Austin Kolodejcak didn’t just do this on a whim. For a year he knew there were 8 lakes in the Houston area, and wanted to try skiing them all in one day. When he finally told one of his many ski-partners he’s met through collegiate skiing, the friend said “lets make it happen.”
With 8 lakes, 2 of which he’d never been to, Austin wasn’t sure logistically if it was even possible. Get to 8 lakes, with 8 different drivers, across Houston (Which if you know Texas, nothing is close). He went for it anyways. After much planning, and the amazing connections of the water ski community, Austin accomplished his goal July 4th.
Austin skied a full set at each of these lakes, for a total of 3 jump, 3 slalom, 1 barefoot and 1 trick.
Stevenson Ski Ranch
Pat Deegan’s Ski Lake
Lakes at Cypress Hill
Lakes of Katy
Lago Santa Fe
Competing in Barefoot regionals the following weekend, Austin talked to me about all that went into making this happen. Austin had only skied once before coming to college, and his only experience wasn’t promising. When he got to school, he found the club, thought it was cool, and dove right in. By sophomore year he was VP of the club, and President his senior. He brought the team from a 2004 Ski Nautique to a 2014 Mastercraft ProStar, installed a slalom course, and revamped the ramp. “I’m a machinist, when I see something’s broken, I fix it” says Austin, on how he accomplished so much in his time leading the team. Austin frequently calls the friends he’s made skiing in South Central, for advice, problem solving, and D.I..Y solutions to constantly improve his team.
Going into his 5th and final year of the industrial engineering program, Austin says he can’t remember a week since joining the team that he hasn’t skied. Austin doesn’t have a boat of his own, or live on a lake, but has made so many connections, he knows he always has a place to show up with a gas tank and his ski, and hit the water. Skiing over 12 sets on an average week, Austin was well prepared for this challenge. The water skiing network really pulled this event together. They connected him with the right people at 2 new lakes, and with 6 new drivers. But Austin reminds us that this community is great for more than skiing. He met his girlfriend, Jade Hanson, through the team, and thanks her and her family for their help and support. And as an engineer Austin has received job opportunities and career guidance. Post graduation, Austin believes he will have no problem finding employment.
When Austin isn’t studying or skiing, he loves coaching. It’s the little moments, “Helping someone get up for the first time, getting involved in my sport” that Austin really enjoys. He’s all about the performance of the sport, with his motto being “never waste an audience”, but he feels all good inside when he’s bringing the joy of skiing to others, and making his team better.Just a couple weeks ago, Austin had pro and NCWSA water skier K.C. Wilson, and Midwest Women’s Jump record holder Riley Dalton on the water. Riley was up her first time on the boom, and K.C. went from barely footin’ to rocking the deep water start. It was fun for all, and another great experience connecting NCWSA skiers from across the nation.
Going into his final year at Texas A&M, Austin is sticking around skiing. He’ll spend this year training the new Texas A&M waterski officers, and competing in Barefoot and AWSA tournaments. Skiing is now a huge part of his life, and he has plans to build a lake of his own one day.
When that day comes, he invites the collegiate community to come with him to ski all 9.
How are you spending your summer? If you’re doing something epic, let us know! Email email@example.com with your story to share with the collegiate water ski community.
My Parents for supporting my love of waterskiing and helping me through college at Texas A&M.
*Ski ranch is Austin’s favorite lake “It’s the best lake in Texas, you can quote me on that” Longest lake in Houston, located in a valley that keeps the water always glassy. “You can barefoot in 15mph winds, it’s that good” If you haven’t been yet, you have to go.