This summer, history was made in the world of water skiing and wakeboarding as Show Ski Canada proudly hosted the first-ever Freestyle Jump Nationals, a thrilling competition that showcased the very best of Canada’s freestyle water ski jump talents. This groundbreaking event, officially sanctioned as nationals, took place at Gull Lake Rotary Park in Gravenhurst, Ontario. It marked a significant step forward in the development of this exhilarating discipline in Canada.

The Art of Freestyle Waterski Jumping

Freestyle waterski jumping is a captivating blend of acrobatics and water skiing, often seen in the awe-inspiring ski show performances. It involves heart-stopping flips and spins executed by fearless athletes on both one and two skis. While this discipline has long been a favorite in the United States, complete with regional competitions, national championships, and a professional tour boasting hundreds of participants, it has only recently started gaining prominence in the Canadian show ski community.

At the last world tournament, Canada proudly fielded five freestyle jumpers, with two of them achieving top-ten finishes, showcasing the nation’s potential in this exhilarating sport.

A Competition to Remember

The inaugural Freestyle Jump Nationals witnessed a commendable turnout, with 15 athletes initially registered for the competition. Although a few had to withdraw due to injuries, it didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the remaining 12 jumpers who competed across two captivating categories.

The categories that took center stage were:

Heli Category: In this category, jumpers demonstrated their aerial mastery with a 360-degree spectacle, pushing the boundaries of acrobatic waterski jumping.

Open Category: With no restrictions, athletes in this category had the freedom to choose between one or two skis, creating an exhilarating showcase of creativity and skill.

The competition featured the standard jump, standing at an impressive 5.5 feet high, similar to those seen in long-distance jump competitions. The participants were fortunate to utilize the existing ski jump at Gull Lake Rotary Park, where the Muskoka Extreme ski shows are hosted every Wednesday night throughout the summer, adding an extra layer of excitement to the event.

The event also attracted a diverse audience, with the families of the skiers offering their unwavering support, alongside curious spectators who had learned about the event through township advertisements.

Results that Soared

In the spirit of competition and celebration, the Freestyle Jump Nationals saw incredible performances across the board. In the Heli Category, the following athletes were on top:

Heli Category:

  1. Charlie Newlands
  2. Paul Knight
  3. Baxter Legace

In the Open Category, these exceptional athletes took home top honors:

Open Category:

  1. Jordan Long
  2. Darby Paddon
  3. David Brandstetter

A Bright Future for Freestyle Waterski Jumping in Canada

Beyond the medals and accolades, the true purpose of the event was to foster the growth of freestyle water ski jumping in Canada. The sport has been on an upward trajectory in recent years, and competitions like the Freestyle Jump Nationals provide athletes with the motivation to push their skills to new heights.

The inaugural Freestyle Jump Nationals was a resounding success and a testament to the incredible talent within the Canadian water ski and wakeboard community. Water Ski and Wakeboard Canada is excited to look forward to another exciting season, as we continue to celebrate the thrilling world of freestyle waterski jumping.

Thank you to all participants, sponsors, and spectators who made this historic event possible. Your support is instrumental in elevating this extraordinary sport to new heights!

Sponsors and Prizes

The success of the Freestyle Jump Nationals wouldn’t have been possible without the generous support of our sponsors. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to:

  • Flyman Skis
  • The Creative Care
  • Navigator Visuals
  • 11/17 Apparel
  • Muskoka Extreme
  • Summer Water Sports

These sponsors not only contributed to the event’s success but also offered fantastic prizes that added an extra layer of excitement to the competition.