SLIDESHOW-RETRO: Splashtastic pictures from a water sports past

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IT’S wet, it’s wild and, once you get in, you hardly notice you’re in northern England and the temperatures are somewhere around what is technically known as brass monkeys.

We may live in a land where, when most of us think of water, we think umbrellas. But that doesn’t stop some hardy and adventurous souls taking the plunge.

Water Skiing'Picture shows Mr Harry Roberts, Secretary of the Sheffield and District Water Ski Club, showing off his skill at Crookes Valley Boating Lake during the Water Sports Festival - 18th June 1972

Water Skiing'Picture shows Mr Harry Roberts, Secretary of the Sheffield and District Water Ski Club, showing off his skill at Crookes Valley Boating Lake during the Water Sports Festival - 18th June 1972

Tuesday Retro today continues our A-Z of hobbies enjoyed in the region with W is for water sports.

Splash-tastic.

Pull on a wet suit and some goggles, and just look at these aqua-images.

“It’s exhilarating,” says Andy Granger who runs Sheffield Cable Waterski at Rother Valley Country Park. “Getting out there with the spray in your face, it’s refreshing and it keeps you fit and, above all else, it’s just really great fun.”

Sheffield Cable Waterski - a specialist obstacle course featuring kickers, flatbar sliders and funboxes - was itself opened in August 1991 and today caters for active-types, aged from eight to a particularly fit 71-year-old, between Easter and November.

But people have been taking to South Yorkshire’s lakes since long before then. Among our pictures are water skiers at Treeton Dyke in 1971, a water sports festival at Crookes Valley Boating Lake in 1972 and a 14-year-old Stocksbridge lad who represented the British Water Ski Team in 1987.

“Once people do it a first time, they tend to want to go at it again and again - it’s something that becomes addictive,” says 41-year-old Andy, who has himself been water-skiing for 18 years. “We do a kids club every Saturday morning and that always gets busy but there’s also university groups, works groups, women’s groups and just individuals who all come along. It’s the best. I’d recommend it to everyone.”