USA Water Ski & Wake... Nelson Enjoys Record...

Nelson Enjoys Record-Setting Year

By USA Water Ski & Wake Sports Photography by FlowPoint LLC | Dec. 17, 2020, 4:14 p.m. (ET)

Elisha Nelson slalom skiingU.S. adaptive water ski athlete Elisha Nelson of Woodland, Calif., had a record summer of skiing this year, three to be exact. Although she was born with a congenital arm amputation, Nelson set her three records at able bodied tournaments (Women 3 division) in 2020. Nelson skis in the A2 category, classified as those having a hand or arm disability preventing them from holding the handle normally. In contrast to the A1 category, the disabled upper limb may come in contact, directly or indirectly, with the tow handle or tow line while the skier is in the course. Athletes skiing in this category use the same equipment as able bodied skiers and have the option of using a prosthesis.

On July 25, 2019, in Skarnes, Norway (at the 2019 World Disabled Water Ski Championships), Nelson set the previous U.S. national record of 5-1/2 buoys at 43kph, on an 18.25 meter line.  

She broke her 2019 U.S. national A2 slalom record twice (July 11 and 12, 2020) at the Nor Cal State Championships held at Liquid Zone Ski Lake in Pleasant Grove, Calif.   

On July 11, she set a new record of 5-1/2 buoys at 46kph, on an 18.25m line and bested that record the next day with a performance of 3 buoys at 49kph, on an 18.25m line in the same tournament.

Skiing into the 2021 ski season, on Sept. 9, 2020 at the Liquid Zone 2021 ProStar Record Slalom tournament at Liquid Zone Ski Lake in Pleasant Grove, Calif., Nelson set her third national record of 3-1/2 buoys, 49kph, on an 18.25m line.

Nelson will be competing at the 2021 U.S. Adaptive Water Ski Nationals and Team Trials July 14-17, 2021 in Paducah, Ky., vying to earn a coveted spot on the USA Adaptive Water Ski Team. Team USA, the reigning world champions, will compete at the 2022 IWWF World Disabled Water Ski Championships, March 21-27, 2022 at the Bridgewater Ski Club in Victoria, Australia. The venue is one of the oldest water ski clubs in Australia and will host the Australian Masters Water Ski Championships in January 2022. The club is frequented by international and national able bodied and adaptive skiers, who go there to train and also prepare for major events such as the Moomba Masters.

For more information on adaptive water skiing, visit