Dave Wingerter is an aerospace engineer, a brand manager and vice president of HO Skis, and a pro water skier. He's been leading the Syndicate design Team for 10+ years, and has gracefully overseen some of the best water ski product designs of the past decade. Take a few min to listen to this in depth discussion between MB and DW.
Bob LaPoint, true life Hero that changed my life -
The year is 1987. The World has 2,700,000,000 less people than it does today, the Giants beat John Elway in the Super Bowl, Richard Branson makes the first Transatlantic flight in a Hot Air Balloon (2,790 miles) & Freddy Krueger is a serial killer....and a 3 event skier. I remember that Plane flight like it was last year though, because it was my first time in an Airplane. Scared, excited, and eagle eyeing out the window harder than anyone in history...there was soooo much to see!!!! And everything looked unlike anything I'd ever seen before....houses, roads, lakes, mountains....all the stuff I'd already become familiar with in my 8 years of life....but it all looked so different from up here. As we made our approach into West Palm Beach Int'l Airport, I remember looking out the window and pointing to the trees and asking my dad "DAD DAD, look at those trees!!!....they look like pine trees!!??...how is that possible??!" See, on the west coast, in my world, I had only ever seen pine trees in the mountains...where it snows. I knew Florida had neither of those things, so it blew my mind.
A couple days later, after my brother competed in his first U.S. Water Ski Nationals, my mind was about to be blown again. This particular year, 1987, was the first year the Nationals week would be capped by a US Open on the weekend. It was my second year skiing, and I knew all the names of the best in the World...but I'd never seen them ski anywhere other than ESPN (remember when water skiing was on ESPN?). The weekend didn't disappoint. As an 8 year old kid with stars in my eyes....I remember standing on the shoreline thinking, "These guys were INSANE!!!" Some guy no one had ever heard of, Jeff Rodgers, showed up and cranked the shit out of some 1,3,5's. I remember the rumor being that he'd just started skiing a few years before and ran the slalom course the first time he ever tried it. That, to my little pea-brain, was hard to fathom. And here he was already fighting to beat the best in the World. A West Coast legend, Carl Roberge, ended up tying for 2nd at that US Open, right before my eyes. In 1987 he was the defending Tour champion (5 years later Terry Winter and I were chasing Carl's Jr Boys Western Regional slalom record...3 @ 35 off). I had 2 hero's before getting to watch that US Open..Bob & Kris LaPoint. They were West Coast skiers, and legends around the World. In 1987 Bob LaPoint won the World Slalom Title at Thorpe Park, London (5th World Title) and won at Marine World and the MasterCraft invitational. And when I left Okeeheelee, after witnessing the greatest sporting event I'd ever witnessed, I had a new goal: I wanted to be out there someday, doing what those guys did. The US Open was the seed planted...it was everything I needed as a kid looking for something to hold onto..and it was a pivotal moment in my life..the moment that sparked everything that was to come.
Exactly 20 years later, in 2007, I found myself standing on the dock at the US Open, shoulder to shoulder with the best skiers in the World: Drew Ross, Thomas Moore, Nick Parson, Will Asher, Jamie Beauchesne. MasterCraft & Chris Sullivan had joined forces and pulled off one of the greatest water ski events I've ever been a part of. They brought the US Open to Disneyworld. It was at night, under the lights, and I was fortunate enough to make the 6 man final, squeaking in by beating out Jeff Rodgers..one of the Legends that inspired my ski bug 20 years prior. The conditions were pretty tough: dark, rolly, lumpy,...unpredictable,...just how I like it. The boat ran its simulation pass, I pooped in my pants a little...and it was time...
And somehow, when the spray settled that eve, I ended up in a Tie-breaker with my buddy Thomas Moore.
Going out first, I was able to run 38 off cold - not very pretty tho. Coming back at 39, I knew buoy 2 was going to be all or nothing...TMo could crush 39 on his second effort & I knew I had to leave it all out there. I think I got lucky,...I blacked out at 2, slammed it as hard as I could, and somehow my ski stayed in the water. I ended up running the pass, and finishing with 1 at 41. TMo looked so solid in that runoff. I'm not sure what happened at 39, but he was late at 3, and couldn't finish the pass.
Afterward, I was standing on the shoreline, bare feet in the wet florida grass, just like it was only 20 years before...gazing down the lake, lights half blinding me, thousands of people lining the waters edge...realizing that two decades prior and a couple hours away, I had been lucky enough to witness this very event, an experience that had changed my life. I stood there in disbelief that I had won the US Open....hoping that my buddies and I had actually inspired some kids that night....hoping that we had sparked a light for the next generation. - Marcus Brown
Benny Stadlbaur, who just tied teammate Nick Adams for 4th at the Moomba Masters in Australia, is one of a kind. He's funny, sometimes loud, and very analytical, yet when its all on the line, he can charge just as hard as anyone else in the world. This is yet another conversation between MB and a Syndicate team member, from the Syndicate testing summit at The Ridge in California last September.
To see what Benjamin's up to, take a peek at his insta and give him a follow: www.instagram.com/benystadlbaur
Matteo Luzzeri is professional water skier (Team Syndicate), tournament organizer (San Gervasio ProAm, Italy) and pretty much has his PhD in Sports Psychology...he's also got his own podcast: The Water Ski Podcast - http://www.thewaterskipodcast.com
This past September, MB sat down with Matteo in the Motorhome for this little chat.
Chris Parrish is a giant among giants. The Tower has won the Moomba Masters. He's won the Masters, twice. He's a 7 time national champion and a 4 time World Record Holder.
Ever since his debut as a pro skier at the 1996 nationals, in the open men slalom division, Parrish has been a consistent threat in the slalom course. His technique has been studied by anyone who cares to understand the way skiing works. He's got too many accomplishments to list. And his character, well....he is probably one of the most unique and genuine folks in the sport. Its hard not to like Chris Parrish....and this sit down chat with MB is Parrish at his best.
Hope you all enjoy!
Wade Cox was one of the most dominant water skiers in the history of the sport. He was the ProTour Champion in 1995 and 1996, 3-time Masters Champion, earned 47 Professional Slalom Titles, and was inducted into the Water Ski Hall of Fame in 2012.
To be honest, Wade inspired countless skiers throughout his years on the Pro Tour and on ESPN. The rivalry between Wade and Andy Mapple was unmatched....and unfortunately for the rest of the slalom skiers at the time, the two of these guys were almost unbeatable. Out of a run of 60 pro events, Andy won 29, Wade won 22, and the rest of the field only won 9.
It is our great honor to get to share this full interview with you. We hope you enjoy one of the greatest characters the sport has ever seen!
**This is the second in a 2 part episode...make sure to check out Part 1 here, if you haven't already: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9VQK08SgPY
Jenny LaBaw is a living Legend. As an athlete, she was a Collegiate Multi-Sport athlete, a CrossFit Games competitor (NorCal Champion and 6th at the CrossFit Games), and she ran 500 miles across Colorado in 30 days to raise $50,000+ for the @Epilepsy Foundation of America
Out of the competition circles, she has spent over 15 years as a Strength and Conditioning coach, and is a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. As an athlete, a coach, and a health and wellness expert, Jenny is one of the most well rounded individuals in the business. Most of all, she cares...deeply...about helping people on their journey to become the best possible versions of themselves.
Marcus sat down with the one and only Jenny LaBaw in the Motorhome, for a long and varied discussion. This is the second half of that discussion.
Jenny's YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/jennylabaw
**This is the first in a 2 part episode...make sure to keep an eye open for Part 2!! Jenny LaBaw is a living Legend.
As an athlete, she was a Collegiate Multi-Sport athlete, a CrossFit Games competitor (NorCal Champion and 6th at the CrossFit Games), and she ran 500 miles across Colorado in 30 days to raise $50,000+ for the @Epilepsy Foundation of America . Out of the competition circles, she has spent over 15 years as a Strength and Conditioning coach, and is a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. As an athlete, a coach, and a health and wellness expert, Jenny is one of the most well rounded individuals in the business. Most of all, she cares...deeply...about helping people on their journey to become the best possible versions of themselves.
Marcus sat down with the one and only Jenny LaBaw in the Motorhome, for a long and varied discussion. We are going to split the Interview into 2 parts, so this is Part 1, of 2.
Jenny's YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/jennylabaw