Rhoni Barton-Bischoff

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Ski Nautique 200 - Open Bow Rhoni Barton-Bischoff skis behind the Ski Nautique 200 - Open Bow

Q & A


Place of birth:
Torrance, California

Years water skiing? Years pro?
My dad taught me to ski behind the boat when I was two years old. I started competing in local California tournaments at age seven. I made my first US Junior Water Ski team at age 12 and I won my first pro tournament, the Masters, at age 16. I have been competing professionally and for the US ever since. It certainly doesn't feel like I've been doing this professionally for nearly 20 years already!

Years water skiing
I love spending time with my family. My husband, Chris Bischoff, and I have an almost three year old son, Linkin. Chris runs the pro wakeboard tour so between our two schedules we are on the go a lot. We have a blast when we are all at home together. We love to take Linkin to the pool, park, and, yes, even the lake. Spending time on our back porch grilling out is another one of my favorite pass times, especially when we have the time to invite over some of our closest friends and their kids too!

Where is your favorite place water skiing has taken you?
I have had the unique opportunity to travel to Morocco in Northern Africa a few times in the past year and a half. There is a new Nautique dealer that is really dedicated to growing the sport of waterskiing there. On the first trip over, fellow team Nautique member Chris Parrish and I put in the first slalom course ever. We coached for 10 days and taught nearly 50 people to waterski. Many of them learned to run the slalom course or mini-course for the first time. On subsequent trips, we have discussed training these new skiers to be judges and we hope to hold a Moroccan National Championships one day in the very near future. Coaching and growing this sport that I love so much has become a very strong passion of mine in the past few years.

What are the top three most played songs in your playlist?
I like a wide variety of music to say the least, but here are a few of my favorites (not in any particular order): 1. Dancing Queen by Abba 2. All Summer Long - Kid Rock 3. Trouble or Most Girls by Pink

Do you have a pre-run routine you do before contests for good luck?
For a good majority of my career (18 years or so - ha, ha), I had a stretching routine that I did about 30 minutes prior to competing. However, as times have changed, my trainer, Carl Percival, and my best friend, Karyn Eade, told me that the way I was stretching was actually hindering my performances. It took both of them a long time to convince me, but in 2010 I changed my whole pre-run routine and I posted career high scores. Instead of static stretching, I now do a specific dynamic warm up. I feel quicker, lighter and more powerful now than I ever have. As far as superstitions go, I have to put my front foot in the slalom boot before my rear foot. I believe this is the opposite of what most slalom skiers do. In tricks, I have a special way that I have to wash my hands before I compete.

What has been the biggest accomplishment of your career?
I was ranked number one in the world in women's overall for 11 years. I believe the only two skiers ever to be ranked number one in the world longer than that have been Andy Mapple and Kristi Overton Johnson.

If you could give someone one piece of advice; what would it be?
It doesn't matter how hard you've worked or how prepared you are, anyone can still have a bad day. It is how you handle those bad days that makes you a true champion.

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