3 Big Back Circles

Props to Liz Flaherty from the Chain Skimmers and the UW Ski Team.  At state last year (2007) she did a nice little barefoot act.  She starts with a back flier and then ends up doing two more back deeps as she does her 3 BIG back circles… not the tiny little circles another team does… she goes all the way around the show course.

Props to the guys that messed up the first hot pick of the rope… it made the act even better!

BFC put up a video of it…

Download Liz Flaherty’s 3 Big Back Circls

I Know How An Ice Cube Feels…

Back on Saturday, January 26th I took my first ski run of the year… sans skis. Yes, I finally made the big commitment of giving up my Saturday and headed south to get some skiing in. I went all the way to the metropolis of Newville, WI a mere 30 minutes south of Madison.

And for those of you that think that makes me crazy, I was not alone. There were about 35 of us that braved the icy water of the Rock River. Yes it was January and yes it is Wisconsin, but we still skied or footed.

Why is there snow on the ground at the ski site?

Arriving at the Anchor Inn (that is situated on the shores of the Rock River) we were greeted with snow flakes in air, ice floating down the river and a cool winter wind. This is not the typical sight when you pull up to the boat launch…

Snow on the boat… not your typical sight when you are about to go water skiing.

Once everyone was registered and they explained how things were going to work, they put the boats in the water. Unfortunately, the boat wakes broke a lot of ice free up river from us and a ton of ice started flowing through. This held things up for about 30 minutes. Once the ice flow tapered off, they let people hit the water.

KTB getting ready to hit the water.

They had the skiers go first while there was still ice in the water. Once the skiers finished up, and most of the ice had finally gone away, they started pulling the footers. Many of the footers used step off skis. In fact, I think just about everyone used step off skis. The snow banks were good for storing the skis in.

Step Off Skis in the Snow Bank

I broke the mold though. I did a deep water start. And WOW, the water was cold. It wasn’t bad to get into, but during the deep, getting my face was wet and then standing up in the 40 MPH wind… it is a new level of wind chill to experience. But even in the ice cold water I was having a blast. Here are fews pics from my footing run.

No turning back now…

Proof that I was in the water

Doing the deep

Take 2

Snow and ice in the background makes for a nice backdrop

Yes, that’s me in the ball of spray… or should I say ball of ice?

I’m thinking “OMG AM I COLD!”

After my run, cold and wet, standing on the dock and I have a grin on my face from ear to ear!

For some reason, they completely blocked me on to the dock…
I couldn’t get through to get to the hot tub and the next skier left.

To defrost or reheat us after runs, they had a hot tub on the shore.
I’m in there with Heather and Anna & KTB are there with us.
All four us took a run that day.

Even thought it was very cold, there was snow and ice to deal with, it was a blast. My feet became painfully cold and my hands hurt a little bit too, but it was a lot of fun and I’ll be doing this again next year. There is nothing like sitting in the back of the boat on some ice, teeth chattering as your hair freezes.

Props to the RAJ for putting on a great event!

Visit bfooter.com… More pictures, more videos, more water skiing stuff.

Mad-City on BFC

Over on BareFoot Central they have a little thing called the Show Ski Challenge. Basically, a little spot on the site to give props to where a lot of footers come from… show skiing. They’ve got videos of crazy stunts and also some highlight clips from the teams.

“Footstock Dave” (as people call him) put together a highlight clip of the Mad-City Ski Team’s 2007 Wisconsin State Ski Show. Here’s the link to the video. Not sure I’d go with metal for the typical highlight video, but the video is pretty well done.

Be sure to check out some of the other videos as well.

Visit bfooter.com… More pictures, more videos, more water skiing stuff.

The Duck Story

Back in the fall of 2006 I was out skiing in Monoan Bay. In the fall there just seems to a few more birds on the water. Don’t know why. So much like with the pigeons from Seinfeld, boats seem to have a deal with the waterfowl. As the boat comes through, they get out of the way of the boats and we just mumble under our breaths at all the crap they leave on our dock.

So I’m footing behind my boat, moving along at 41 MPH or so. There is a flock of ducks on the water that we’re coming up on that I’m keeping my eyes on. They scatter for the boat, but one moves just clear of the boat and directly into my line. Now, much like in NASCAR (at least according to Days of Thunder), this is kinda like a car wreck so I’m thinking “just go straight through.” There are still several ducks scattered about and trying to slalom my way through just isn’t a realistic option. I’m moving at 41 MPH and there is only about 90 feet between me and the boat. Not sure on the exact math, but that doesn’t give me much time to react.

Now I’m moving along directly towards the duck that is just kind of floating there. As I approach closer, it sees me coming directly towards it and starts swimming which is good. Except it starts swimming the same direction I’m going. It isn’t going 41 MPH. So I’m thinking a typical barefoot stance is about shoulder width apart roughly. The duck isn’t going to fit between my feet. At least not easily. I obviously don’t want to hit the duck. A) This is bad for the duck and B) hitting the duck would be bad for me. I could potentially break a foot, ankle, knee, leg, etc and I’m just not ready to call it a season yet.

So I get to thinking, the duck is swimming, it isn’t that big. I’m about 20 feet from it now and I decide to widen my stance so it is about 4 feet wide. I wanted to get wide, but not too low because the duck might remember that it can fly too. The duck starts to swerve just a bit, but not much, just enough where I need to move a little bit to keep it centered and I straddle the duck. To the best of my knowledge, I didn’t touch it. I didn’t feel any feathers on my ankles or legs.

The spotter, 7, who’s watching this, went from a look of “oh shit he’s gonna hit a duck” to laughing his ass off. John, who’s driving also sees this in the mirror and I could tell he’s laughing too. They could both see clear as day that I straddled it.

I resumed my normal stance and just kept on going.

Maybe this duck thought it was a squirrel?

– Stroy from Eric (aka Wedge)

WaterSki Magazine – March 2008 Recap

This month’s WaterSki Magazine has a couple good articles about barefooting.  I’ve noticed a little more in there about barefooting and that’s a nice change.  They still focus a lot on the 3-event skiing, but they are doing better with footing coverage.

The first article is about the Barefoot Central boys… seems they found a nice little lake, rounded up a pilot and did some footing with no boat wakes to worry about.  Just a little plane, a rope and glassy calm water.  They’ve got some good pictures and stories from the footers that took part in it.  I’ll be waiting for the video to make an appearance over on BarefootCentral.com

The second article is about the Dam to Dam barefoot race hosted by the Austin Barefoot Ski Club of Austin, TX.  They celebrated the 20th aniversary at this past year’s race and the race continues to grow each year.

Both stories had some good pictures and was nice to see WaterSki Magazine give some press to those of us who don’t need the skis.

Rain Got You Down?

Ignore the fact that is the heart of winter here in Wisco and there is currently a winter storm warning that is expected to dump 6 to 8 inches of snow tonight.  Pretend it’s summer and there’s been lots of rain… and now back to the story…

Find a culvert that is flooded with water, a car that is fast off the line and some friends willing to watch you potentially injure yourself severely and you have the making of a good barefoot video.

This is Chad from the Must-Skis, a little show ski team from the metropolis of Beaver Dam, WI.  I can attest that he appears completely sane in normal situations, but still opted to try this little stunt out.

If you check out Barefoot Central, you may have seen this show up there, but I posted this first way back in October last year over on my personal blog, but the video is worthy of sharing here.


Chad Foots by the Road

Chad, if you read this and care to offer some insight in to this stunt, please share and send it my way.  I’m sure there is a good story to share.

Think Tank 2008

Don’t know what Think Tank is?  I’m about to tell you if you don’t.  Think Tank is the world’s largest water skiing convention and expo and it is put on by the Wisconsin Water Skiing Federation and this year it is February 29 thru March 2 at the Chula Vista Resort in Wisconsin Dells.

Why am I telling you about this? Well, it is a great opportunity to meet some of the best barefooters in the world and get some instruction from them.  Here’s where you are probably confused if you’ve heard about Think Tank.  You may be thinking “isn’t that just for show skiers?”  And the answer to that is no with an asterik.  Yes there are a lot of things there geared towards show skiers, but hey, it is in Wisconsin and that sport is pretty popular here (yes, I live in Wisco).  But there is more to it than show skiing stuff.  There are wakeboarding, 3-event and yes, barefooting clinics put on in addition the show skiing clinics.  You just might make some new friends to go skiing with too once the weather warms up.

So if you’re in the area or just want to head to the great white north (because it’s snow covered) for a weekend get away, come by Think Tank.  In addition to the instructional clinics and deals you might find on some new equipment, you’ll be able to spend a weekend at a great resort.  If you’re tired of the freezing weather, you can pretend it’s summer in their indoor water park kept at a toasty 80 degrees.  If you register for Think Tank, you’ll even get a good deal on the room.

They don’t have their schedule posted online yet, but keep an eye on their website for more details.

Think Tank
Chula Vista Resort