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Digital Subscriptions > Cottage Life > Summer 2017 > That Familiar Pull

That Familiar Pull

On a lake that straddles the 49th parallel, local cottagers negotiate Canada–U.S. relations on waterskis

Six young skiers glide atop a lake so still and dark it could pass for a giant slab of stone. Through the early morning mist, they stretch their arms out toward each other to clasp hands. Then, with quick movements, they climb on top of one another like coordinated ants muscling a prize for their queen—hands gripping shoulders, feet stepping on thighs. Eventually, they form a pyramid skiing through the water: three bodies anchoring the base, two strengthening the middle, and one little girl perched bravely on top.

Jamie Teetaert casts a watchful eye from the spotter position in the boat pulling the skiers. His unshaven chin and intense focus on the young skiers makes the 27-year-old former ski-club president seem much older. Suddenly, he lurches upright in the back of the ski boat and taps his head. The six forming the pyramid carefully dismantle so the boat can return home to the clubhouse and scoop up the next set of skiers.

Now, it’s time for the ballet-line team to do its thing—10 female skiers pulled behind the boat at once, all at the command of 25-year-old Amie Teetaert, Jamie’s sister, who is arm-in-arm with her adolescent team. Her mouth is pressed into a hard line, her face stiff with concentration as she leads the skiers through their practice. On her word, they turn their heads in unison toward the clubhouse. Amie’s face softens, and, along with her comrades, she flashes a toothy smile and gives a synchronized wave to an imagined crowd of onlookers.

“Coming up to the jump, it looks like a big brick wall,” says veteran waterskier Jamie Teetaert, right. “It’s six feet high— you can’t see over it. And hitting the jump is like hitting black ice. It’s a stomachchurning feeling.” That’s why ski-club members always wear their helmets when they practise jumps. “There are a lot of crashes from first-timers.”

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About Cottage Life

Cottage Life’s Summer issue gets you ready to Jump in the Lake! We’ve got 21 ways for you to have fun on the water, featuring new gear, games, and expert tips for young and old, plus meet some cottagers who take their waterskiing to the next level—pyramids included! We also talked to the experts about how to choose the right dock for your cottage, and we found out what you can learn from this year’s floods (and how to protect your cabin for next time). Up your workshop game with easy, genius putterer’s hacks, and make a secret outdoor storage project. And, when the days get smokin’ hot, use our no-cook recipes to keep your cool. This issue has everything you need for a refreshing, inspired summer at the lake.