Last weekend Patricio Font became the best Trick Skier in the World.
I hope my 4th grade English can convey the difficulty of his achievement.
Picture by @vincephotography
Trick Skiing came before wake boarding. In fact, it is one of the reasons why Wake boarding exists. Many of the Godfathers have a background trick skiing, including Darin Shapiro and Parks Bonify.
To trick ski, you need a short flat board between 38 and 44” long. It has no fin, which makes it very slippery.
The reason trick skiing is not very popular or known is because it is one of the hardest disciplines of waterskiing and one of the hardest sports .
Making a deep water start takes lots of practice. Doing a wake to wake jump or a 360 degree turn can take at least 10 hours of water practice.
When competing you have 2 passes of 20 seconds each, and no chance to make a mistake. If you fall, you have no second chance. Each trick has a score that needs to be validated by 5 judges. They each have to make sure that you make full and non stop rotations, that you do everything on time, that you clear the wake, etc.
Usually trickers do a hand pass and a toe pass. A toes pass consists of tricking with the rope attached only to one of your feet. Your foot is tied to the boat with a toe strap handle.
I’ve been skiing for over 40 years barefooting, Wakeboarding, Jumping, Slaloming, on Air Chair, Wakesurfing, Foil etc, and toe tricks are by far the hardest!
To start you need the people you trust the most as part of your team, because they literally have the future of your legs in their hands. You need a driver and you also need a releaser (most of the time your father). The releaser holds the rope so that if you fall, he can let go and your leg goes unharmed. He has to hold it tightly because if it releases itself, your tournament is over. And if he does not release it on time in the case of a fall, the chances of a leg injury are very high (I personally know of a couple of broken knees and a broken femur while toe tricking).
I’ve personally been underwater at leas 5 times and it is one of the worst feelings.
Anyway, you have 20 seconds spinning as fast as you can with the boat going 17 mph average, pulling you from what has to be a super strong leg, ankle and foot
There are some really complicated tricks like the TWL5B which stands for TOE Wake Line Five Back. Which translates into a 540 degree turn (1.5 spins). ,starting forward and landing backwards, over the wake and over the rope and with your leg attached to the rope. It is very hard and very very dangerous.
Your other 20 seconds are for your hand pass. Here, there are very complicated tricks such as the BFLSLBB = 900 which is a Back Flip with a 360 turn over the rope.
Here is Aliaksei Zharnasek world record holder pass performing a BFLSLBB almost at the end of the pass.
Our 2019 World Champion
Patricio started skiing at 2 or earlier.
By age 5 he was doing toe turns
He has been the youngest skier ever invited to the Masters.
He has won the Jr Masters so many times that he competed in The Open Division. this Year and WON! With only 16 years old!
Only the top 10 skiers in the world are invited to such a prestigious tournament.
He went to the Pan American Games, the second most important Sport Competition after the Olympics and he won and broke the Pan Am Record. Becoming the youngest athlete in history of Mexico to win a gold medal.
He flew from Peru to train in mexico for a couple of days and then he to Malaysia for the World Championships that are held every 2 years.
He qualified in second place and for the finals he had to make a personal best to win
The mental toughness and mastery of each trick so that he can perform them so many times in a row is impressive.
Felicidades Pato!!! #1