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Jet ski stunt lands YouTubers in hot water with Minnesota DNR

The Clay County incident is still under investigation, but it may be possible to infer what the DNR had a problem with, here.

The Clay County incident is still under investigation, but it may be possible to infer what the DNR had a problem with, here. YouTube

The title “JET SKI JUMP OVER ROAD!! (Big Crash)” leaves very little to the imagination.

The second you catch this 20-minute YouTube video by Cormorant Boys TV (CBoys for short) in your feed, you know roughly how it’s going to go. If you don't, the chatter between a bunch of young dudes in a garage at the very beginning clears it up pretty quickly.

“I think it would be fun if you just [zooming sound] and yeet yourself into the water,” one of them says.

“I don’t think I’m planning on it,” a guy in a flannel shirt and a baseball cap says. “I’m banking on it, because I don’t think it’s going to go any other way.”

Spoiler alert: He’s right. The video stars say they found the “perfect spot” in Clay County, just south of Rollag, to throw down a little plywood and try to yeet their friend across a gravel road off Highway 32.

Soon, the stunt is underway. The pilot whirrs around one side of the road to pick up speed, guns it toward the ramp, gracefully sails into the air, hits the water on the other side, and immediately pitches off the jet ski and into the water like a rag doll. There’s wub-wubbing music, cheering, and laughter. Then the other hosts jump into the water just for kicks.

The CBoys have nearly half a million subscribers, and that stunt alone, posted one week ago, has 14,000 likes. But there’s at least one party that isn’t so keen on it: the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. They rolled up at the end of the video to have a little “chat.”

“Yeah, honestly, I’ll probably be talking to the county attorney about a careless operation charge for Jake for jumping the road,” a voice off-camera says.

“So, what’s that going to do to us?” one host asks.

“Just a ticket right now,” the voice answers. “Careless operation’s a little more serious because it does go on your driving record. We’ll see what he wants to do about it. I probably won’t make that decision, but the county attorney will.”

One of the hosts asks the officer if he can’t just “write the ticket” without talking to the county attorney. They even say, jokingly, that the officer can just “take the jet ski” instead. The officer gives them a friendly but firm “no” on both.

Conservation officer Jake Swedberg says yeah, he was one of the authorities that arrived on the scene. The incident is still “under investigation,” so there isn’t much he can say about it in detail, but he was able to confirm that this was the first time he had to talk to someone for jumping a jet ski across a road.

There’s definitely some safety issues here, he says—not just the obvious ones, but you’ve got to be careful anytime you’re dealing with cold water.

CBoy Ben Roth says, for the record, nothing was damaged during the attempt—except for the pilot's "ego" after not landing the jump. This is the kind of stuff he and his friends from the small town of Cormorant get up to every Saturday. Their other videos include featurettes like “Shooting Guns with Hot Girls,” “CRAZY QUAD WHEELIE ON HIGHWAY!!” and “Do we work normal Jobs?”

The video blew up predictably online, but they didn't expect the new coverage they've been getting about the DNR's investigation.

"A lot of the commenters are commenting the same thing, which is, 'What are they getting ticketed for, having fun?'" Roth says. Their attorney recommended they not comment on the specifics of the charges. 

He doesn't think the legal tussle is going to change what they put on their feed—but it might make them a little more careful about how they release it.