Tomorrow, October 3, a ski competition like no other will be seen in Canyon Lake. Those who have lived here any length of time know this community is home (or second home) to some of the top names in water sports – be it competitors or innovators. Champion water-skiers, wake-boarders and hydrofoilers have practiced on these waters and participated in many types of tournaments and ski shows over the past four decades.
In the last two years, ShowCal Skiers has added a new dimension to Canyon Lake water sports in that the sanctioned club’s whole purpose is to turn the sport of skiing into entertainment. Show skiing is quite popular east of the Mississippi, but how amazing is it that California’s only show team is based right here in Canyon Lake?
Tomorrow morning, October 3, starting at 9 a.m., residents are invited to view “ballet on water” in the North Ski Area as ShowCal Skiers and Knotty Girl Designs hosts a “Flaunt It” swivel ski competition. Each costumed competitor will provide a choreographed routine that, in a span of five minutes, includes a dance/skit on the dock, swivel skiing and landing – all set to music.
In this USA Water Water Ski-sanctioned event, skiers will be judged on technical merit (trick level) and artistry, and will compete in three divisions: 180, 360 and open. Some of the skiers are local and some are flying in from Florida, Arizona, Wisconsin and Canada.
Among the local swivel skiers is ShowCal member Stacy Norred. The primary instigator for bringing “Flaunt It” to Canyon Lake, Stacy says she loves the grace and artistry of swivel skiing: “It’s not just about the trick; it’s about the choreography, the music, the show.”
According to Stacy, swivel skiers range in age from preadolescent girls to women in their 50s. “I think most girls do it for leisure; however, there is a group of girls that you often see at competitions because they love the challenge. The great thing about competition is that it makes you want to improve,” she says.
Flaunt It Swivel Competition originated from Shauna Pasanen, owner of Knotty Girl Designs, which sells and markets swivel ski equipment.
Stacy says she grew up on a farm in Gorham, Maine, but her family had summer cottages on a lake where she started water-skiing at the age of 10. When she was 14, her family took a vacation to Sea World Orlando where she saw her first ski show. “I knew from that moment, I was going to attempt some form of show skiing,” she says.
Stacy spoke with one of the Sea World performers who guided her toward swivel skiing, suggesting she get coached by Betty Bonifay, a Cypress Gardens skier who has a school in Lake Alfred, Florida.
Stacy says, “My parents supported me 100 percent and sent me to Florida on school vacations. From there, Betty got me involved with Waterski Shows Inc. and I was fortunate enough to ski professionally at Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey at the age of 19. At age 20 I was hired by Cypress Gardens, but was unable to fulfill that commitment.”
Now 41, Stacy says she’s once again skiing and competing in the sport of swivel skiing. She took 2nd place at the 2014 Flaunt It Swivel Competition Florida in 360 division; 2nd place at the Cypress Gardens All American 2015 in 360 division; 3rd place at Flaunt It Swivel Competition Wisconsin 2015 and 7th place at 2015 Nationals Individual Swivel in Rockford, Illinois.
Stacy also participated at Chain of Records Winter Haven Florida 2015, where the competitors broke more than 25 world/national records in water-skiing. Stacy was part of the 38-girl ballet line record and the 28-girl toe turn line record.
Most recently Stacy participated in Tony Klarich’s “50 for 50” event, recreating a Cypress Gardens doubles show, along with other performances. Now she’s excited for tomorrow’s swivel ski competition in the North Ski Area.
Although not a full-time resident, Stacy owns a condo in Canyon Lake and says the community has been “fabulous” for her 4-year-old daughter. “She loves it here, as do I.”
Stacy says she appreciates the “wonderful, extended ski family feeling” ShowCal Skiers has given her. Others she wants to thank are her mentor, Cheryl Bermeo, for sparking her swivel “fire” again, and Shauna Pasanen for originating the concept of “Flaunt It.”
“Lastly,” she concludes, “I want to thank my friends and family for always supporting my in my passion. I will always need a lake in my life!”