Alabama River Barefoot Challenge is Oct 2

I just found out about this event courtesy of the USA Water Ski E-Blast Newsletter. The Colonel Biggs Water Ski Show Team will be hosting the Alabama River Barefoot Challenge on Saturday, October 2nd.

The format is a 55 mile barefoot endurance race. Driver meeting is scheduled for 6:30a, boat launch at 6:45a and the race kicks off at 7:30a. Awards are schedule to go from 11a-noon followed by a cookout and then an afternoon of water skiing, barefooting, and what sounds like an impromptu figure-8 tournament.

Check out the team’s website or 2010 Alabama River Barefoot Challenge flyer for more details.

World Barefoot Center Figure-8 Barefoot Championship

Just wanted to pass on a few more details about the upcoming World Barefoot Center Figure-8 Barefoot Championship that’ll be taking place in Winter Haven, Florida on Saturday, October 16 on Lake Silver.

The entry fee is $65 with registration starting at 7am, the skiers meeting at 730am and the tournament starting at 8am. The tournament will pay out $1000 for first place, $500 for second and $200 for third.

Typical figure-8 rules that follow the Footstock rule book with the exception of the ropes being on a standard tower. No duct tape or Ultimate Grip Clinchers or Masterline Pro Lock gloves.

Seeing as how it’s at the WBC, you’ll likely be competing against KSO, David Small and the rest of the staff from there.

A party will follow at 7:30pm at the WBC Headquarters located at 3915 Lake Conine Dr. East in Winter Haven and the flyer indicates FREE BEER!!!

Check out the WBC website for more details and contact info. It’s also the final stop on barefoot ski dot com’s Figure-8 Barefoot Series.

Click on the image below to embiggen the flyer…

Update 9/25/2010: The figure-8 tournament will be held on Lake Silver now. My understanding it’s a private lake so there won’t be any weekend warriors to deal with.

Jump the Shark

Hopefully, you all know what that phrase means and where it comes from. If not, you’ve been hiding under a rock since 1977 when the phrase began to take form. For those that still don’t know what I’m talking about, I’m referring to the Happy Days episode when Fonzy jumped the shark on a pair of skis. It is widely regarding as the episode when the show started it’s decline (however, it stayed on the air for 6 more seasons). Now, when a show is said to have jumped the shark, it’s on it’s decline.

The phrase even has it’s own entry in Wikipedia. And as always (in case you didn’t notice), the Fonze is wearing his black leather jacket (yes, even out on the ocean, he’s wearing his black leather jacket.) Plus, he’s got a yellow banana for flotation. Yes, the little drawing above is correct, he’s rocking a banana. It even comes included with the action figure. Jumping the shark hasn’t been limited to just Fonzie doing it. Even Homer has gotten in on the action…


Fonzie Jumps the Shark

Now, if you watch the scene closely, you can see so many things wrong…

  • First off, if you look at the jump and “shark cage”, it looks to be about 60-70 feet that he needs to jump to clear the cage. Not saying it can’t be done, but he doesn’t appear to going very fast when he makes the jump.
  • The show a large shark swimming in about 4, maybe 5 feet, of water with no sign of the under water “cage”. Later they show a much deeper underwater view. Serious lack of continuity, but not the only one.
  • Richie Cunningham is driving the boat and asks the Fonze, who’s skiing behind the boat, if he’s sure he wants to do it. The Fonze gives him a thumbs up… I’ve been behind a boat a lot, and rarely have ever heard the people in the boat talking.
  • Finally, at the 1:21 point in the clip above, you see a good shot of the jump, the shark cage, and what can only be an incredibly large pier just on the other side of the shark cage. Who sets up a ski jump to that as the skier hits the ramp, the boat runs into a pier?
  • Just after the Fonze crushes on his landing, they switch to a shot showing him skiing away from the front. See anything missing? Like maybe a “shark cage” and possibly a jump ramp? They are both mysteriously gone.
  • Meanwhile, Richie, who’s driving the boat, continues to look at the Fonze, giving him a thumbs up, and really by now, should have driven the boat into the pillars holding up the pier.
  • The show the boat turning to the right to whip the Fonze up to the beach, however he cuts out on the right to ski to the beach?
  • Amazingly, his leather jacket appears to be undamaged by the salt water?

Horton over at the Ball of Spray posted this article from TV Guide where they (the writers) defended their decision to write the scene. My take… if they can make action figures from it, it can’t be all bad… plus, it gave me an excuse to find some goofy jump the shark pictures with Google Image Search.

Someone recreated the scene using Legos...

There is rumor of a new phrase taking form to replace “Jump the Shark” (or at least be the movie equivalent), but off the top of your head, who knows where the phrase “Nuke the Fridge” comes from? Anyone? Anyone? The answer is below the last funny jump the shark image I found…

The answer is Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Didn’t see it? Not many people did… it wasn’t a good movie. The phrase refers to an early scene where Indy jumps into a lead lined fridge to save himself from a nuclear detonation. The explosion hurls the fridge (and him) along ways away, far enough that he can exit the fridge and look at the mushroom cloud. Surprisingly, the fridge appears to be the only thing to survive the blast. Everything else has been demolished. Sadly, the scene didn’t make into the trailer (although you do see the nuclear bomb).

114 People, 1 Boat

A little off topic here, but thought I’d pass this along anyways…

There’s a new world record (recognized by Guinness World Records) in water skiing… The most water skiers towed behind a single boat is 114 by the Horsehead Water Ski Club (Australia) in Strahan, Tasmania, Australia, on March 28, 2010.

I know it’s not barefooting, but it is still one hell of a record.  If you check out their website, near the top the have a very wide picture that’ll give you an idea of just how many people 114 people are.

Also, (currently) near the top of the website you can find a link to download the footage taken from The Eagle (the boat that pulled the skiers). You can see that it was a very slow pull.

Here’s some news footage of the record…


ABC News Footage

Here’s some footage from a near by boat…


114 Skiers

The have a variety of other pictures and video available on the Photos and Video page. Be sure to check it out.

Thank You!

A Logo made by BarefootSki Dot Com for this site

I’d like to take a brief moment to thank everyone for visiting my little corner of the internet. My little website still isn’t nearly as popular as The Creaky Rowboat (the nearly always entertaining, often non-nonsensical, general water skiing blog), but it’s gone from the 10-20 visitors a day, to the 40-50 visitors a day. For those of you wondering, you can’t make a living running a website with 40-50 visitors a day, this is strictly a hobby. It’s been fun though. I’ve heard from people all over the USA (and the rest of the world) and met lots of people.

You may start to see the occasional non-barefoot post here and there on the site, but the site’s focus will always stay on barefooting. There are just occasionally other things of note in the world of water skiing worth noting, or that I manage to witness, that I’ll want to share.

As always, the site has never been intended to be just about my opinion on barefooting and what I’ve seen. I’m just one man, who’s very active on a show skiing team (yes, I’m also a show skier) so I only have so much time in my day. So if you have something you want to share (an event, a story, cool barefooting pictures, a slick video you made/found or whatever) drop me a line by sending an email to wedge [at] talesfromthefoot.com. That email address is always in the sidebar in the contact area, you’ll just need to replace that [at] with the actual @ sign (I’m trying to cut down on spam bots finding the address.) If it’s just a one off, I can post that for you. Or if you feel like you want to be a regular (or semi-regular) contributor, we can probably even work that out.

Ever wonder if you’re the only one showing up besides me, you’re host? Well, I’d like to let you know that you are not alone. According to Google Analytics, over the past month, the site has had a little over 800 visitors, from 65 different countries spanning all of the continents (I’m even going to count Antarctica since there are 10 visits with an unspecified continent:)) Since the site launched in January 2008, there have been about 9000 visitors.

So, if you’d like to let the world know that you’re stopping by here, just drop a comment down below and say hi to everyone. You can always comment on all of the posts. I’ve also made it easier for people to spread the word about the website. See something you like, just click on the little Facebook share button in the post to tell all of your Facebook friends about what you saw here. Chances are, you have a whole lot of friends who barefoot too.

So once again, thanks for stopping by. Come on back soon.

Jump Jam in Waco, Texas

Just wanted to mention that the Jump Jam is coming up on September, 18 in Waco, Texas at the Barefoot Ski Ranch. They’re offering up $17,000 in cash prizes to the winners of the two events, one of which, anyone can win. People like Keith St. Onge, David Small and Royal Wiseman are expected to be there.

The first event is simply the biggest of jump from your two jumps. Simple, go farther than everyone else and you walk away with 5 grand.

The second event takes a bit more math to figure out who wins, but anyone can win. Simple out jump your personal best from the past 3-years of tournament jumping, and whoever increases their personal best by the largest percentage will also walk away with 5 grand.

If I’m understanding that second event correctly, say your personal best is 40 feet and you jump 60, that’s a 50% increase. If another person’s personal best is 50 feet and jumps 70, that’s only a 40% increase, so you’d win, even though you both increased your PB by the same amount.

I’ve attached the flyer for the event below with more details, including contact info.

You can also watch the Austin Barefoot Ski Club’s website for more details.