Waterskiing Can Change A Life...One Turn At A Time

Nautique received this amazing, heart-felt story from Chip Kimball in Lake Sammamish, WA. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

I admit it, I'm a waterskiing addict. I love everything about it. I love the sounds, the smells, the water, the speed, the strength, the camaraderie, the Nautique...I love it all to my very core. There is nothing more exciting to than to watch a skilled slalom skier carve a wall of water and come screaming across the wakes with nothing but pure adrenaline running through their veins. It is a blessed person that finds a passion so deep, and is able to readily experience that passion as a part of their life.

And of course to feed this addiction, I LOVE my Ski Nautique 200!!! This boat is simply incredible!! I refuse to ski behind anything else. I know, a bit twisted, but it's true. It is hands down the best ski boat in the industry.

But this story is not just about skiing and an awesome Nautique, it is about the transformation of a life.

I have always been a big man, 6'4" tall, and I have struggled with obesity since adolescence. By my mid-thirties my weight had spiraled out of control to 455 pounds. And while I loved the water and loved boating, I had never done much skiing to speak of. I had sidelined myself, watching the action from the boat with deep envy for those that could carve those turns.

Just over ten years ago a dear friend posed a challenge. He committed that if I would lose 100 pounds he would buy me a waterski and teach me to ski. We would prove together that big guys can ski, even though most experts said it would be impossible. So the journey began.

After 18 months of work and support from friends I had lost well over 100 pounds, and at 340 pounds I learned how to ski. It was the beginning of the addiction, and I was hooked. I didn't ski well, and it was always a struggle to get out of the water, but I could SKI. And I skied A LOT!! There were obstacles - broken handles and broken ropes, special gloves and a custom drysuit, and even a broken windshield and a broken ankle. But I was able to ski and I loved absolutely everything about it. And more importantly, I was able to keep most of the weight off for nearly ten years. My single strongest motivation... waterskiing.

Then in the spring of 2009 I was able to experience a week at Gordon Rathbun's Ski Paradise in Acapulco. It was here that I experienced waterskiing at an entirely new level. It was humiliating and inspiring all at the same time. The Ski Paradise coaches and guests were incredibly helpful, encouraging, and I now have a new group of lifelong friends. It was time to lose more weight and notch up my skiing, and the next part of the journey was underway. And just maybe, someday, I might be able to ski the course.

I purchased a new tournament ski boat, focused on physical conditioning, weight management, and I skied as much as I possibly could year round. I was set to make the next jump in my development.

But then Nautique introduced the new Ski Nautique 200 and it rocked my world. I had just purchased a new tournament ski boat and thought that I had everything I needed to get to the next level. Was I nuts!! But the Ski Nautique 200 was simply "off the hook awesome." I couldn't believe what a difference it made, especially for somebody who was just experiencing a more challenging caliber of skiing. My skiing completely changed, pushing me yet again to improve. So I sold my boat, purchased the new Ski Nautique 200, and have loved every moment since. My skiing addiction has fully blossomed.

This summer I have dropped just below 275 pounds and I am skiing harder than ever. I had an amazing clinic with Andy Mapple and have an incredible coach, Adam Caldwell, right here in the Seattle area. There are still goals ahead including hitting 250 pounds and skiing the course. Both goals are on the horizon and I am more motivated than ever.

The human spirit is resilient and passion can do remarkable things. There is no logical reason that learning to ski later in life and weighing in at 275 pounds I should be waterskiing. But the passion for the sport, and pure joy of what waterskiing brings has pushed me to improve, and ultimately has transformed my life. Thank you Nautique for building the best boat in waterskiing history. You have taken part in feeding an addiction, and in changing a life.

Chip Kimball
Lake Sammamish, WA