Water skiers set sights on breaking world records in Polk County

Water skiers from around the world are in Polk County attempting to set more than a dozen towed watersport records for Guinness and the National Show Skiing Association.

"We’ve got the world’s best swivel skiers here on the lake where swivel skiing was invented, like 70 years ago," said Tony Klarich, who is hosting some of the events at his home on Lake Eloise over the next four days. "Today is really the culmination of what we’re hoping to do with this house was just make it a community place where the waterski community could gather on the world’s most famous waterski lake right here, in honor of the memory of Dick Pope, but not just honor it, carry it forward to the next step."

The next step is getting skiers, like a group of swivel skiers on Friday, to shatter some records. Swivel skiing is when you’re on a wide ski and the bindings turn.

"It can either do a 180-turn and stop, it’s like there’s a pin in there, or they can do a 360-turn and stop, so today they’re on a 180-turn, and what they’re doing is, they all get off the dock, hop dock start, and then they have to put their toe in the rope and turn backward for five seconds, hold the position, then go back to front, and then they do what they call a hand-to-hand turn," Klarich explained.

water ski record

Klarich says he hopes at least 13 records will be broken over the next few days.

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"There will be records in barefooting, for like, the most people to be on two skis, and then jump out barefoot, I think that was a record today with like 16 or 17, we tied a record today for most people over a ski ramp at 16, the swivel ladies are out today," said Klarich.


Each stunt was recorded by several cameras on the docks, boats, and drones. The video has to be reviewed by a committee before each stunt can be certified as record-breaking.


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