FIRST FLIGHT > STAND-UP FOILS – (1906-1989): Learning to fly on water: from boats to people

KNEEBOARD HYDROFOIL > AIR CHAIR – (1983-1991): Developing the first sit- down hydrofoil

3 NEW MOVES – Strapping one on to invent the wake front roll, air wrapped 360, and Skidder.

SHOOT TO KILL – A near-death experience while on location for Air Chair’s first video.

TIE HIGH – The development of the extended pylon for bigger air. Skylon & Air Boom.

INNOVATIONS – Modifications and new designs from the few few years of foiling.

FLY-IN’ – (1994) High times at the 1st Fly-In for hydrofoiling; on the Parker Strip of the CO River.

LOVE TO CRASH – Developing new moves on the way to 200,000+ crashes.

ON THE RECORD – 147 > 254 > 708: Extending consecutive flip record with some “sibling” rivalry.

WELCOME TO MY WORLDS – Competitions: the first Worlds, Pro Tour & 1,416 flips in a row.

FLIGHT HYDROFOILING NEWSLETTER – Covering the golden years of foiling.

YOU’RE FIRED – The bitter breakup between Bob Woolley and Mike Murphy.

SKY SKI – Seven years of intense foiling innovations and promotions with Mike Murphy.

STAND UP GUYS – Hydrofoiling + standing up sideways = air board / foil board.

UNORTHODOXY – Double the fun.

IT’S THE CHEESE – Ron “Air Boom” Stack is a Gouda example of how to be cheesy.

TRIPPIN’ WITH SCHÖRNO – Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous…and Hydrofoiling!

EVENTS HORIZON – 1998 Worlds, Canadian Fly-In & More

$100,000 EXPERIMENT – Inside Flight Worlds 2000

END OF THE WORLDS – Time to find another ladder

BEYOND 2000 – Passing the torch to the next generation…

AIR WARS: Figuring out how to measure who goes the biggest






Blog Edition 1.0; July, 2018


Click here for a link to download the entire book as a word document and / or as an audiobook 

>Adventures in Water Skiing: SERIES LINKS


Cover Image: “Adventures in Water Skiing: Part 3, Hydrofoiling,” photo: Ian Lauder, 1999.    


Some Rights Reserved. The TEXT ONLY of this publication MAY be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission. All use MUST be accompanied with the attribution: “From Adventures in Water Skiing: Part 3, Hydrofoiling. Used with permission by”. TEXT ONLY is licensed under creative commons agreement (CC BY 3.0). The images (photos) MAY NOT be used, uploaded, reposted, or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission.


PREFACE: NOTE TO THE READER When I first announced this project a friend asked why anyone would be interested in reading a book about me. Now I’ll have to admit that did hurt my feelings, but I thought hard about it for a couple of days, and came up with what I think is a good answer. My “glory days” in skiing corresponded with the explosion of watersports in the 1980s and 90s, including the creation and rise of hot dogging, kneeboarding, wakeboarding, and hydrfoiling. I had a front row seat to the exciting developments of each new sport as a pioneer and top competitor. Plus, I’ve already written hundreds of articles, and have a collection of thousands of photos and videos. The point is that my personal story is also the story of these sports, how they developed, and how they relate to each other in the bigger picture. The longer format of a “book” has allowed me to dig deeper into the history than ever before. We’re far enough away from the rise of hydrofoiling to get some historical perspective, but not so far to have lost touch with the innovative personalities directly responsible for creating a whole new way to ride. The recent media developments have also allowed me to present Adventures in Water Skiing in a brand new way. To my knowledge, this is the first interactive electronic book to document the history of waterskiing. Anyone can download it instantly for FREE. This interactive ebook is embedded with dozens of photos and scores of links to magazine articles, timely websites, and classic videos. On a final note, it is very important to me that this body of work stands as a respected historical record for water skiing. I have worked extremely hard to get the facts straight, and tell each part of the story with as much research and insight as possible. I hope that future generations who read these words can find a source of credibility, insight, and of course, entertainment.



My uncle, Mike Murphy: he led the way and I followed.

My grandmother, Mary Murphy: keeper of the family images and ageless inspiration on the water.

Herb O’Brien embraced my unique abilities and took me for a wild ride.

Carole Lowe for her invaluable research assistance at the Water Ski Hall of Fame.

Al Van: proofreader extraordinaire and always a “Huge” help.

Terry Dorner for his help with critical image acquisitions.

Mom & Dad: endless support to follow the dream.

To the unsung heroes and helpers, I thank you all!



Rick Doyle

Kelly Kingman

Ian Lauder

Tony Klarich

Kirk Bender

Air Chair

Sky Ski

Art Brewer

Jason Gunstenson

Shonna Klarich

Cal Khoury

Bobby Reich

Chef Anton

Dave Ewing

Victor Davila

Bob Dunham

The Water Skier

Spray’s Water Ski Magazine

WaterSki Magazine

A complete list of individual photos by specific photographers and publications (with dates) can be found at the end of the each chapter.


I have and will continue to make every effort to create a story that reflects how water skiing has developed, especially in the disciplines of hot dogging, kneeboarding, wakeboarding, and hydrofoiling. This book is the result of thousands of hours of research. It involved reviewing hundreds of water skiing publications, conducting numerous interviews with industry insiders, and having access to the extensive research library at the Water Ski Hall of Fame. Every effort has been made to make this book as complete and accurate as possible. However, there may be mistakes, both typographical and in content. If I missed something important (storyline / timeline / photo / link), please let me know through my website: The non-printed nature of this document will allow me to make corrections and improvements, and then upload the new edition.