overall Tour, have further enhanced the viewer experience by providing close-to-real-time scores. This innovation has eliminated one of the biggest headaches in presenting competitive trick skiing to the public.

    It seems that trick skiing may be on the cusp of a significant breakthrough, transitioning from a supporting role to a main attraction in the sport. With its fast-paced nature and compatibility with the streaming era, trick skiing is well-positioned to seize the spotlight. Tournament organizers are taking notice, recognizing the potential to elevate the sport’s profile.

    Alongside the legacy ‘majors’, the US and Moomba Masters, there are three relative newcomer professional trick events in 2024, including the Swiss Pro Tricks, Monaco Slalom Cup, and BOTASKI ProAm.

    Clint Stadlbaur, tournament director for the Swiss Pro Tricks, reflected on the genesis of the event, sharing, “We had this idea for about 3-4 years… The level of tricking is incredible, I think it’s very spectacular, very exciting.” Ultimately, his goal is to expand the exposure of the discipline. “I hope there will be many [events] to follow from us and other sites also.”

    During a recent episode of the TWBC podcast, Stadlbaur spoke about how the trick event is often relegated to early morning or the back lake, stating, “We want to showcase this beautiful discipline… and have the trickers at the center of the event.” Recognizing the potential of trick skiing to captivate audiences, he added, “If you look at slalom, you see the top slalom skiers go through 13, 12, 11 [meters]; it’s a bit repetitive. Trick skiing [is] very dynamic from the get go.”

    Similary, Gregoire Desfond, who organizes the Monaco Slalom Cup alongside Alexis Keusseoglou, sees adding tricks to the event for its second edition in 2024 as “a logical path to step up the quality of the show.” Since launching Waterski Nation in 2017, he has dreamed of creating a professional event. After a successful first year in 2023, they are excited to expand the event to include trick skiing.

    The event is a fitting homecoming for trick skiing, which has been dominated by France for much of recent decades. The tournament, hosted just outside Monaco in the south of France, is the first professional trick event on the French mainland since 2005. Desfond sees the platform provided by the Waterski Pro Tour as a major factor in the willingness of sponsors to support professional events. The news that they were adding tricks in 2024 was well received by the event sponsors.

    Ricardo Botas, organizer of the BOTASKI ProAm, has ambitions to bring a 3-event pro tournament to Spain. While adding professional jumping remains a challenge, 2024 will be the third consecutive year that tricks will be featured alongside slalom at the event. In 2023 the action was intense, with Patricio Font equaling the world record of 12,690 on his way to the title.

    Credit is due also to Nautique, who are currently the only boat manufacturer offering meaningful support to trick events, sponsoring four out of five events in 2024. Brian Sullivan, Nautique’s VP of Marketing, shared after the first edition of tricks at the BOTASKI ProAm: “we want to keep doing bigger and better events, we want to keep growing the sport, at Nautique that’s one of our main goals.”

    For now, the prize purses for these new trick events are relatively small. The combined purse from Swiss, Monaco, and BOTASKI for the trick event is less than some individual tournament prize purses for slalom this year. But it is a great starting point for showcasing trick skiing on the elite stage. The top trickers are hungry for more exposure and chances to compete, as evidenced by the 2023 Malibu Open, which attracted five 11,000 point trickers despite offering only a nominal $3,000 prize pool. This added another layer of excitement to the tournament, culminating in Poland setting a new world overall record.

    The International Waterski and Wakeboard Federation (IWWF) is also working to establish new platforms for showcasing elite trick skiing. IWWF president, José Antonio Priego Perez, recently shared at the European Congress that two potential World Cup stops are in the works, which would include trick skiing alongside slalom and jump. Historically, the IWWF World Cup series throughout the 2000s was the golden age for professional trick skiing, offering the highest prize purses in the history of the sport.

    Overall, these developments highlight numerous positive signs for the event, potentially signaling an end to water skiing’s best-kept secret. Trick skiing’s resurgence on the professional stage holds the promise of an exciting future for the sport and its dedicated athletes.

    Ultimately, Desfond sums up the sentiment of many tournament organizers when he speaks to the endeavor as a labor of love, adding “it’s a guilty pleasure to bring [the best trickers] to our event. I cannot wait to see them fight for the title.”

    Nicolas Le Forestier Trick Skiing

    Quiz: Every Men’s Tricker to Score More than 12,000 points


    Quiz: Every men’s tricker to score more than 12,000 points

    Image: IWSF

    By RTB

    3 minute play

    In this quiz, you need to name all the male skiers who have scored more than 12,000 points.

    The list has 12 skiers, all of whom belong to the exclusive club of people who have tricked over 12,000 points at least once in a world ranking tournament. The top three skiers are also the three most recent world record holders. We have mentioned the number of scores over 12,000, as well as the country and top score.

    Data updated as of May 1, 2024

    * Pending world record.

    Mati Gonzalez wins the 2024 Swiss Pro Tricks

    Swiss Pro Tricks Recap | Waterski Pro Tour


    Swiss Pro Tricks Recap

    Mati Gonzalez wins the 2024 Swiss Pro Tricks

    Men’s trick podium at the 2024 Swiss Pro Tricks (image: @waterskiprotour)

    Waterski Pro Tour

    The Waterski Pro Tour returned for its fourth season with a trick event in which the female ‘old guard’ underlined, capitalized and circled their dominance while a new generation took flight in the men’s. After a wait of just under 7 months between Tour events, the Swiss Pro Tricks was just the barnstorming opener we were looking for.

    In the mens tricks, Pato Font, the undoubted dominant force with 11 pro titles, let his crown slip just a touch to allow a pair of 16 year olds onto the podium above him. Jake Abelson started well and improved in each round, culminating in a finals performance of 12,230 that is not only his best ever but a pending USA record. However, 1st place went to Mati Gonzalez as he paired his trademark toes with a huge hand pass that incorporated some exceptional ski line tricks. His 12,440 tied his best as he broke the 12k barrier for the third but certainly most important time in his career. He joins Font, Joel Poland (disappointed with an oh-so-close final run), Dorien Llewellyn and Adam Pickos as only the fifth pro event winner amongst the currently competing pack. Font, clearly devastated after a fall on his toe run that he put down to an uncharacteristic lapse on focus, still managed to finish third with 11,610.

    Full article at Waterski Pro Tour.

    Aaliyah Yoong Hannifah breaks Asian waterski record

    Aaliyah Cracks Asian Tricks Record in Florida | Bernama


    Waterskier Aaliyah cracks Asian tricks record in Florida

    Aaliyah Yoong Hannifah breaks Asian waterski record

    Image: @aaliyah.yoong


    KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) – National waterskier Aaliyah Yoong Hannifah renewed her own Asian record in the tricks event with a scintillating performance at the Swiss Pro Tricks tournament in Florida on Sunday.

    The 20-year-old scored 8,450 points to better the previous Asian Open women’s tricks record of 8,080 points.

    However, the new Asian feat was not enough for Aaliyah to clinch a podium finish, ending in fourth place among 10 participants in the invitational tournament for the world’s top skiers.

    Full article at Bernama.

    Erika Lang wins the 2024 Swiss Pro Tricks

    Lang Wins Swiss Pro Tricks; Abelson Sets Pending National Record | USA Water Ski


    Lang wins Swiss Pro Tricks title; Abelson sets pending national record

    Erika Lang wins the 2024 Swiss Pro Tricks

    Image: @swissprowaterski

    U.S. athlete Erika Lang (Gilbert, Ariz.) scored 11,030 points to win the women’s tricks event at the 2024 Swiss Pro Tricks tournament on Sunday at the Swiss Waterski Resort in Clermont, Fla. The world’s top professional men’s and women’s tricks skiers competed in the tournament, which served as the opening stop of the 2024 pro water ski tour.

    Canada’s Neilly Ross placed second (10,370 points), followed by Anna Gay (Winter Garden, Fla.), who scored 9,390 points.

    Chile’s Matias Gonzalez won men’s tricks, scoring 12,440 points. U.S. athlete Jake Abelson (Holderness, N.H.) placed second, scoring a pending Open Men national record score of 12,230 points. Mexico’s Patricio Font, who set a pending men’s world tricks record of 12,770 points in the first round, finished third with 11,610 points.

    Full article at USA Water Ski & Wake Sports.