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Badwater Ski-Ters

July 23, 2009 - Ron Deuter
I checked out the award-winning Badwater Ski-Ters on the Menominee’s backwaters at Vagabond Park this week. Wow! If you’ve never gone to see one of their free shows, you’re missing out. These guys are as nuts as they are talented, especially the jumpers. Not only do they perform some unbelievable stunts, they make it look so easy.

Back about 10 years and 40 pounds ago, I used to water-ski a few times each summer. I remember it as fun yet extremely physically demanding. I always loved the challenge of dropping a ski, getting up on one ski, jumping the wake and skiing no-handed. And I always remember how sore every muscle in my body would be the day after. While those experiences obviously pale in comparison to what I witnessed Wednesday evening, they sure helped me to fully appreciate what the Ski-Ters flawlessly accomplish on the water.

I went to the show to talk with the team president about their recent success at the Wisconsin state championships. I figured I’d grab the interview before the show and then take in a few minutes before heading home. I ended up staying for the full show. With multiple boats whipping skiers around, it was non-stop action with pyramids, swivel-skiers, barefooters and the daredevil jumpers performing a multitude of stunts, including one simply known as the widow-maker.

An announcer keeps the audience informed of what tricks are being performed and who is doing them. Music plays in the background, and in between runs there was a vaudevillesque comedy duo performing corny (yet funny) skits.

Badwater Ski-Ters shows continue each Wednesday and Sunday throughout the summer. A special night show is scheduled for Aug. 1. Concessions are available on site, but bring a lawn chair. Donations to the club are always appreciated.


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