On a cold and windy morning in early February, I was surrounded by some of the best water skiers in the world. Carl Roberge, Kreg Llewellyn, Chris Sullivan, Brett Hodgkins and Chris Rossi were called to the Goode Training Center in Bithlo, Florida, for a photo shoot. The mission for the morning was to shoot a sequence of a slalom skier doing a slider on a wakeboard ramp. The slider sequence is part of a photo gallery entitled, Sick Tricks, which you'll see in the April issue of WaterSki magazine.
At about 8:30 a.m. the light was perfect and photographer John Linn was stoked and ready to shoot, so we loaded up the boats and journeyed to the slider lake, which looked like a liquid skateboard park. As we got closer to the sliders, you could see the look of terror on the guys' faces. There were three sliders, and they all looked pretty hairy. Any bobbles or hesitations by these bad boys and you're looking at six months of physical therapy. One of the sliders was 8 feet tall with 10 feet of coping. It was a sure death sentence. Anyone who would have attempted a slider on that beast would have looked like road kill in the Sahara Desert.
Our only option left was a slider that was 5 feet in height with coping that extended about 20 feet. This was all supported with two-by-fours and plywood, which looked nasty with the thought of falling 5 feet going 30 mph. As John and I were discussing different camera angles to set up the shot, we realized that none of our athletes were getting ready to ski. Even if it was for a double-page spread in WaterSki magazine, no one could commit to skiing the slider. It was just too risky. I guess the title of the photo gallery fit the general mood of the boys that morning, because if someone would have attempted a slider, it would have been SICK.
*****Check out the April issue to see how we still got the shot we wanted.