Boating writer and competitive water-skier takes gold at national barefoot championships

Publish date:

Zenon Bilas, a boating writer and professional barefoot water-ski champion, has won a gold medal at the 2018 USA Barefoot water Ski National Championships. Bilas is 56.

The longtime medalist beat competitors half his age in the Open Men's Slalom division, a category where all ages compete against each other. The three-day event in Polk City, Fla., event drew over 60 competitors from around the world. Here is a video of his winning run.

Bilas won his first of eight national championship gold medals at the age of 20. In 1985, he set the highest-ranking score in the world for the slalom event in barefoot water skiing.

In 2017, he returned to national competition after an 18-year hiatus. Last year, he won silver in the Men's A Trick category. Bilas has also been a long-time boating journalist, with articles and media presentations on wake sports, the boating lifestyle and fitness in a range of media outlets, including television.

Bilas trains year-round in West Palm Beach, Florida. He also coaches athletes and presents lectures, seminars and clinics worldwide.

"Back in the 80s, the vigor of youth was on my side, but I didn't have the mental edge I have today," said Bilas in a statement. "I'm much more disciplined now and have learned to draw upon my decades of experience. What I achieved at the 2018 Nationals I couldn't have done those many years ago." 


Piloting Sea Tow’s Customer Care Center

In recognition of International Women’s Day, Sea Tow is highlighting 18-year employee Alicia Grattan.

Conservation Group Calls for Striper Break

Stripers Forever says a 10-year harvest moratorium will save striped bass from another population collapse.

Lumishore Appoints Operations Manager

Adam Hurley will oversee U.S. operations for the LED lighting system manufacturer.

Leader, Know Thyself

Becoming more self-aware is a vital tool that will help you become happier and a better leader, says Correct Craft CEO Bill Yeargin.

NMMA Confirms Industry Growth

NMMA president Frank Hugelmeyer said the boating business grew 12 percent last year during yesterday’s virtual State of the Boating Industry address.