Despite finishing runner-up to Andy Mapple on the U.S. Pro Tour in 1999, Steve Cockeram is still considered an unsung star in the pro ranks. Maybe that's because he spends the bulk of the offseason in his home land on the underside of the globe. We spent some time with the New Zealand ripper during one of his mid-winter training excursions to West Palm Beach, Florida. You might be surprised at his systematic workouts, and at his motivation last season.
How did it feel when you edged out Wade Cox at the last stop on the U.S. Pro Water Ski Tour to clinch second place for the year?
It felt great. There was a pre-season article in WaterSki magazine about the men's slalom field going into the 1999 season. There was a quote from Wade saying that it's always been a two-horse race for the season champion between him and Andy. That quote really got me pumped up for the season.
What's the most improved aspect of your skiing?
My confidence in tournaments. For the most part I've always skied well in practice, but doing it when it counts has been a battle that I've greatly improved.
What's your training schedule during the off-season?
Two sets per day, five to six days a week.
How many passes per set?
Anywhere from 6-10 passes.
Do you do any in-season cross training?
I've just started to surf, which I think is good for the shoulders, the arms and my aerobic fitness and balance.
Can you clue us in on your ski and fin set-up?
I'm on a Jobe NXT Edge. Fin length is 6.79 in., depth is 2.475 in., and the distance from the tail is .90 in.
You've been coached full time by Chet Raley for the last few years. What sets him apart from other coaches?
Chet's a great coach because of his psychology background. He's open minded and is also a good skier so he can relate to what I'm trying to do on the water.
What's your ultimate skiing goal?
To win an Olympic gold medal.
Your favorite tour stop?
I've always done well in Shreveport, Louisiana.
What sport are you most competitive in outside of water skiing?
Golf. My best score is an 80.
If you could be anyone for a day who would it be?
For the record, I enjoy my life very much. But if I had to choose it would be Michael Jordan.
How do you see your life after you retire from water skiing?
I have interests in real estate, and I plan to open a ski resort/school.