Two RV Gypsies: Full-Time RVers
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The two RV Gypsies enjoyed the
Backwater Gamblers Water Ski Show

5000 44th Street
Rock Island, Illinois
(call for show times and dates at '309.786.8987)
August 21, 2017

history book"The Backwater Gamblers Water Ski Club was founded in 1980 as an Illinois non-profit organization with a mission to:

  • Provide free, quality water ski entertainment to the Quad City area.

  • Become a nationally recognized show competition water ski team.

The Club is a family-oriented organization with families making up 68 percent of the Club’s 150+ members. The ages of the skiers range from 3 to over 60. Club members consist of both skiers and non-skiers, all of whom are important to presenting the best water ski show possible.

They perform free water ski shows on Sunday and Wednesday evenings from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.  Donations accepted."

USA map showing location of IllinoisMap of Illinois showing location of Rock Islandwelcome to llinois sign

Below: A miniature lighthouse in front of a nearby church. It has nothing to do with the water ski pictures shown below.

A miniature lighthouse

divider bar

Leaps, pyramids and high speed excitement as amateur water skiers entertained the two RV Gypsies with fun-filled shows. There was no charge for this amazing show, but donations were accepted. The photo below is the dock from which the acts in this show took off from. The Backwater Gamblers, along with 4 other show ski teams, are pictured in the 2017 Guinness Book of World Records for successfully building a 60 person, five 4-tier pyramid behind one boat.

the water ski staging area

Below: One of the most graceful acts in show skiing, swivel got its name from he movement of the ski binding which can swiveled 360 degrees on the larger, specially designed swivel ski.

swivel skiers

Below: A 4-tier pyramid (Read the quote in their brochure, also shown below)

A 4-tier pyramid

A 4-tier pyramid

brochure page

water skiers


Below: Ballet is consistently one of the Backwater Gamblers' highest scoring acts at tournaments. It is also one of the few acts that is performed entirely in front of the audience. It puts as many girls as possible on the water at one time. in 2011, Backwater gamblers tied the National Show Ski Association record for the most girls in a ballet line with 25. On this date, they had 17 girls as shown in the photos below.

17 ballet water skiers on state

17 ballet water skiers takin off

17 ballet water skiers

17 ballet water skiers

17 ballet water skiers

17 ballet water skiers

Below: The jump ramp is 21 feet long, 14 feet wide and 5-1/2 feet tall. The photo shown below is a multiple image of one jumper.

a multiple image of one jumper

Below: 3-tiers

staging for a 3-tier show

staging for a 3-tier show

 a 3-tier taking off the dock


Below: Acrobatic stunts


Acrobatic stunts

Acrobatic stunts

Acrobatic stunts

Below: The younger girls took a spin.

The younger girls go for a spin.

Below: Some audience members bought little yellow rubber ducks and tried to throw the rubber ducks into the middle of the toilet seats hanging from the three outhouses. No winners on this date.

outhouse being towed

outhouse being towed

rubber duck toss

Below: A Barefoot skier was going so fast at 40 mph, he could not even be seen. Barefooting can be performed frontwards or backwards. There are several ways to start barefoot skiing - by stepping off of one ski once in the water, dock start, beach start, tower start, or jumping out of two skies.

 40 mph barefoot skier

 40 mph barefoot skier

Below: A silly chicken act in-between shows

silly chicken act

Below: As the two RV Gypsies were leaving at the end of the show, the boat drivers and crew put on a short show of their own.


show boat show boat

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