Summer is in full swing and all around the US we’ve been hosting Nautique Swervin’ Weekends for the second year in a row. We caught up with Nautique team athlete Zack Worden to ask him a few questions on how they’ve been going so far. Zack has had the privilege of traveling the country and attending a handful of these laidback waterski events and coaching whoever wants to come out and ski. Zack has been dedicated to helping people of all ages get out and waterski for the first time and also providing current waterskiers with some tips to become better. We’ve hosted a good amount of events so far this season but there are plenty more Nautique Swervin’ Weekends on the horizon!
So, how many Swervin’ Weekends have you done so far in total?
Since last year I’ve done a total of seven Swervin’ Weekends, and I’ve got two more on the books for 2018! It’s been really fun so far, and looking forward to finishing the summer strong!
What do you like most about these events?
Getting back to where it all started for me. It’s all about fun days on the lake and learning how to ski. A majority of the skiers who attend are learning to ski for the first time, or haven’t skied in years and want to show their kids that mom and dad are still “cool”.
Roughly how many first-timers have you taught?
Tough one, I’d say we have at least six “first-timers” at each event so that would probably be upwards of fifty.
Since you’ve been going to these, what’s the youngest first-time skier you’ve gotten up?
In Illinois last year we got a 3-year-old up behind the boat! She’s going to be a star!
We had a kid that came out and he made a bet with his dad that if he ran the course then Dad had to learn to ski. Dad was probably 55ish and got up on his second try!
Has there been any cool memorable moments for you?
Two guys, Jeremy and Levi, joined me at the Seattle stop in 2017. Jeremy hadn’t skied in 15 years and I taught Levi to ski on combos. Fast forward to 2018 and now their entire family spends the weekends on the lake. Jeremy can almost run the course and Levi rips around on the slalom ski. It truly brings a smile to my face to see families growing and bonding out on the water. Because of Swervin Weekends the waterski community just added another family!!!
How has the reaction to the new Ski Nautique been this year?
People were in shock. It was something they have never seen before and better than they could have ever imagined. For seasoned skiers, the wakes (or lack of) blew them away. For new skiers the amount of room in the new Ski Nautique is unparalleled and the ease of getting in and out of the back of the boat was a fan favorite.
What parts of the boat make it better/easier for teaching and coaching?
Being able to walk freely around the boat is a huge coaching tool when teaching any level of skier. Leaning against the engine box to show skiing position is a plus but my favorite would be the multiple angles to enter and exit the rear of the boat. Being able to help a skier put their skis back on and have room for multiple people to be in the back of the boat at once is awesome. It’s a very user-friendly boat.
I’m guessing you do a little coaching with people that already ski as well during the events, how have they reacted to the new boat?
They love the attention to detail when sitting in the boat. Every little thing has been thought of. You hear a lot of “wow, look at that” and that sort of thing. Then there are the wakes. Every single skier mentions how impressed they are with the wakes. We also hear a lot of how there is nothing back there and how small the wakes really are.
Everyone has their own way of getting a newcomer up for the first time. Any tips for those people teaching first-timers this summer?
Remind the skier to stay as still as possible. Keep their arms out and knees bent and have them imagine they are doing a cannon ball into the pool and to hold that position until the coach tells them to stand up. It works every time!