The Michigan Waterski Hall of Fame recognizes top performers who have proven their ability, and have excelled in this sport through the years.  Clark Lake’s Dan Morea is being inducted into this august group and will be honored at a ceremony on Saturday, April 13th, 3 pm at Krupa’s Boat Mart.

Born in 1949, Dan grew up at Clark Lake, taking a natural interest in what the lake had to offer.  Clark Lake had become a focal  point for competitive water skiing that increased each year.  Clark Lake produced outstanding practitioners of the sport.  Five Clark Lakers have already been inducted into the Hall of Fame – Lynn Vermeulen, Kay Vermeulen Nichols, Gary Krupa, Tony Krupa, and Jon Broderick.  Dan Morea will be the sixth to receive this honor.

Most champion water skiers began competing while still teens or younger.  Though Dan skied at the lake as a kid, he didn’t start skiing competitively until he was 29.  The inspiration?  He attended the Nationals in 1978 as a spectator.  His reaction? “I thought that can’t be that hard.” The next year, he accompanied David and Kay Nichols to the World Championships.  He met Corey Pickos who set the world record in tricks.  Now the die was cast.  Already having one tournament under his belt, he was ready for more. Now he was practicing with dedication and with a clear goal in mind.  During the 1980s he refined his performance with the coaching of a local champion, Tony Krupa.

Like other top contenders, Dan worked endlessly on his slalom and trick runs through the 1970s and 80s.  Then, this.  During a late season practice session in 1985, Dan was attempting a complicated trick that required perfect release timing.  It went poorly.  He was severely injured, and it looked like his waterskiing career was over, and even walking would be a challenge.  Dan searched for an orthopedic surgeon who could help, and became an early recipient of an experimental surgery.  It worked.  He was soon back on the water.  At this point, he concentrated on his trick run, and continued to chalk up wins.

Though Clark Lake has always been an anchor, Dan, his wife Lynne, and daughter Olivia began spending winters in New Hampshire.  It was there he picked up a variant of skiing – snowboarding.  Learning that snow had qualities similar to water, he practiced his trick run on this surface.  As on water, Dan succeeded in snowboarding and won awards.  He became the National Overall Champion in 2000 and 2003, and achieved second or third for the overall title multiple times.

Dan Morea’s waterskiing titles are many and significant.

  • Michigan State Champion – 2016, 2017
  • Regional Champion – 1995, 2003, 2004, 2011, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2021.
  • National Champion – 2011, 2017,and 2021
  • Placed in the Nationals 2003, 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2018
  • World Championships – 7th in 2016, 2nd in 2018

Dan and Lynne live on Eagle Point.  Today Dan’s career continues to be about enjoying the water.  He owns Blue Planet Board Sports.  His store features kayaks, paddle boards, and skate boards.  Dan and Lynne can often be seen on their paddle boards, as in this photo taken on January 9, 2024.

And does Dan still skate board?  “Yes, that’s how I get around in the store!”  Blue Planet ‘s Jackson setting has significant history to it.  At 3019 East Michigan Avenue, it was one of eight Performance Auto locations that Dan owned from 1971 to 2001.  In 1991, he added Performance Travel to the operation, and then sold it in 2017.

Listening to Dan, it’s clear he loves what he’s doing, whether at Blue Plant Board Sports, skiing competitively, snowboarding, or one of the many other endeavors in his life.  When you love what you’re doing, it really boosts opportunities for success.  As he prepares for his formal induction into the the Michigan Waterski Hall of Fame, that’s certainly true for Dan Morea.

Roger Lyons nominated Dan for the honor, and submitted a narrative outlining Dan’s accomplishment.  Some of that material is used in this story.

Dan’s daughter, Olivia, is also a competitive skier.  Click here to learn more, including how others at Clark Lake succeeded and left impressive water skiing legacies.