Community Spotlight: Brainerd Ski Loons Host First Show Of The Summer
People of all ages gathered Sunday night at Lum Park to watch the Brainerd Ski Loon’s first water ski show of the summer.
“I think it’s just a good way for the community to come out and enjoy being outdoors, enjoy seeing us perform, and it also – I think it’s just great for our team to kind of come together,” Sarah Salo, Brainerd Ski Loons Co-Show Director, said. “You know, it’s all ages and I think that’s a really cool way to show, and just kind of show how the team dynamic can be so cohesive, and we have a lot of fun.”
The Ski Loons were founded four years ago by Chris and Mandy Dens as a way to teach members about the disciplines of show skiing while also building character, confidence, and self-esteem.
“Just as a way to give back to the community and show how great that the Brainerd Lakes Area really is and how much we enjoy it and how much they can enjoy it, too. It’s a really cool thing to just kind of share in the outdoors,” Salo added.
Anyone is welcome to join the Brainerd Ski Loons, no matter what your age or skill level.
“You can be a beginner skier or you can be doing barefoot your whole life. It doesn’t matter, there’s a spot to fit in,” Ski Loons member Jenny Johnson said. Johnson has been a member of the Ski Loons for three years and has enjoyed every minute.
“Well, the first year was a beginning year, and I just kind of sat with the other parents and watched. I’ve skied before so I kind of thought, ‘well, I might as well give it a try. If I’m going to be here for practices, I just might as well join in,’” Johnson explained. “It’s been great.”
The team focuses on cohesiveness, character building, and, of course, show tricks such as jumping, barefooting, pyramids, and much more.
“I mostly do doubles, so that’s where I sit on the guy’s shoulders and do a side star and do laybacks. It’s my first year so they don’t really have me in much,” said Paige Lee, first-year member of the Ski Loons. “It’s so much fun. I love it.”
The Ski Loons hope to keep building every year by learning and improving on new tricks, but also by being a positive addition to the community.
“We just want to keep gaining more members and keep being that community team that comes out, performs great shows, but has a lot of fun doing it and keep building on our own skills but also just always having fun,” Salo added.
The Brainerd Ski Loons have three more shows this summer on August 5th, 12th, and 15th. All are free and at Lum Park in Brainerd.