Team Nautique Blog

November 30, 2014

Mike Dowdy – The Difference

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Team Nautique Rider Mike Dowdy took the wakeboarding world by storm in a way that few have ever done. He set himself apart by not only posing a threat to the top of the podium at any contest, but by his seemingly insatiable appetite for pushing the sport that is found in only a very few number of athletes in the world regardless of which discipline they choose. His willingness to put his vision of what wakeboarding can be in front of his own physical conservation had everyone continuously wondering what would come next out of the Michigan native who just kept proving time and time again, that we aren’t done yet.

With a momentum generating year in 2013 Dowdy didn’t disappoint, constantly working on new double flip variations and finding ways around the rope that seemed to detach him from the physics we thought we knew. All of this comes with a price, and in early 2014 Dowdy suffered a knee injury that would take him off the water for the entire season, leaving everything he had built up to lying in wait. With the pressure of big sponsorship obligations and his career hanging in the balance, Mike’s approach to his recovery and his professionalism is what gives him and those around him the confidence that this is only the beginning. Few walk the path that separates them from being good and being great, and while we can’t quite put our finger on it, something about Mike Dowdy seems to make those close to him believe that he has the difference.

Bring us up to speed on where you were with your riding before the injury and what you’ve been through in the past year.

Before I tore my ACL last march, I was in a really good spot in my career. With the help of the G23 I was innovating new tricks that before hadn’t been thought possible. I had a lot of good online video pieces, as well as filming for my first full-length section in PRIME. I went back to Michigan at the end of last season, and when I came back I was trying a double backroll to blind and tore my ACL in my left knee. This past year has been a tough one watching other people compete and learn new tricks, but I was able to focus hard on my rehabilitation and am now back strong as ever. The injury also gave me time to buy my first house and to go back to the basics of riding again, so its been a blessing in disguise. It also allowed me to go on some cool trips.

What was your favorite trip?

Our mission trip to El Salvador with Nautique Cares. It was an amazing experience to see how other people in the world live and I can’t wait to go back and help again.

What has kept you focused during your recovery and how are things going now that you are back on the water?

During my recovery the only thing on my mind was to buckle down and focus on going to the gym and rehab as much as possible and make sure I was treating my body right. Now that I’m on the water again, I feel really good and am just taking it slow. My Doctors want me to take it slow until January and then I can start to get back into doubles and everything. As of now I’m just happy to be riding again and just playing around with the basics, as well as doing some photo shoots and things like that.

What is your vision for wakeboarding?

My big vision for wakeboarding as a sport is to see it on the main stage alongside sports like skating, surfing, and snowboarding. As a sport we have been striving for this recognition and respect for a long time. I think it’s one of the things that drive me to continue to push for that next step.

What other sports are you into outside of wakeboarding?

Outside of wakeboarding I’m really into hockey. Hockey is modern warfare and it’s a battle every time you get on the ice. It’s my favorite sport to watch and play.

What are your goals for the 2015 season?

Starting in 2015, Ill pick back up where I left off before my injury, trying to learn new tricks and do well in contests and have some photo shoots. I’m also working on a new online video with Alliance Wake right now that is show casing me getting back from my injury and that should come out around February. The sport has progressed a lot since I have been injured and I am stoked to get back out there and push it to the best of my abilities. Stay tuned for an awesome 2015!!

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November 18, 2014

Zack Worden on Fire!

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Over the last several weeks Team Nautique jump skier Zack Worden has simply been on fire. Beginning at the Nautique U.S. Open, Zack had everyone on the shoreline screaming as he took first place in dramatic fashion with a surprising and intense jump-off round. Tied with a jump of 204 feet, Zack and Jimmy Siemers went head to head behind the Ski Nautique 200 with Zack boosting 201 feet to win the round. This would be an emotional win for Zack that set the pace going into the Rocketman Night Jump the very next weekend where he boosted another 201 foot jump into the darkness landing him on the podium in third place. A mere three days later, Zack hopped on a plane to Santiago, Chile to do it all again and scored another 3rd place podium finish. When Zack returned we caught up with him to get some insight on his whirlwind leading into the last event of his 2014 contest season.

 

Zack Worden:

What can I say about the last three weeks, it’s been nothing shy of an absolute joy ride! This last year has been quite the uphill battle for me. It’s my first season back after tearing my ACL for the second time in my right knee so I felt like I had a lot to prove coming into it. I also lost my father in July, a man that deserves a lot of credit for where I am today.

My crazy three weeks of skiing kicked off at the Nautique U.S. Open of Water Skiing on Lake Ivanhoe. This tournament was very close to me as it was a site that my father set up the previous year. This year it was up to Jon Travers and I to get the site ready to go and after several long days and nights we had the lake dialed in and ready for the event! I skied well in the finals, but I didn’t think my score would hold up, and to my surprise in the end Jimmy and I were tied for first place and getting back on the water for a Jump off to determine the winner. Someone was looking down on me that day because I came away with the win! It is something I’ll cherish for my entire life. My first win after my knee surgery; my first win for my Dad; and a win in my hometown of Orlando!

The next weekend we took off to Andy Mapple’s ski lake in Orlando for the Rocketman Night Jump. The morning of the event temperatures dropped to the mid 50’s and wind was gusting up to 30 mph’s. We didn’t think the event was going to happen, but low and behold come 8 o’clock that night the conditions turned to our favor and we had a jump event. I advanced into the Final 4 and was able to boot 201 feet to finish 3rd. Finishing back to back podiums both behind the Ski Nautique 200 was pretty sweet!

Running on fumes I flew out Wednesday after the Rocketman to head to Santiago, Chile to compete in the Chile Night Jump, my first time at this event. Prelims got off to an awesome start, I went 214 feet in the first round and was seeded 7th in the event. Everyone was going huge! In the night finals I was one of the first off the dock and I posted 215 feet at night. Sure enough my score held in there and I ended up with another 3rd place finish!

Three Podiums in three weeks was absolutely amazing, and hopefully I can keep the ball rolling into our last event of the year in Columbia, and then into next year in Australia for the 2015 Nautique Moomba Masters! – Zack Worden

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October 31, 2014

Nautique Cares: El Salvador with Team Nautique

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Earlier this month Nautique invited several team athletes, dealers, and employees on a Nautique Cares service trip to El Salvador. Over the course of three days the group worked with a school in the town of Ahuachapán named La Atarraya helping out with children’s soccer clinics, digging the foundation for a new classroom, going on community feeding missions, and building the “Ship of Knowledge;” a specialized installment in the schools soon to be library.

Zack Worden, Tommy Czeschin, Mike Dowdy, Rhoni Barton Bischoff, J.D. Webb, and Raimi Merrit at the La Atarray soccer clinic.

Welcomed by the Hamilton family who started the school with nothing but a dream in 1993, their vision has become reality as a result of hard work, dedication, and a passion for helping others that was contagious, immediately inspiring everyone in the group to dig in. For many of the people on the trip, this was their first opportunity to serve in this way.

This trip was amazing! It was a huge eye opener for me being the first time I have experienced a country like El Salvador on this level and realized the opportunity we have to make a difference to people living in poverty all around the world. Thank you Nautique for giving us all the opportunity to be a part of this! – Mike Dowdy

J.D. Webb explaining the Waves for Water Filtration System he brought for the communities.

“Going down to El Salvador with the Nautique crew was such a humbling experience. Giving back is something that I have always been passionate about doing, and it’s even better when the company that supports me has the same outlook on life as I do!” – J.D. Webb

With school in session, the team got to see what La Atarraya truly is beyond the beautiful hand built facility and stories told. Riding to school on the bus along with the kids, driving into their communities and past their homes, it became apparent that the school was their safe haven and one chance to learn how to better their situation for themselves and their community through education and faith. Something we can sometimes take for granted, the importance and privilege of education takes on a new meaning in an area that has learned to accept poverty with no hope of getting out. With school in session the facility came alive and the students welcomed the team with fanfare. Connecting with the students and with the community was a powerful experience and its places like this that drive Nautique Cares.

Here’s a quick clip that Bob put together of the service trip. Bob Soven Video of Nautique Cares Trip to El Salvador

“It was an amazing trip down to El Salvador to lend a helping hand at the school. I think we all left there with a new understanding of life, be grateful for everything you have and don’t ever forget to get give back.” – Bob Soven


The La Atarraya Students welcoming the team to their school.

“While it was an amazing opportunity to participate in the feeding programs, provide clothing, teach soccer clinics, work on English lessons, visit the local maternity ward and build the ship of knowledge, it is the relationships we built with the Hamilton family, the children of El Salvador and our fellow Nautique athletes that inspires me. Because we were there, they knew we cared. Because we care, we have empowered them to become more than they ever dreamed possible. For me personally, this was a trip of a lifetime, Thank you Nautique for caring!” – Rhoni Barton Bischoff

“It was such an amazing experience and honor to travel to El Salvador with Team Nautique to help serve the community there. I am so blessed to be a part of a company that focuses on helping make the world better and touching lives along the way.” – Raimi Merritt

Each night the team came together to talk about the trip and reflect on their experiences. One thing that became apparent was the root of Nautique Cares resides in each person and resonates throughout the entire organization. It’s something we’re dedicated to and proud to use our talents, success, resources and faith to impact the world in a positive way. It’s growing each year and every person in the Nautique family contributes to what we are able to do.

“I am so great full to have gone on the Nautique cares trip to El Salvador, it was awesome. It was so neat to see what the Hamilton’s  do for the kids of El Salvador, educating them, teaching them English, skills, and trades. As a result making a direct impact on the country. I really enjoyed getting to know the whole team that went down, helping build the ship of knowledge, playing soccer, hanging with the kids, and hearing about Pastor Bob’s journey to getting where he is. These kids don’t have much but they do have much joy and a bright future thanks to the Hamilton’s. What a great ministry to support. Thanks to Nautique for the opportunity to be a part of this. Truly Nautique Cares.” – Tommy Czeschin

The Ship of Knowledge – Constructed in two days dubbed the “Miracle Boat Build II”.

Check out the video below documenting Team Nautique’s experience in El Salvador.

2014 Team Nautique Service Trip to El Salvador from Nautique Boats on Vimeo.

For more information on the Nautique Cares initiatives, please visit www.nautiquecares.com.

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October 19, 2014

Nautique announced as the official towboat of the Water Ski World Championships.

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Team Nautique skiers joined CEO Bill Yeargin and IWWF President Kuno Ritschard to announce that Nautique has been selected as the exclusive towboat of the 2016-2019 water ski world championships. The boat selected for the world championships is the world record setting Ski Nautique. The Ski Nautique has established itself as the premier water ski boat in the industry. Since its introduction just a few years ago the Ski Nautique 200 has pulled seventeen water ski world records; no other boat is close.

“I am stoked to know now that the preparation is going to be easy and I will get the same perfect pull at the Worlds. It’s great to know going to Worlds that the Ski Nautique is going to be perfect!” – Team Nautique athlete Natallia Berdnikava

“As I have traveled the world for Nautique visiting ski schools, training centers, federations, and water skiers everywhere the most common request I receive, in nearly every country, is to use the Ski Nautique in the world championships,” stated Nautique President and CEO Bill Yeargin. “Our Nautique team, and water skiers all around the world, are thrilled for the Ski Nautique to be selected as the exclusive and official boat of the water ski world championships,” Yeargin added.

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October 19, 2014

The U.S. Open of Water Skiing is back!

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Nautique has partnered with CBS to bring back the U.S. Open of Water Skiing with a celebration of three-event skiing in the heart of downtown Orlando, Florida on Lake Ivanhoe. The World’s most elite water skiers will compete for one of the sport’s most coveted titles in Slalom, Trick and Jump in front of thousands of spectators. In addition to the on-water action spectators will enjoy an interactive festival featuring exhibitors, autograph signings, live music performance by Jake Miller, prize giveaways and more. In recognition of this prestigious event Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer declared October 25th “Water Ski Day.” Come join Team Nautique and the rest of Orlando for this World Class event in the heart of the Watersports Mecca or tune-in to the live webcast at www.nautique.com/usopen.

“I am looking forward to skiing in my first ever U.S. Open in Orlando. I’m grateful that Nautique brought back one of the most talked about tournaments from before my time and I can’t wait to be a part of it. Nothing makes a tournament better and more exciting for me than knowing I get to ski behind the Ski Nautique 200”. -Slalom World Record holder Nate Smith

Gaston Edwards Park
1236 N. Orange Avenue
Orlando, FL 32804

Schedule:
10:30am-11:15am Women’s Trick
11:15am-12:15pm Men’s Trick
12:15pm-12:30pm Wake Surf Exhibition
12:30pm-1:15pm Women’s Slalom
1:15pm-2:15pm Men’s Slalom
2:15pm-2:45pm Wake Surf Exhibition
2:45pm-3:30pm Women’s Jump
3:30pm-3:50pm Women’s Slalom Super-Finals
3:50pm-4:15pm Men’s Slalom Super-Finals
4:15pm-4:30pm Wake Surf Exhibition
4:30pm-5:45pm Men’s Jump
5:45pm-6:00pm Awards
7:00pm-8:00pm Live Performance – Jake Miller

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September 30, 2014

Join us at OWC for “Voice of One” a Christian rock concert to benefit the “As Our Own” organization in India.

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In conjunction with OWC, As Our Own, and Nautique; Voice of One will be hosting a non-profit Christian Rock Concert from 11am to 8pm on October 4th, 2014 at the Orlando Watersports Complex to benefit the As Our Own organization in India. Featured artists for the day are, Benjah, Josh Gilbert, Voice of One, Friends of Jude, Sound Assumption, and Heirs in Exile. There will also be several guest speakers throughout the day including Bill Yeargin, Ralph Borde, Shaun Murray and others for a fun filled day of riding, music and dynamic speaking. There will be raffles for OWC Park Passes, food by Orlandofoodtrucks.com, and Discounted wakeboarding during the day at OWC for guests.

Information:
Orlando Water Sports Complex – 8615 Florida Rock Rd, Orlando, FL 32824
Saturday, October 4th, 2014

• 8:00 am – 10:00 am – LFW Diabetes’s Community Prayer Walk
• 10:00 am – Gate opens
• 11:00 am – First band begins playing
• 8:00 pm – Gates Close

Admission is $10.00 per person, children under the age of 6 are free. Parking is $5.00 per car at OWC with additional parking provided by Mear’s with shuttle service from their parking lot to OWC.

For more information please visit www.voiceofone.com.

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September 30, 2014

Noah Flegel takes second at the World Wake Surfing Championships!

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Team Nautique rider Noah Flegel took second place in the Pro Men’s Skim division of the World Wake Surfing Championships held in Las Vegas, Nevada this past weekend. A top athlete in both wakeboarding and wakesurfing Noah’s talent doesn’t stop there. He’s good at everything and throws down in the ocean, on the snow, at the skate park, and behind the boat. See it all in his new edit “Universal.”

“UNIVERSAL ” a Noah Flegel video from focusflproductions on Vimeo.

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September 30, 2014

Congratulations Scot and Marion!!!!

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Team Nautique athletes Scot “The Rocketman” Ellis and Marion “Miss Rocket” Mathieu were married earlier this month in her hometown of Monte De Marsan, France now officially “The Rockets,” a match made in heaven!

Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Ellis!!

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September 16, 2014

Nate Smith Wins the California Waterski Pro Am.

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Team Nautique skier Nate Smith continued his reign of dominance on the water this past weekend at the California Pro-Am running 1/2@43-off behind the Ski Nautique 200 for the win. With the top 5 scores of the tournament, Nate dominated the competition to win this event for the second year in a row. This marks his fifth consecutive win since being back on the water after an injury sidelined him for 11 weeks earlier this season.

I couldn’t be more excited this weekend after winning the California Pro Am for the second year in a row. It was such a great event and the conditions could not have been any better. I had the top 5 scores of the whole tournament all behind the Ski Nautique 200. It was nice to be able to go out and focus on my skiing and what I had to do and know that I was going to have a great pull every single round!” – Nate Smith

Nautique’s Whitney McClintock took the podium in second place at the event with amazing performances all weekend long running 39-off in three of four rounds. Posting the best score of the weekend, Whitney had a personal best score of 2@41-off behind the Ski Nautique 200 leading into the final where she finished with a score of 1/2@41.

“California Pro Am is such a fun event & I am so pumped Nautique is a part of it! My skiing is always so consistent behind the Ski Nautique 200… I tied my PB again this weekend with 2@41 and ran 39 a total of 3 times including the first time ever that 2 women ran it in the finals. I am proud of my performance from 2014 California Pro Am and look forward to the Nautique U.S. Open next month!! :) – Whitney McClintock

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September 16, 2014

JD Webb wins Web Video of the Year at the 2014 Transworld Wake Awards.

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JD Webb got to work this season with Nautique videographer Spencer Norris and produced some really amazing web edits. JD’s riding has been on fire all season long and he has truly reinvented himself and added a style all his own into the mix charging behind his Super Air Nautique G23. This video, titled “Another One Down” earned JD and Spencer “Web Video of the Year” at this year’s Transworld Wake Awards held during Surf Expo earlier this month.

Winning web edit of the year was huge for me. Spencer Norris and I put in a lot of hard work over the past year with this goal in mind and the win meant a lot. Having a boat like the G23 to ride behind every day gave me the advantage to take my riding to another level and land tricks that have never been done in our industry.” – JD Webb

 

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