Winter Sports Club skiers begin water jumping

New ramp at MacArthur Lake attracts freestlyers, snowboarders

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— Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club athletes flipping end-over-end off of snow-covered jumps in February is a common sight in Steamboat.

But in June?

Thanks to newly constructed water ramps, which were partially completed last year at the MacArthur water ski lake east of town, some freestyle skiers have already started jumping this summer in Steamboat.

Rick DeVos, the club's executive director, is hoping a volunteer project this weekend will complete the effort and make even easier for area skiers to train.

"We've had a lot of materials donated for the water ramp project," DeVos said. "If we can get some volunteers out to help these two days I think we can get it near completion."

The water ramps, ski jumps constructed at the edge of a small lake, will be used by freestyle skiers and snowboarders for summertime training.

The jumps opened last summer but their use was restricted to just a few of the club's elite athletes. DeVos is hoping this year's expansion will make the ramps available to more Winter Sports Club riders.

DeVos is asking volunteers to come out and help from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday to assist with construction.

MacArthur and a few volunteers built a single ramp last year so that his freestyle-skiing sons and a few friends could hone their skills during the summer.

Last year's work also included a couple of training trampolines and a storage shed for skis and other equipment.

This year, MacArthur plans to expand the facility to three jumps. Two of them will be wide enough to accommodate snowboards, something that no other facility in the United States -- including the one in Park City -- can claim.

"This will be a one-of-a-kind facility," DeVos said. "It will date the Park City facility almost immediately."

While many of the club's skiers have already been able to use the facility, DeVos said it is owned and operated by MacArthur -- not the Winter Sports Club. However, DeVos thinks helping support and develop the jumps will help the club's future success on the slopes.

"In today's world, these kids need to train year-round to be competitive," DeVos said. "It's all about the kids and helping assist them in reaching their dreams."

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