‘We can do anything a man can’: Meet the jet skiing She Doos of Smith Mountain Lake

Safety in numbers led to the formation of this all-female group

Safety in numbers led to the formation of this all-women group

SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE, Va. – A group of women, ranging in age from 50 to nearly 80, are making waves on the water at Smith Mountain Lake.

It’s hard to miss them if you’re out on the lake at the same time as the She Doos. Clad in their signature lime green attire, these ladies jet ski in style the same way they have for the past two decades — in a pack, of course.

On Thursday, the She Doos took to the lake to reminisce on how they came to be for their 20th-anniversary reunion.

“Mainly we got it started because we’ve been told the lake was vast and lots of coves you can get lost. We were kind of afraid we might get lost, so we did landmarks and then we ventured out and felt safety in numbers,” said Deedee Bondurant, a founding member of the She Doos. “We can do it by ourselves. Didn’t need husband help.”

Even after all this time, the She Doos are staying true to that unofficial motto.

“We can do anything a man can and we can do it while we’re thinking of something else. It’s just plain fun,” said Marlene Truesdell, a She Doo rider and the leader of the pack. “We will ride until our bodies won’t let us ride anymore.”

And Truesdell sticks to her word.

“I have two fake hips, a fake knee and five back surgeries, and that’s not going to stop me,” she shares.

Her passion for riding the waves will overcome any medical issue. Leader of the pack, indeed.

“We have been a family relationship amongst all of the women. Our new life has included so many new people that we’ve come to know. It’s sort of like a lake sorority,” Bondurant said.

As new members come in, Bondurant’s hope is that they are able to instill in them why they started the group and what they accomplished.

You have to be 50 years or older to become a She-Doo, and some of the current members are almost 80 years old.

About the Authors:

Nicole Del Rosario joined WSLS 10 in August 2020.