Six-month-old Rich Casey Humpherys is the latest toddler to get his first taste of internet fame. When Rich’s parents posted a video of him water skiing for the first time, he quickly became a viral hit.
Rich’s adventures at Lake Powell in Utah were posted to his Instagram account (@richcaseyhumpherys). In the video, Rich is waterskiing as his dad, Casey Humphreys, sits within arm’s length on a boat. The caption says, “I went water skiing for my 6 month birthday. Apparently that’s a big deal…#worldrecord.”
View this post on Instagramace:nowrap;”>A post shared by mindi tagge humpherys (@minditaggehumpherys) onView this post on Instagramace:nowrap;”>A post shared by Rich Casey Humpherys (@richcaseyhumpherys) onView this post on Instagram
Casey posted photos and videos of Rich’s training process on his own Instagram account as well. The training began with building a custom-sized board, perfect for Rich’s tiny form.
His parents started out by having Rich balance on the board as they dragged it on soft carpet. Once they discovered the toddler actually loved the activity, they tested out his skills on the lake. In shallow waters, they pulled Rich around on his board as he perfected his balance.
Rich became an internet sensation as videos of him waterskiing spread to Instagram, Twitter, and beyond. His original post has gained over 17,000 likes and 1,500 comments. It was also posted to Barstool Sports, where it got more than 2.6 million views. While most were impressed with the toddler’s skills, others weren’t so positive.
In the comments of Rich and his parents’ Instagram posts, many criticized the decision to let the toddler go water skiing. Some even labeled the video as “abuse.”
One person wrote, “They have no idea of the harm that can happen to their child because of their irresponsibility. Everything has its time and age.”
Others, however, questioned why people were finding fault or hating on a happy baby.
The Humphreys told Good Morning America that the boat was only going about 5 miles-per-hour and that Casey was by Rich at all times. They also had a separate boat on the lake, bringing the group’s total to 10 to 12 people, which Casey said included doctors and nurses.
“I feel like the majority of criticism comes from people caring and people just being concerned and wanting the best for our child,” Mindi, his mother, told GMA.
“Whether you agree with what we’ve done for Rich and what he accomplished or not, you can understand how exciting it is to see your child accomplish something,” Casey said to GMA.