Andy Mapple, known as one of the world’s best water skiers, died Saturday in Florida. He was 52.
There was no word on how Mapple died, but his passing was unexpected, according to marine industry public relations guru Wanda Kenton Smith.
The British-born Mapple wasn't introduced to water skiing until he was 13 years old — prior to which he hated water and could not swim, according to his Mapple Skis’ website.
Two years later he was competing in tournaments, and by the age of 18 he had won his first world championship, according to Sportsblog.
Mapple won the Masters of water skiing 14 times between 1984 and 2003 and won six world championships between 1981 and 2001.
In retirement from professional skiing, Mapple began designing skis and teaching others.
Check out this 2013 video of Mapple skiing behind the Nautique 200.
“I covered Andy at the launch of his global rise to fame when I served as editor of Waterski Magazine,” Kenton Smith told Trade Only Today in an email. “He was a world-class guy in every respect — one of the super elite of the sport, with dozens of world records and titles to his claim. Andy was loved by all who had the opportunity to know him and was a fan favorite because he stayed humble throughout his career and always made time to talk to people in the sport.”
He was married to tournament water skier Deena Brush Mapple, and they lived in Orlando, Fla