Oct 25, 2021 - Sports
From the archives: Minnesota's waterskiing contribution
Ralph Samuelson poses with his original water skis in the 1960s.
Ralph Samuelson (right) poses with his original water skis in the 1960s. Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society

Minnesota's spot in history as the birthplace of waterskiing might soon get some extra recognition.

Driving the news: Three members of Minnesota's congressional delegation — U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith, and U.S. Rep. Angie Craig — recently introduced a resolution urging the Postal Service to create a commemorative stamp honoring next year's 100th anniversary of the sport.

Flashback: Ralph Samuelson of Lake City was credited with inventing water skiing on Lake Pepin in the summer of 1922.

  • After "several failed attempts," the then-18-year-old rode the waves "aboard a pair of nine-foot-long pine planks from the local lumberyard," as the Minnesota Historical Society recounts. He mastered a jump just three years later and began performing ski shows.
  • Samuelson, who never patented his invention, became a turkey farmer after injuring himself on the water.
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