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Water-skiing 2013

Submitter: Harm-Jan Pepping
Description: A sunny sky and a comfortable 28 degrees Celsius were the icing on the cake during the Water-ski event on September 5th, organized by the ASTRON/JIVE PV. Around 20 employees had gathered at the Ermerstrand, where a closed-course cable system tows water-skiers and wake boarders around the lake. On arrival we were treated to some inspirational wakeboard trickery by the Dutch wakeboard champion and so our goals were set: let's try to make it to the first turn.

Water-skiing and wakeboarding are activities that require practice before you can even call yourself a beginner, because you first have to master the launch. On water-skies it is essential to carry your buttocks as low as possible and to keep your arms straight. If you manage to survive the initial jerk of the tow rope, and then remain on your skis for the first 30 or 40 meters you may call yourself a beginner.

Only a few of the ASTRON/JIVE daredevils actually succeeded in their first attempt. The majority required several attempts to master the launch. There were many demonstrations of how NOT to do it: pulling the tow rope to the body, bending forward, getting up too early. We even witnessed a perfect "faceplant" where the tow rope was stubbornly grasped, while the water-skies were already heading for the bottom of the lake.

After you made it through the first critical 50 meters (feeling quite euphoric) you were soon faced with the next challenge: the first turn reduces you straight back to clumsiness and panic. Again, it took most participants several attempts to master it, and then there were another three turns to negotiate. It was heart-warming to see the persistence of (most of) the participants, and in the end most of us managed to complete a lap.

After two hours of intense water skiing and wakeboarding we called it a day. We swapped experiences over drinks, and the afternoon was concluded with a tasty barbecue and a lovely sunset. Many thanks to the PV for organizing this event. We had a great time, even though our arms will hurt for a week.
Copyright: ASTRON
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