This month PropTalk talks with South River Ski Club (SRSC) president Jeff Stecklow about the evolution of the club and waterskiing in general. Originally from Silver Spring, MD, Jeff moved to Anne Arundel County in 1994 and has been an active member of the club ever since.
How long has the club been in existence?
Since 1976. Back in the day we were the only club around, and we had about 30 active members. Back then all the tournaments took place as part of, or at the SRSC ski area. The club maintained both a slalom course and a ski jump. Unfortunately, one of the big hurricanes a few years ago destroyed the jump.
What changes have you seen in the sport over the years?
There have been two big changes that have affected the sport. Locally, the advent of some manmade freshwater lakes dedicated to watersports has drawn the attention of the hardcore slalom skiers. Then, the younger generations have been drawn to the sport of wakeboarding. The result is there are fewer slalom skiers (and members in general) in clubs like ours. We currently have only about 10 active members, and we welcome new members to join the club.
How does one join and what is the cost of membership?
We have a website that has all the details and information about the club and the forms necessary to join: southriverskiclub.net.
There are two membership types: We have a family membership for $75 per year and an individual membership for $60 per year. A third option is for individuals that contribute a $40 fee just to help maintain the club. All proceeds (100 percent) go to maintaining the ski course.
Is there anything such as an open house or other recruiting events?
We’re always looking for new members, but don’t have any specific open houses or events on the docket at the moment. In the past when there were more members, particularly kids, we hosted yearly ski clinics for both kids and adults.
Tell us about the club and where you ski.
We’re at the top of South River, near Route 50, and accessible only by boat. The SRSC slalom course is one of only three certified courses in Maryland that are open to the public. The course was recertified (re-installed) in 2010 by a professional waterskiing association. It is a “record capable slalom course.”
While the course is open to the public, we do ask that if club members are present, they be given priority to use the course.
Tell us about your equipment? Boat? Skis?
We’re a little different from some clubs in that there is not a dedicated club boat, skis, or equipment. Typically it is “bring your own boat and equipment.”
What are your summer plans and/or what days do you go out?
The course is typically open from April through October. Like I said, it is traditionally less formal, with no real set times or days for skiing. Typically, members just call each other, and when at least three people can go, then they head out.
Got a need for speed? Contact the club and get out on the water!
Interview by Dan Brougher
Check out last month's waterskiing feature on the Lake Vienna Ski Club!