Kentucky Lake Ski Nuts continue New Year’s tradition

MCCRACKEN COUNTY, KY — The Kentucky Lake Ski Nuts kept their tradition alive for the 41st year in a row on Tuesday. It’s one they keep come rain, ice or snow.

They water ski at Twin Oaks Lake in McCracken County on the first day of the new year.

Joe Burkhead has been water skiing for more than 60 years. “I have loved it since day one,” Burkhead said.

The 70 year old said there is nothing quite like putting on a pair of skis. “It’s a great family sport,” Burkhead said. “That’s probably the single thing that made me love the sport all the way through these 50 or 60 years.”

His son, Corey Hawes, has been keeping the tradition alive for the past 30 years.

“It’s a huge part of who I am, who all of us are,” Hawes said. “I don’t know how much I’ll love it today. I love it when I get back to the dock — hopefully dry.”

He didn’t stay dry Tuesday, but Hawes said he still loves it. 

“We do it until our bodies won’t let us do it anymore,” Hawes said. “It’s part of who we are.”

Last year, not even ice on the lake stopped them. They just skied on top of it.

“We haven’t missed a day since,” Burkhead said.

They are already planning for 2020.

This summer, the Kentucky Lake Ski Nuts will host six tournaments, including the Disabled Water Ski National Championships.

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