Silverock Lining: How old were you when you first got up on skis?
Seth: By today’s standards, I got a late start. I grew up in Southwest Florida and started skiing in the Gulf at 8.
SL: Did you grow up going to the lake? What was your relationship with the lake? As in, did you spend summers there?
Seth: My family has always lived on the water. We lived on the Mississippi River while in Minnesota and had a cabin on a large lake up there too, moved to Sanibel Island Florida where we were surrounded by water, and then moved to a smaller inland River in Florida. I’ve had my own boat since I was 8 and I’ve always loved the water. I built my first house on Smith Lake when I was 25 and been here ever since.
SL: What was the progression after you learned to ski? What did you
master next in water sports? And after that??
Seth: I primarily skied and knee boarded through my teens. About the time I started to stand up on the kneeboard someone invented wakeboarding and I got my first board at around 22. I rode off and on behind boats that weren’t really set up for wakeboarding so I really didn’t start to progress at wakeboarding until I got a Super Air Nautique about 3 years ago. During that time I started to ride a Sky Ski (hydrofoil) since you didn’t need a big wake to be able to jump really high. The sky ski was very hard to learn (I have to thank my Dad and Jim Blankenship for all the pulls) but was quickly able to make it “fly” up on the foil and was jumping before long. It took me two years and probably over 300 attempts to ride away from my first back flip. I mostly wakeboard now, but still take a few runs on the sky ski and surfboard every weekend. Occasionally we’ll break out the wake skate, slalom ski, trick ski’s and even a few late afternoon barefoot runs.
SL: Have you placed in any competitions?
Seth: I’ve never competed…mostly just like to try to put on a show for the people in the boat and around the lake. I can’t really compete with the kids out there that started riding when they were young and fearless. There’s an amateur league called the NIT that travels around the southeast and has different age categories, and have considered riding in it when they come to Smith Lake. I’ve even talked to them about moving the event from the Dam to SRC.
SL: Have you ever taught private lessons? Would you if someone at SRC was interested?
Seth:I’ve probably taught over 100 people to wakeboard and have considered starting a boardshop and/or starting to give lessons here on the lake. If anyone is interested in learning to ride or progressing their riding , please feel free to have them contact me.
If you are interested in lessons with Seth, email him at: email@example.com