Sunday, January 3, 2010

What Is This Thing?

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I've never seen anything like it in my life. While I was shooting the New Year's Day water skiing in the Mississippi, a man walked onto the little floating dock with what looked like a hovercraft weed whacker. It had a seat, a single ski and a shaft that ran down from it to an airfoil cum scythe. What?

The rider or skiier or whatever you call him dropped into shallow water, grabbed the tow rope from a speedboat and rose up into the air, as below. The structure you see at the upper left, above, was clearly acting like an airplane wing but in the water, elevating the rider. How could it be stable? Then the rider sent it soaring and flipping, like an aerobatics plane.

The gizmo is a Sky Ski. Being someone without a drop of athletic talent, I was dumbstruck (although my right index finger stayed loose). Anybody ever ridden one? If the rider sees this post, please send me an email. I'd like to give you credit.

AFTERNOON UPDATE: I was glad to receive an email from our aqua-aerobat here. Jim Woodson writes that he and his wife "s
ki on the Mississippi and Illinois rivers pretty much every weekend (unless we are out of town skiing). Once you learn how to ride one of these toys...e skis, wakeboards, kneeboards, etc. get pushed to the back of the garage never to be ridden again. It's a whole lot of fun and VERY addicting." He suggests that anyone in this part of the country interested in giving it a try contact these people. Jim is going to get in touch this summer and we'll do a Sky Ski shoot out on the river. Sounds like fun.




15 comments:

brattcat said...

Extraordinary. I would like just a moment inside the brain of the person who thought up this sport.

Sharon said...

I have never seen anything like this before! How wild!

brattcat said...

Hey, Bob, I posted the original image of the ice-skating party back at my blog. Let me know what you think.

Dave-CostaRicaDailyPhoto.com said...

I have seen people using this device from a sitting position. I have never seen the aerobatics in your phenomenal photos.

On my 58th birthday last summer in Tahiti, I had the immaturity to think it would be a good way to celebrate by going waterskiing because, hey, I used to be able to water ski 35 - 40 years ago. I got up and skied my entire run without falling just fine, but then needed 3 weeks of physical therapy for my back to be able to function.

Michelle said...

The View from the boat is even Better! Great Job :-)

Jim said...

It was an absolute blast (and for a good cause)! Bob, I e-mailed you some info...

Virginia said...

Well I"ve spent a fair amount of time at Alabama's Lake Martin where they ski when it's WARM, and on mundane things like boards, tubes and slalom skiis, but this is a new one for me as well. What a great series. Amazing that it works but it must!
V

Louis la Vache said...

Mercy! «Louis» will stand on the riverbank and watch from a safe distance, thank you very much....

Rob said...

I've heard of them, but never seen one in action. Excellent work! What a fun and exciting action shoot!

Babzy said...

wow , stunning !

Olivier said...

WAOUHH Impressionnant

Steffe said...

Wow, that's the first time I have ever seen that. Looks like fun, great photos.

U "R" Us said...

I would totally do this, but that probably doesn't surprise you. Nice captures!

Jilly said...

Good lord! This guy could change the world, if he put his mind to it! Great shots, Bob.

Fredrik said...

The last is my favourite. In front of Casino Queen. Well done!