Water Sports: Seen any water skiers?

By Doug Halberstadt
Sports Columnist

Last Sunday afternoon, I spent a few hours watching traffic on our Rock River. It was truly a perfect day to be out on the river. The sun was shining, the temperature had to be in the upper 70s to lower 80s, there wasn’t a cloud to be found in the azure blue sky.

In the span from roughly 12:30 p.m. to around 3 p.m., I saw several pontoons, runabouts and jet skis. It looked as though everyone was thoroughly enjoying the recreational opportunity provided by our river.

After several minutes of watching all of the activity, I noticed one thing was blatantly missing — I did not see anyone water skiing. Kids and adults were being pulled along up and down the river in inner tubes, but nary a skier to be found.

It was suggested that perhaps because of all of the traffic on the river, the water might have been too rough for skiers. Really? I never knew there could be such a thing as too-rough water.

I haven’t water skied in approximately 15 years, but when I did, my boating buddies and I loved the choppy water. We would try to prove to each other who the better skier was by which one of us could stay standing the longest over the biggest waves. It was a ton of fun. The only drawbacks were the mouthfuls of river water that I swallowed during the wipeouts and the pain in my sides from laughing so vigorously at my fellow skiing Evel Knievel wannabes.

Has the general boating public matured so much that no one does that any longer? I’m not suggesting that anyone behave recklessly or put other boaters in danger, but I didn’t know that skiing was taboo if there were more than a dozen boats on the river at the same time.

I was just wondering.

Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at Dougster61@aol.com.

June 29-July 5, 2011 issue

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