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!

Learn to Ski

Access to Waves - Adaptive Water Ski Clinic

In 2005, the Backwater Gamblers teamed up with the Genesis Group for the first time to host an adaptive water ski clinic.   Individuals with various disabilities came to our ski site and, with the help of our skiers and the volunteers from Genesis, were able to learn to water ski with specially designed water skis. The smiles on their faces were more than inspiring. The success of the clinic has lead us to continue to hold a clinic every year, and starting in 2015, now hold 2 adaptive ski clinics per season. 

Our 2020 Access to Waves clinics have been canceled due to COVID-19 for the safety of our participants and volunteers.
Access Waves


Water Ski Lessons

Each summer, the Backwater Gamblers hold water ski lessons for 10-15 people. The lessons last about three hours with the students taking 10 minute turns and getting to ski two or three times. Experienced skiing members of the Backwater Gamblers help teach each of the students individually to 2 ski or enhance current skiing skills. Students must be 9 years old or older and lessons cost $50 per person. 
Sign up for Lessons