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If you are an avid skier, right about now, you are probably moaning and groaning about the end of the season and wondering what you are going to do for the rest of the year. Here's an idea - How about wave skiing? Sounds a little crazy? It sure is, which is probably why there are extremely few people in the world that have even tried it and only one, that seems to indulge in it on a regular basis.
California born Chuck Patterson grew up skiing in Lake Tahoe during the winters and wind surfing, kite boarding and tow surfing in the warm waters of Hawaii, in the summers. It is therefore not surprising that he often dreamt of combining the two sports by skiing the big waves.
In 2000, he finally could resist no more and decided to test it out with a pair of custom jumper skis. Though the skis were too big and boxy, making it difficult to turn, he managed to glide on the waves for a few hundred yards - While not as cool as he had imagined it to be, Chuck was satisfied and returned to his normal sports.
His interest in wave-skiing was re-kindled in 2010, when fellow free skiers, Mike Douglas and Cody Townsend decided to really try push it to the next level and worked with ski builder Jason Starr, to come up with a design that would allow the athlete to steer easily. Besides designing less cumbersome skis, Jason also recommended wearing ski boots to help with the edging and turning especially, at high speeds.
Chuck of course, could not resist - Using a jet ski to tow him to the perfect wave he gave the sport another shot and . . . Was hooked. Over the years, he has become so good that he can wave ski some of the most dangerous surf at speeds of up to 30mph! The 43-year old who even uses ski poles though they are of no use in the water, says that what makes the sports so exciting, is the unpredictability of the waves and likens it to skiing in soft snow during warm weather.
But, while he can get many people to come watch and even film him wave ski, he seems to have found very few souls brave enough, to give this extreme sport even a try!
Resources: dailymailc.co.uk, chuckpattersonsports.wordpress.com