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2018

Jon Kretchman

Jon Kretchman

Awarded in 

Eight-time world record holder and barefoot jump  pioneer Jon Kretchman has been a key figure of barefoot water skiing  since age 13.  Under the mentorship of barefoot legend Mike Seipel,  Kretchman became known as the “barefoot jumping wonder child.” 


In 1991,  just four years after competing in his first national championships,  Kretchman shattered the World Jump Record, held by Seipel, by an  astonishing 11 feet.  He was one of only a few in the world to land an  inverted style jump.  Kretchman exceeded the World Jump Record seven  more times and is credited with refining the modern barefoot jump style  that is still used by current champions today. 


Kretchman is the only barefooter to ever complete a 360 turn off the ramp, score a wake to  wake 360 in a tournament and was the first to complete feet-to-feet toe  turns in a tournament.  Kretchman was a member of five World Champion  U.S. Barefoot teams and coached three World Champion U.S. Barefoot  teams.  He is the only barefooter to have skied and coached on gold  medal winning US Teams.  He is a four-time National Jump Champion, and a  two-time U.S. Open Jump Champion. 


Before retiring in 2000, Kretchman  received 11 consecutive Midwest Region and Minnesota State overall  titles, won the 1998 X-Format Jump, received silver at the 1996 ESPN  X-Games Barefoot Jumping and was also the recipient of the 2000 Banana  George “Barefooter of the Year.”   Kretchman has given back to the sport  as a world-renowned coach, driver, ABC Senior Judge and scorer.