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.