Santa on skis? Water skiers welcome December with season's last outing

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Santa Claus was spotted water skiing on Gull Lake Friday, Dec. 1.

December water skiing has become a tradition for Pequot Lakes resident Sean Kaneski, who dressed in a Santa suit for the occasion.

After noticing open water on Sibley Lake last December, Kaneski decided to get his water skis out one last time for the year. Gull Lake's open water called him out again this year, but this time he brought a group of friends. Kaneski put a call out on Facebook earlier in the week to garner interest.

"Because why not?" he said with a laugh when asked about the tradition.

Last year's outing only saw two skiers out on the water, Kaneski and his friend, Nate Haberman. This year, however, a crowd gathered at Quarterdeck Resort on Gull Lake's west shore, with about 12-14 people planning to hit the water. Wetsuits and Santa hats adorned the eager skiers, who shivered as they plunged into Gull Lake. The air temperature at the time was pushing 40 degrees, which Kaneski - who took the first ski - found favorable.

"We did it last year, and the conditions weren't this awesome," he said.

The greater number of people made it more enjoyable as well.

"It's more fun with a whole bunch of people, so it was really fun," Kaneski said. "We had some good boats to ski behind."

Other participants included Corey Krantz, Jessica Sampson, Kevin Anderson, Tristan Elsenpeter, Dave Elsenpeter, Brandon Pederson, Evan Lawrence, John Linn, John Berg and Vic Pederson.

Sampson said her run was cold, but it didn't take much convincing for her to get out there.

Water skiing wasn't the group's only activity of the day though. After their fun on Gull Lake, they headed to Mount Ski Gull.

"We're going to go straight from the water to the snow," Kaneski said.

Downhill skiing capped off an unusual day of winter fun.

"This is Minnesota," Lawrence said.