Towed water sports took a leap forward on February 23-25 as nearly 200 industry members descended upon Steamboat Springs, Colorado for the WSIA Summit In The Snow.
Now in its ninth year, the mission of the Summit is to bring the towed water sports industry together to network, share best practices and identify potential threats to waterways and the industry.
Denny Salas, executive director of the WSIA, was more than pleased with the success of the event. â€œItâ€™s great to see the industry work together to achieve common goals, and our Summit In The Snow provides the perfect opportunity,â€ Salas said. â€œTogether, we made significant progress while creating great memories in Steamboat Springs.â€
Educational seminars filled the afternoons while mornings were left open for industry folks to enjoy the mountain together. Chairlift talks have proven to be quite valuable, as attendees find themselves sharing a ride and carving â€œFirst Tracksâ€ alongside fellow industry icons.
Committee meetings were underway on Monday, with productive sessions in the following segments: Camps and Schools, Wake Parks, Inflatables, Towboats, Parasailing and Warning Labels.
A mock trial presented by Rietz Law Firm was a new installment for 2015, with a full courtroom proceeding over a fictitious case involving a major injury. Attendees left the trial armed with practical knowledge and experience to help prepare for any potential liability involving the products they manufacture.
Strong attendance highlighted the Pass The Handle meeting, and the 2015 #PassTheHandle day was set for July 26. This initiative, conceptualized by Zane Schwenk, is focused on teaching new people to ride or ski. The Dealer Alliance roundtable proved to be effective once again, as well as a Lifesaving / CPR training course hosted by First Responders.
Monday nightâ€™s dinner was highlighted by a keynote delivered by U.S. Olympic gold medalist, Dick Fosbury, who pioneered the â€œFosbury Flopâ€ as a high jumper, which is widely recognized as a technique that changed the sport forever.
Attendees were awarded for their hard work on Tuesday night with a Country-Western themed dinner party on top of the mountain with gondola rides and live music.
Former WSIA executive director, Larry Meddock, was honored in several ways throughout the week. Most notably, through a light hearted monologue delivered by Jeff Bannister before the Leadership Awards on Wednesday morning.
The WSIA Leadership Awards were improved for this year and hosted by Jeff Barton, who entertained the crowd with insight and compelling stories about the winners and nominees alike. Stay tuned to WSIA.net for more coverage of the Leadership Awards.
Special thanks to the following sponsors who made Summit In The Snow a big success: Surf Expo, Belter Insurance, Bonnier Corp, Rietz Law Firm, ZeroOff, Clarion, Boating World Magazine, Polk, NMMA, JL Audio, WATERSKI Magazine, Acme Propellers, WAKEBOARDING Magazine, BOATING Magazine, OJ Props. World Sports & Marketing
Photos: Joey Meddock