XIt is with utmost disappointment that the Backwater Gamblers announce that we will not be able to perform ski shows for our amazing fans at this time. The health and safety of our team members and fans are our primary concern. Due to the current Reopen Illinois phase which mandates social distancing of 6 feet and no large gatherings, it is impossible to perform all the acts you love like our pyramids, doubles, ballet lines, around the boat, and most of our show safely and within these guidelines. As soon as we are able to perform safely again within the guidelines of the state of Illinois, we will absolutely do so and will update our website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and let you know.

As we are a 501(c)3 non-profit and rely solely on donations from our fans and sponsors, if you would like to help support us so we can continue to provide family-friendly, free water ski shows to the Quad Cities in the future, you can donate via PayPal ([email protected]), Venmo (@Backwater-Gamblers), or by mailing a check to Backwater Gamblers, 5000 44th Street, Rock Island, IL 61201. We hope to ski you soon!

Check Out a Show

We perform free ski shows for the Quad-Cities every Sunday and Wednesday at 6:30pm from Memorial Day to Labor Day. 

See our full show schedule

Find Us on the Map

Located at 44th Street and the Rock River in Rock Island, our home is the beautiful 40-acre Ben Williamson Park. 

Get directions to our site

Get Comfortable

We offer bleacher seating, concessions, free souvenir programs, a merchandise boutique, and fun for the whole family!

Learn more about our amenities

Make Waves with Us

Do you love sun, water, meeting new people from around the world, trying new things, and pushing your limitations?

We are always accepting new members of all ages! No ability to ski necessary ~ the  only requirements are a positive attitude and desire to help and learn! 
Join the Team

Help Us Out

We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and rely solely on the support and funding from the community and fans to perform our free ski shows. None of our members receive pay to perform. We do it because we love it!



 We provide free souvenir programs to any of the 15,000 people in attendance at our shows annually. You can place a full color ad in our program for as low as $50!


 We offer a variety of sponsorship opportunities. You can have your logo displayed on our give-away shirts, boats, jump ramp, dock, bleachers, or more!


We accept donations by cash, check, credit or debit card. A $20 donation at any of our shows will get you a free themed t-shirt for this season!
Support Us

Meet the Team

Started in 1980 with just 14 members, the Backwater Gamblers Water Ski Club got our name because we used to gamble with our lives by water skiing on the backwaters of the Mississippi River. Now skiing on the serene Rock River in Rock Island, the team has grown to over 150 members and has consistently been among the top five show ski teams every year at the National Water Ski Show Tournament.
Learn More