About Our Team
Information about the Team & Collegiate Waterskiing
About the Team
We compete in 3-Event collegiate water skiing tournaments through USA Water Ski. We are a part of the South Central Region, and compete against Texas A&M, Texas State, Baylor, The University of Arkansas, The University of Louisiana Monroe, and the University of Louisiana Lafayette. We attend tournaments in both the fall and spring semesters and even host one ourselves every September called “Fall Classic”. We practice first come first serve 3-4 days a week at our lake, Frame Switch, located in Hutto, TX. The team provides the boat and all equipment for team members. Visit our Join page to learn more about what it takes to become a part of the Texas Waterski Team!
Competitive collegiate waterskiing consists of three events: slalom, jump, and trick. Competition water ski boats use GPS systems and software that is specific to each of the three events, allowing for fair scoring and consistent sets in practice. We field an A Team which competes for points upon which the team is ranked, and a B Team which competes and is scored but whose scores do not impact team standing. Most of our skiers move between the two teams based on event, current skill, amount of practice, and other factors.
Slalom skiing is performed on a single, narrow water ski with one foot placed directly in front of the other. The objective for a slalom skier is to ski around a set of 6 buoys placed on alternating sides of the boat’s path. The skier must enter through the entrance gates, round all 6 buoys, and exit through the exit gates for it to be considered a complete pass. Slalom skiing is scored based on boat speed and rope length. As the boat speed increases and rope shortens, it becomes increasingly difficult for the skier to complete a pass and they are rewarded with more points.
The best slalom skiers in the world are able to ski at maximum speed with rope lengths that are actually shorter than the distance between the boat and the buoys (11.5 meters), by leaning their body far over the buoys in their turns. The world record for slalom is 36mph at 41' off (34' rope).
The objective of jump is simple: travel as far as possible. Skiers are scored on distance traveled from the end of the 5-foot tall ramp, to where they successfully land and ski away on the water. Jump is performed on two large, wide skis that are generally significantly taller than the skier. The skier is also required to wear a padded jumpsuit and helmet to provide protection during a fall. Beginners "plop", and approach the ramp head on and ride straight over it, traveling at the same speed as the boat. As jumpers gain experience, they begin approaching the ramp at increasing distances in order to generate more speed and therefore jump a longer distance.
The best jumpers travel over 60mph and can jump well over 100 feet regularly. Freddy Krueger currently holds the world record with a jump of an astonishing 312 feet. The collegiate men's record is 194 feet held by Zack Worden, and the women's record is 157 feet held by Lauren Morgan.
Trick skiing is performed on a single short ski with one foot in front and the other at an angle behind it. Trick skiers perform a series of gymnastic stunts in the water such as spins and flips, which are of varying point values. The more difficult the trick, the more points it is worth. Trick skiers can either do "hand tricks" where the handle is held in the hands, or "toehold tricks" where the rope is held with one foot. Advanced trick skiers are capable of performing a wide variety of tricks on the water that require excellent balance, coordination, gymnastic ability, and precision.
Ana Gay currently holds the women’s trick skiing world record with 10,880 points and Belarus Aliaksei Zharnasek currently holds the men’s with 12,610 points.
Lake Frame Switch
Lake Frame Switch is a set of three ski lakes located in Hutto, TX. Our team uses the lower lake, which contains both a slalom course and a jump ramp. We practice several days a week year round, weather permitting.
The two routes we recommend taking are I-35 to I-79 (toll free), or via the 290 and 130 toll roads. It's approximately a 40-minute drive from UT campus. A car is not necessary to be a team member, as members coordinate rides to practices.
The University of Texas hosts the "Fall Classic" tournament every fall at Frame Switch in which teams from the South Central region compete.