40 years of "Ski Freeze" on New Year's Day in West Norriton

WEST NORRITON TWP., Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- As the wind picked up along the Schuylkill River in West Norriton Township on Wednesday, folks started showing up with mugs of coffee and their skis.

"The water is REALLY COLD!" said organizer Peter Bostock after his run.

Ski Freeze is a 40 year-old tradition for the Port Indian Ski Club. Every January 1st you'll find people water skiing on the Schuylkill River. Except when the river is frozen like it was last year.

"I mean it's New Years Day! Who goes out water skiing on New Years Day? The people of Port Indian do," said Kara Harvey who lives along the Schuylkill River, not far from the event.

David Wert has been participating for ten years and kicked things off this time.

"Going down river with the wind at my back was fine but when we turned around and the wind was hitting me in the face it was a lot colder," said Wert. "You're not allowed to wear wet suits. Everybody here has to be daring enough not to wear a wet suit. We try to start on the dock and end on the dock so we don't get too wet."

Afterwards there was plenty of soup and hot chocolate to go around.

For many, watching was all the thrill they needed.

"They're trying to get me to get out there. I said no way. Not happening. You've never done it? I do not like the cold water! But I will spectate," said Harvey.

Others like Jill Lipton might be convinced for next year.

"It's crazy but it looks like fun."

The event is open to everyone who wants to participate and watch. They plan to continue the tradition next year.
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