Industry News

Water Ski Hall of Fame to Honor Ralph Meloon with Special Lifetime Tribute

The Water Ski Hall of Fame is proud to honor Ralph C. Meloon Sr. with a Special Lifetime Tribute at the 2017 Water Ski Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.

The Hall of Fame is recognized as the highest honor to achieve in the sport and the Special Lifetime Tribute is intended to recognize and celebrate the lives of persons who have made unparalleled contributions to the sport of water skiing –leaving behind an extraordinary legacy. 

“We are honored to recognize Ralph as a member of the Water Ski Hall of Fame Class of 2017,” says USA Water Ski Foundation Executive Director Tracy Mattes.  “He is an outstanding example of all that is good in our sport. He has touched so many lives in the water ski and wake sports community.  Anyone who has been lucky enough to work with him has been blessed.”

The 35th Annual Water Ski Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place on April 29th at Walt Disney’s World Showplace Pavilion at Epcot Theme Park in Orlando, Florida.

Ralph is a member of the founding family of Correct Craft, which was formed in 1925 by his parents.  Ralph has operated, built and sold boats, and promoted boating and water sports around the world since the age of ten. He has held many positions at Correct Craft over the years including President, Executive Vice President, Treasurer, and Chairman of the Board for more than 25 years helping shape the company into an innovative leader in the water ski and wake-sports industry. 

Ralph has traveled the globe helping to build Correct Craft and Nautique as premier brands for water ski and wakeboard enthusiasts worldwide. He has visited 85 different nations through the years and was instrumental in selling boats to water ski federations in numerous countries and attending water ski tournaments, including the USSR and China when it was virtually impossible to get into these countries.  While he is no longer able to travel internationally as an ambassador for Correct Craft, there is not a country that a Correct Craft employee visits that he does not get asked about Ralph Meloon.  Ralph was part of many historic moments in the sport of water skiing, including being the very first boat driver for the Cypress Gardens ski shows.  Correct Craft boats were used at Cypress Gardens for over 50 years, and Ralph and Dick Pope, Sr. remained friends throughout Dick’s life. 

Under Ralph’s leadership, the company established the first water ski team and developed the first water ski promotional program in the United States which is still used to date by Nautique and extensively in the watersports segment of the market in the United States. Ralph was instrumental in many innovations including introducing Ski Nautique water ski boats, Air Nautique wakeboard boats, the Total Wake Control hull and the Smart Pod 2000 dash pod.

Today, at age 98, Ralph continues to be the face of Correct Craft and currently serves as Chairman Emeritus.  In 1994, Ralph and his brother and nephew received the Award of Distinction for their leadership and support of the sport of water skiing.  Ralph is not only a great ambassador for Correct Craft promoting boating and water sports, he has also been active in giving back to the community. He is on the Board of Gideons, Christian Business Men’s Committee, Prison Ministries, and Orlando Union Rescue Mission.  He continuously lives out his faith through work and truly believes “Building boats to the glory of God,” took precedent over all other business philosophies. 

About the Water Ski Hall of Fame

The purpose of the Water Ski Hall of Fame is to honor and perpetuate the names and accomplishments of skiers, pioneers and officials whose dedication and competitive achievements at national and international levels have brought lasting fame to the sport of water skiing. Four categories of membership have been approved by the USA Water Ski Foundation board of trustees: competitive water skiers, including participants in traditional water skiing, barefoot skiing, ski racing and any other nationally competitive individual discipline recognized by USA Water Ski and approved by the USA Water Ski Foundation board of trustees; water skiing pioneers; water skiing officials; and show skiing. For more information on the Water Ski Hall of Fame and the USA Water Ski Foundation go to: