Saturday, February 27, 2010

Water Skiing

I learned how to water ski at Shorecrest.  I was probably 13 or 14 and I know whoever taught me was a guest at Shorecrest but I don't remember who.  I vaguely remember dropping one ski to learn how to slalom and how difficult it was to learn to come out of the water on one ski but once I got it, it was a breeze from then on.

At some point, there was a group of guests from Iowa who began coming to Shorecrest and they rented two or three of the cottages.  These folks were skiing nuts.  They taught me how to do three and five person pyramids, ski on a disk and spin around, ski on "shoe skis", and not only ski backwards but come out of the water backwards.


In the picture above, I'm skiing on skis that had the bindings reversed so that the tips were behind me.  I would put these skis on with my back to the boat and my arms holding the tow rope behind my back.  When I was ready, I would dunk my head in the water and this was the signal for the boat captain to take off.  I would have to make sure that my body was below the point where the skis came out of the water and somehow keep my balance as the skis planed.  I will have to say that it wasn't much fun but it was a novelty.  I remember one time I was skiing backward and trying to look forward, lost my concentration and flipped when the sides of the skis caught the water sideways.

I never did learn how to barefoot but I did learn to ski on shoe skis.  Shoe skis were about a foot long and in order to come out of the water, I would put a slalom ski between my legs to get my butt out of the water and then stand up on the shoe skis.  When you ski on skis that are only a foot long and are just a flat board with no tips, you have to remember to keep your toes up.  One time I relaxed my toes and the tips of the shoe skis dug into the water.  I fell so hard and fast that I didn't have time to close my eyes when I came in contact with the water.  I came out of the water with my eyes wide open and couldn't see a thing.  I thought I was blind and within a few seconds, my vision came back.  That was the last time I skied with shoe skis.

These folks from Iowa would stay for two weeks each summer.  We would practice all of our skiing routines and then give the rest of the guests at Shorecrest a ski show.  One of these guests was 70 years old.  His contribution to the show was to start out on a three foot round plywood disk carrying a stool in one hand.  Once out of the water, he would place the stool in the middle of the disk, sit on the stool and spin while holding the ski rope.

The third summer these folks came down, the owner of the ski boat had bought a new 100 horse power outboard Mercury motor.  I think it was the largest outboard you could buy at the time.  He was able to get ten of us up on two skis each at one time.  Quite the feat.

My summers were filled with water skiing.  Most of the time, I skied every day.  There were always guests who loved to ski and it was my duty to oblige them.

That was when I fell in love with the water.  Nowadays, I sail on a big lake in Kansas.

1 comment:

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