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A Five-time US Open Champion
For Bob LaPoint, it was only a matter of time before the water skiing great would go down in history as an inductee into the American Water Ski Educational Foundation’s Water Ski Hall of Fame.
A native of California, he got his start in the sport at age 7. It didn’t take long for LaPoint and his older brother, Kris, to quickly move up the ranks in the younger divisions. By 1967, LaPoint was declared Junior Boys overall and slalom champion at the Water Ski National Championships, and there was nowhere for him to go but up. While he got his start as a three-event skier and had a successful jumping career through the mid-eighties, it was his natural athletic ability and a solid 6-foot-2-inch frame that paved the way for countless championship wins on the slalom course.
During a competitive career that spanned 35 years, LaPoint went on to become a five-time U.S. Open champion and a five-time Masters champion in slalom. He won numerous national titles and set the Men’s world slalom record five times throughout the 1970s and 1980s, setting his highest record in September of 1984 with 5 buoys at 39-1/2 feet off. The defining moment of his career was winning five world slalom titles that spanned a decade in 1977, 1979, 1983, 1985 and 1987.
When LaPoint found out he was selected as a 2006 inductee into the Hall of Fame, the first words he could muster were, “This is great. This is great,” he recalls. LaPoint says it’s an honor to be named among some of the sport’s greatest athletes. “It’s going to be a thrill to be in the Hall of Fame,” he says. “There are people in there who are my idols like Chuck Stearns, Larry Penacho and Barb Cooper Clack [Heddon] . . . it’s going to be fun to be in there with them.”
Today, LaPoint lives in Truckee, Calif., just outside of Lake Tahoe, with his wife, Erika, and 5-year-old son Kristian, and 1-and-a-half year-old daughter, Simone. LaPoint has two other daughters, Kaci and Kara, from a previous marriage. He works as a project manager for Robert Marr construction, and snow skis, water skis and plays golf in his free time.