2018 Award Winner Profile

Adam Pickos
Award: Amateur Award Award Year: 2018 Organization: U.S Waterskiing Sport: Waterskiing

Waterskiing has been a huge part of the Pickos family’s life for many generations. Adam was fortunate enough to grow up in South Walton with a front and backyard of man-made, freshwater ski lakes. “ So ultimately I knew what I would be doing from a young age! I started skiing around 3 years old, I competed in (and won) my first tournament at age 7 while breaking my first National record at the age of 9. My training has been a consistent, ten months a year, for 22 years now.” Every time Adam steps on the water, he is looking to improve.

Adam credits the many successes he’s had with his team. His gratitude begins with his parents, who gave him every chance to succeed without barriers; driving him to tournaments weekend after weekend and financing his passion. He also is thankful for the many skiers, coaches, and competitions that have helped him take and reach the next step in his career. Last but not least, he thanks his girlfriend who keeps him honest and grounded in every aspect of his life. “ It takes a team. And to perform at your best, your life needs equilibrium.”

Indeed, his ‘balance’ has helped Adam achieve the following (partial) list of accomplishments:

  • 2 Time (Back-2-Back) World Champion: 2015 Chapala, Mexico; 2017 Paris, France
  • 2015 Pan Am Games – Trick Gold Medal
  • Gold Medal – Team USA Member, (6 person team)
  • Multiple time National and Regional Champion
  • Collegiate National Trick Champion
  • University World Trick Champion
  • Multiple 17 & under national records

The best year of Adam’s career came in 2015 with a win at the PanAm Games, followed by a World Championship trick title. His personal best in tricks is 11,870 points. Currently, on the Elite U.S. Team, Adam is also a great slalom skier with a score of [email protected] off. It seems that Adam is indeed a ‘chip off the old dock’ as his father Cory had a very successful waterskiing career himself – winning every major title around the world, including the U.S Masters and U.S. Open Championship 10 times each and the World Championships twice.

There is little doubt that the Pickos dynasty will continue to produce quality skiers for many years
to come. After graduating from the University of Louisiana at Monroe (where he won 3 National Championships) Adam currently works at the Pickos Waterski School in South Walton coaching skiers of all levels from around the world. Yet despite his years of mastery, he cautions us not to believe in perfection. “ One of the greatest things about our sport is that no matter the level of skier, we are all working to improve at something. The “ perfect” run or performance doesn’t exist; there is always room to grow.”

Past Award Winners
Haley Wagner
Haley Wagner
2013 - Taylor Haugen Award
DT and Danny
Deterrian Shackelford
2014 - Wuerffel Trophy
Mary Kate Myrick
Mary Kate Myrick
2015 - Taylor Haugen Award
2015 Brittany Brown
Brittany Brown
2015 - Female Collegiate



Through the efforts our annual banquet & summer golf tournament, we help fund numerous worthwhile sports organizations & charitable causes. Our primary beneficiaries are the Boys & Girls Club of the Emerald Coast, Special Olympics Florida- Okaloosa, Eleanor J. Johnson Youth Center and Okaloosa Walton FCA.

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