Packing the skis for travel has always been a challenge explains Jez, and it was time to move permanently on from bubble-wrap, soft bags and keeping fingers crossed that they arrived in one piece ... to something more serious!
Water skis are constructed from hollow fiberglass resin materials which are brittle on the outside and a fall onto concrete, even from a short distance, can damage a ski beyond repair, so protection during transport is imperative.
UK based Jeremy was recommended to 5 Star, where he met Keith Sykes and the design team, who listened to his requirements and set to work to create a fabulous and funky case!
For the carcass, they used Penn Elcom's hugely robust but very lightweight Flite Panel. The honeycomb polypropylene panel material is becoming increasingly used for this type of application for all the obvious reasons - ruggedness, high quality and expedient weight.
The case was constructed similar to a standard 5 Star flightcase, with the addition of high grade aluminium profiles to all the exposed edges and a dust tight 'hybrid location' between the lid and base. Three medium sized butterfly catches with pad-lockable loops were fitted to the hinged edge due to its 1.8 metre length.
Trolley wheels were added at one end for super-easy handling and easy manual wheeling when desired.
Harford comments, "5 Star were amazing and very responsive to all my requests in the design. The end result surpassed all my expectations and it's absolutely perfect for the job in hand. Apart from that, the service right through from 5 Star was second to none - it has been an absolute pleasure to work with them and I'd recommend the company to anyone else in my sport wanting a case!"
Keith Sykes adds, "We always enjoy doing something different here at 5 Star, and this was certainly interesting - and our first foray into the world of water-skiing."
It's not however, the first time that 5 Star has built cases for sports competitors. Their work has encompassed special projects embracing competitors in the Red Bull Air Race to cars in the International Formula 3000/GP2 Championship.
5 Star is enjoying a particularly sporty year so far in 2013, also enthusiastically sponsoring motor racing drive Jack Goff in the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC).