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The Northwoods River News | Rhinelander, Wisconsin

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July 23, 2019

Bob Mainhardt for the River News/file photo 
The Hodag Water Shows trick jump team may have to wait a little longer before taking their first jumps of the 2019 season, as the teamís new ramp is not yet ready for the water. Hodag Water Shows had to purchase a used jump over the winter after city crews accidentally but irreparably damaged the old ramp.
Bob Mainhardt for the River News/file photo
The Hodag Water Shows trick jump team may have to wait a little longer before taking their first jumps of the 2019 season, as the teamís new ramp is not yet ready for the water. Hodag Water Shows had to purchase a used jump over the winter after city crews accidentally but irreparably damaged the old ramp.
Hodag Water Shows looking for new members
Hodag Water Shows, a non-profit water ski club, is actively looking for new members.

The group has begun holding regular practices in advance of its June 26 opening show, but more skiers are needed.

"In the past few seasons many of HWS' late teen and early 20s members have moved from the area to pursue careers, or have started their own families and careers in the Rhinelander area," Hodag Water Shows treasurer Ron Olson said in a press release. "Many organizations and clubs have ebbs and flows in membership, and at this time HWS has been hit hard with a loss of regular membership. So there has never been a better time to join the club, and experience a great lifetime sport. "

New membership offerings include options for single and family memberships. The cost for new members over 16 is $55, under 16 is $25, and new family memberships (3+) are $75 for the season.

A membership drive is underway, and there will be a new member meeting on Monday, June 24 at 6:30 p.m. at the show site. A brief overview of membership information will be shared, as well as orientation with existing members. The new member information meeting will take place at Hodag Water Shows' practice site located in Hodag Park on Boom Lake in Rhinelander.

Anyone interested in HWS should seek out Hodag Water Shows on Facebook. The Facebook page provides options for receiving more information, the release states.

6/22/2019 7:30:00 AM
Hodag Water Shows may start season without new jump ramp
Complications in getting ramp to Rhinelander may delay its debut

Jamie Taylor
River News Reporter

The Hodag Water Shows (HWS) water ski team will hit the water Wednesday evening for its first show of the 2019 season, but it might have to forego the high-flying jump acts, at least in the early season, as it's still working to assemble its new ski jump ramp.

The club was forced to find a new jump after their existing one was accidentally but irreparably damaged as a result of city street crews dumping snow on it during the winter months.

At the end of March, Rhinelander parks director Jeremy Biolo discovered that the ramp belonging to the Hodag Water Shows (HWS) that is routinely stored at Hodag Park during the offseason, had suffered severe damage. 

According to Rod Olson, HWS treasurer, Biolo notified the club on March 27 that the street department crews had damaged the ramp. Even while still surrounded by snow, the damage was clearly evident, he said.

"We're not quite sure what happened," Olson said in an interview with the River News. "The amount of snow there wasn't piled in the correct place, and the ramp either got pushed or hit by a loader; the top surface is snapped (and) buckled."

Olson later submitted a claim to the city, attaching several photos and a letter to mayor Chris Frederickson and city administrator Daniel Guild. 

In the letter he described how sturdy the old ramp was. Its surface frame construction was made from 2-by-8s with sheeting and the cradle, or chassis, was 2"x10."

"The force upon the ramp by the dumping, pushing and piling of the snow had to be tremendous to cause this damage," the letter reads.

The club later located a used steel frame ramp in South Dakota which it purchased with funds including $7,940 it received from the city to resolve the claim.

The frame has since been transported to Rhinelander, but it's been a complicated process, Olson said.

"We're lagging behind. We did go to South Dakota and picked up a used jump frame, but there were some things we had to do to get it down the road," he said. "It's 14-feet wide and you can get permits and a bunch of things like that to do it, but we had to go over 600 miles on the return trip, so we had to get it broken down to 8-feet wide."

Since getting the ramp to Rhinelander, the group has been working with welders to get the ramp put back together.

"Then we've got to put a surface on it, then we'll get it in the water," Olson said. "It may not make the first show. We'll probably be jump-free for the first show. We want to get it and get it right."

The group's season starts Wednesday, June 26. Shows are held at 7 p.m. Sundays and Wednesdays through mid-August.

"July and August is our big season. We get, I'd say, the bulk of our visitors from out of town staying at the resorts after Country Fest, into August," Olson said. "So June is always kind of 'get ready' kind of shows. We're not in a panic, but we want to get everything right with it, and that's where we're at."

Olson said the group is grateful to the city for making things right once the damage to the old ramp was discovered.

"As far as the city is concerned, they got us the money as promptly as they could," Olson said.

In addition to getting the ramp finished and ready to put in Boom Lake, the anchors that hold it in place will have to be moved, Olson added.

"Where the anchors are right now is probably about 100-feet north of where we typically have it," he said. "Over the years, the big storms typically push the jump and anchors down course. So we've been looking at moving the anchors back to the original place."

The anchors are made of concrete septic tank covers with stainless steel eye hooks set in them.

"There are three or four of them that will be easy to get up," Olson said. "There's a clump of four of them that are twisted together from one storm and the ropes are kind of twisted."

If the anchors can't be moved manually, Olson said Pelican Dock Company will provide assistance with a hoist. Whichever method is used, the anchors will be untangled before being set into their old location.

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