END OF THE LINE: Ben Press, 13, practises barefoot waterskiing on the Calliope River ahead of state and national titles.
END OF THE LINE: Ben Press, 13, practises barefoot waterskiing on the Calliope River ahead of state and national titles. Jake Jones

Brothers use time to refine waterskiing skills

THE Queensland Barefoot Waterskiing Championships have twice been called off in the past month and a half, but Gladstone skiers Liam and Ben Press have shaken off the disappointment and used the extra time to polish their skills.

Now they are heading into the championships on March 21 and 22 with extra skills to earn more points.

Chasing his first state championship after finishing second last year, 13-year-old Ben has been trying to get a backwards one foot cross for a long time, nailing it on Saturday for the first time.

"It felt cool, I did it once before and crashed, which hurt," Ben said.

"It feels better than two feet, because you only have one foot on the water."

It also brings a lot of points towards his challenge for the title.

Brother Liam, 15, also enjoyed the extra time to work on his skills.

While he has no new tricks, he has nailed his different runs and plans on winning back to back titles after his victory last year.

"The first date was postponed due to not enough water and the second due to too much," he said.

"It has given me more time to train. I have improved."

But Liam may have needed to improve to keep his title.

There are more skiers getting into the sport each and every year as it grows in popularity.

Travelling to Woodford, an hour from Brisbane, both boys are confident.

"The comp is pretty good this year," Liam said.

"There are over 15 juniors, but I hope to win."

"I will be doing back toe holds, front toe holds, sit down 360s and one foot forward and backwards," Ben said.



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