Saskatoon water skiers ready to take on world in Spain
The two will try to water ski their way to gold with Team Canada
It's appropriately utilitarian, and so unless you've got business there, Saskatoon's north end industrial area isn't exactly inviting and it's probably not a place you'd likely go for a Sunday drive.
But if you are up around 58th Street and you listen carefully, mixed in with the industrial soundscape, you might catch snippets of waves, boats and stoked teenagers.
To go far, you push the limits of that comfort zone.- Norm Lucas
It's all coming from a big storm water retention pond, an unlikely practice centre for two teenage boys getting ready to head to Spain to compete in the World Junior Water Ski Championships.
"It's scary," said Norm Lucas, as he watched from the shore.
Lucas is a proud dad, and is the vice-president of the Saskatoon Water Ski Club. Norm's son, Carter Lucas, 15, and his friend Josh Edwards, 16, are off to Spain next month.
"There is a certain comfort zone that you have and to go far you push the limits of that comfort zone," Norm continued.
When CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning paid the boy's a visit they were practicing ski jumping, hitting ramps at high speeds, and launching themselves into the air to soar across the water's surface before landing with what looks like an uncomfortable splash.
The early years
Josh and Carter have been doing this for a long time. Josh recalled his first time out on water skis; it's an early memory of a cold lake.
The inevitable wipe out came, followed by a decision to hang onto the tow rope, as a way to avoid having to wait around for the boat in that cold water. Josh quickly realized the error of his little boy logic, as he was dragged along in the water.
"I didn't ski for a couple of years after that," he said.
Memories of that bad experience eventually faded, and Josh fell in love with the sport. It was also a young start for Carter.
"I have pictures of him riding off the side of the boat in just diapers and no shirt on just riding on a pair of trainer skis," said the elder Lucas.
"I found it fun just going around on two skis," recalled Carter.
Practice makes perfect
Now, the two boys spend hours each day, zipping around behind a boat in a Saskatoon storm water pond perfecting their skills as they get set to join Team Canada in Spain next month.
They spoke about the event in that typical, teenaged boy, no-big-deal kind of way.
"I'm a little nervous, but I am mostly excited," said Josh.
"It means a lot to me, it has been my goal for two years now," added Carter.
The competition runs from Aug. 2-5 and will be hosted at the Sesena Waterski and Wakeboard Complex in Sesena, Spain.
With files from CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning