• Repost @wakeski100 
The first significant image of a stand-up board with a hydrofoil was captured by legendary surf photographer Art Brewer in 1991 @artbrewer . Mike Mack was a surfer turned skier who was running a ski school on the Parker Strip of the Colorado River – the birthplace of the Air Chair sit down hydrofoil. Mack took the foil from an Air Chair and mounted it to a Rusty surfboard. His first model did not have footstraps or bindings, and it was quickly apparent that he needed something to keep his feet on the board. So Mack added a set of neoprene bindings to create what he called the “air board.” Wake crossings, off the lips, jumps and skidders were the first moves with Mack and his friends. His new stand up foil was assumed to be dangerous, so the suits at Air Chair sent out “cease and desist” letters to Mike Mack and Troy Navarro (Troy was an early pioneer in wakeboarding who also worked on his own air board). Mack dutifully put his revolutionary ride in storage, and turned his creative energies to projects that did not result in a letter from a lawyer. But eventually word got out through Mack’s associations with Mike Murphy, Gabrielle Reese and her husband Laird Hamilton who eventually gained widespread notoriety for the foil board by towing into ocean waves in the late 1990s
-Tony Klarich 
photo @artbrewer

Follow along here:
facebook: Wake Ski 100
YouTube: Wake Ski 100

You can help make the Wake Ski 100 the all-time most significant event in towed watersports. We are now accepting donations to help archive the entire sport on our website and assemble the biggest single collection of equipment in one location during our 2022 live event in Central Florida.  #wakefoil #waterskiing #surfing #wakeski100
  • Mike Murphy - Box Life, 1993

The first Fly-In was the brainchild of sit-down hydrofoiling co-inventor Mike Murphy. The first seeds were planted when three guys in business suits showed up at the Air Chair booth during a boat show. Mike says they looked a bit out of place, but each one plunked down cash to buy an Air Chair. One of the men was Dave Murphy, a big shot at General Mills. Dave and his skiing buddies asked Mike to come to Wisconsin to hang out and give them lessons. In those days Mike crisscrossed the nation to promote the new watersport, and this trip was right up his alley. Mike went from cabin to cabin on the secluded lake, giving flight lessons and demos to more than a dozen people. It was a fun weekend of friends and riding, and Mike went back three years in a row, each time with more riders joining in. Dave Murphy was so thankful that he presented Mike with his own Wheaties box created by hand in the General Mills art department, encased in a protective plastic box. The overwhelmingly positive experience in Wisconsin inspired Mike to have Air Chair host the very first Fly-In in 1994 at Mike Mack’s Ski School and Resort on the Parker Strip of the Colorado River.

Tony Klarich

Follow along here:
facebook: Wake Ski 100
Instagram: @wakeski100
YouTube: Wake Ski 100  #hydrofoil #waterskiing #wheatieschampion #wakeski100
  • 97 years ago today Ralph Wilford Samuelson invented water skiing. My wife and I visited Lake City, Minnesota - the city where Ralph performed this amazing feat with a 9 foot pair of homemade ski nearly a century ago.

Today also marks the Inaugural Board Meeting for the Wake Ski 100 - the Centennial Celebration of towed watersports. It's go time for the historical archive portion. Follow along here:
facebook: Wake Ski 100
Instagram: @wakeski100
YouTube: Wake Ski 100
  • Designing Men

Three watermen and the rides they designed…

@marcus_brown_ - HO Freeride water ski
Mike Murphy - Sky Ski High Performance Hydrofoil
Tony Klarich - HO Joker kneeboard

That’s a wrap of the So Cal interviews for the Murphy-Klarich towed watersports documentary.
@marcus_brown and @colin_switzer will be busy storytelling and editing over the next couple of months. Can’t wait to see the finished product…

#watermen #kneeboard #hydrofoil #waterski #HOJoker #HOFreeride
  • Uncle Mike and I with our last round of interviews for the upcoming family documentary in towed watersports! A film by @marcus_brown_ 
#waterman #waterskiing #hydrofoiling #kneeboarding
  • Tanya Klarich & stopped by Lake City, MN, the birthplace of water skiing - holding a replica pair of RWS Ralph Samuelson's original skis. Think Tank tomorrow! #waterskiing #lifeofawaterskier #waterskiinghistory
  • Two-dog wake surfing with Jack and Macy. 
#dogandtonyshow #itsadogslife #waterskidisk #waterski
  • No ski! No problem! My wife and spent an amazing half-day skiing and exploring with Vis Sea Adventures @visadventure . I found a promising woodpile for a little fun! 
#skionanthing #otokvis #visisland
  • Going Bigger
Headed to uncle Mike Murphy’s this morning to see if we can get his new “world’s tallest foil” to fly…
#worldrecord #hydrofoil #waterskiing

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TK’s Gear – Slalom Skis

Home/TK’s Gear – Slalom Skis
TK’s Gear – Slalom Skis 2017-04-21T22:40:57+00:00


HO Freeride (2014): This is my everyday ski of choice, and a recent acquisition. On a trip to the Parker Strip of the Colorado River in summer 2014 my longtime friend Mike Mack asked if I had tried one. When I said no, we immediately went to his shop and grabbed a 69″ (I usually ride a 67″ at 6′1″ and just under 200#)

It was love at first ride!

I popped up like a cork during deepwater starts: both forward and backwards . My single 180 whip-ticks in the flats were so easy I was able to make doubles in the flats (that’s been a struggle for a few years). Over the next few rides I learned that the HO Freeride jumps better than anything I’ve ever had.

SLalom Freeride

The best way I can describe the general feeling is “floaty” and “light”. The new design of the bottom and unique wakeboard style rails in the front and back of the ski help generate lift. I have dropped my speed a couple of mph down to about 30. It’s nice to go a bit slower, but it’s still fast enough to experience the thrill of slalom skiing.

This ski actually tracks backwards, which is so important for so many tricks. I’ve never had a ski do that, and just thinking about it is going to open up some all new moves.

The wake 360s are back stronger than ever, and I’ve been making 540 Tick-Tock landings with ease. I’m just waiting for a nice day and a good videographer to try a few 720 Tick-Tock landings. I have only ever made 2 or 3 of these on a standard slalom ski, and know I can add it as a regular move for the first time ever!


Freeride Wake 360 & 540 Tick Tock Landing with GoPro


HO Skis was kind enough to set me up with a 67″ and 69″ model, but they are so new I’m not sure which one will be my “go-to” ski.


As has always been the case, the best hot dog ski also makes the best ski for most recreational riders. The HO Freeride follows in the West Coast Hot Dogger’s tradition of the Ski Master Concorde, HO Turbo, and HO Vertical Air.



Front Binding: HO Animal. In my opinion there is nothing like a rubber boot. They are tougher to get into, but once that’s done with a little lube or shaving cream it is a positive connection between the ski and the foot. I move and the force is directly translated to the ski.

13 Slalom Hand to Hand Tick Tock

Rear Binding: HO Classic RTP (Rear Toe Plate). Again this binding is 1 piece of solid rubber, and when I kick my back foot in, it is secure. Having the ability to take my foot in and out has been critical for doing trick on a slalom ski including beach starts, backwards deepwater starts, and the Tick Tock Toe.


HO Vertical Air (circa 1995): I occasionally break this ski out for a fun ride at slower speeds (about 27 mph). This ski is super stable and predictable. Even though it was made specifically for doing tricks, it works great as an all around ski. My son used mine as his slalom ski from about age 10-15.

My Vertical Air is also the ride of choice when flying the wake kite.

This ski in particular (far left) was a gift from Herb O’Brien. He laid this ski up with custom Joker graphics as a gift because I was the Joker (the costumed kneeboarding character) for Herb and HO in the mid 1990s.

Slalom HO Vertical Air


HO PSR (circa 1996): This is my “oldie but a goodie ski” for the slalom course. It has the short lived “Power Sticks”, but one way or another it has carried me through the buoys for at least a few sets each year. When I last trained for the course for the 1999 “World Greatest Skier” contest (Flight, Vol. 3.4) I was able to make 6 @ 35 off, 34 mph – good enough to win 1 of the 10 events.

Slalom WOrlds Greatest Skier Slalom Champion Plaque 2_edited-1

I would love an upgrade to the new technology, but no one is offering a free ski yet!






A 47th Birthday Challenge (2011)


Hot Dog Opening Montage: HO Turbo (1989)


Hot Dog Slalom Skiing Video Playlist On YouTube

Klarich Hot Dog Slalom Water Skiing Book Video

Hot Dog Slalom Skiing Book – Table of Contents with Links to Each Trick



Learn all about Mike Murphy’s amazing history in water skiing, with photos, video links, and much more here: Mike Murphy: A Water Skier’s Life website

SLalom Mike


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