OUTDOORS + RECREATION

92-year-old Dwan Jacobsen Young named the world’s oldest female waterskier

Feb 5, 2024, 4:09 PM

Dwan Jacobsen Young, 92, poses with her Guinness World Records plaque on February 5, 2024....

Dwan Jacobsen Young, 92, poses with her Guinness World Records plaque on February 5, 2024. (Mariah Maynes/KSL NewsRadio)

(Mariah Maynes/KSL NewsRadio)

SALT LAKE CITY — Dwan Jacobsen Young said she didn’t know that she’d been named the world’s oldest female waterskier until her family surprised her on Christmas. 

Her granddaughter Becca got an idea after waterskiing with Young last July — why not check and see if Young would qualify for a Guinness World Record

“She’s the one that did all of the research didn’t tell anybody and researched it and got it all set up. [Then] at our family Christmas party after we’d had all of our activities, they said ‘Becca has a surprise,'” said Young. 

Then, Young’s family displayed a video of her waterskiing and presented her with the certificate. 

“I thought it was a joke, you know … they’re laughing at me because I’m old,” Young recounted. “Then when I saw the certificate I thought ‘yeah, this is for real.'” 

Waterskiing with Young

Young said that she began waterskiing after her family bought a cabin in Bear Lake in the 1960s. 

“After we had the cabin we built a ski float and we just started skiing,” said Young. She began at the age of 30 and hasn’t stopped since. 

Young said she loves the water. “There’s something awfully calming about being in the water.”

However, waterskiing provides the opposite feeling. “When you’re out, you know, and you’re feeling the air,” Young added.

Dwan Jacobsen Young waterskis. (Photo courtesy of Jeff Young)

Dwan Jacobsen Young waterskis. (Photo courtesy of Jeff Young)

Her family is also involved in the sport. She said they ski in the cold waters of Bear Lake and the warmer waters of Lake Powell. 

She’d been snow skiing since she was six years old. According to Young, her experience on Ecker Hill in Parley’s Canyon helped her waterski. 

“It was a lot easier to start on two skis. Getting on the slalom is tricky,” said Young. “It took … I don’t know how many tries,” the 92-year-old waterskier said about making the transition. 

She said her grandkids cheered her on, offering advice to bend her knees, keep her arms straight, and let the boat pull her. 

When her family is at Bear Lake, Young said that calm conditions mean “it’s grandma’s turn.” She doesn’t like waterskiing in rough conditions, preferring to stay on the boat. 

When she is waterskiing, Young said that she is focused on living in the moment and enjoying the ride. 

“[I’m] watching to see you know, where the wake is and so I am pretty concentrated on the skiing,” said Young. 

Advice from the world’s oldest female waterskier

According to Young, waterskiing has taught her not to give up. 

“Just keep trying and it takes effort and it takes consistency … and patience,” said Young. 

She also shared her tips for longevity, saying to keep moving, eating healthy, and taking care of yourself. The world record holder said that she still plays tennis. Additionally, she’s been doing water aerobics during the winter months. 

“I am just grateful … to have good health and to have a wonderful supportive family that encourages me,” said Young. 

Related: Meet Junior Bounous, the 98-year-old powder skiing pioneer

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92-year-old Dwan Jacobsen Young named the world’s oldest female waterskier