John, Nathan, Audrey and I had the pleasure of attending my grandson's final day at summer camp last Friday-- a week long adventure at Bennett's Water Ski Camp in Zachary. Kids from all over the world attend this camp, to the tune of $775 for a week, plus lodging. The staff comes from all over the world as well, usually attending ULL (University of Louisiana Lafayette), which has a world renouned water ski program. We met staff and students from Columbia, South America, Australia, Mexico, and other far-off places.
Here's a 360 video of the campus. Pretty impressive. More pix on their website.
We also took videos of my grandson doing his final "beginner ski" run in Lake #3 -- my son rode in the boat with my iPhone, and I videoed from the shore with my Sony 3.3 megapixel HDD Handycam. For some reason, Jonathan got quite a few more passes around the lake than the other students -- perhaps because he is athletic and strong and could take the beating.
I also think it's because he's a good student -- he doesn't get rattled when he makes a mistake, just gets back up and keeps going. He seems to understand that there is "a learning curve", that it takes lots of practice to get good at anything.
After his turn, we visited the Pro Shop to get a cold beverage. The shop was small but packed from floor to ceiling with water ski paraphranalia from vests, caps, bathing suits, wet suits, underwater cameras, ropes, goggles, and, of course, rows and rows of skis. I was shocked at the prices! The skis I liked were $1500, and a used water board propped up in the corner with a "For Sale" sign on it read $500. Everything costs a fortune.
Each lake had a ski boat on it towing students one after another. Our boat was the smallest, a MasterCraft, which we were told cost $65,000. No telling how much gas it burns in a day. There is nothing cheap about water skiing!
And that's just to pleasure ski. Competition water skiing, getting to the venues, lodgings, etc., must be very expensive as well.
Made me appreciate that agility is a relatively inexpensive sport -- an agility Pro Shop unnecessary. Most of the equipment is stuff we'd use to care for the family dog -- a crate or two, leashes, dog beds and cushions, treats, dog food and bowls. Add a few camp chairs, an exercise pen, a rug, a cooler, a battery powered fan. No fancy attire required - your everyday shorts, tennies, jeans and T's. A sweat band or two. A few jumps in the back yard, and a place to practice that has all the "expensive" equipment. Or, like me, you could have your own fully equipped agility yard for under $1000 iif you build your own.
Of course, our most essential piece of "equipment" is the dog! And that, we'd probably have anyway.
Upwards and onward!