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!

Team Stats

Year Theme Show Director President Regional
2020 Boomtown Elisabeth Cross with assitant Larry Anderson Randy Thompson    
2019 Neverland Tagen Dressman, Randy Thompson,
& Scott Allender
Derek Varner 2nd 5th
2018 Backwater Breakout David Anderson, Elisabeth Cross
& Pat Braet
Gene Hast 2nd 6th
2017 Backwater State University Tagen Tipton with assistants
Scott Allender & Randy Thompson
Gene Hast 2nd 6th
2016 Ski School of Rock Cindy Harkey, Chad Uhde,
Dakota Einfeldt, Todd Conway
Dakota Einfeldt 3rd 5th
2015 Conspiraski Theory Tagen Tipton & Chad Uhde Derek Varner 2nd 7th
2014 Choppy Water: My Life as a Water Ski Show Skier Tagen Tipton & Scott Allender Derek Varner 2nd 2nd
2013 Science for Dummies Tagen Tipton & Scott Allender Derek Varner 1st 5th
2012 Rock River Fire and Rescue Tagen Tipton, Scott Allender
& Larry Anderson
Derek Varner 2nd 3rd
2011 Backwater Down Under Tagen Tipton with assistants 
Bob Schultz & Taryn Claver
Randy Thompson 2nd 4th
2010 RBWG Rockin' Remote Summer Tour Dennis Heggen Randy Thompson 1st 3rd
2009 Family Reunion Dennis Heggen Randy Thompson 1st 5th
2008 Corporate Merger Brint Burrill & Gail Burrill Randy Thompson 2nd 8th
2007 BWG H2Ospital David Anderson & Adam Place Randy Thompson 2nd 5th
2006 BWG Flight 2006 Brint Burrill, Gail Burrill & Kevin Vogt Randy Thompson 2nd 4th
2005 Boomtown Larry Anderson, Nathan Crotty,
Gene Hast & Randy Thompson
  1st 10th
2004 Rocking Country Ski Camp Scott Allender & Dennis Heggen   1st 3rd
2003 Paradise Variety Theater Scott Allender & Chris Ridgley   1st 3rd
2002 Dragnet Mark Poulos   2nd 8th
2001 Jamaican Vacation Dennis Pauley & Larry Anderson   2nd 9th
2000 Revue Gene Hast   2nd 7th
1999 Ski-SPN Derek Varney & Craig Ridgley   2nd 8th
1998 David Waterfield's Magical Mystery Tour Tom Harkey   2nd 8th
1997 Search for the Rock Ness Monster Jim Post & Gretchen Post   2nd 8th
1996 Skiwatch Tim Fogel   3rd 7th
1995 Rockin' in the USA Scott Allender   1st 4th
1994 Backwater Gamblers' Skisino Resort Brint Burrill     7th
1993 Pirates of Backwater Bay Jim Post   Cancelled 5th
1992 Ski Shack Dennis Heggen   1st 4th
1991 The Tique Brothers Yamadyne Rockin' Circus Gene Hast   1st 3rd
1990 DEC-Aid Jim Post   1st 3rd
1989 Backwater Bandstand Gene Hast   1st 3rd
1988 BG TV     3rd 8th
1987 Gilligan's' Island Brint Burrill, Susan Burrill,
John Pauley & Dennis Heggen
  2nd 6th
1986 Skis R Us     2nd 8th
1985 The Rock Island Lines John Pauley & Dennis Heggen   2nd 10th
1984 No Theme     2nd 9th
1983 No Theme        
1982 No Theme        
1981 No Theme        
1980 No Theme