Kickoff! The 2013 Season is Underway.
Well, the Redskins amazing streak finally crashed right in front of my eyes. With the end of that season, there was only one thing I could think of to maintain the high I had been riding through the holidays and into the new year: START SKIING!
So, Sparta, Granddad and I packed ourselves up and started driving in search of sunny skies and warm water. We road tripped straight down the coast to West Palm Beach. Well, with a little stop off in Charleston to stay with my great friend Sammy. Here, Granddad had his first ever Japanese Hibachi experience, with the ‘bachi bros, which set the tone for a marvelous trip.
We then cruised down I-95, having a few great conversations and laughs. As we neared West Palm, I dialed up good friend and former Virginian, Gene Levines, figuring he was at the lake skiing. He was and told me if I came straight there, he would give me a pull. Thus, I drove straight to Okeeheelee Park. Stepped into the 80 degree air and within minutes, found myself ripping the East-West lake, among friends.
I couldn’t tell who was more excited to return to a place we once called home, Sparta or me. Either way, we both fell easily back into the happy, healthy South Florida lifestyle. In fact, I was constantly reminded of how much I enjoyed my time there a few winters ago. The great weather, parks, friends and skiing make this area the best place I can think of to spend the winter in the USA. I suppose this is why more and more water skiers continue to flock to this area. Another former Virginian, Paul Santangelo, was my main ski partner on this trip. Paul has been one of my favorite drivers for years and the fact that he recently got a 2013 Carbon Pro made skiing with him almost a little too good.
After four fantastic days of shredding one of America’s top slalom sites and catching up with friends, it was time to start heading North… But not too far! I was physically whipped, ski muscles screaming, but determined to rebound for what awaited.
Granddad, Sparta and I only had to travel a couple of hours to the North because our next stop was in Orlando, skiing with THE MAN, himself, Andy Mapple. One of the primary purposes of this trip was to test out the new Mapple 6.0 and there is no better way to do that than with Mr. Mapple. By the time I arrived at Andy’s killer site to put his eyes on me, my mind was made up: I was all in with Team Mapple!
This ski rips unlike any I have ever ridden in my life. Andy said that this was the first time he ever got to build a ski from the “ground, up” by himself, and when he said it’s not like other skis, he wasn’t lying. I will share more insight about riding the ski, as the season approaches. For now, I will just provide a couple recommendations:
1) Try this ski. If you can unlock its power; hold onto your boardshorts; you’re going to rip! 2) If you decide to try this ski, take advantage of what Team Mapple is offering. If you can make it to Orlando, schedule a set with Andy and let him help you. How could you beat this option? If you can’t, try to get in touch with Chris Parrish, Marion Matthieu, Nicole Arthur or me. There are a few key pointers that you should take into your test ride with this rip-stick. It does not ski like anything else on the market and if you try to just take it easy and see what the ski will do, I can promise it won’t do anything! This ski is made for you to beast out, get aggressive and attack the course (picture, oh I don’t know…. ANDY MAPPLE skiing!!!!). Needless to say, finding myself on Team Mapple is nearly surreal. Such a thought would have registered as a fantasy a decade ago, but I will accept it as further proof that dreams do come true and continue to dream big!
No Rest for the Wicked
I’m going to take these dreams (and my new Mapple Ski) and carry them around the world over the next 6 weeks. Granddad and I take off for Waterski! Costa Rica on Saturday. We are both so pumped to return to this amazing place and hang out with “Jungle” Jim Kilsdonk and reunite with some other great ski friends.
From Costa, Granddad and I part company, as he returns to Las Vegas to win some money and visit family, and I head to Acapulco for some time in Ski Paradise. As many weeks as I have spent at Ski Paradise, I am always eager for more. Plus hanging out with Brian Moore and antagonizing Miguelito never gets old. There were some cancellations for this week and some space opened up. If you feel like you are in the mood for:
Let me know ASAP and I might be able to work with Gordon on getting you a little last-minute hook-up.
I will check back in with some updates from abroad before the big trip around the world to MOOMBA! For all of you ski junkies who can’t make it to a warm destination. Keep doing what you can. Work on fitness, nutrition, balance, land-drills and figure out what equipment you need to upgrade this year to make it your best! I actually followed the p90x2 prescribed program this year and tomorrow is my 90th (last) day! It’s perfect timing and I am pumped! The days are getting longer and I’m feeling a warm spring around the corner.
None of us will be more excited for the change of seasons than Ms. Sparta.