Canadian jumping powerhouse Ryan Dodd has come on strong in the second half of the season and is looking forward to representing his country at the World Water Ski Championships next week in Santiago, Chile. Read what Dodd has to say about his chances of victory in South America.
What specific changes have you made in your training the last few months that has allowed you to win three pro jump events in a row? This spring was about learning and growing as an athlete. I had to take some time to learn about my equipment, my training and my technique. The only way to get better is to step out of your comfort zone and try new things. I got way uncomfortable this spring. I was working on new ski designs constantly and testing different bindings, setups and fins and trying to combine that with an approach to my jumping that would sync up well with the equipment and help me step to the next level. This spring, I picked my ski and fin setup three sets before Masters. I was by no means trying to “peak” for the event. For me to feel good about my process, I have to be constantly learning and growing. I knew early on in the year I had to try some new stuff and work my butt off to make the necessary gains to put me in a position to win this fall and at the Worlds.
You won the Orlando Extreme Watersports Fest with 206 feet, a relatively short jump distance for you. Describe the conditions at the event. The conditions were tough. It was extremely dark; we were on a new site with a short setup, and I jumped behind a boat I don’t train behind. I felt calm and confident throughout the event and felt very much at home in downtown Orlando.
Do you prefer to be top seed, or do you like applying the heat first? Either way, I am applying the heat. It wouldn’t be any fun if I didn’t, would it?
You’ve said that Freddy Krueger is a big reason that you’re the jumper that you are today. How would you describe your relationship with him? Freddy and I are friends and competitors. For 10 years of my career, I was chasing him and Jaret [Llewellyn]. For the last four years, just when I thought I was on top, Freddy works harder and improves. So that just motivates me to do the same. Without Freddy, I wouldn’t be the athlete I am now. He has evolved further than anyone in the sport in my opinion. I am not comparing myself to Freddy. That doesn’t help me jump farther. For me to go farther, I have to push my body and mind to a new level every single day!
What’s been your biggest jump of the season? My round at Bennett’s [LA Night Jam] was fun. I jumped 236, 232 and 235 feet.
How important is a Worlds win this year? The Worlds is a measure of how I have evolved since the last Worlds I skied in, which was 2009. I am hungry, focused and ready to jump like I can at the Worlds in Chile. Time to fly!