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The USA Water Ski board of directors approved USHA as a full sport discipline at its annual mid-winter board meeting, Jan. 23, 2005 in Polk City, Fla. "We're excited and honored to be a sport discipline of such a great organization as USA Water Ski," said Brad Scott, president of USHA. "We're looking forward to interacting with the other eight sport disciplines to help grow water sports."
Before hydrofoling became an official sport discipline of USA Water Ski, the USHA was an affiliate sport discipline of the organization for two years. Since then, the USHA has grown from 112 members at the end of 2002 to 438 members by the end of 2004. Hydrofoiling has steadily been on the rise since 1990, when the first sit-down hydrofoil was sold. The sport's popularity grew more rapidly in 1998 when advanced hydrofoils began production.
The first international competition, the Flight Worlds, which features competition in all skill levels from amateur to the Open and Pro divisions, was held in 1996. The Flight Worlds was held every other year until 2002, when it became an annual event. Professional hydrofoilers have been competing on the Pro Hydrofoil Tour since 2002, with 2003 being its first official year. Female riders competed for the first time on the Pro Tour last year.
Hydrofoiling is a tricks-based sport that can send its top-level athletes flipping and jumping up to 20 feet in the air. On the water, riders are strapped into the seat that is mounted to the top of the board. Beneath the board is a vertical strut and front and rear wings that work like an airplane wing underwater. With little resistance against the water, riding one requires a lot of balance and less physical strength than many other water sports making it appealing to people of all ages.
The other eight sport disciplines of USA Water Ski are: American Water Ski Association, American Barefoot Club, American Kneeboard Association, National Collegiate Water Ski Association, National Show Ski Association, National Water Ski Racing Association, American Wakeboard Association and Water Skiers With Disabilities Association.
USA Water Ski was formed in
1939 as a non-profit organization promoting water skiing in the United
States. USA Water Ski is affiliated with the IWSF (world governing body) and
is recognized by the United States Olympic Committee and Pan-American Sports
Organization as the national governing body of organized water skiing in the
United States. With more than 40,000 members, USA Water Ski is the largest
water ski federation in the world.
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