More to water skiing than towing the line
How hard can it be getting pulled across the water by a boat?
Pretty tough actually, according to University of Queensland high
performance coach Vince
A Conjoint Associate Lecturer in the School of Human
Movement and Nutrition Sciences, Mr Kelly has trained
Queensland athlete Ben Gulley to two World Water Ski Racing
He says the extreme and obscure sport would surprise most people
with the demands it places on the human body.
"Some skiers are averaging 170 kilometres per hour for an hour
at a time, which means their top speed is closer to 200," Mr Kelly
"Their heart rate sits at 90 to 95 per cent of maximum the whole
"And if they crash, the skiers can end up hundreds of metres
from where they fell.
"It's an intense sport with the potential for some very serious
Mr Kelly, who has been a strength and conditioning consultant
for the Brisbane Broncos, South Sydney Rabbitohs and Australian
Rugby Union, admits he knew little of the sport a decade ago.
But since being recruited to help Ski Racing
Queensland in 2009, he has not only guided Gulley to two world
titles, he also scored a breakthrough with Grant Turner at the 2011
"I came in thinking I'd just be teaching a lot of squats, but
it's more complicated than that," Mr Kelly said.
"The way the skiers stand is with one hand behind the back
anchoring the rope, one foot in front of the other and one arm
outstretched holding the rope in front.
"There are a lot of demands on the skier's back strength, core
strength and muscular endurance to hold a static position for so
"The improvement I've seen in the skiers fitness levels from
when I first started to now has blown me away.
"I set a new program for them and think 'this will test them',
but they never buckle."
While many people believe the speed of the boat decides the
winner in a water ski race, Mr Kelly said this was false and that
crews could only travel as fast as the skier can stay upright.
Media: Mr Vince Kelly, firstname.lastname@example.org
or UQ Communications Robert Burgin, +617 3346 3035, +61
0448 410 364, email@example.com