The Aberdeen Aqua Addicts perform their amazing 45 minute water ski show Friday, August 2, at 7 p.m. at Lake Farley during Farley Fest 2019. Akin to a Broadway show on the water, this aquatic spectacle features ski acts choreographed to music all created around a different theme each year. Thrill to solo acts and acts with up to 20 skiers being towed behind the boat. Skiers range in age from three to 80. Yes. Really!
Sean Hyatt, one of the skiers from the show says, “The Aberdeen Aqua Addicts are known for coming up with fun, crazy stuff! Sean’s specialty is jumping, and he is one of only a handful of people in the world who does a trick called a mobius – a 360 degree back flip. Sean has been known to go over 70 feet in the air. The team is also noteworthy for sporting four or five sets of twins. The co-directors who started the team are also twin brothers.
Sean, who has skied all over the world, started skiing on Big Stone Lake behind his grandparents boat. He says, “My family all started skiing when we went camping with Grandpa and Grandma (Gene and Vera Hyatt of Ortonville). But, I loved it enough to go to ski camp. The camp asked me to join their team, so, I skied with them for four years and landed my first professional contract when I was 17. I hadn’t graduated from high school, but I went for the summer to the Wisconsin Dells to join the Tommy Bartlett Show.”
After graduating from high school at Sioux Falls Washington, Sean decided he wanted to ski all year round, so, he moved to Florida to ski at Cyprus Gardens. He moved from there to accept an invitation to ski at Sea World in San Antonio, Texas for a season. While in Texas, he learned of a ski show in Germany, went to Germany, and ended up staying for six years. He met his wife, Denise in Germany and eventually they moved back to Milbank. The couple now lives on his grandparents’ (Merle “Short” and Carrie Smith) farm where they focus on sustainable agriculture.
Though he can often be found wearing a USA Water Ski Show Team t-shirt, somewhere in the back of his closet there’s probably a shirt that says Life is Better on Water Skis because Sean says being in the show is a great escape. “You’re not thinking about anything else. Your mind is free on the water.”
He says, “A lot of my tricks are down to muscle memory after so many years of practicing. I now just go out on the water, have fun, and relax during the shows. It’s a great stress reliever away from the work at the farm.”
Last year, Sean performed in China and competed in Canada on the world championship team. This past May, he again competed in China. Sean says it is an honor to represent our nation in other countries as a member of the USA Water Ski Show Team.
Sean’s daughter is the three-year-old in the show. He says it chokes him up his daughter is following in his (bare?) footsteps. They do a daddy- daughter line. She takes off on his shoulders holding his hands. She then stands up on his shoulders, lifts a leg, and smiles to the crowd.
Maybe it’s genetics or something in the water, as his brother is also a professional water skier. The two brothers skied together in the world tournament last year. (His brother is now skiing in Australia with Sea World for two years.) His brother’s wife is a member of this year’s team, too. And, Sean says,” My wife is my skiing photographer.”
He adds, “His team practices three days a week but may practice additional hours individually. Water skiing is a competitive sport, but on the other hand it really isn’t. The whole water skiing community is so small; everyone is supportive of each other. Sean also coaches other water skiing teams in the Midwest and teaches jumping, hydrofoiling, and specialty skills.
The Aberdeen Aqua Addicts shows run from Memorial Day through Labor Day, but because they are hearty and dedicated Midwesterners, they often ski until ice starts forming on the lakes. Sean says, “The Aberdeen Aqua Addicts are usually the last team in the country to take their jump out of the water.” Don’t wait! See this exciting FREE show on August 2, at Farley Fest 2019. The weather will be warm and the only ice will be in the cold drink in your hand.