Jetovating on Lake Kashagawigamog
By Chad Ingram
Published July 12, 2016
“Arms straight,” my instructor Dave Rodgers tells me. “Stand up, big and tall.”
At five-foot-four, standing up big and tall is not something I do incredibly well, but I give it my best shot.
For a moment, I am standing, hovering above the waters of Lake Kashagawigamog, skimming along its surface.
“Kind of like Jesus,” I think to myself, before losing my balance and plunging into the nearly bathtub-warm water.
It’s a picturesque Haliburton day in late June and I’m out on Kash with crew members from the Ski-Mazing Watersports School. Rodgers, who’ll be a guest on the lake this summer, is here with his Jetovator.
With a plastic body resembling that of a dirt bike, a Jetovator propels its rider from the water into the air via a series of four jets: two beneath the handlebars and two beneath the footholds. Water is fed into the machine through a long hose connected to the jet ski Rodgers is driving several metres behind me.
I try to remember the advice he gave me on the dock at the Bonnie View Inn. It’s easy to tip backward, but almost impossible to tip forward, so when in doubt, lean forward. Dig into the kneepads. Arms straight.
Most of that advice goes quickly out the proverbial window as I rise up above the water again, levitating for a glorious moment before crashing into Kash once more.
Members of the Ski-Mazing team, who are also rookies on the Jetovator, do, well . . . slightly better.
Owner Craig Bowker is out of the water on his first attempt, rising a foot, then two, then three. Before long, Bowker is flying across the lake like some kind of Marvel Comics character. At one point, he’s driving with no hands.
His staff have similar ease with Jetovator, leapfrogging across the water, doing 360s and dives.
His 10-year-old son, Spencer, rides the thing all the way from the middle of the lake back to the shore.
Next time I’ll get it.
Ski-Mazing is set up at the Bonnie View Inn throughout the summer and Rodgers will be there with his Jetovator each Thursday this season. For more information, call 705-457-8754.