Team Nautique Blog

February 14, 2011

Team Nautique Welcomes Zack Worden

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At just 19 years old Zack Worden is quickly establishing himself as one of waterskiing’s elite. His natural talent and reputation for being gutsy with a go for broke attitude ensures that all eyes are on him every time he takes the water. During his first season as a pro in 2009, Zack put up some impressive results including a third place finish at the LA Night Jam, and finishing in the top six at the U.S Masters, Waterski World Championships, and Pro Tour. Nautique is excited to have Zack on the team and we look forward to seeing big things come from him in 2011.

How old are you and where do you live?

I’m 19 years old and I’m in school at the University of Louisiana at Monroe.  So I 
live in Monroe during the school year and in Central Florida during the summer.

How did you get into water skiing?

My parents and grandparents were tournament water skiers and they got me skiing when I was 2 years old.

Who do you normally train with?

I train with my ULM teammates during the school year; lots of great international talent there.  I grew up skiing with my new Nautique teammate Jon Travers and we still train together a good bit in the summer.

What was it like the first time you went over a jump?

It was awesome, even though I went upside down!   I learned how to jump when 
I was 8 years old and I was never really afraid, I just wanted to go fast and far.

How do you mentally prepare for a contest and what goes through your mind coming into a big jump?

I prepare for a tournament like most athletes, practice, practice and more practice!  Mental preparation for a tournament starts in the off-season, it’s as much as a mental game out there as it is a physical game. I always go into a tournament with the understanding that I can learn something in every single set (good or bad).

As for preparation on tournament day, I watch the other guys jump in prelims to learn what is working for them and what isn’t and that helps me prepare for my turn on the water.  Good music pumping through the headphones and an energy drink, works well too!

When I coming into a big jump there are so many thoughts rushing in and out of my mind. “Do I pass?” “Am I early?” “Do I kick it?”…  It’s all just a matter of which ones to listen to, luckily they have been right most of the time.

What do you do in the off-season to stay on top of your game?

Spend lots of time in the gym.  I am an avid mountain biker, I love the fast pace and mental challenge that mountain biking offers me.  It keeps me sharp mentally!

What has been the biggest accomplishment of your career?

Beating Freddy head to head last summer at the King Of Darkness pro tour stop for my first pro win, it was the most amazing moment ever!

What are your goals for this upcoming season?

My goals coming into every season are to train as hard as I can and leave it all out on the water.  This season my goals are to jump mid-230s consistently.   I really want to represent Team Nautique to the best of my ability out on Robin Lake for the 52nd Masters and at the Worlds Championships in Russia. I’ve finished in the top 7 in every pro event I’ve entered, however I would like to consistently challenge for the top 3 spots this year.

What does it mean to you to be on Team Nautique?

Growing up and training at Jack Travers ski school I have spent many hours driving and skiing behind Nautiques. I witnessed firsthand the innovations the engineers came up with, seeing the passion they had for always building the best product. To have a company like Nautique with its commitment to excellence select me to be on their team is such a huge honor. I look forward to developing a great relationship!

What’s your favorite feature of Ski Nautique 200?

I would say the drivers cockpit and the on board storage are two of my favorite features. And as a pro jumper its hard not to talk about the jump pull, this boat rides on a rail and produces power like only a Nautique can.

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February 11, 2011

Jonathan Travers added to Team Nautique

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To his recollection, Jon Travers cannot remember a time that waterskiing wasn’t a major component in his life. Ever since he was eighteen months old, Jon has been pulled behind Ski Nautiques at the world famous Sunset Lakes Ski School, which his family owns and operates in Groveland Florida. Competing since the age of 6, Jon is dedicated to the growth and progression of waterskiing, bringing a fresh look to the sport along with a new generation of young skiers that are taking the three-event world by storm. Jon has always been in the Nautique family, and we are proud to welcome him to our team of professional athletes.

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February 11, 2011

Natallia Berdinkava signs with Nautique

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Trick Skiing World record holder Natallia Berdnikava has recently been added to Team Nautique. Originally from Belarus, Natallia is the current Moomba Masters trick and jump champion and currently holds the world record in trick skiing. Other accomplishments include two Masters wins, several Collegiate National titles, and a National Collegiate jump record. In between training sets at Jack Travers Ski School, we had the opportunity to sit down with Natallia and ask her a few questions.

How long have you been waterskiing and how did you get started?
I started water skiing when I was 12. While my gymnastics coach was helping the water ski team get stronger, she brought me to the pool and introduced me to water ski coach Arkadiy Genov. After meeting with him I gave waterskiing a try and haven’t stopped since.

What do you feel has most contributed to your success as a skier? 
Consistency with my training and coaching in Belarus.  I got most of my knowledge about the sport there on how to train and stuff like that. That is where I learned what to do in different situations, whether it is tournaments or just a regular training set.

Where do you train on a daily basis?
Jack Travers’ ski school.

What did it take for you to get the world record?
Lots and lots of training and determination.

How important was it for you to be able to ski behind the Ski Nautique 200 for your world record run?
It was very important because I had been practicing behind it all season. The Ski Nautique 200 has a great trick table and when you are going for a world record everything has to be perfect. The wakes and the speeds were all dialed in for my runs and I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to train behind the boats out at Jack Travers ski school.

How does it feel to be on Team Nautique?
Feels good to be supported by the best boat company in the world.

What are you looking forward to in 2011 and what are your plans going into next season?
Looking for a safe, successful and somewhat consistent season. Long days of training and tournaments. My main focus right now is to ski well at the World Championships and the Masters, along with putting up consistently high scores at other tournaments throughout the rest of the season.

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February 11, 2011

The Wilson Bros Tour

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February 11, 2011

2010 O’Brien Big Dawg Finals

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