Many locals and tourists aren’t aware that Sarasota has a ski show. It’s been a round since 1957. The organization is know as the Sarasota Ski-a-Rees. Here’s some good news too, the show is totally free. This photo of the three tiered pyramid of water skiers was taken during the month of April, 2016.
The performances are generally seasonal, starting sometime during February and ending in May. The ages of the participants in the ski show span across a large range from small children to elderly adults.
The shows generally last for about an hour or so. Some of the amazing water ski tricks include flying airborne off of ski ramps, barefoot skiing, boat o feats, flips off of the dock area and acrobatics on the water.
On this particular afternoon when I took the featured pic, the Sarasota Fire Department boat gave a demonstration of the water sprayer used to put out fires. It operates from a pump system that blasts salt water in volumes of 500 gallons per minute. Check out the images below:
Here are some more images of the Ski-a-Rees show:
I watched the Ski-a-Rees a few weeks ago from a boat. I was with my son-in-law who just graduated from chiropractor school at Life University in Atlanta, Georgia. He now works with his father as a Sarasota chiropractor at Hornberger Wellness Center. While we were watching the show, he mentioned that he should take some time to hand out business cards to the skiers sometime. As you can see by the images above, there’s a lot of demands being placed on the skiers bodies, not to mention the possibility of injury if one falls incorrectly. I think he has a good idea.
While I was watching the show, I witness a girl fall from the second tier. In that moment I realized just how dangerous this water sport really is. When she fell it caused a chain reaction of other skiers to fall. From where I was viewing the incident, it looked like she hit her head on the skier’s water ski directly below her. Yes, she fell forward, not backward. Luckily no on was hurt during the accident and the show continued without interruption.
There was one interruption though that caused a fifteen minute delay in the Ski-a-Rees performance. There was a Manatee in the area. This is a very popular area for Manatees to pass through. During the ski show there are people on top of the three story high building keeping a lookout for Manatees. If one is spotted the show is immediately stopped until they are certain that the Manatee has moved into the safe zone.
Check out this video of the show:
If you are considering attending a Ski-a-Rees performance here are a few things you should keep in mind.
- Make sure you wear sunscreen. There is a covered area where you can sit, but you may not get a seat in the shade.
- Make sure you get there early as this is a very popular event and many people attend.
- Bring some cash with you. The show is totally free. They are a 501C3 and accept donations to help keep the organization alive. During the show they will give you an opportunity to contribute a few bucks.
- Bring water or something else to keep you hydrated. There are no beverages sold at this event.
Here’s a really good video of a world class slalom water skier: