Santa, it appears, took some time off from his Christmas delivery route to water ski on Vallecito Lake.
Yes, the video was shot at the beginning of the decade, but Stan “Doc” Folsom, who dressed up as Santa and braved freezing water temperatures all those years ago, said he recently reposted the video to his Facebook page, eliciting excitement from family and friends.
“People are going nuts because I posted it again,” he said.
It was Dec. 17, 2010, and Folsom owned the marina at Vallecito Lake.
Folsom and a couple of friends got the idea into their heads: Wouldn’t it be fun to dress up as Santa and get into the lake’s freezing water temperatures for a little water skiing?
Folsom, for his part, said he conditions himself to endure cold water.
“I put docks on the water in April, so if I go under water, I need to be prepared not to go in shock,” he said. “So if there’s a polar club, I’m in it.”
Folsom forwent a dry suit or wetsuit. Instead, he put on a pair of waders and the Santa costume and was ready to go.
Folsom said the water was so cold he skied over slush on the surface of the lake. The next day, he said, the lake froze over.
“That’s how you know it had to be cold,” he said.
Folsom skied as Santa for a couple of more years, but was forced to stop after new rules banned boats from are not allowed on the lake without an inspection for invasive species. Those inspection stations close in the fall.
Folsom now owns the marina at McPhee Reservoir. There, too, he can’t get on the water in winter because of the need of aquatic invasive species inspections.
“I would ski today if they’d let me on the lake,” he said. “It was an absolute blast when we did that. I had a tremendous amount of fun with it.”