WSIA Summit In The Snow Recap
Towed water sports took a leap forward on February 23-25 as nearly 200 industry members descended upon Steamboat Springs, Colorado for the WSIA Summit In The Snow.
Now in its ninth year, the mission of the Summit is to bring the towed water sports industry together to network, share best practices and identify potential threats to waterways and the industry.
Denny Salas, executive director of the WSIA, was more than pleased with the success of the event. “It’s great to see the industry work together to achieve common goals, and our Summit In The Snow provides the perfect opportunity,” Salas said. “Together, we made significant progress while creating great memories in Steamboat Springs.”
Educational seminars filled the afternoons while mornings were left open for industry folks to enjoy the mountain together. Chairlift talks have proven to be quite valuable, as attendees find themselves sharing a ride and carving “First Tracks” alongside fellow industry icons.
Committee meetings were underway on Monday, with productive sessions in the following segments: Camps and Schools, Wake Parks, Inflatables, Towboats, Parasailing and Warning Labels.
A mock trial presented by Rietz Law Firm was a new installment for 2015, with a full courtroom proceeding over a fictitious case involving a major injury. Attendees left the trial armed with practical knowledge and experience to help prepare for any potential liability involving the products they manufacture.
Strong attendance highlighted the Pass The Handle meeting, and the 2015 #PassTheHandle day was set for July 26. This initiative, conceptualized by Zane Schwenk, is focused on teaching new people to ride or ski. The Dealer Alliance roundtable proved to be effective once again, as well as a Lifesaving / CPR training course hosted by First Responders.
Monday night’s dinner was highlighted by a keynote delivered by U.S. Olympic gold medalist, Dick Fosbury, who pioneered the “Fosbury Flop” as a high jumper, which is widely recognized as a technique that changed the sport forever.
Attendees were awarded for their hard work on Tuesday night with a Country-Western themed dinner party on top of the mountain with gondola rides and live music.
Former WSIA executive director, Larry Meddock, was honored in several ways throughout the week. Most notably, through a light hearted monologue delivered by Jeff Bannister before the Leadership Awards on Wednesday morning.
The WSIA Leadership Awards were improved for this year and hosted by Jeff Barton, who entertained the crowd with insight and compelling stories about the winners and nominees alike. Stay tuned to WSIA.net for more coverage of the Leadership Awards.
Special thanks to the following sponsors who made Summit In The Snow a big success: Surf Expo, Belter Insurance, Bonnier Corp, Rietz Law Firm, ZeroOff, Clarion, Boating World Magazine, Polk, NMMA, JL Audio, WATERSKI Magazine, Acme Propellers, WAKEBOARDING Magazine, BOATING Magazine, OJ Props. World Sports & Marketing
Photos: Joey Meddock
About the WSIA
The WSIA serves as the world’s leading industry advocate that communicates, produces and distributes safety and educational materials for towed water sports. The WSIA works with local, state, and federal agencies in partnership with national and international governing bodies to ensure the use of waterways. As a group, the WSIA develops best practices and sustainable growth for all towed water sports.
About Surf Expo
Surf Expo is the global watersports and beach lifestyle tradeshow. Produced in January and September each year, the shows draw buyers from specialty stores, major resorts, cruise lines and beach rental companies from across the U.S., and 71 countries. Surf Expo features approximately 2,500 booths of apparel and hard goods and a full line-up of special events, demos, fashion shows, and annual award ceremonies. The 2013 shows were named among Trade Show Executive's Fastest 50 for growth in attendance, number of exhibitors and net square footage in addition to being named The Fastest Growing Tradeshow for Attendance by TSNN. For more information visit www.surfexpo.com. All shows are open to trade only.