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Team GOODE member interview: Karen Truelove

As one of skiing’s most consistent pros, Team GOODE member Karen Truelove is no stranger to the upper echelons of Women’s slalom. In fact, since the IWSF Elite rankings list began in 2002, Karen hasn’t finished a year ranked outside the top four.

With the American pro schedule getting ready to kick off next month with one of her favorite tournaments – the U.S. Masters – we caught up with Karen to discuss what she has on tap for 2012, how her training is impacted by being married to the world’s best jumper, and whether life as a professional athlete has changed with motherhood.

What are your goals for the 2012 pro season?

Karen: I did not have a very consistent 2011 season. I started out pretty strong with a Moomba win and runner-up finish at the U.S. Masters, but by the end of the summer I had some of the worst finishes that I have had in awhile. I have made some changes in my approach to my training and am really concentrating on what works for me.

You’ve been invited to the 2012 Masters, which is a tournament you’ve had success at including a title in 2005 and a number of top-three finishes. What’s your approach as you head into the final weeks of pre-Masters preparation?

Karen: I love the Masters! I always go into that tournament knowing that the competition is going to be high and I want to be at my best. I may not always reach that point, but anything can happen on Robin Lake. Once the tournament starts, it’s anyone’s game. I just try to work on being strong on my ski and try to be ready to ski in challenging conditions.

You’ve been a pro since the late 90s. How does that amount of experience give you an edge over some of your younger competitors who don’t have as much experience under their belts?

Karen: Sometimes I don’t know that it’s an advantage. The sport has changed so much in the last 10 years – with equipment, boats, cruise control – that it almost feels new to me a lot of times. In many ways, there’s been a lot of “starting over.” I do think that because of all my years of skiing professionally that I am starting to understand and realize what works best for me. That’s the main advantage that I see.

Right now the world record stands at 2 buoys at 41-feet off, a mark first set by your fellow Team GOODE member Regina Jaquess … how far can it go?

Karen: I think there are definitely a few more turns to be made! We are seeing a rise in scores from both men and women and that’s just the way sports go. There are peaks and lulls. I think a lot of it has to do with innovations in skis, speed control, smaller wakes, and a better understanding of technique.

Everyone knows your husband Freddy Krueger as one of the best jumpers ever, but not as many know that he has a strong three-event background. How much does he help you with slalom coaching?

Karen: Unfortunately, Freddy isn’t hitting the slalom much these days; life is just too full for us. But because he does have background in slalom skiing he tends to understand things pretty well. It all comes down to knowing the basics anyway. Naturally, he relates to his jumping first and that’s OK by me because sometimes I understand it better when we do talk about it in reference to jumping. That’s what I see the most in our daily training and it gives me my own perspective on how to translate it into slalom.

And you’ve jumped on the professional level in the past as well, so do you coach him a lot?

Karen: Yes, every day. We work really well together. Freddy can coach himself but I am just there to help “clean things” up every now and then. You’ve got to have that one person who knows what you do at your best and can help you get there.

Your son Dash was born in 2009. How much has becoming a parent changed your life as a professional athlete?

Karen: It has changed things tremendously!! I have such respect for athletes who are also parents. You don’t know until you go through it, but it takes so much juggling to get everything accomplished.

I could not do it without our parents’ support. Time is a serious commodity now and we have to really be diligent with our training schedule. It’s easy to not get the recovery time that you need and that has been a big learning curve for us. It’s all trial and error but so far we have been really fortunate. We love being parents and wouldn’t trade it for the world!

Team GOODE skiers take multiple Moomba podiums

New Team GOODE member Makayla Haw riding her GOODE NANO-"twist" on the way to a third-consecutive Moomba girls' slalom title.

Team GOODE jumped out to a great start to the 2012 season by winning podium spots in four slalom events this weekend at the Moomba Masters in Melbourne, Australia,.

In Men’s slalom, Italy’s Carlo Allais scored 4 buoys at 39-1/2 off to finish second, one of the best finishes of his professional career. Javier Julio finished 10th while Nick Parsons and Adam Sedlmajer finished 13th and 14th, respectively.

Team GOODE skiers earned two of the top-four spots in Women’s slalom as Regina Jaquess and Karen Truelove tied for third with 3 buoys at 38 feet off, with Regina being awarded the tie breaker due to a higher semi-final round score. In an encore to her third-consecutive Moomba girls slalom championship, new Team GOODE member Makayla Haw finished 11th in the Women’s event.

And in the first ever Moomba Big Dawg, Team GOODE skiers Chad Scott and Jay Leach comprised half of the final four, with Chad taking second and Jay fourth.

For final Moomba results, visit www.moombamasters.com.au.

Next up for Team GOODE, the 53rd Masters Water Ski Tournament, May 25-27, at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Ga.

Regina Jaquess’ slalom world record approved by IWWF

Regina Jaquess’ latest Women’s slalom world record is officially in the record books as the International Waterski and Wakeboard Federation (IWWF) has approved her mark of 2 buoys at 41 feet off set Oct. 1, at the Eddie Green Budweiser Oktoberfest in Santa Rosa Beach, Fla.

Regina set the new record, surpassing her own previous record of 1.5 buoys at 41 feet off set in 2010, while skiing on the GOODE NANO-“twist” with Dual Rocker Technology using PowerShell boots and bindings.

Regina’s pending world overall record of 3,033.01 points (3 buoys at 39-1/2 feet off, 166 feet and 6,090 points) that she set on her way to winning three golds and a bronze at the Pan American games in October is still under IWWF review.

Regina sets pending overall world record at Pan Ams

Team GOODE skier Regina Jaquess sure is keeping the International Waterski & Wakeboard Federation’s Technical Committee busy with new world records to approve.

Just three weeks after setting a Women’s slalom world record of 2 buoys at 41 feet off on her GOODE NANO-”twist”, Regina scored 3,033.01 points at the Pan American Games in Chapala, Mexico, to win a gold medal in Women’s overall and set a pending Women’s world record. Regina also took gold in slalom (3 buoys at 39-1/2 feet off) and jumping (166 feet), and a bronze in tricks (6,090 points).

During her record-setting overall event round, Regina scored 1-1/2 buoys at 41 feet off in slalom, jumped 173 feet (both Pan Am records) and tricked 8,200 points to beat her own world record of 2,945.85 points set in June 2010. Since she set the record last summer, Regina’s score has been topped by the still-to-be approved records of Whitney McClintock, Natallia Berdnikava and Clementine Lucine.  However, if her new mark is approved by the IWSF, it will exceed them all.

“With two pending world records in less than a month, Regina has absolutely been on fire lately,” said Dave Goode, founder and president of GOODE Skis. “It’s even more impressive that she did it while representing her country at one of the biggest tournaments of the year.  I can’t wait to see what she does in 2012.”

Regina won four of the seven medals earned by U.S. athletes and led the Pan Am water ski competition with three golds. Other event winners were Javier Julio (Men’s tricks and overall), Jonathan Travers (Men’s slalom), Freddy Krueger (Men’s jumping), Andrew Adkison (wakeboarding), and McClintock (Women’s slalom).

GOODE Skis Sweep Slalom at NCWSA Collegiate Nationals

Tyler Scott and Caroline Hensley rode GOODE skis to national titles at the 33rd NCWSA Collegiate Water Ski National Championships last weekend at Tri-Lakes in Zachary, LA.

Tyler, competing for eventual national champions University of Louisiana-Monroe (ULM), scored 1 buoy at 39-1/2 feet off to win the Men’s title.  Caroline skied for the University of Alabama and scored 5 buoys at 38 feet off to win the Women’s title. Florida Southern College’s (FSC) Keri McClure, also skiing on a GOODE, placed second with 2-1/2 buoys at 38 feet off.

In the team competition, ULM racked up 11,865 points to edge second-place finisher University of Louisiana-Lafayette (10,905).  FSC took third with 10,675 points.

The title is ULM’s 26th in the 33-year history of the tournament.

After Tyler’s national championship-winning performance, he spoke with Dave Goode.  View the video below to hear the conversation and watch Tyler’s performance (Note: Video of webcast shot with an iPhone … quality not exactly perfect!).

Texas Hosts Final 2011 Pro Tour Stop

Photos by www.JulieParkerPhotography.com.

The 2011 pro tour season ended under the lights in Katy, TX, last weekend as top pros competed at the Katy Ski Jam Presented by Eagle Sports.

With the GOODE PowerBuoys lighting the way, Nate Smith scored 3 buoys at 41 feet off to beat Chris Rossi (5-1/2 buoys at 39-1/2 feet off) in the head-to-head final and claim the title. Team GOODE skier Thomas Degasperi took third on his T-Gas edition NANO with PowerShell boots and bindings. Thomas scored 2 buoys at 41 feet off in the semi-finals, but was unfortunate to run up against Nate’s 5 buoys at 41 feet off in the head-to-head match up.

In the Women’s slalom exhibition, Team GOODE skiers took first and third as Regina Jaquess scored 1-1/2 buoys at 41 feet off on her GOODE NANO-”twist” and Karen Truelove Krueger rode her GOODE 9900SL with PowerShells to 3 buoys at 38 feet off. April Coble finished second with 1 buoy at 41 feet off.

Freddy Krueger won Men’s Jumping and Greg Badal won Master Men’s slalom.

Only 147 days until pro skiing returns, March 7, 2012, at the Moomba Masters in Melbourne, Australia.

Regina Jaquess sets pending world slalom record

SANTA ROSA BEACH, FL – Team GOODE skier Regina Jaquess has set a new pending Women’s world slalom record of 2 buoys at 41 feet off. Regina set the mark Oct. 1, at the Eddie Green Budweiser Oktoberfest in Santa Rosa Beach, Fla., while skiing on the GOODE NANO-”twist” with Dual Rocker Technology using PowerShell boots and bindings.

If approved by the International Waterski and Wakeboard Federation, Regina’s score will surpass her previous record of 1.5 buoys at 41 off, set last October, and mark the third year in a row that she’s either tied or set a world record. In 2009, she tied Kristi Overton-Johnson and Karina Nowlan’s co-record of 1 buoy at 41 off, both set on GOODE skis, and then subsequently upped the record to 1.25 and 1.5 buoys in 2010.

“Regina has made setting a world record an annual occurrence and knowing how hard she works to be the very best, I’m sure that trend will continue,” said Dave Goode, founder and president of GOODE Skis. “She is an incredible skier who, as good as she is right now, still has the capability and passion to add a few more buoys. Our job is to keep providing her with skis, boots and bindings that enable her to continue breaking records.”

Since just mid September, Regina has skied into 41 off six times in tournaments on her GOODE NANO-“twist.”

“It’s great to end the season coming off strong,” said Jaquess about a year in which she has been recovering from knee surgery. “I got back on the NANO (from the GOODE 9900SL) two weeks ago at our last tournament, we had a three round tournament and I ran 39 off every time then went down to West Palm and ran 39 off there … it’s working awesome, it’s definitely a great ski.”

Regina will wrap up the Pro Tour season at the Katy Ski Jam on Oct. 14 and 15, where she’ll seek to add to her numerous 2011 pro podium finishes.

Video of Regina’s pending world record:

Kyle Tate becomes 2011 Big Dawg Champion – NANO-”twist”

OKEEHEELEE PARK, FL – Kyle Tate became the Big Dawg Champion by beating Jay Leach in the final bracket in the 2011 Big Dawg Championships.

“The level of competition was ‘unreal’ this year,” said Dave Goode. “In the qualifying rounds, 39-1/2′ off was run 24 times by 19 different skiers! You could run 1 @ 41′off and not make the Sweet-Sixteen,” Goode continues. “I was really happy to see 8 of the Sweet-Sixteen riding GOODE Skis! And then to have Kyle win on is NANO-”twist”, PowerShell Boots, Raley Ventral Fin and Jay to finish 2nd on his 9900SL Wide-Ride, PowerShell Boots and the PowerVest made it a good day for Team GOODE.” concludes Goode.

Click HERE to see the Results.

Dave Goode is Inducted into the Michigan Water Ski Hall of Fame

FENTON, MICHIGAN – Dave Goode was inducted into the Michigan Water Ski Hall of Fame in a ceremony that was held following the banquet at the Big Dawg Qualifier #2, on August 27, 2011.

“The Michigan Water Ski Hall of Fame was created to recognize people that have made a significant contribution to the sport of water skiing within the state of Michigan,” said Bill Murbach, MWSA President. “Inductees come from one of three categories; competitors, officials/administrators, and pioneers. The nominating committee selected Dave for innovation within the industry.”

“I am honored to be the 28th inductee into the Michigan Water Ski Hall of Fame,” said Dave Goode. “It is nice to be recognized for something that you are so passionate about and love to do,” Goode continues. “I have so many fond memories of Michigan and its water ski community. This award will be held close to my heart,” concludes Goode.

Dave was awarded a plaque that will hang in his office and another plaque that will be on display along with fellow Hall of Fame members at the Michigan Water Ski Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame is located at Krupa’s Boat Mart, in Jackson, MI.