Errol Flynn: Celebrity Waterskiing Pioneer

31 Jan

While still in its infancy, long before it became nationally popular, and before even the first known water skiing club was formed (on Lake Washington in Seattle), Errol was expertly skiing off the coast of California.

On one occasion skiing off the beach of Coronado, it’s been said he was ordered to stop by local authorities, who didn’t know what to think about this rarely-seen activity. There are some other great accounts of Errol out waterskiing – such as off of Catalina with David Niven, onto a beach in Jamaica for a celebrity beach party, to work in the Med. But photos proving he skied appear to be very rare. Here’s one though, from what I would say is the late 30s or early 40s, very early for anyone to be waterskiing, nevermind Hollywood’s greatest star.

Errol Waterskiing

— Tim


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  1. Gentleman Tim

    January 31, 2016 at 6:27 am

    Chris Blackwell, world-renowned resident of Goldeneye Estate and Founder of Island Records, is quoted as saying the following in interviews/articles:

    “The first person I ever saw water-ski was Errol Flynn,” says Blackwell, who grew up in Jamaica. Flynn was dressed for cocktails. He had a cigarette holder in his fist “and a dachshund under his arm. I was 12 or 13, and it was the most glamorous thing I’d ever seen.” (New York Times)

    “When we has a young boy, Blackwell says he watched Errol Flynn step gracefully onto the dock after a water-ski outing – performed apparently effortlessly – with a cigarette in one hand and a small dog tucked under his arm.”

    “Blackwell first witnessed water-skiing when Errol Flynn, fully-clothed, lit cigarette in mouth, miniature dachshund under his arm, rolled up his trousers and took to the water.”

    Greatly inspired by Flynn, Chris Blackwell went on to become a notable waterskiing instructor in both Jamaica and Europe. Errol is said to have been “madly in love” with his mother, Blanche, Ian Fleming’s legendary lover.*


    * “Errol Flynn referred to her laugh as “like the sounds of water tinkling over a waterfall” and was madly in love with her. He even considered proposing to her (even though he was still married). At first she had not wanted to meet him, telling him she was suffering from boils on her bottom.

    “He was the most handsome man I had ever seen,” she says swooning still at the thought. “We became great friends.””×214/321342_1.jpg…

    • Tina

      January 31, 2016 at 11:52 pm


    • Tony

      June 23, 2017 at 5:05 pm

      I never fail to be fascinated by EF. There are a combination of things that go into making who Errol Flynn was that together command your attention. His infatuation with Blanch Blackwell is another charming piece of the puzzle.

      In a way, he’s like watching a kitten playing in the yard chasing after a leaf that’s tumbling in the breeze; A beautiful creature, with great athletic agility, doing amazing things you’d never imagine possible, as he plays joyfully under the sun.

      • Dragonette

        June 23, 2017 at 6:23 pm

        Great analogy Tony!

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