Twenty-two — that’s the number of 41-off passes that Chris Parrish has run since 2005. As the current men’s world-record holder, with a score of 2 at 43 off (set in July 2010), it’s a fact that Chris Parrish can ski his tail off in record events. In the last five weeks alone he’s bagged five 41-off passes, and in two of the tournament rounds, he got back-to-back scores of 1½ at 43 off. Impressive! But Parrish’s 2012 pro-event performances have only landed him on the podium once, out of a total of five events that he’s competed in: a third-place finish at the Diablo Shore Pro Am.
So what’s the cause of Parrish’s inconsistent skiing in cash-prize events vs. lower-profile record tournaments? We caught up with the big guy (who’s also one of pro water skiing’s most likable characters) to learn more about his recent 41-off domination, his “new beginning,” and how he plans to finish strong at the World Cup event that takes place Thanksgiving Day weekend in Indonesia.–By Geena Krueger
You’ve been on a 41-off hot streak toward the end of the season — what’s behind your strong performances as of late?
It all clicked for me at a record tournament I went to in Santa Rosa Beach. I know this sounds crazy, because it happened in October, but I just found my groove of my gate and got on a roll. You know, I also feel like I’ve been able to be more consistent with the new Zero Off upgrade (RevR) and the Nautique 200. The RevR is helping my gate be more reliable, because it has a faster gate entry than the old Zero Off. It’s better for me ’cause I’m a bigger guy. Now I can carry more speed and get into 1 ball earlier, which makes all the difference at 41 and 43 off.
How does it feel to be the only person in the world to run 2 at 43 off?
I still think about it. It gives me the chills [laughs]. I reminisce on how I remember being in the zone. I remember all my world records. I predicted my last world record the week before the event [Ski Ranch record, in Covington, Louisiana]. Just the whole feeling of being on that level and in that kind of mental zone. The feeling that you get when you break a world record, that’s the part that I really thrive on. I’d really like to do it again! It’s an honor to still be the world-record holder, because I know how hard it is — there’s the dedication, the sacrifice it takes to get there, and a bit of luck involved as well.