Skier's Biographies

The Sarasota Ski-A-Rees are a diverse group that spans several decades and several generations.  We're especially proud of our kids, some of whom have grown up being a Ski-A-Ree and plan on passing down the tradition to their kids.  One thing we all have in common is our love of waterskiing, family and great friends.




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Erica has been a member of the Ski-A-Rees since she was born.  Her father, Fred, has been a member for 37 years.  She started skiing at age 3 and made her performance debut at age 5.  She is proud to be a USF Bull. She has been lucky enough to get to water ski professionally at Cypress Gardens, "The water ski capitol of the world".  "The Ski-A-Rees are my life.  We're like a big family.  I love it, it's so much fun".  Erica's favorite acts are barefoot, swivel, ballet, pyramid, doubles, trios and jump.   Ok, so there's not an act she doesn't like. She has won many girls' barefoot endurance competitions and actually beats out most of the guys in the open competition each year.

Ryan ("Boo")
Ryan joined in 2003 at the age of 16.  He has recently graduated from nursing school and works at a local hospital in the Intensive Care Unit. He enjoys spending any spare time that he has with the ski team. The Ski-A-Rees have become like an extended family for Ryan, but he also enjoys that he gets to spend his weekends with his 2 real brothers that are members of the team as well. Ryan's favorite acts are jump, barefoot & boat-O.  He was awarded the "Most Improved Male Skier" award in 2004 and was the show director for the 2007-2008 ski season. In 2008, he won the Most Outstanding Male Skier Award in the Southern Regional Tournament.

Lance has been a Ski-A-Ree for his entire life. "I learned how to water ski before I can remember & plan on doing it until after I can remember".  He graduated from USF with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and his Master's degree is from NOVA Southeastern University's Physician Assistant program in Ft. Myers. He currently works as a PA in Cardiology here in Sarasota/Venice. He is the son of Russell and Sandy, both active members of the ski team, and brother of Brian Robbins (who has skied professionally in many countries throughout the world). "How many young adults can say that they've hung out with their parents almost every weekend of their life?".  "Water skiing is my life, everything else just fills the space between my water time".  Lance was awarded the "Skier of the Year" award in 2005, was the show director in '06/'07, and had the opportunity to ski professionally at Sea World in San Antonio, TX and Cypress Gardens. He was awarded the Lynn Novakofski Award for the Most Outstanding Male Skier in the Southern Regional Tournament in 2011.

Garrett Bouley
Garrett joined the Ski-A-Rees in 2006 at the age of 12. He attends Braden River high school. Garrett is always trying to learn new skills and generally picks them up extremely quickly. His favorite acts are Barefoot, Jump, and Boat-O. Garret is a natural talent on the water and has recently greatly advanced his skills at freestyle jumping and has even ranked with top scores in national water ski competitions. Garrett's big brother "Boo" and his little brother Travis, are also members of the team. He has also had the opportunity to water ski professionally at Tommy Bartlett's show in Wisconsin.

Kaylie joined in 1997 at the age of 12.  She won the Betty Bonifey Award for Outstanding Female Skier in 2001 at the age of 15, making her the youngest skier ever to have won the award.  She graduated from Flagler College in St. Augustine with a major in business with a minor in advertising.  Kaylie says that it has been fun being a Ski-A-Ree and that she has made great friends and learned a lot of neat tricks since becoming a member of the team.  Her favorite acts are doubles and pyramid.

Lauren has been a part of the Ski-A-Rees her entire life and couldn't picture her life without waterskiing. She has earned numerous awards in the sport and is a two time winner of most outstanding female skier in the Florida State competition. Her most recent accomplishment was becoming a professional water skier and spends her summers the Sea World in San Antonio, TX. She currently attends Florida State University and is majoring in Elementary Education. “Waterskiing has not only given me a fun thing to do on the weekends, but it has provided me with so many opportunities. It has played a very large role in making me the person I am today”, says Lauren.

Samantha has been skiing since 2007. She currently attends Lakewood Ranch High School and is on the cheer team there. Her favorite act in show skiing is swivel skiing. She also enjoys doing doubles and pyramid. In 2009 she was awarded the Sunshine State Invitational Outstanding Junior Female Skier Award. Also in 2008 she was the Ski-A-Rees' "Most Improved Female Skier".

Becca became a SKI-A-REE in 2010. She currently attends St. Stephen's Episcopal School in Bradenton.  She learned to water ski at the age of 5 & her family joined a competitive water ski team in Fenton, Michigan when she was 7.  She started with mostly climbing pyramids & the doubles act (which she did with her dad).  At 11, while vacationing on St. Pete Beach, she trained for a week with Betty Bonifay learning how to swivel ski because she wanted to be in the girls' ballet line. There, she learned there are gators in every body of water in Florida, so she had to overcome that fear, trust her trainer, and get in the water.  In 2010, she entered her 1st individual competition in the southern region in swivel 180 and came in 2nd place.  Becca says “being on the team is fun, challenging, & it’s a unique sport.  This team has an awesome support system to help everyone learn anything they want on the water.  There's a lot of experience on this team and they are enthusiastic about sharing their passion with new members, this is the place for me, being a SKI-A-REE!”

Yvonne joined the Ski-A-Rees in 2010.  She is the mother of Becca and wife of Randy, both water skiers for the team.  She has been an observer in one of the tow boats for both this team and the Silver Lake Water Ski Show Team in Michigan.  She loves that it keeps the family active and doing a sport we can all participate in together.  She says, “It has been a great journey watching our daughter enjoy a sport as much as she does water skiing.  This team is a very easy to join because they are extremely welcoming and the whole family was utilized immediately in all of our favorite areas.  I like being in the boat, not behind one... So it works perfectly because there’s something for everyone!”

Kent has been a member of the Ski-A-Rees since 2002. Many people do not realize that he has been on hand for some of the momentous occasions in water skiing. For example, Kent was the boat driver for his cousin Ralph Samuelson, when Ralph made the first water skiing run in 1922. Additionally, Kent's brother-in-law Dick Pope planned to name Cypress Gardens "Kent Gardens," until he learned of a similarly-named gardens in Kent County, England, and settled on using Kent's middle name, Cypress, instead. In the 1970s, Kent led the effort to create the wireless microphones that are used widely by show ski teams today and was the jump-skiing stunt double for Henry Winkler in the famous "jump the shark" episode of "Happy Days."  Kent has also worked on several off-season projects, including inventing salt water, sunscreen, and aluminum beer bottles. His 1988 translation of the "National Show Ski Association Rulebook" into Klingon is considered by most scholars to be the most accurate ever attempted. In the mid-1990s, Kent simultaneously based the famed eight-tier pyramid at Callaway Gardens and drove the towboat. Several wakeboard tricks are named for Kent, including the Kent-rum, the 800 Pound-Kent, and the Kent Roll.  Now semi-retired, Kent enjoys the relative obscurity of announcing Ski-A-Rees shows. His omission from nomination lists for the National Water Skiing Hall-of-Fame confounds water skiing experts, many of whom are on the nominating committee.
*This autobiography written by Kent contains "facts"/views that belong solely to the author and do not reflect the views of the Ski-A-Rees or match the reality/history that all other humans live in. We love Kent anyways. =)

Avery graduated from Southeastern University in Lakeland FL.  He joined the Ski-A-Rees in 2004 and almost immediately took over as the "sound guy".  Avery's favorite act is barefoot but he's working at improving his skills in trio, pyramid, boat-o, and wakeboarding.  He hopes to learn barefoot pyramid , backwards skiing (any type, esp. barefoot), Jumping, doubles, and maybe the sky ski. "I love the people here and being with everyone. I love the friendships that I have made and it also gives me a place to relax and just have fun".  Future plans are too have a recording studio, to own a ski boat, and to always be a part of the Ski-A-Rees.  Avery was awarded the "Most Improved Male Skier" award in 2005.

Randy and his family got involved in competitive show waterskiing in 2002 with Silver Lake Ski Club in Fenton, Michigan. A lifelong recreational skier, Randy was looking for a healthy, outdoor family activity. He convinced his lovely wife, Yvonne, and 7 year old daughter, Becca, to “try it” for a year. It stuck! Randy and his family joined the Ski-A-Rees in 2010 and were warmly welcomed into a “wonderful ski family”. Randy barefoots, tricks, slalom skis, trios, and bases pyramids. He is USA Water ski Safety Certified and is also a Certified boat driver. At 50 years old, he says “Skiing is a great way to stay young but it takes lots of ibuprofen!”

Garrett P.
Garrett joined Ski-A-Rees in 1999 at the age of 7. He is currently attending the University of Central Florida to study political science. In addition to school and work, Garrett enjoys scuba diving and tennis and is always striving to become a more accomplished skier. The Ski-A-Rees have become an extended family for Garrett whose favorite acts are back-barefoot, jump, and sky-ski. Garrett was awarded the "Rising Star" in 2000, "Most Improved Male Skier" in 2002, as well as "Most Outstanding Male Skier" in 2007. He has Since became a professional water skier at both Cypress Gardens and SeaWorld.

Kelly started water skiing when she was just four years old behind a small row boat with a 25 horsepower motor. Growing up outside Chicago, she spent summers in Michigan skiing. Kelly moved to Sarasota from Illinois in 2002, saw the Ski-A-Rees later that year, and joined the team immediately. She skis in ballet, swivel, trios, and pyramid.  Her favorite act is pyramid because "it demands so much skill and teamwork." She earned the "Rising Star" Award in 2003. Kelly is a mother of two daughters that are also active on the team and working their way up the ranks.  Kelly was also awarded the  "Most Improved Female Skier" award in 2005.

Brad has been a member since 1998 when he joined at 14.  Brad served as Show Director in 2004/2005 making him one of the youngest in the team's history.  Once again, in 2009/2010 he was the show director for the "HipHop on the Dock" show & has served on the team's board numerous times. He graduated from the University of South Florida where he is majored in Mass Communications.  His favorite acts are barefoot and boat-o.  Brad was awarded the "Most Improved Male Skier" award in 2003 and the Presidents Award in 2006.

Blake has been a member his entire life and comes from a family of Ski-A-Rees.  He started skiing at age 3.  Blake graduated from Southern Illinois University in 2009 with a bachelor's degree in business management. Blake played left tackle with the Salukis. When asked what his favorite act is? He answers: "Final Payoff.  I can Rest then!"  Blake is honored to be a member of the Ski-A-Ree family.  "The friends and memories built over my years have taught me many life lessons and those will never be forgotten!"

Roz has been a member of the Ski-A-Rees since 1999. She graduated from the University of South Florida where she majored in Mass Communications and would like to one day work in the Graphic Design. Roz has water skied professionally in the Tommy Barlett's Show at the Wisconsin Dells and multiple summers at Sea World in San Antonio, TX.  "My brother Brad is also on the ski team which makes it a nice family activity for us to enjoy together". Roz's favorite act is swivel. "I love being on the ski team because you meet people of all different ages and you all share the same interest, the love of water skiing. It's like one big family out at the the ski club". Roz was awarded the "Most Improved Female Skier" award in 2001.

Jennifer grew up on and around the water. Prior to moving to Sarasota in 2010 and joining the Ski-A-ReesJennifer had been a member of Southern Extreme Water Ski team in Estero, FL for 8 years. Whether it be sailing, water skiing with a show team or behind her parent's Nautique, or rowing as crew member of the Cape Coral Rowing Club, Jennifer is likely to be found on or in the water... well except when she is dancing an Irish jig or two. Even while attending Florida Gulf Coast University she continued to work on the water as a ski instructor and life guard for FGCU. Upon graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in both Forensics Studies and Criminal Justice she moved to Sarasota to start work as aInvestigator with the Medical Examiner’s Office. Jennifer can usually be spotted skiing in the ballet line, turning on her swivel ski, climbing a pyramid, or helping instruct new skiers. “I am so thankful to be a part of the Ski-A-Rees. The team has become my family here in Sarasota . Not only has joining the team allowed me to continue to participate in a sport that I love; I have had the privilege of meeting many new faces, and have gained some lifelong friends.”

Dalton joined the team in 2003 at the age of 12 after attending a "Learn to Ski" day.  Prior to getting hooked on skiing, Dalton played six seasons of soccer, spent a couple of years racing BMX bikes.  He now attends the University of South Florida.   When not skiing Dalton enjoys hanging out with friends & spending time with his family. "Since joining the Ski-A-Rees, my life has become much more fun and exciting".  He has actually progressed far enough to get hired on multiple seasons at Tommy Bartlett's water ski show in the Wisconsin Dells. Dalton's favorite acts are jump, boat-o, barefoot, doubles and pyramid.  Dalton was awarded the "Rising Star" award in 2005 and the "Most Improved Male Skier" award in 2006.

Rachel joined the Ski-A-Rees in 2012 at the age of 13. She enjoys living in Florida. In addition to water skiing, Rachel plays basketball and is on the swim team. She had only tried skiing a few times prior to joining the ski team and really enjoyed it. Since joining the ski team, she has participated in Trios, Doubles, and loves climbing to the top of the world famous Sarasota Ski-A-Rees pyramid. She has even tried Boat-O and Barefoot. She is excited to work on her skills and make it into the Ballet line including the slalom standing dock start. Rachel won the 2012 Rising Start award.
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