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Parents of 6-month-old water-skier says daughter set world record

Watch a 6-month-old girl show off her water-skiing skills on a Florida lake.
/ Source: TODAY

She can’t walk. She can’t even crawl. But 6-month-old Zyla can glide across the water like adults four times her size.

Clad in a pink life vest, the 20-pound baby was filmed recently water skiing for nearly 700 feet on a Florida lake.

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Her father, Keith St. Onge, a professional barefoot water skier, said his daughter would have kept going longer but the boat reached the end of the lake.

"We had to stop," he told The Associated Press. "Otherwise, she would have gone a lot longer."

The video shows Zyla gripping a walker-like handle bar attached to a set of mini water skis. Her father said she skied under professional supervision and amid a line of people ready to catch her on each side.

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St. Onge said he thinks his daughter set a record, but USA Water Ski spokesman Scott Atkinson told The AP it doesn't keep track of age records, just the youngest and oldest to compete in national championships.

St. Onge told TODAY Parents that the reaction to Zyla's achievement has been both positive and negative, as some clamor to get their own kids out on the water, while others worried for Zyla's safety.

"People that are involved in water skiing are wanting to know how we built the skis so they can try (it for) their 1-2 year old," he said.

He also said his daughter, the child of two professional water-skiers, was perfectly safe at all times. "I was in the back of the boat only 30 feet away. When the boat started to slow down I pulled her in closer and jumped in to catch her. " She was wearing a flotation device and the family had worked on the procedure in a pool many times. The skiing was on a private man-make lake, he said.

"This was great family time," he told TODAY Parents. "It is amazing what children can learn and how they develop, when they get the attention. We put her on the skis and pulled her across the carpet many times and she laughed and smiled every time we did it. She liked it so much we caught her rolling over to the skis and wanting to do it again.​"

Gael Fashingbauer Cooper contributed to this article.