The Water Ski Podcast

hosted by Matteo Luzzeri

EP24: Ski Talk with Corey Vaughn (Part 2)



Welcome to the second part of Corey Vaughn's interview for The Water Ski Podcast!

Corey is one of the best water skiers in the world and one of the few (ten) skiers to have run 10.25m (41off) in a tournament!

Corey continues from where he left off in Part 1 and shares some funny stories, challenging times, early struggles and subsequent improvements, and tells the story of how he came to run 10.25m in tournament

Enjoy this episode as Matteo and Corey cover the following:
  • Corey's move to West Palm Beach
  • Early struggles to get time on the water and Chet's mentorship
  • The days in Acapulco
  • The balance between competitiveness and enjoyment
  • His experiences with Andy Mapple and Kris LaPoint
  • The tournament in which he ran 41off
  • The balance between running a ski school and pursuing excellence in skiing
  • …and a lot more
Follow Corey on Instagram, check out his website and ski school! Oh, and his beautiful profile on RadaR Skis.

Take a few seconds to write a review of the podcast on Apple Podcasts, it really helps :-) … and let's keep the momentum going!
If you are enjoying this podcast, please consider a donation.

EP23: Ski Talk with Corey Vaughn (Part 1)


Episode 23 is the first part of Matteo's interview with Corey Vaughn!

Corey is one of the best water skiers in the world and one of the few (ten) skiers to have run 10.25m (41off) in a tournament!

In this episode, Matteo prompts Corey to talk about his early days in skiing. Corey's story might start as the usual path most of us undertook in discovering water skiing, but quickly develops into one of the most interesting stories you have ever heard.

Enjoy this episode as Matteo and Corey cover the following:
  • Corey's early days in the sport at his grandparent's house
  • The summers spent skiing and having fun behind the boat
  • The challenge of regaining the innocence and worry-free attitude as a Pro Skier
  • The collegiate days at Clemson University
  • The immediate post-university days.
  • The great story of the weekend Corey became open rated
  • …and a lot more
Follow Corey on Instagram, check out his website and ski school! Oh, and his beautiful profile on RadaR Skis.

Take a few seconds to write a review of the podcast on Apple Podcasts, it really helps :-) … and let's keep the momentum going!
If you are enjoying this podcast, please consider a donation.

EP22: Ski Talk with Thomas Degasperi



In this new episode of The Water Ski Podcast, Matteo got to sit down with two-time World Slalom Champion Thomas "Tgas" Degasperi!

Arguably the best Italian water skier of all time, Thomas has been at the top of the sport for over 15 years. With 2 World titles, 7 European titles, 2 Moomba Masters, and 1 US Masters (among many other accolades), he belongs to anyone's all-time list of dominant skiers. Thomas' rivalry with Will Asher over the years has been compared to the one Andy Mapple and Wade Cox had before them. For instance, Thomas and Will won 2 World Championships each over the course of 8 years. Thomas is also one of two skiers in history to have won Moomba and US Masters in the same year, with the other one being Andy Mapple. Finally, Thomas also owns and operates Tgas Ski Club in Winter Garden, FL, where he helps skiers of any level improve their game.

Join Matteo and Thomas as they talk about:
  • Thomas' early days in the sport and how his dad got exposed to water skiing
  • His youth and Junior competitive days
  • The breakthrough of getting 4th at the 2001 Worlds in Recetto
  • The decision of moving to Monroe, LA to pursue skiing and university
  • The move to Orlando
  • Thomas' first World title in Linz
  • The early days in the Pro Tour
  • The win at the US Masters.
  • …and a lot more

Follow Thomas, Tgas Ski Club, and Sci Nautico Trento on Instagram and check out his website!

Take a few seconds to write a review of the podcast on Apple Podcasts, it really helps :-) … and let's keep the momentum going!
If you are enjoying this podcast, please consider a donation.

EP21: Ski Talk with Manon Costard (Part 2)



The 21st episode of The Water Ski Podcast is the second part of the interview with the Manon Costard, the 2020 Moomba Masters Slalom Champion.

In this second part of the interview, Manon shares the excitement that followed her victory at the 2019 World Championships, and the late part of the 2019 season. Manon also shared something that happened to her in her youth, something that shouldn't have happened. We discussed the vulnerable position that young athletes can find themselves in, and what we can do as a community to help. This was not an easy conversation, but Manon shares and covers the topic in a very candid and respectful way, and her message is one that must be heard.

Join Matteo and Manon again as they discuss:
  • The first few days and weeks as a World Champion
  • The end of the 2019 season
  • The high level Pro Women skiing is reaching, particularly after the 2019 Malibu Open
  • The importance of coaching at a young age
  • Something that happened to her in her early teens and how vulnerable young athletes can be
  • The emotional experience of being taken advantage of and the importance of speaking to the victim
  • What Manon has learned from the experience
  • Her current social support system
  • Her win at the 2018 US Masters and how that contrasts to the World Championships.
  • …and a lot more

Follow Manon on Instagram and check out her website.

Take a few seconds to write a review of the podcast on Apple Podcasts, it really helps :-) … and let's keep the momentum going!
If you are enjoying this podcast, please consider a donation.

EP20: Ski Talk with Manon Costard (Part 1)



The twentieth episode of The Water Ski Podcast is the first of a two-part interview with the 2019 World Slalom Champion Manon Costard.

Manon is the 28yo slalom sensation from France who is the current Slalom World Champion. A true fighter on the water, she can claim several successes including US Masters and several European Championships. Manon sits downs and opens up with Matteo on her skiing, skiing in general, some of the things she learned along the way, and how she sees the sport moving forward. Manon is also the Athlete Representative for the Europe&Africa Region of the IWWF and someone who wants to see the sport continuously improving.

Join Matteo and Manon as they discuss:
  • Manon's early years in the sport.
  • Her initial successes in tricks and how coaches elevated her skiing.
  • Manon's success in the Junior and Under 21 categories and her passion for jump
  • The transition to slalom, and the win at the 2011 European Championships
  • The move to the US for college, Pro Tour, and the decision to become a slalom specialist
  • The choice of becoming Pro full time
  • The 2016 San Gervasio Pro Am and winning on borrowed equipment
  • The win at the 2019 IWWF World Championships in Malaysia.
  • …and a TON more

Follow Manon on Instagram, check out her website, watch this Promo video by Vincent Stadlbaur on Manon, and stay tune for Part 2 next week, in which Manon shares more of her personal journey with Matteo.

Take a few seconds to write a review of the podcast on Apple Podcasts, it really helps :-) … and let's keep the momentum going!
If you are enjoying this podcast, please consider a donation.

EP19: Ski Talk with Thomas Gustafson



In this new episode of The Water Ski Podcast, Matteo interviews Thomas Gustafson

Thomas is a skier, a respected coach, and especially one of the best photographers in water ski and wakeboard history. With countless magazine covers and spreads, Thomas has grazed the eyes of water sports enthusiasts with some unique and spectacular shots. Thomas is also a keen coach. Working primarily in Italy, Sweden, and the United States, he has influenced over three generations of skiers, including the likes of Marco Riva, Oskar Vikström, Jakob Bogne, and Leonardo Boldini.

Join Matteo and Thomas as they discuss:
  • Thomas' early skiing experiences and successes
  • How coaching became a part of his experience while competing
  • The focus shift from jump and tricks to slalom due to injury
  • How he realized photography became a passion
  • Thomas' early days a photographer and those who helped him shoot
  • The first few shots that made it to publication
  • Some fun shooting stories
  • Thomas' advice on how to improve your photos
  • … and much more!

In addition to the episode, we also launched another Apple Podcast review contest! Thomas and I will raffle a winner on Instagram Live and the winner will get a print of a famous shot, autographed by Thomas.

Here are the rules:
  • Click on "Write a Review" in Apple Podcast
  • Rate and write a review telling us what you thought about Episode 19 with Thomas Gustafson
  • MAKE SURE to take a screenshot of your review before you submit it.
  • Submit the review
  • Send the screenshot to matteo@thewaterskipodcast.com
  • We'll raffle the shot on Wednesday, March 4th


Follow Thomas on Instagram and check out his website to see some of his work. In addition, Thomas organizes a cool water ski tour in Italy, brining guests to 10 different ski sites in the old country.

Take a few seconds to write a review of the podcast on Apple Podcasts, it really helps :-) … and let's keep the momentum going!
If you are enjoying this podcast, please consider a donation.

EP18: Ski Talk with Mario Pigozzi



In this episode of The Water Ski Podcast, Matteo interviews Mario Pigozzi.

Mario is the owner of Catalina Ski Lake in Boca China, Dominican Republic, and widely considered one of the best water ski drivers in the World. With numerous World Championships, Pan Am Games, Pan-American and Latin-American Championships, and tens of Pro Tournaments, Mario is one of the most experienced people behind the wheel. He is also Robert Pigozzi's dad and coach, one of the sensations of the Pro Men slalom scene.

Join Matteo and Mario as they touch on:
  • How Mario found out about water skiing
  • His early days working at a ski club in Africa and learning about the sport
  • The summers skiing at Jolly Ski in Italy
  • Mario's move to the DR and carrying on the passion about water skiing
  • The creation of Catalina Ski Lake and Robert's early days on the water
  • How his passion for driving pushed him to improve
  • The importance of driving all levels to become a good driver
  • What he believes good driving should be
  • … and much more!

Follow Mario and Catalina Ski Lake on Instagram.

Take a few seconds to write a review of the podcast on Apple Podcasts, it really helps :-) … and let's keep the momentum going!
If you are enjoying this podcast, please consider a donation.

EP17: Ski Talk with Adam and Cory Pickos



Matteo sits down with two 2-time World Trick Champions Adam and Cory Pickos.

Cory is a IWWF and AWSA Hall of Fame skier and one of the innovators and legends of trick skiing, with 24 World Record, 2 World Titles, 10 US Masters and 10 US Open Titles. Adam, his son, also owns two World Gold Medals at home and a bunch of other accolades. It was an honor sitting with them to hear their favorite stories, pick their brain on trick skiing, and talk about the upcoming Junior World Championships to be hosted at their ski school in Santa Rosa Beach, FL in August.

Some of the things Matteo, Adam, and Cory talked about:
  • Cory's early days in water skiing with his dad in Wisconsin and the early rise to success
  • Cory's first World Title in 1981
  • Adam's early days in skiing and the role of Cory in his progression
  • Adam's first World Title in 2015
  • How the manage to maintain a healthy coach-athlete, father-son relationship
  • Their favorite part about trick skiing
  • Some of the tricks they struggled to learn along the way
  • The effects of being surrounded by friends and competitors at all time at ski school
  • Life at Cory Pickos Ski School in Santa Rosa Beach, FL
  • The organization of the 2020 Junior World Championships
  • … and much more!

In addition, a special episode of The Water Ski Podcast is now available on Swerve, a new social network for water skiers. To listen, create a profile on https://swerve.mn.co or download the Mighty Networks app and search for Swerve.
Watch the trick run that put Adam at the top of the 2015 World Championships, and check out this hand pass by Cory in 1987 with the famous Wake 720 front to front.
Follow Adam and Pickos Ski School on Instagram and check out his page on World Water Skiers.
Take a few seconds to write a review of the podcast on Apple Podcasts, it really helps :-) … and let's keep the momentum going!
If you are enjoying this podcast, please consider a donation.

EP16: Ski Talk with Robert Pigozzi



For this episode of The Water Ski Podcast, Matteo sits down with Dominican slalom sensation Robert Pigozzi

Robert is only 22yo and has already placed himself among the very elite of water skiing. Coached by his dad Mario (on the podcast soon), Claudio Benatti, and Matt Rini, Robert has managed to win some pro events, qualify to the US Masters for three years in a row, and finish 4th in the 2019 Elite World Ranking. Robert is a great character, and this interview recorded in Boca Chica is a good window into his life and ski journey.

Some of the things Matteo and Robert talked about:
  • Robert's early exposures to water skiing through his dad
  • His struggles as a kid to progress in the sport
  • How watching skiers like Matteo, Nicholas Benatti, and Gianmarco Pajni inspired Robert and gave him companionship
  • The development of the Catalina Ski lake
  • Robert's early successes in the Junior categories
  • The moments Robert realized he was good
  • Some milestones of the 2018 season
  • A thorough recount of his 2019 season, including winning the Pan Am Games and the consequences of this victory in his country
  • … and much more!

Follow Robert on Instagram and check out his page on World Water Skiers and on Team Nautique

Take a few seconds to write a review of the podcast on Apple Podcasts, it really helps :-) … and let's keep the momentum going!

If you are enjoying this podcast, please consider a donation.

EP15: Ski Talk with Keith Albritton



In this first 2020 episode of The Water Ski Podcast, Matteo sits down with Keith Albritton.

Keith is an avid skier, internationally recognized driver, and owner of the famous Lake 38, where he has been organizing the Lake 38 Pro Am and other RC events. Matteo and Keith have been skiing together for over 5 years, and had a chance to help each other improve in their skiing.

Some of the things Matteo and Keith talked about:
  • Keith's early days in the sport
  • How he skied a course for the first time
  • The struggles of public water skiing in Tallahassee
  • The birth and development of Lake 38
  • Lake 38 Pro Am and gender-equal payout
  • Keith's experience as a Senior Drive
  • Ski Freeze or Die
  • … and much more!

You can find more about Lake 38 at their Facebook page. Also, watch the legendary run off between John Travers and Will Asher at the first edition of the Lake 38 Pro Am in 2018.

Take a few seconds to write a review of the podcast on Apple Podcasts, it really helps :-) … and let's keep the momentum going!

If you are enjoying this podcast, please consider a donation.

EP14: Ski Talk with Chris Parrish



In this Christmas episode of The Water Ski Podcast, Matteo sits down with the one and only Chris Parrish!

Chris is among the very best skiers to ever attack the slalom course, with multiple Pro titles in his career and a three-time World Record Holder.

Some of the things Matteo and CP talked about:
  • CP's early steps in the sport
  • His early influences in the sport, including his dream of becoming a jumper
  • His breakthrough moments and early victories
  • The role of his dad in his skiing
  • Chris' approach to technique.
  • Key moments with Andy Mapple, Bob LaPoint, Lucky Lowe, Wade Cox, and others
  • What fuels his drive to continue to compete these days
  • … and much more!

Check out CP on the HO Syndicate website, and follow him on Instagram.

Take a few seconds to write a review of the podcast on Apple Podcasts, it really helps :-) … and let's keep the momentum going!

If you are enjoying this podcast, please consider a donation.

EP13: Ski Talk with Erika Lang



In this episode of The Water Ski Podcast, Matteo got to interview Erika Lang.

Erika is the current World Trick Record holder, set in October 2019 at Jack Traver's "Sunset Fall Classic" Tournament in October 2019, with a score of 11260. Erika is also a dual athlete, competing in the WWA Wakeboard Pro Tour.

Some of the things Matteo and Erika talked about:
  • Erika's beginning in the sport as a "distraction" from gymnastics
  • Her gradual transition to water skiing
  • How she went from a "big tricks" tricker to a "big run" tricker
  • Similarities and differences between wakeboarding and trick skiing
  • Her process for learning a new trick in skiing and how to implement it in a run
  • Erika's process to learn a new wakeboarding trick
  • Her World Record Run
  • Gender gap in trick skiing compared to wakeboarding
  • … and a LOT more!

You can watch Erika's World Record run here.

Also, check out her AWSA Page, World Water Skiers page, and follow her on Instagram.

Take a few seconds to write a review of the podcast on Apple Podcasts, it really helps :-) … and let's keep the momentum going!

If you are enjoying this podcast, please consider a donation.

EP12: Ski Talk with Wade Cox



In this episode of The Water Ski Podcast, Matteo sits down with the legendary Wade Cox.

Wade is an AWSA Hall of Fame inductee, 3 times US Masters Champion, and has 47 Pro Slalom titles in his career. Most water ski fans will remember his legendary battles with Andy Mapple that characterized the 1990s, making for one of the longest rivalries in the history of the sport. Join in the conversation as Wade shares his knowledge, his story, and his vision for what is next in his life and in the sport of water skiing.

Some of the things Matteo and Wade talked about:
  • Wade's early days as a skier
  • What sparked him to choose skiing over other sports
  • The early successes, including overall skiing achievements
  • How Carl Roberge inspired him to bring his skiing to the next level
  • The transition from college to full Pro
  • The importance of sound technique and equipment
  • The battles with Andy and other skiers
  • How he managed to compete at a high level in the 2000s despite injuries
  • … and a LOT more!

Wade is an integral part of the HO Syndicate team, and his 30+ involvement with the company is truly a rarity in our sport.

Also, check out his AWSA Hall of Fame tribute video and speech. And, a chat between Wade, Marcus Brown, and John Mommer about some of his tournament experiences :)

Subscribe to the podcast on your favorite platform and let's keep the momentum going!

If you are enjoying this podcast, please consider a donation.

EP11: Learn Water Skiing with Coop Diddy



Welcome to this very alternative (and quite explicit) episode of The Water Ski Podcast

In this episode, Coop Diddy asks Matteo a lot of the questions people want to ask about skiing. A lot of people have tried water skiing on some combos at least once, and Coop is no exception. In fact, Coop even managed to "kick one off"!

Follow this entertaining episode as Coop and Matteo ramble and untangle:
  • Some basics about the slalom course
  • The idea of a reverse course
  • What "41 off" is off of and general rope lengths
  • Right vs. Left foot forward
  • Whether water skiing is an extreme sport
  • How to promote the sport
  • And a lot more!

If you are new to the sport, hopefully you'll learn something out of this conversation.
If you are already an experienced and knowledgeable skier, you'll definitely find this discussion amusing and, possibly, resembling the ones you often have about trying to explain our sport to non-skiers.

Follow Coop on Instagram and let him know what you think about the episode ;-)

Subscribe to the podcast on your favorite platform and let's keep the momentum going!

If you are enjoying this podcast, please consider a donation.

EP10: Ski Talk with Marcus Brown



Welcome to the 10th episode of The Water Ski Podcast.

In this one, I talk with Marcus Brown. Marcus is a former professional skiers who had to stop skiing in the tour prematurely due to a back injury. This setback did not stop him from continuing to be involved in the sport of water skiing. He is in charge of Flow Point TV and the Flow Point podcast, through which he shares video and audio aimed at exposing our sport in all its beauty and complexity. Marcus is also the brain behind all the three version of the HO Freeride, a ski that changed the water sports market. Marcus also was on the engineering team that developed the current MasterCraft Pro Star, launched in 2014. But beyond all of this, Marcus is a genuine, passionate human being, and those who know him or go to meet him can understand the greatness of spirit with the man.

Some of the things Matteo and Marcus talked about:
  • Marcus' early days as a skier
  • His "firsts", including first time representing the United States and first injury
  • The role of his parents in his development and that of The Ridge
  • Marcus' involvement in some iconic water sport products in the last few years
  • How water skiing can grow again
  • The state of the pro tour before, during, and after his career
  • … and a TON more!


In October of 2019, Marcus was inducted in the Hall Of Fame of the National Collegiate Water Ski Association. You can read more about it at this link.

Subscribe to the podcast on your favorite platform and let's keep the momentum going!

If you are enjoying this podcast, please consider a donation.

EP9: Ski Talk with Jay Bennett (Part 2)



This ninth episode of The Water Ski Podcast is the second of a two-part interview with Jay Bennett. Jay is a world-renown water ski coach, tournament organizer, and business owner. In this second part, Jay opens up about his coaching philosophy, a result of both experience and years of careful refining.

Some of the things Matteo and Jay discussed:
  • The start of Jay's coaching career
  • Coaching as a never-ending learning process
  • The challenges of coaching at the high level
  • His experiences at 2019 Worlds and Pan-Am Games
  • How Jay develops trust with an athlete
  • The challenges of stepping back when things are not working
  • Advise for new coaches

You can listen to Part 1 here.

In 2018, Jay was inducted in the Hall Of Fame of the National Collegiate Water Ski Association. Marcus Brown shot a great clip showing Jay's acceptance speech, and I invite you to check it out.

Also, keep up with what is going on at Bennett's through their website, Facebook, Instagram, and take a look at the 3 Event Store!

Subscribe to the podcast on your favorite platform and let's keep the momentum going!

If you are enjoying this podcast, please consider a donation.

EP7: Ski Talk with Jay Bennett (Part 1)



This seventh episode of The Water Ski Podcast is the first of a two-part interview with Jay Bennett. Jay is a world-renown water ski coach, tournament organizer, and business owner.

Some of the things Matteo and Jay discussed:
  • Jay's first water ski experiences
  • The beginnings of Bennett's Ski School
  • The organization of big events, such as Nationals, Collegiate Nationals, and LA Night Jam
  • The former and current state of Professional Water Skiing
  • The role of collegiate skiing in promoting the sport
  • … and a TON more!

In 2018, Jay was inducted in the Hall Of Fame of the National Collegiate Water Ski Association. Marcus Brown shot a great clip showing Jay's acceptance speech, and I invite you to check it out.

Also, keep up with what is going on at Bennett's through their website, Facebook, Instagram, and take a look at the 3 Event Store!

Subscribe to the podcast on your favorite platform and let's keep the momentum going!

If you are enjoying this podcast, please consider a donation.

EP5: Ski Talk with Brittany Greenwood



In this fifth episode of The Water Ski Podcast, Matteo interviews Brittany Greenwood, a Registered Dietitian and Pro Jumper.

Some of the things Matteo and Brittany discussed:
  • Brittany's first experience at the Open Worlds
  • Recent breakthroughs in her jumping.
  • How she balances work and skiing.
  • Her job as a registered dietitian
  • Simple nutritional advise for skiers
  • … and more


Subscribe to the podcast on your favorite platform and let's keep the momentum going!

If you are enjoying this podcast, please consider a donation.

EP4: Ski Talk with Igor Morozov



In this fourth episode of The Water Ski Podcast, Matteo interviews Igor Morozov, the winner of the Malibu Open Jump event.

Some of the things the two bearded men talked about on Sunday include:
  • Igor's win on his first jump the night before
  • How Igor started skiing and the early days
  • His ability to combine skiing with other passions
  • Living the life of a water skier vs. living a city life and struggle to find time to ski
  • How skiing in the US helped him improve as a jumper
  • The role of a coach in skiing
  • Tips on how to make jumping safer and more approachable
  • The current state of jumping at the pro level
  • … and more!

Igor is by far one of the most interesting characters in the world of water skiing. I enjoyed this conversation a lot and, had he not had to go and catch some waves to surf, we would have probably gone on for another two hours!

Here's a few links to relive the action of the 2019 Malibu Open (webcast provided by the Water Ski Broadcasting Company):

Also, here's a few links to dive into Igor's world:


Subscribe to the podcast on your favorite platform and let's keep the momentum going!

If you are enjoying this podcast, please consider a donation.

EP3: Ski Talk with Nick "The Yeti" Parsons



In this third episode of The Water Ski Podcast, Matteo interviews Nick "The Yeti" Parsons during the California Pro Am.

Join in as Nick discusses the origins of his water ski passion, his understanding of ski design, some of his breakthroughs, and his obsession for other cultures.

Definitely one of the most colorful characters on Tour, Nick got personal in front of the microphone and shared some of his knowledge and experiences.

Subscribe to the podcast on your favorite platform and let's keep the momentum going!

If you are enjoying this podcast, please consider a donation.


Read More…

EP2: Ski Talk with Ashley Stevens, President of the Clemson Tigers Water Ski Team



In this second episode of The Water Ski Podcast, Matteo interviews Ashley Stevens, the President of the Clemson Tigers Water Ski Team. Some of the things they touch on in this interview include:
  • The structure and format of the Water Sports Club at Clemson University
  • How Collegiate Water Skiing works and why it is so much fun
  • Recent successes and challenges the Clemson Water Ski Team has been facing.
  • and some more

Keep up with the Clemson Tigers Water Ski Team by checking out their website:
https://www.clemsonwatersports.com

and consider a donation to their ski club:
https://cualumni.clemson.edu/give/water-ski

Also, you can check out their very well-managed Instagram account here:
https://www.instagram.com/clemsonski/

Read More…