Two water ski champions team up to open a new water ski school at the USA Water Ski hall of Fame. Kyle Eade sheds light on his and Scot Ellis’ new ski school venture.
By Trent Finlayson
WaterSki: When did the idea of opening a ski school together present itself?
Kyle Eade: Last year I drove down I-4 everyday on my way to Scot’s place to train and I passed this awesome man-made site that was almost completed only 5 minutes from Scot’s public lake. Every time the wind got up or a jet skier came out, we would just sit there and say how sweet it would be to be running on Lake Grew.
WS: Why Lake Grew?
KE: We had all skied and trained at Lake Grew when it was open several years ago and remembered how great it was. We knew it was being upgraded and improved, so we just started the discussion with the AWSEF and USA Water Ski to see what plans were in store for it. Bill Wenner, the past AWSEF President, was a huge help as he lives on Scot’s lake. He knows the dedication we put into our own training, recognized the potential in establishing a relationship with us and could tell we were extremely motivated to get something started.
WS: How is your operation different from other facilities?
KE: We hope to differentiate ourselves from others in a number of ways. When you come out to Fluid Ski and Sports, you will get either Scot or myself in the boat, one on one, every set… two seasoned professionals that have seen it all and pretty much done it all. You get who you pay for.
WS: Many ski schools are off the beaten path. Tell us about your location.
KE: We are extremely visible from I-4 and only about 15 minutes from Disney. Apparently over 80,000 vehicles pass by everyday and get a glimpse of what we are doing… we get trucks blowing their horns as they see someone knock out a 220-foot jump. We are already capitalizing on this drive-by business and really hope to use the location to our advantage.
WS: Is Fluid Ski and Sports strictly committed to three-event skiing?
KE: No, we are not limiting ourselves to just tournament skiing. We are opening the doors to all of the disciplines: barefooting, freestyle jumping, kneeboarding… pretty much anything one can do behind the boat. We will be working closely with the different programs of USAWS from Grassroots to Boat Tests to Team training and development clinics. This Fall, we are trying to incorporate some barefoot jumping into the Rocketman Record Jump tournament, we will have the unofficial World Single Cut Champs again – anything to liven tournaments up again.
WS: What can skier expect when training here?
KE: If you want to be the best, you have to surround yourself with the best. Come and ski and you will find yourself on the dock with a large number of pros, not going to drop names, that train with us day in and day out. Interacting and watching the top guys and girls in action definitely rubs off regardless of your level. Plus, the atmosphere we establish is very relaxed. We are both very easy going and enjoy being at the lake and in the boat. This is passed on through our coaching and our students leave learning a lot but also enjoying the process, which is what it is all about.
WS: In it’s few years of existence, Lake Grew never really got a great rep. Now that it’s completely overhauled, was it hard to shed the negativity/controversy surrounding the lake?
KE: Sure, there has been a little controversy over the lake and some roadblocks to getting things started out there. It took some convincing but we persevered, got established and now it is time to prove we can help achieve the goals that the lake was designed and built for. We are definitely using the previous negativity to our advantage, though, as people are very interested to see how things will develop out there – great marketing for us!
WS: What are your plans for the upcoming 12 months?
KE: All the ingredients are there and we have a great business plan. Over the next 12 months, it is time to work hard, get the word out and establish Fluid Ski and Sports as one of the best training facilities in the world.