Ice Footing

The boys (and girl) from Beaver Dam suited up early this year, hitting the water on March 21st this year. The lake had thawed just enough so that there was open water on one side while ice covered the rest. With the exception of Sarah who just wore  a shorty, the rest suited up in their drysuits doing their best impressions of the Stay Puft Marshallmellow Man to enjoy a bright sunny day on the still very cold water.

Cold Feet

The air on this day was in the 40s while the water was dangerously close to freezing. Be sure to watch all the way to the end where you see why you don’t go out on thin ice.

Thanks for the video Tommy!

You’d Think This Post Was Off Topic…

…but it’s not. You’ll need to read all the way to the end to find out why.

First, lets look at some behind the scenes footage of the Red Bull Depth Charge. Now you’re asking, what’s that? Well, it was the world’s first UNDERGROUND wakeboard event. They used a mine from 1864 that had since flooded with a whole lot of water, installed some features and put up some lights and whala, they had themselves a wakeboard course set about 120 feet below the surface of the earth.

Red Bull Depth Charge

Next up is the Dew Tour Mastercraft Wakeboard Rail Jam. One would think they’d hold a wakeboard event in a lake, right? Even in the Red Bull Depth Charge they were in a lake, granted is was underground, but still, it was a lake. The Rail Jam, they held it in a parking lot… on pavement… and built some really big pools. And by big pools, I mean ginormous (gigantic * enormous = ginormous) pools. In word, they were big. But not so big that if they jumped too high or too far, they might just hit pavement. Be sure to watch this one to the end because they managed to find a guy to explain everything for you.

Dew Tour Mastercraft Wakeboard Rail Jam

By now you’re wondering why are there two wakeboarding videos posted here on a barefoot site? One might be OK, but two? Seriously? [just watched me some SNL] Well, both of these events had one Mr Peter Fleck involved in the planning of them. Who’s Peter Fleck? This guy…

That is Peter Fleck as he appeared some 26 years ago. It’s also this guy…

peter_fleck.jpg (42417 bytes)

He’s had a lengthy career as a barefooter, skied professionally in ski shows and has even competed at Footstock in recent years. He also helped plan both the Depth Charge and Rail Jam events. In addition to everything he’s done on the water, he’s done a lot of stuff off the water to help promote the sport of water skiing and all is various disciplines, even wakeboarding. Here’s the video that was played at the Wisconsin Water Ski Hall of Fame induction ceremony in 2009. It highlights some of the things he’s done both on and off the water.

Peter Fleck Wisconsin Water Ski Hall of Fame Induction Highlight Video

Hopefully you’ve taken the nearly 30 minutes to read this short article and watch these three videos. Two highlight some spectacular water ski events and one highlights a truly spectacular water skier who helped make those events happen.

First Person Perspective

AreaMike of Barefoot Ski Dot Com posted another video using his GoPro video camera. I have to give some props to provide a new perspective on video to me. I don’t think I’ve seen first person LONG LINE deep water videos before. Thinking about it, I haven’t seen about half of this perspective before and I’ve done hundreds, if not thousands of deep water starts… I’ve realized that I close my eyes until I’m on top of the water sitting up. Here’s one of his latest videos showing this unique perspective.

More Cold Water Footing

What I think would be interesting to see is someone that can do the sick freestyle tricks strap one of these cameras to their chest and give us a first person perspective of jumping out boats, side slides, dolphin starts (that could be really challenging with a camera on your chest, overhead 360’s, etc. I’ve got a feeling that those videos would like induce motion sickness in a lot of people… still be fun to watch though. Someone out there needs to make that happen.

Footapalooza Will Be Held on June 12

The date for Footapalooza 2010 has been set and it’ll be held Saturday, June 12 at Silver Sheep Lake (a private lake) in Rolling Prairie, IN which is just outside of LaPorte, IN. The event is put on by the Freemen Footers.

They’ll be camping near the site and lodging 5 minutes away. The Friday beforehand people are invited to a bonfire as well.

For more details, including the flyer, entry form and directions, visit BareFootSki Dot Com.

Best Dam Barefoot Race is Saturday, May 15

Just got off the phone (yes people do call me and let me know about events) and found out that the Best Dam Barefoot Race will be taking place on Saturday, May 15 on Beaver Dam Lake in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. It’ll be a 22 mile relay race for teams of 4 or 5 footers.

Last year the weather didn’t cooperate on Saturday (just a tad bit windy) and on Sunday when the ran the rice, although it was very sunny, the actually temperature was way cold (we’re talking 30’s). Hopefully, the weather cooperates a bit more this year.

More details on registration and cost will be coming soon.

Lots of Skiers [an update]

January 30, 2010 – 110 skiers up, 99 made it 1 nautical mile

Over in Tasmania, they are still trying to break the record for most skiers behind a boat. On January 30, 2010, they managed to get 110 skiers (of 120) up on plane from a deep water start, but only 99 skiers made it the nautical mile required for it to be a record.

They plan to try again and soon. Be sure to check out their website for more details, pictures and videos.

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

Building a Barefoot Calendar

Do you have a barefooting event coming up this spring, summer, fall or even winter? Any type of barefoot event (figure-8, 3-event, race, freestyle, clinic, really anything.) If so, shoot me an email at and I’ll get it added to the calendar here on Tales from the Foot. Be sure to include some details about when, where and who to contact for more details. I can even add a full post about your event if you send in enough details about it. If you want a page on the site (ie to use as the events official website, I can help with that too (all I ask is you provide some follow up on what happens at the event for a story with some pictures and/or video).

Not planning an event, but looking for one to go? Be sure to look at the calendar here. There’s already lots of events in store for 2010. Based on my scouring of the internet, so far on the calendar we have the Blue Moo Chickfest, Wisconsin Open, Midwest Regionals, Barefoot Nationals, Manitowish Waters Midwest Open, World Barefoot Championships, Footstock, Clean Lakes Barefoot Challenge, Faceplant Fest and Project Snowflake.

Still waiting to here when or if there will be a Best Dam Barefoot Race (I need to make some calls), when the Dam to Dam Race will be (sometime in November), when the big St Louis Figure-8 and Race will be, and any other events that might be occurring somewhere this year.

Bags of Chips or Bags of Air?

/off topic

Inspired by a friend that joined a Facebook group, I decided to write this post sharing a few details about why bags of chips contain so much air.

First off, the bags are packaged by large machines that weigh out a specific amount of chips to put into the bag. Since chips vary in size and shape, there needs to be extra space for the packaging process. As the chips are shipped to your local grocery store, they tend to ‘settle’ into a more compact space. Yes, this is the common reason given by most people, but it is only part of the reason.
Second, the bags of chips are typically shipped in large boxes. The air in the bag actually acts as packing peanuts and protects the chips from becoming crumbs. Without the air in the bag acting as padding, or spacing, for the chips, a large box containing many bags of chips would soon be all crumbs, which nobody wants. Try to crush the chips in a brand new unopened bag. Tag a bag of chips and squeeze it between the palms of your hands. Now not so hard that the bag will burst open, but enough to theoretically crush some chips. Chances are that air you complain about is doing a pretty good job of protecting the chips from any significant damage. So there are two options for this step, either put the extra air in the bag to protect its contents, or put styrofoam packing peanuts in with the chips and I’m off the opinion that this would be a bad idea.
Now I like my bags of chips, specifically Cheetos, and I would like the bags to be as full as possible, but I also want chips or Cheetos, I don’t want a bag full of crumbs. So next time, instead of complaining about the half bag of air, be thankful for the half bag of chips you have. It could be a full bag of crumbs.
Visit… More pictures, more videos, more water skiing stuff.