VISIT the AWSEF "Water Ski Experience" Hall of Fame and Museum to learn the story of all the disciplines of the sport of water skiing. Over 12,000 relics from the storied past of this distinctively American sport are on display in the museum.
1976 -- Preview Center Opened at Overlook location.
1980 -- AWSEF hired full-time executive director.
1982 -- First Hall of Fame inductions.
1983 -- First AWSEF scholarship awards.
1985 -- Established AWSEF endowment and facilities fund.
1996 -- Property purchased for relocation to I-4.
1998 -- "Quantum Leap Building Campaign kick off
2000 -- Moved into new building
2005 -- First event held on Lake Grew
Inaugural issue of Water Skier magazine, published by AWSA.
Tommy Bartlett’s traveling water ski thrill show makes its first appearance in Wisconsin Dells. A year later the show would find a permanent home here.
Glenn Kirkpatrick organized the first inter-collegiate water ski competitions
Warren Witherell sets the first jump record over 100 feet, with the introduction of the first double wake cut. Dick Binette and Butch Rosenburg then jump 102 and 103 feet at the same competition in Laconia, N.H.
The Johnson jump metering system of triangulation was adopted by AWSA.
First Invitational Water Ski Tournament held at Callaway Gardens, Georgia the following year the name was changed to the MASTERS.
AWSA hired its first paid executive director, William D. Clifford, and opened national headquarters in Winter Haven, Fla.
Penny Baker tops 150 feet in Men’s jump at the Lone Star Championships.
American Barefoot Club ABC becomes a sport division of AWSA
Network television broadcast the National Water Ski Championships for the first time at Callaway Gardens.
Barbara Cooper Clack became the first female water skier to top the 100-foot mark in jumping at the Florida State Open.
The American Water Ski Educational Foundation (AWSEF) was chartered to fund the U.S. Water Ski Team, to plan and administer a Water Ski Museum/Hall of Fame and encourage educational opportunities for young skiers.
AWSA writes the rules to sanction Water Ski Racing events. First official AWSA-sanctioned ski race is held in Lakeland, FL
First AWSA-affiliated National Speedboat and Water Ski Association (Ski Racing) Nationals are held.
Water skiing was an exhibition sport at the Olympic Games in Keil, West Germany.
First Show Ski Nationals held in Janesville, WI
First Barefoot Nationals held in Waco, Texas.
First Barefoot World Championships held in Canberra, Australia.
The first National Intercollegiate Water Ski Championships were held in Monroe, La., with Northeast Louisiana University winning.
Bob LaPoint became the first skier to make a perfect pass on an 11.25-meter line (38 feet off) in a Record Capability tournament at the McCormick World Record Challenge in Seffner, Fla.
Water Ski Hall of Fame/Museum established by AWSEF in Winter Haven, Fla.
Cory Pickos broke the 9,000-point mark in the International Orange Free State Tournament, a feat he later duplicated at the McCormick International Cup.
First AWSEF Hall of Fame Induction held.
The Coors Light Water Ski Tour, the only standardized series of Pro water skiing in the world, began.
The U.S. Barefoot Team won its first team title at the Barefoot Worlds in Kelheim, Germany. Previously, the Australians had dominated the World Tournament.
First Kneeboard Nationals are held in Texas.
National Collegiate Water Ski Association (NCWSA) becomes a sports division in the fall.
Sammy Duvall set the distance jump record for Open Men by soaring 205 feet in Shreveport, La.
Deena Brush Mapple set the Open Women’s World jump record of 156 feet on a five-foot ramp. (Not challenged until 1996)
Andy Mapple of Great Britain set the Open Men’s slalom record of 3 @ 41 off.
The U.S. Water Ski Team won its 21st consecutive World Championship Team title in West Palm Beach, Fla.
Mike Kjellander of Sweden and Sherri Slone take the overall titles in the inaugural season of the Michelob Dry Water Ski Tour.
The U.S. Water Ski Team placed second in the World Championships, held in Villach, Austria.
National Water Ski Racing Association becomes a sport discipline of USA-WS.
The U.S. Barefoot Team won its fourth straight World Championship in England.
Sammy Duvall set the Open Men’s world jump record of 220 feet at the International Cup in Santa Rosa Beach, Fla.
First IWSF World Disable Championships are held.
Wakeboard was introduced to TV by ESPN. Also it was the first year wakeboarding was a competitive event at the Masters.
The National Disable Committee becomes a sport division of AWSA - Water Skiers with Disabilities Association WSDA.
The U.S. Water Ski Team took the silver medal for the third consecutive year at the Worlds in France.
Water skiing competed in its first Pan American Games, held in Santa Fe, Argentina. The U.S. Team won 4 gold, 2 silver and 1 bronze medal, as well as the silver for the team overall. Canada placed first in team competition.
The first World University Trophy was held in Milledgeville, Ga.
AWSEF purchased property along Interstate 4 between Tampa and Orlando, Fla., for a new Hall of Fame facility.
Mario Moser of Germany sets the new Men’s World Barefoot jump record of 92 feet (28.10 meters)
Emma Sheers of australia breaks Deena Mapple's long-held Open
Women jump record with a 158 foot leap, 48.2 meters.
Emma Sheers of australia breaks Deena Mapple's long-held Open Women jump record with a 158 foot leap, 48.2 meters.
U.S. Olympic Committee recognizes water skiing as a Pan American Sports Organization and AWSA as the official National Governing Body.
AWSEF/AWSA launch a fund-raising campaign to build the new Hall of Fame and administrative offices on Interstate-4.
AWSA becomes a sport discipline under the governing body of USA Water Ski.
American Wakeboard Association AWS becomes a sport discipline under the governing body USA Water Ski.
Moved to new location Interstate 4 Exit 44, between Orlando and Tampa..
Dedication of the Building
Displays ongoing... Officially opened Plans to start Lake Construction
International Water Ski Federation Hall of Fame exhibit added. Induction ceremonies held in conjunction with the 2003 World Water Ski Championships held at Swiss Ski School.
Lake Grew completed and first event held in conjunction with the Hall of Fame Induction ceremonies. The John Roach Memorial Jump Tournament.
United States Hydrofoil USHA becomes a sports discipline under USA-Water Ski.
Construction and completion of the Boat Houses, Officials Tower and Ramp to the water for Disabled National Championships.
Barefoot Nationals held on Lake Grew
U.S. Open Qualifier
Other events totaling 19
Ralph Samuelson designed the first water skis from two pine boards and successfully skied on Lake Pepin in Lake City, MN
Samuelson made the first water ski jumps off a makeshift ramp.
Fred Waller patented the first water skis, the "Dolphin Akwa-Skees."
Don Ibsen develops his own water skis on the West Coast, never having heard of Samuelson or Waller.
The first ski shows are held at the Century of Progress in Chicago and the Atlantic City Steel Pier.
American Water Ski Association (AWSA) was organized by Dan B. Hains. The first National Water Ski Championships are held on Long Island.
Cypress Gardens’ first water ski show is organized by Julie Pope.
The Olympic Water Ski Club is founded in Seattle, WA This is the first such club in America.
A.G. Hancock and Dick Pope, Jr., became the first barefoot water skiers respectively.
Chuck Sligh set the first water ski jump record of 49 feet at the Dixie Water Ski Tournament at Cypress Gardens.
First World Water Ski Championships held in France. Willa Worthington and Dick Pope, Jr., represent the USA and Worthington wins slalom, jump and overall titles.
Martin meters for measuring jump distances introduced.
Long Beach Boat and Ski Club of California sponsored the 1st Catalina Ski Race
The sport of water skiing has enjoyed a long eventful history. Dating back to 1922, the water ski world has come a long way from the two pine boards Ralph Samuelson first skied on in Lake City, Minnesota. The following is a brief look at the history of the one of the world’s most popular sports.