You may have seen this viral video or pictures of the water-skiing Santa. This is Janet Hurley-Quackenbush at Goodyear Lake in Colliersville, located between Cooperstown and Oneonta. 

With temperatures in the 60's on Christmas Day, why not do some water-skiing? That sounded like a great idea to Janet Hurley-Quackenbush of Oneonta. The water temperature was 41 degrees. The docks on Goodyear Lake were put away, the boats were winterized luckily boat driver Chuck Jones of CJ's boat rental agreed to get his boat out and winterize it again after the stunt.

Janet Hurley -Quackenbush

First Attempt:

For Janet's first attempt, she says tried a friend's suggestion. "The neighbor came down to watch what we're doing and offered us a lawn chair that I thought might work, but it was a collapsible kind, and it collapsed."

Julie Lewis/The Daily Star

Second Attempt:

The problem the second time around was the Santa suit.  "All the stuffing got wet, and it weighed a ton. The beard and the wig stretched down to my belly button it was so heavy it was like trying to get out of the water with a toddler on your back," explains Janet.


Fourth Times A Charm:

It took Janet four tries to get out of the water. Christine Keto also known as "Cricket" was the videographer and said she was in the water for 16 minutes before staying up and making two passes.


Janet says the hardest part about water-skiing in 40-degree water is your hands. "They froze in a group formation around the ski rope so once I finally did get up I couldn't even take one hand off to wave at all the people that were cheering on the shore from their camps or to fix the wig or the beard."

A few more things make this story unique. For example, she's an accomplished water-skier on one ski, not two. That and the Santa suit combined made it a difficult stunt to say the least. When Janet was 19, she went water-skiing on December 2nd but not in the Santa suit. She's always wanted to do it again as Santa. 30 years later she did! This was the very last time she'll water-ski. Six years ago Janet avulsed her hamstring water-skiing. She had a type of surgery usually performed on professional ballerinas or football players at Albany Medical Center. The doctors built her a new hamstring muscle and reattached it. She was told to never water-ski again.

If you haven't seen the video here it is. Janet in all her glory for the last time on water-skies.