Written by Landon Geels
Skiing isn’t always about the warm weather and the late summer nights. Sometimes it’s about the 50-degree water and the smell of a rubber wetsuit as you squeeze into what seems to be a suit that is three sizes too small. Here in Colorado, we get the best of both worlds. As I am writing this, it is 95 degrees and sunny but just a couple months ago we were skiing in a water-air combination that did not even reach 95 degrees itself. To me though, that’s what makes Colorado skiing unique. Sure there are other states that reach colder temperatures in the winter, and obviously there are places that see much warmer temps in the summer but how many get to see both ends of the spectrum to such an extreme? Being able to ski here in Colorado where we can see the snow capped mountains when we drop to shorten the line is something special, and personally, I think it should be on every skier’s bucket list.
The ski community is strong in Colorado. From Mid-June to Mid-September, there is a tournament almost every weekend somewhere around the state as long as we aren’t all at regionals or nationals. From clinics and demos, to class C tournaments and Wednesday Night ski leagues, it seems that there is always something going on. The people that make up the tournament scene here are great, and the ‘one big family’ mentality runs deep. No matter whether you’re a first-time tournament skier, or a third generation, there is always a place for you here. I am blessed by the waterski community here in Colorado, and I honestly feel that I have made friendships that will last a life time.
One of my favorite local tournaments takes place at Double Vision ski lake in Montrose, Colorado. Not only is it one of the nicest sites around, but the atmosphere and experience is second to none. From paddle board relay races to slack-lining and rubber duck hunts, you are guaranteed to have fun no matter how well you ski in the tournament, and to me that’s what it’s all about. In my young waterski “career” I have come to realize that as soon as this sport becomes all about skiing well and setting PB’s, you might as well give it up. There is so much more to waterskiing than just raising your average, and when you lose sight of that, well, you are missing the whole point. I am beyond grateful for the times I have had to spend with friends and family because of waterskiing over the last few years. This sport has given me memories that will last a lifetime, and for that I am thankful.
I hope that I never have to say goodbye to competitive waterskiing. This sport and these people are everything to me, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.