Nautique has recently added 20 year old slalom phenom Nate Smith to our team of elite athletes. Smith currently lives in Indiana and came out of nowhere in 2010 skiing like someone possessed. He ran 39 ½-off at seventeen consecutive tournaments and tied the Men’s 1 national slalom record running 5 @ 41-off …all at 19 years old. Nate has been training behind the Ski Nautique 200 with Men’s 3 National champ Scott Tynan on Sawmill Lake in Indiana and works for Nautique dealer N3 Boatworks when he isn’t shredding the course. Nate will make a great addition to the Nautique team and look for him to do big things in 2011. We recently had the chance to ask Nate a few questions while he was in Orlando at Nautique headquarters picking the colors for his new Ski Nautique 200.
Nautique: How does it feel to be on Team Nautique with guys like Andy Mapple and Chris Parrish?
Nate Smith: I feel very honored. I have always looked up to Andy and Chris and to be able to ski with them on Team Nautique is very cool.
Nautique: You’ve had a really big year. What accomplishment has meant the most to you and why?
Nate Smith: There are two things. The first is placing second in my first pro event. The second is running 5@41 tying the National Men’s 1 record three times this fall. I couldn’t have asked for anything more in 2010. I am excited for 2011 and to ski behind my new Ski Nautique 200.
Nautique: Coming out of the Midwest, you only get to ski about seven months out of the year. How has that affected your skiing, and what do you do in the off season to keep you busy?
Nate Smith: Well Scott Tynan and I are different than most people. If the lake is not frozen we ski. Rain or shine. We can usually ski about 10 months out of the year. I usually just take 2-3 months off in the winter with no skiing. I believe that living in the Midwest has been an advantage to me. The conditions are not perfect every day and we cannot ski in the winter. A break from skiing is a good thing I believe.
Nautique: You work for N3 Boatworks in Indiana and those guys are notorious for customizing Nautiques. Are we going to see anything special on your new Ski Nautique 200?
Nate Smith: The N3 Boatworks guys are as excited as I am about my boat. They are very dedicated and passionate about Nautiques. It is going to look a little different on the outside, and is going to bump on the inside. We are very excited to get the boat and do work on it. I don’t want to give too much away just yet but once it’s finished, I’ll send you guys some pictures. It’s going to be pretty unique.
Nautique: Why do you think you’ve reached such a high level at such a young age? What is it that keeps you pushing so hard to become better and better?
Nate Smith: I started skiing competitive at a young age. I have found that anything is possible if you have the will to make it happen. I believe that my equipment has been a major part the past few years. Being able to ski with Scott Tynan every day behind the Ski Nautique 200 has been a major part in my success this past year. I like to compete and set goals for myself. When I reach that goal I then set another one. I am always having fun with the sport
Nautique: With all of the press you’ve received this year, there has been some criticism that has come along with it as well. What has that been like for you and how have you dealt with it?
Nate Smith: It’s just fuel for me. I don’t let it bother me. If anything it pushes me to become a better skier.
Nautique: Going into 2011 what are your plans and what do you hope to accomplish?
Nate Smith: I would like to continue to build upon what I have accomplished in 2010. I will go out and do the best that I can do at every tournament. One goal would be to run 41-off in a tournament.
Nautique: What is your favorite thing about the Ski Nautique 200?
Nate Smith: This is a tough question because it is so hard to pick. Other than the way that it drives and the non existent wake, I like all of the extra room inside of the boat with ski compartments for all of my gear.
Nautique: Is there anyone you would like to thank?
Nate Smith: I would like to thank D3 Skis for always being there for me, helping me out, and providing me with my D3 X7 the best slalom ski that is out there. The guys at N3 Boatworks have been awesome, helping me out with the customization of my new Ski Nautique 200. Nautique, for building and providing me with the best boat in the world. Seth Stisher with H2Osmosis. Straight Line Ropes. I would like to thank Scott Tynan (and family) for letting me train with him every day. He has been nothing but awesome to me, helping me out in anyway possible. We push each other and it helps me become better. My Mom and Dad for getting me started and teaching me how to ski and pulling me skiing on our lake every day for years. Cale Burdick also has been there to compete with me and push me harder. Also everyone on Sawmill Lake (Tynan’s), and Champion Lake (my home lake), along with all the Indiana and Midwest skiers for all of the support over the years.