By Mark Shank
An enthusiastic bunch gathered for the Pedernales Open in Spicewood, Texas on the Pedernales River. This year’s tournament featured a floating tower start dock, fashioned by Blake Ehlers on his pontoon boat, and several skiers looking forward to the competition. The day started early, and the calm waters of the River yielded some strong scores.
Sammi Eaton made her first ever tower start and then recorded a personal best in tricks. Blake Ehlers followed with a spectacular tower back flyer and then stood up his entire trick run to qualify for worlds. Several other skiers hit the water and did well, but then the wind took over, making the conditions impossible for the remaining other skiers.
Undaunted the group pivoted and moved to freestyle barefooting. On a calmer stretch too short for tournament runs, but just fine for freestyling, several participants showed off with inverted hops, railies, body slides, multiple tumbles, hand plants and ADVs to give the crowd the an exhibition of exciting skiing and spectacular crashes. Could this be the fourth event the American Barefoot Club adds???? Talk to your regional director!
Austin Kolodejcak, VonL Adams, Blake Ehlers, Ali Gates and Lee Stone each tried their hands at freestyling. We ended the day with celebrating the birthday of our host and resident sexagenarian at Poodies (named after Willie Nelson’s road manager).