Most children crawl before they walk.
For Rugby’s Fossum family, the progression might have been crawl, water ski, walk.
Siblings Jenna, Brady and Madison are all members of the Club de Skinautique, Lake Metigoshe’s water skiing club, which has been entertaining crowds for 56 years.
“I’ve been skiing since I was seven,” said Jenna Fossum, now 18.
She was hooked when she started attending team’s shows when she was young and is now in her sixth year with the team.
“I just went to their shows when I was younger and decided I wanted to be in it,” she said.
Brady Fossum, 16, is in his fourth year with the club. He said he enjoys skiing with friends from all over the state and beyond.
“I like the social aspect of it,” he said. “All of the friends up here are from everywhere: Brandon, Minnesota, Minot and all those places. It’s good to meet with those people, to get out on the water. There’s so much talent there. All the people are so good at skiing.”
Madison, the youngest of the Fossum trio on the club at age 14, was a late bloomer when it came to water skiing.
“I started with the club four years ago and that’s about when I started skiing,” Madison Fossum said. “I tried skiing a couple of times before I tried out. I started really getting into skiing once I joined the club because I had to be able to ski better.”
Having family on the team has been a positive experience for the Fossums.
“I enjoy having them there, because I have somebody to ski with outside of the club too,” Jenna Fossum said. “I enjoy having my brother and sister there. It’s something we can all do as a family.”
The troupe performs a number of tricks and stunts, from barefoot skiing and jumps to human pyramids.
“She doesn’t like when I do pyramids on her,” Madison Fossum joked about her sister. “She says I’m not good at climbing. Every show you can hear her scream. I think she’s overreacting just to bug me.”
The practices can be grueling, as the club generally practices 3-4 times each weekend, often early in the mornings. Madison Fossum said they’ve even done early-morning practices where there was frost on the boat’s windshield. But with more than 30 skiers on the team, the Fossums are often practicing on their own before joining the whole group.
That means dry land practices where many of the tricks and acts are rehearsed before getting in the lake.
“We climb and have spotters and see how that goes,” Brady Fossum said. “Once we have the climbing aspect down, we put skis on and get in the water.”
All three Fossums said they plan on continuing with the club as long as they can.
“I want to do it as long as I’m up there and able to ski,” Jenna Fossum said.
Club de Skinautique’s final show of the year is August 10 at 7 p.m. at Lake Metigoshe.