How Whitney McClintock, Pan Am Games water-skiier, pulls off one of the sport’s toughest tricks

How Whitney McClintock, Pan Am Games water-skiier, pulls off one of the sport’s toughest tricks

Somewhat improbably, considering the fact that much of our surface water is frozen for a third of the year, southern Ontario is home to a water-ski dynasty: the McClintock family, of Cambridge, whose involvement with the sport spans three generations and countless competitions. Whitney McClintock, at 25 years old, is one of the clan’s current standard-bearers. She won three silvers and a gold at the previous Pan Am in 2011 and is looking to improve on that performance during Toronto’s games, which begin later this week. Here’s how she pulls off the most ambitious trick in the sport: the möbius flip.

Step 1: McClintock rotates her lower half 180 degrees so that her back foot is forward, then leans aggressively into the wake.

Step 2: Just before going airborne, she spins her lower half back, creating torque, and launches into a flip with a simultaneous 360-degree rotation.

Step 3: At the flip’s midpoint, when she’s fully upside down, McClintock passes the handle from one hand to the other. As she finishes her rotation, she bends her knees to brace for impact, then lands softly on the other side of the wake, facing forward, ready for the next trick.