Waterhawks Ski Team

Waterhawks Ski Team


Siepker: Water skiing can be one of those
sports that is intimidating for folks to even try. And for those who do, sometimes just getting
out of the water and staying upright in your skis for a few seconds can be an accomplishment. Kramer: So imagine climbing on top of other
skiers in formation or attempting challenging jumps while being pulled across the lake. The Waterhawks Ski Team in Waterloo wows crowds
every summer with their entertaining shows of talent and skill. (music) (music) (music) Kramer: The Waterloo Waterhawks are one of
only a few show ski teams in Iowa, combining athletic ability, artistry, talent, timing
and teamwork to wow audiences. Make some noise for our conventional line. Grace Gelner: It’s a really fun experience. I don’t know, a lot of stuff to see out there. My name is Cathy and you know what I got! What do you got! I got a team that is hotter than hot! How hot is hot! Building pyramids and barefooting too! Uh-huh, uh-huh! Nobody skis like the Waterhawks do! (cheering) Kramer: There are people of all ages and skill
levels involved. Garrett Bunge has been skiing his whole life. He saw a Waterhawks show when he was 13, joined
the team and has been a member ever since. Garrett Bunge: We came out, saw a show, it
was awesome. I was just hooked instantly. The fact that from skiing on the river you
don’t do any of this stuff. You might two ski or slalom but to see pyramids,
guys going over the jump barefooting, it was just, it was amazing. So, that’s what got me hooked. (music) (music) (music) Kramer: Fans find seats in the bleachers or
bring their own chairs and settle in for an hour-long show that impresses and entertains
from start to finish. There’s a little bit of everything, from big
formations, to dancing, to barefoot skiing, to challenging jumps. (music) (music) One and two! We got ’em! Kramer: The Waterhawks make it look easy. But anyone who skis knows it’s not. Bunge: I will tell you hitting the water at
40 miles an hour, it feels like concrete. It’s just, you’d think that water is soft
but it’s, when you’re going that fast and you fall you could definitely feel it. But I love to do it. So it doesn’t stop me at all. Avary Coffin: I do straps. It’s where the guy has this harness on and
the rope connects us, connects to it and then he holds the little handle thing and I’m on
his shoulders and then he lets go of the handle thing and then we do moves and stuff. Bunge: The increased difficulty is just, it
skyrockets because it’s so much more weight on the guys underneath. But, and there is something to be said for
having a lot of people on there because you’re all behind one boat and if one person falls
your rope could take everybody else out. (music) (music) (music) Kramer: With a relatively short three month
summer season on the lake, the Waterhawks rely on doing quite a bit of training in the
off season on land and in a gym. It takes a lot of practice to perfect the
choreography and formations for the show. Garth Peter: We’re not one of the bigger teams
by any means but what we do we do it well. One of our big things that we are noted for
is our stage production which is our props and our props on stage and on water and all
that kind of stuff. Some of the big teams have upwards of 80 skiers
where we’ll have half of that. So we have to, what we do, we have to ski
pretty clean and then have a good production on stage. Kramer: The Waterhawks practice and perform
on Eagle Lake, a small lake they own right along Interstate 380 near Evansdale. Peter: We are on a disadvantage because everything
we have to do is in circle patterns where some of these big teams go on a river and
they can take it down, down the river and then build it and then come back and do that. So it is neat to be able to do our acts right
in front of the crowd where a lot of these big teams will take it and you don’t see them
do it. Kramer: For families that don’t have their
own boats, you can occasionally rent a club boat hourly to get experience water skiing. Peter: There’s not very many sports where
you can go out there and everybody can be involved, which I think is an awesome thing. I’ve got two daughters that ski and now my
son and my wife is involved and so we’re, it’s one of the only sports where everybody
can do something. Kramer: The Waterhawks have won the Midwest
Regional Competition several times and finished as high as sixth at Nationals. It’s tough competing against teams from southern
states that can ski year-round. Ladies and Gentlemen, make some noise for
our Water Hawk photo pyramid! (music) Kramer: Shows take place at Eagle Lake several
Friday evenings throughout the summer as well as a couple of Sundays. Check waterhawks.org for a complete schedule
and more information. The Waterhawks consider themselves one of
the Cedar Valley’s best kept secrets, but they don’t want it to stay that way. Whether you’re a skier or not, this is a show
you don’t want to miss. Bunge: The skiers, we don’t deserve to have
all the fun. We want to share some of the fun with everybody
else. So it is a blast. Even if you’re not into skiing, it’s still
awesome, it’s still really, really cool and I guarantee you’ll be impressed. (music)

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