The Aqua Addicts Water Ski Team was formed in 1995 in Aberdeen, SD. By 1996, the Club began putting together shows for the general population of Aberdeen and the surrounding communities.
In 1997, the Aqua Addicts went to their first regional competition in Shoreview, Minnesota. They went for the experience, not expecting to place, and came back with 5th place in their region. During this year, the Aqua Addicts continued to recruit more members from the Aberdeen area and became recognized as one of the most exciting forms of family entertainment in the Aberdeen area.
During the summer of 1998, the Aqua Addicts competed in the regional tournament and again placed 5th. The tournament was held on the Mississippi River just north of downtown Minneapolis at the Twin Cities River Rat’s home site. The Aqua Addicts also put on their first two away shows, one at Cottonwood, Minnesota and one at Ortonville, Minnesota.
Summer 1999, the Aqua Addicts again went to the Midwest Regional Competition in Minneapolis on the Mighty Mississippi. Of the 8 teams at the tourney the Aqua Addicts placed a close, close 7th, being beaten out by less then 100 points. The Aberdeen Aqua Addicts put on three out-of-town shows in Pollock, SD; Milbank, SD; and Ortonville, MN.
The team took a break from competing at the Regional Tournament during the summer of 2000. They focused on the fundamentals, improving existing acts, and working on new acts to be debuted in 2001. The team did, however, entertain crowds in Ashley, North Dakota and Eureka, South Dakota for those town’s Fourth of July celebrations.
In 2001, the Aqua Addicts experienced their most success at a tournament up to that time, placing first in nearly every category at the 2001 Midwest Regional Show Ski Tournament held nine hours away from Aberdeen in Waterloo, Iowa. The team debuted several new acts, including a barefoot pyramid cut-under, an act so difficult and dangerous, the Aqua Addicts were the first team to present this act at competition. The team continued to perform shows for the home crowd and also presented an encore performance at Pollock, South Dakota.
2002 brought its own challenges including the defense of their new title as Midwest Division II champions. The Aqua Addicts made the long return trip to Waterloo, Iowa to defend their championship. Despite complications, like a boat taking on water and running over several ropes, the Aqua Addicts managed to again win their division and bring home first in nearly every category.
The Midwest Regional Show Ski Tournament moved back to Minneapolis, MN in 2003 after three years in Iowa. The Aqua Addicts appreciated the shorter 5 and a half hour drive and showed their gratitude by giving a great performance and placing 1st in their division making them Three-time Division II Champions.
The Aqua Addicts visited Cedar Rapids, IA for the Midwest Regional Competition in 2004. The team once again won the Division II Championship, placing first in all box scores except one! Two weeks later the Aqua Addicts returned to Iowa, this time to Waterloo, to compete in their first National Competition. The team skied against other teams from Iowa, Ohio, Indiana, New York, and several from Wisconsin. The Aqua Addicts finished a close, close 5th with a score of 1616 coming within 14 points of 4th and 73 points of 3rd. In the box scores the team won an award for the best barefooting act.
In 2005 the Aqua Addicts repeated as Midwest Region D2 champions. The team skied a score of 1322 in Waterloo that weekend. In addition individuals placed well with 4th places going to doubles and team jump and swivelers bringing home 6th and 10th. The team then went on the road to the Wisconsin Dells for the week in between Regionals and Nationals. Many team members watched two former team members ski for Tommy Bartlett that week. At Nationals in Rock Island, IL the Aqua Addicts placed 4th in team competition. Team jump and Doubles couple Shawn and Jordan both brought home 1st place National titles. Swiveler, Leigh Bacon, brought home a 3rd place from Nationals.
Due to increasing gas prices and the personal expenses of time and money the Aqua Addicts decided to take a year off from competition in the 2006 season. In the 2007, 2008 and 2009 seasons the Ski Team went to Regionals in Waterloo Iowa and won the Division Two Tournament and many other box score awards. The team competed in the 2009 Division Two Nationals and placed higher than they ever have before (Third place). In 2010 and 2011 the Aqua Addicts won the Midwest Regional Competition. They bought their first triple rig and signed an 85 year lease on their own private lake.
The team spent most of 2012 working on building a beautiful new site (go to the pictures page to see what a great facility it is). At the 2012 regional tournament, the Aqua Addicts put in their first bid to host the Midwest Regional Tournament. The team did not expect their first bid for the tournament to be accepted but the regional teams graciously voted to award the 2014 regional tournament bid to the Aqua Addicts.
2013 brought many new challenges to the Aqua Addicts. They worked diligently to get their new site ready to host the following year’s regional tournament in addition to improving their skiing and working on their show. The team in conjunction with Dahme construction built a new boat launch among other improvements to the site. But following the regional tournament that year the team faced an unexpected challenge. The first E85 ski boat caught fire and burned irreparably down to the hull. However, thanks to the generous support of the Midwest skiing community and the team’s insurance what could have proven to be a great catastrophe for the team became a growth opportunity. The team was able to find and purchase a gently used Malibu to replace the one lost in the fire.
In 2014 the Aqua Addicts continued to hone their craft while making final preparations for the upcoming tournament they would host that year. Among other improvements the team installed its first announcing and payout stage. At the end of July teams from at least 3 different states converged on Aberdeen and the Dahme Lake site to partake in the Aqua Addicts’ first hosting of the Midwest Regional Tournament. Teams enjoyed good food, great skiing, and one of the best show ski sites in the world as well as evening entertainment including a live band. Most would agree that the tournament had been a great success.
The 2015 season brought new and exciting additions to the team and their site. The temporary stage created for the tournament was set and pored to provide a permanent stage that would not wash away with the rain. A pole barn was installed on the west end of the site to house the teams fleet of watercraft, docks, and equipment. And the team received a donation of a restored vintage Mastercraft ski boat. The team once again returned to the regional tournament, held this time in Albert Lea, MN, looking to secure a bid to host a future tournament. The region again granted the team’s bid for the 2017 regional tournament.
2016 was the year of social media for the Aqua Addicts. The team made great strides in improving and developing its digital footprints. The Facebook page and twitter feeds were revitalized and became the pulse of the team’s day to day happenings. Various events and many free admissions were advertised and distributed through the media streams. Additionally the team website’s appearance received an update as its content was expanded and streamlined. Great things happened on the water as well, including sending two of the Aqua Addicts own skiers, Noah and Shaun, to the 2nd World Show Ski Tournament.
In 2017, the Aberdeen Aqua Addicts will host the Midwest Regional Tournament on July 28, 29, and 30th at their site on Dahme Lake off Highway 281 on the South side of Aberdeen. The event will be FREE to the public. Individual competitions on Friday will include team jump, strap doubles, and swivel. Saturday and Sunday will include one hour ski shows of teams from South Dakota, Minnesota, and Iowa.
The Aqua Addicts put on weekly shows there on Thursday nights throughout the summer at 7pm.