Not too long ago we heard about a guy out west who in three years went from being a 15-off skier to getting into 39-1/2 off. Our first thought: how? So, we asked.
Ladies and gentlemen, we give you Orondo, Washington’s Steve Burdick, the guy who in three short years has put a whole lot more rope in the boat.
GOODE: Where do you ski and who do you ski with?
Steve: I live on the Columbia River in Central Washington. Most days I ski a slalom course on the river in front of my house. Last year I joined the Rock Island Ski Club (RISC) for a more private setting near home and the Fraser Valley Water Ski Club (FVWSC) in Abbotsford, British Columbia, where I ski when visiting my wife’s family in Canada. When at home on the Columbia and at RISC, I ski with a few local vacation home owners, but mostly my wife Carolyn and our two children Sarah (age two) and Jayden (age four). When at the FVWSC I ski with a more experienced slalom crowd, including Dave Miller. Recently, I have been fortunate enough to travel occasionally to Southern California during the winter to ski at Imperial Lakes with him and Paul Donatt.
GOODE: Last year you started getting into 39-1/2 off, but just three years ago you were trying to just run 15 off. You realize that’s not normal, right?
Steve: Apparently not, but the equipment and guys I am skiing with and listening to aren’t exactly normal either, they are top notch! In 2011 I was able to refine enough of my technique to get the speed up to 34.2 mph on Zero Off and ran my first 15 off passes. I then decided to change to a GOODE ski and Powershell 5s at the end of the season. In 2012, I began running 22 and 28 off with consistency and would run 32 off most of the time and was stuck around 4 ball at 35 off for the rest of that season. I kept thinking to myself “If I can get through most of 35 off with flaws in my technique, what would happen if I got the rest of this stuff figured out? What if I actually had good technique and form?”
In 2013 I switched to the new Nano OneXT and almost right away began running all my 32 off passes and started running 35 more regularly. By the end of the season I was running 35 off consistently and was up to between 3 and 5 ball at 38 off each set. In my last practice session on the Columbia River in October, 38 off went down and I ended the year with a new PB of 2 at 39-1/2 off.
GOODE: How were you able to improve so dramatically, so quickly?
Steve: Simple answer: the right equipment and listening to the right people. I got on a GOODE in 2011 and met Dave Miller for the first time at Albert Dyck Lake in Abbotsford, British Columbia. He was kind enough to ride along in the boat for a couple sets, provide some good suggestions to work on, and help get my ski dialed in. It was also the first time I ever saw anyone run anything shorter than 28 off in person. He made it look easy and was willing to share what seemed to be all of his secrets with a pure stranger. He is dedicated to improving everyone’s skiing and is a great asset to the sport.
After this, I decided I wanted to improve and began skiing more often and really tried to work on the weaknesses in my technique that Dave identified. He really encouraged me to keep working on the right things. Paul Donatt at Imperial Lakes helped me switch to a two-handed gate this past fall and I am grateful for his help and guidance as well. I still have a long ways to go to ski like these guys, but I am motivated to work hard and up my buoy count again this coming summer and ski as many AWSA tournaments as I can.
GOODE: Why did you choose a GOODE?
Steve: In 2011 I knew it was time to get a new ski. I had been stuck at 15 off and figured my equipment might be holding me back, so I decided to take some advice from BallOfSpray posters and demo a couple high-end skis. After other companies’ skis didn’t seem to really give me much more of an advantage, a club member suggested I try a GOODE. I thought I wasn’t a good enough skier to try a ski like that, but decided to call and order a 66-inch Nano Twist Mid with PowerShell 5 bindings. Best step ever!
GOODE: Broho is hosting a Big Dawg this year. Will we see you there?
Steve: Well, I sent my check and registration to be placed on the wait list. I am very excited to watch and hopefully ski with the guys that run 39-1/2 off in their sleep. I know there will be lots of world-class skiers on GOODE skis tearing it up out there and I am just blessed to have the opportunity to share the lake with these great athletes for the weekend. I will be rooting for one GOODE skier in particular, and will be excited to see him win at Broho and repeat his 2010 Big Dawg Championship.