Today, the 4th of January 2024, Ron Marks celebrates a remarkable milestone – his 60th anniversary in the Marine Industry. Born on September 17, 1943, in the picturesque setting of Baulkham Hills, NSW, Australia, Ron’s life evolved into an adventure that reads almost like a script for an extraordinary movie.
Early Years and Emergence on the Water
At the tender age of 8, in November 1951, Ron had his first encounter with water skiing on the Hawkesbury River at Windsor. This marked the beginning of a lifelong passion that would shape his identity and define his legacy. Fast forward to March 2, 1958, and Ron stepped onto the competitive stage for the first time at the Sydney Metropolitan Water Ski Championships held at Manly Dam, Sydney. His debut was nothing short of spectacular – winning the Junior Slalom, Tricks, and Overall Point Score events, a sure sign of the greatness to come. The journey continued through the 1958 New South Wales State Championships and the subsequent Australian National Championships, where Ron emerged as the very first Australian Junior Champion.
Evolution into the Men’s Division and International Recognition
In 1960, at the age of 16, Ron transitioned into the Men’s Division, marking a new chapter in his skiing career. The Australian National Championships that year saw him claim victory in Men’s Slalom and Tricks, setting the stage for a series of triumphs in the years to come.
The inauguration of the Moomba Masters Tournament in 1961 became a pivotal moment. Ron not only won the Men’s Tricks event but also earned a Haydon Hydrodyne ski boat as the prize, marking the professionalisation of water skiing in Australia.
This year also saw the inception of Mixed Doubles in competition water skiing, where Ron’s future wife, Denise Barclay, showcased her skills by winning the event alongside her brother, Graham Barclay. Graham incidentally, is the foremost oyster farmer on Wallis Lakes at Forster, NSW and is also the principal of Graham Barclay Marine, the major marine dealership in that area.
International Exposure and Challenges
Ron’s journey took an international turn in August 1961 when he represented Australia at the 7th World Water Ski Championships in Long Beach, California, USA, providing him exposure to the elite echelons of competition. While the competition was fierce, Ron’s performance was a strong testament to his skill and dedication.
Post USA, Ron participated in the inaugural Bridge to Bridge Ski Race, showcasing his versatility in water skiing. However, he decided that Ski Racing was not his “buzz” and chose to concentrate specifically on tournament water ski events; namely Tricks, Slalom and Jump.
The 1962 Moomba Masters and Australian National Championships continued to add to his accolades, solidifying his status as a formidable competitor.
The pinnacle of Ron’s international exposure came in 1963 when he became the first ever International skier invited to compete in the US Masters Tournament at Callaway Gardens in Georgia, where quite significantly, he was recognized as the “Best & Fairest Sportsman”, an award which exemplified not just his athletic prowess but also his genuine sportsmanship.
Then in August 1963 he represented Australia at the 8th World Water Ski Championships in Vichy, France where he again excelled in the Slalom and Overall Point Score events.
Dominance and Legacy
The mid 1960’s witnessed Ron’s continued dominance in the Australian National Championships and Moomba Masters Tournaments. His achievements including the Australian Men’s Slalom titles in each successive year 1963, 1964 and 1965, demonstrated an unparalleled level of skill and consistency. However, there was an unexpected turn of events in 1966 when the Australian selectors advised Ron that they had decided “it was time to include younger skiers” in future Australian teams in lieu of current champions. Ron was at that time only 22 years old! Having successfully competed around the world for 8+ years, Ron then decided to announce his retirement from sanctioned events in Australia.
Beyond the Wake: Contributions and Legacy
Ron’s influence extended far beyond the wake. His contributions to the sport included serving as a Director of the New South Wales Water Ski Association and representing Australia at various international forums. Likewise, he was a Director of the BIA of NSW during the presidency of Chris Iacono of Solo Marine Co. During his tenure Ron was the BIA Director who was tasked with re-locating the Sydney Boat Show from the docks of Rozelle Wharves to the then new Sydney Exhibition Centre at Darling Harbour. It was a very successful move and founded the way under subsequent BIA management to become one of the major International Boat Shows throughout the world.
Recognition and Industry Impact
Ron Marks’ impact on the boating and water sports industry was nothing short of revolutionary. His company, ‘RonMarks RM, founded in January 1964, became synonymous with quality water sports products, proudly bearing the ‘Map of Australia’ to enthusiasts worldwide. His name became a registered trademark, a testament to his unique standing.
In 1970, the Ron Marks company was honoured by the Australian Government with the prestigious Export Award for exceptional export sales performance.
This marked an historic moment as Ron Marks Water Skis became the first company in the boating industry to receive such recognition. The accolade was a result of effective collaboration with the Department of Trade, Austrade, and the global Trade Commissioner network.
Ron Marks attributes the success of exporting specialized products to the partnership with reputable distributors who share the company’s enthusiasm and philosophy. Actively promoting and marketing products to both trade and consumers has been a key strategy in ensuring the global reach of RonMarks RM.
RonMarks RM has strategically positioned itself in the global market through exclusive partnerships with prestigious marine distributors in each country. The synergy between the company and its distributors is considered a cornerstone of its success, ensuring that the RM experience reaches enthusiasts through trusted channels.
A Life Well-Lived in Water Skiing and Beyond
Ron Marks’ journey in the marine industry, spanning six decades, encapsulates a life dedicated to excellence, sportsmanship, and the relentless pursuit of business acumen. From his early days on the Hawkesbury River and onto national and international stages, Ron’s impact on water skiing remains indelible. Beyond the wake, his contributions to industry and business exemplify a multifaceted legacy that transcends the boundaries of sport. As the beat goes on, the ‘RonMarks RM’ brand continues to symbolize the spirit of adventure, fun and perfoRMance on the water, carrying forward a name that has become synonymous with excellence and innovation.
RonMarks RM – A Legacy of Fun and Excellence
In January 1964, Australian water-skiing champion Ron Marks embarked on a journey that would redefine the water sports industry. With a dream and a passion for excellence, he founded RonMarks RM, a business dedicated to crafting high calibre water sports products. Today, the company stands as a symbol of quality, performance, and the sheer enjoyment of water-based recreation.
Ron Marks’ vision was clear from the outset—to design and build products that would be recognized globally for their excellence. His skill and determination quickly turned this dream into a reality. The foundation of RonMarks RM was laid on the principles of innovation, precision, and a commitment to delivering quality, value and performance to water sports enthusiasts worldwide. For example, he designed and developed the first Tunnel Concave slalom ski which then went onto establish a new world record in the Men’s Slalom event. He likewise invented and produced the first grooved slalom ski, specifically for the benefit of recreational skiers to improve their turning ability, their overall control and thus their skill and enjoyment on the water.
The influence of RonMarks RM extends across 63 countries, where water skiers and wakeboard riders indulge in the superior quality, performance, and responsive control inherent in every RM product. From the mesmerizing waterways of Australia to diverse international locales, the brand has become synonymous with a thrilling water sports experience.
Acknowledging that the true measure of success lies in catering to beginners through to recreational riders and onto tournament champions, RonMarks RM has evolved to offer a complete range of action water sports products. This includes a full range of Wake Boards, plus 17 different model Ski Tubes, Ski & Wake Tow Ropes, Buoyancy Vests & Life Jackets (PFDs), Neoprene Wet Suits, Ski Gloves and other useful accessories. The ‘RM’ brand is now synonymous not only with elite performance but also with inclusivity and enjoyment for family enthusiasts of all levels.
Dynamic Products Corp, a 100% Australian-owned family company, has seamlessly integrated the philosophy of ‘Selling Fun and Frolic’ into its core identity. This mantra has proven to be a winning formula for success, aligning with the universal desire for confidence, perfoRMance and excitement on the water.
The words “Ron Marks” themselves have become a registered trademark, a testament to the unique distinction of the brand. This recognition not only symbolizes commercial status but also provides protection against imitations and ensures the authenticity of the RM legacy.
RonMarks RM is not just a brand; it’s a legacy built on passion, innovation, and a commitment to spreading joy through water sports. As the company continues to evolve, its dedication to excellence and fun remains unwavering, ensuring that the RM experience continues to make waves globally.
This however also comes with the news that after 60 years at the helm Ron Marks has decided to hang up the skis and retire. With his sons, David and Ben, now successfully pursuing their own equally successful ventures, Ron has said that the business is now officially available to pass onto an interested suitor who can take the strong brand and build it to further prosperity.
Those interested can contact Ron directly at or speak to him on 0409 17 17 17