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Archive for Monday, June 17, 1996

LAKE ENTHUSIATS RIDING NEW WAVE

June 17, 1996

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Clinton Lake's personal water craft cove brims with activity most sunny weekend afternoons, and Sunday's parting clouds brought several lake faithful to the popular spot.

This is where the jockeys come.

Instead of one horse, they saddle 110, soaking sun, cutting waves, loving life.

Riders zipped back and forth Sunday afternoon, the sky filled with equal parts cloud and sun. Sailboats glided in the distance.

In a mellow, lawn-chair way, Clinton Lakes's personal water craft cove was rocking.

"You try it and get hooked," Jeff Snyder said as he and his wife took a break from their newly purchased Sea-Doo. "They're a lot of fun."

The couple kept an eye out for their friends, who had planned to meet them and catch a ride or two.

"Those are the friends you acquire when you get one," Jeff Snyder said.

Snyder's daughter, Hillary, 3, described the first ride she shared with her father. One of them ended up in the drink.

"Daddy fall down, and I hold on," she said.

Eric Lewis, Vassar, sat with his friend Greg Roy, Topeka, eating chunks of Spam as another friend tried out Lewis' Kawasaki Jet Ski. They come to the cove at least once a month.

"It's fun to come out and see people's machines and meet people," Lewis said. "Lawrence is a pretty young town, and a lot of young people are into skiing."

Patti Campbell, Lawrence, has been one of the cove's faithful for the past three years.

"I like the wakes -- being able to ride like you're on the ocean," Campbell said, her Yamaha Wave Runner bobbing near the shore. "It's a good way to get a weekend workout."

Campbell's craft is well-equipped. It has attachments for headlights and for slalom skiing from behind.

"This is my resort home," Campbell said.

She's only dropped $300 on it for maintenance, a low figure when compared to the sticker price. New water crafts cost more than many pay for their cars.

If they hadn't traded in two crafts, Julie Elwell, Topeka, and her husband, Dan, would have paid $7,500 each for the family's two 1996 Sea-Doos.

A frequent lake visitor, Elwell said her family wanted to take advantage of the first nice Sunday in a while.

"(Clinton) isn't huge, but it's a nice size lake," she said. "And it has an area just for Jet Skiing."

A sign in the cove discourages swimming, fires, camping, fishing and glass. Boats can put in nearby, but large wakes are prohibited inside a circle of white and orange buoys.

Aside from an occasional problem, the cove is big enough for everyone to enjoy without friction.

"You get a jerk every now and then, but that's true with anything," Elwell said.

Jackie Snyder agreed.

"(Other riders) help you out, give you a push if you're in the water," Jackie Snyder said. "Everybody's pretty water friendly."

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