Catch some world-class water skiing in Wonder Lake Sunday

Pyramid_72dpiSunday, the Wonder Lake Water Ski Show Team, one of the top performance ski teams in the world, will give its final performance of the 2014 season. The performance will take place at 4 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 31, at Center Beach, 5313 E. Lake Shore Drive, in Wonder Lake.

“Our next performance (after Sunday) is Memorial Day weekend,” said Jarret Graff, a member of the team and one of six from the Wonder Lake Water Ski Show Team who were chosen as part of the U.S.A. team in the world tournament. “We perform Memorial Day through Labor Day.”

The Wonder Lake Water Ski Show Team has finished in the top five of national teams each year since 1995 and finished fourth this year. They’ve finished first four times in that period – 1996, 2001, 2002 and 2010.

The performance Sunday will include their renowned barefoot skiing, ballet, jumps and pyramids, as well as a mix of other routines. For the second year in a row, they finished first at the nationals in the jumps category. Their final routine is a showstopper – a 36-person ski pyramid.

The 36-person ski pyramid is what Graff calls a “pre-fab pyramid.” That means that the skiers get into position on the dock and are then pulled into the water. A 36-person ski pyramid is actually three 12-skier pyramids skiing simultaneously.

“We can do seven different pre-fab pyramids,” Graff said, describing a pre-fab pyramid as one that starts on the dock. “That’s something we’re known for.”

Graff said the performance Sunday will last about one-and-a-quarter hours. Though it’s the last performance of the season, he said spectators can expect the full treatment.

“Our motto is go big or go home,” he said, referring both to their philosophy while competing and when simply performing. “We definitely ski for the crowd.”

Denny Norton, the owner of Ringwood based Performance Unlimited, said that, though he’s lived nearby for years, he recently saw the Wonder Lake Water Ski Show Team perform for the first time.

“They’re incredible,” said Norton. “They’re definitely worth going to see.”

There is no charge to attend the performance. However, the ski team is supported by contributions and will accept donations at the time. They also raise money to support the team with a Haunted Hayride at Petersen Park, McHenry, in October.

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