Jet skiers speed down Arkansas River in popular competition

Competitors race along the Arkansas River on June 4, 2017 during day 3 festivities at the Wichita Riverfest. Courtesy KSN News

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – What better way to spend a beautiful day like today than by the Arkansas River watching a bunch of jet skis go over 60 miles per hour?

It is day two of the International Jet Sports Boating Association (IJSBA) Mid-America Watercross Championship out at Riverfest in downtown Wichita. This is an event that brings jet skiers of different types from across the country.

Some of these guys and gals actually are going speeds upwards of 80 miles per hour. Those speeds, however, are usually reserved for courses with a little more space to maneuver.

Wichita’s course is pretty difficult because of how narrow it is. That doesn’t stop it from standing out to racers that come from both near and far.

“The river is just totally different,” said competitor A.J. Luinstra. “We’ve got the current rolling one way and we’ve got the rolling start because we can’t start with the rubber bands. It’s just all over the place, it’s a bunch of competition, it’s really awesome. We;re able to go back home, we don’t have to worry about getting a hotel or staying somewhere. Get all your friends and family. I’ve had a lot of people come out and watch us this weekend.”

“This is a fun event for spectators,” said competitor Ron Wirth. “It’s a little tight for us, but it brings us back every year. So it’s really fun. I mean this is what we’re trying to do is build the sport along with getting people exposed to it.”

“It’s perfect coming here to do that,” added Wirth.


Get breaking news, weather and traffic on the go. Download our News App and our Weather App for your phone and tablet. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.