International Water Ski Racing Online Since 1996

Bob Wing – up to 1982

The ‘Wing’ name is synonymous with water skiing all over the world and I couldn’t even begin to try and name the family’s accomplishments. However in 1982, Bob Wing wrote a great book called ‘Waterskiing in Australia’. Some time ago, Bob kindly gave me permission to reproduce articles from his book here on You can see a list of all that I’ve reproduced here.

Bob has done a lot more in the decades that have followed his book, but below is a 1982 article about Bob and his accomplishments at that stage, along with his own introduction to his book.

Thank you Bob.

Robbie Llewellyn

Author Bob Wing – ‘Waterskiing in Australia‘ – Published 1982
Bob Wing has been skiing for many years and has been tied up with the administration of many facets of water skiing. He has been an active competitor over the years and has skied in National Titles in Barefooting. Trial Skiing and Kite Flying and in local zone tournaments in Tournament Skiing. He skied in the first official Australian National Ski Racing Championships in the Marathon Section coming third then was dead heat for first place the next year, being beaten in the run off, then some ten years later won the Australian Marathon Veteran Section in 1980-81. He has been involved in 16 Bridge to Bridge Ski Classics as Driver, Observer and Skier.

He has been Australian Trials Director and implemented the first official set of Trial and Marathon Rules. As a N.S.W.W.S.A. Director he has been on the Board of Directors for the past twelve years, and has also been a Director of the Australian Water Ski Association, and a committee member of the Australian Barefoot Water Ski Club, and was the President of the Australian Barefoot Water Ski Club from 1977 to 1981 and is currently Technical Chairman. He was the Barefoot Director of the Australian Water Ski Association, as well as being President of the New South Wales Barefoot Club. President of the N.S.W.W.S.A., Life Member of the N.S.W.W.S.A. and is a member of the World Water Ski Union Barefoot Commission.

He is also a National Judge and was Chief Judge at the World Group 3 Barefoot Titles in New Zealand, 1976 and in Australia in 1982, and has been Chief Judge at Two New Zealand Titles, was Chief Judge at the 1979, 1980, 1982 Australian National Titles, was Homologator at the 1st World Barefoot Water Ski Championships and Judge at the 1980 World Barefoot Titles and has attended international Barefoot Meetings since 1977 in Italy, U.S.A., New Zealand, England and Australia.
Bob Wing was Chairman of the 1st World Barefoot Water Ski Championships Committee, and travelled to Milano, Italy , in 1977 to gain the sanction of the World Water Ski Union to hold these Championships as an official World recognised event.

He is recognised as one of the leading Barefoot Coaches and authorities in Australia and the World, and regularly receives requests from all parts of the World on Barefoot matters.

In 1977 he produced a book on Barefoot Water Skiing “Every Trick In The Book” which has been read world wide and has had two reprints.
He set about to compile this book several years before 1982 with the feeling that the history of Australian Water Skiing should be preserved.

Bob’s Introduction to his book

“I decided that if you could ski on snow, you could ski on water” – so said Ralph W. Samuelson, the man credited with inventing water ski-ing in 1922. A simple statement, now fully realised in the enormous and growing popularity of water ski-ing throughout the world. But then the earlier part of this century was a time for such ideas: the Wright brothers decided to fly; Henry Ford decided to make cars for everyone. Now we fly – and drive – almost everywhere. Now, given a stretch of water, a boat and skis, or ski or feet, we can ski across the water with the greatest of ease. And it doesn’t cost a fortune.

Australia did not officially start water skiing till many years after the U.S.A. and Europe and those that did attempt it were regarded either as silver tails or highly adventurous.

I feel it would be impossible in a book of this nature to fully describe and do justice to the atmosphere and feeling of the daredevil that took place in the early days of water skiing in Australia.

Having talked to some of the “characters” that were involved from the start, even well over 30 years latter, their effervescence Is amazing and their enthusiasm in those early days must have been really something. I am sure that a great novel could be written, just about the early ski happenings that occurred on the Hawkesbury River.

We have shown the history and slight autobiography of some of the people that have made the history of Water Skiing in Australia from its inception right up to the present day.

I would like to thank the many generous people who have so kindly loaned me their photographs from their collections. Many of these photographs are certainly priceless and the compiling of this book has been a most interesting and enjoyable experience, not only in finding out all the interesting facts, but by having had to meet and talk to so many of these skiers, both old and new.

– Bob Wing

This article was reproduced from “Water Skiing in Australia”.
Courtesy of Bob Wing.

Read more articles from Bob’s book

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