Grand City Show Skiers Prep for 2024 Season


The empty water of Mona Lake is evidence that not many people are thinking about water skiing, except for one dedicated group of athletes. They are the Grand City Skiers preparing for their big opening show.

“We kind of love water skiing, and we have a goal to get in the water at least once a month.”

For Lindsay Schohl and her team, this is not just about water skiing. It’s about bringing the community together through a shared passion.

“We really just want to bring the love of water skiing to West Michigan. It’s not really a sport that a lot of people think of as a team. You know, people go out with their parents or their grandparents and they ski behind the boat. But skiing is bigger than that. And it’s… we’re a family.”

Zach Morse explains, “The younger ones, since they’re lighter and smaller, it makes sense because the teenage girls are second. So we try to put the small and light ones at the top just so it’s easier.”

The Grand City Skiers are gearing up for their opening show on Thursday, May 30th, at the beautiful Ross Park Beach. But what you see on the water is the result of months of preparation and practice. Every move, every formation choreographed to perfection.

“I create the dances usually by January, and we start our ballet practices where we have separate practices for dances, and then we practice them here as well,” says Macy Whipple, Skier and Show Director.

The show, themed “Ariel’s Adventure,” follows Ariel’s journey as she battles Triton as he tries to keep her from becoming a show skier. For young skiers, it’s an opportunity like none other.

For skiers like Kayda Whalen, “I like to be high up, so I just really like to, like, look up. And it’s even funnier when it’s on water because it’s even more cooler and refreshing.”

“I’m on one ski. And so I got my right foot in front of my left foot, and I’m cutting out on the sides outside of the work. And I’m trying to get as much spray up as I can and then trying to cut to the other side as fast as I can,” says Jordan Schohl.

Riley Walker shares, “I guess the best part is just enjoying being here, learning new things, being with your friends and family, making new friends, learning new moves. And I like it the best. It’s being out on the water, just looking at shore, thinking I’m going up to 50 miles per hour just out there.”

For Weston Dostert, “Um, when it’s not that scary, but, like, once you get out in the water and it’s like the speed is just like, it’s weird. It’s not normal. Like, the waves make you, like, tip and stuff. It’s in my mind. It’s just, like, confusing. It’s like, Okay, I got to go up now. I got to go down and not fall and be like, You want to go carefully? You don’t want to go really fast.”

Every other Thursday evening this summer at 7 p.m., the waters of Mona Lake come alive with the sights and sounds of a fantastical ski show. The Grand City Skiers are one of only two performing ski show teams in the state. The other one’s on the east side of the state. So it’s really unique and it’s fun and it’s right here in the backyard.

Mark Schohl Jr., Director of Membership and Fundraising, asks, “What better can you do on a Thursday night in the summer than spend it on the beach watching a free water ski show? It’s free entertainment and it’s family friendly.”

A preshow starts at 6:30 PM – Ross Park Beach is located at 82 Randall Rd, Norton Shores, MI 49441

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