Here’s are some of my favorite pictures from the 2008 ski season.
Barefoot Worlds are going on right now in New Zealand. The best of best are over there tricking, slaloming and jumping. KSO is trying to defend is title.
For those of you that think that doing these crazy tricks on skis, or your barefeet, or hitting the ramp is easy, just watch this video. It features skiers from a professional ski show trying out the new stuff in their spare time and this video shows all the crashes these people go through to land that big stunt in the ski show.
Finally had a chance to bust out the boat last weekend on Saturday morning and have a good time on the water. I forced everyone to have a early wake up, even though it is a late start for skiing, still early as we all adjust to a summer morning skiing schedule. I called for people to be at the lake at 830am. As I pulled in just a couple minutes late, I saw Sandy and John waiting. We launched the boat as Teri called to say that Rob and her were “almost” there. About 15 minutes after we got the boat in the water, they arrived, through no fault of Rob’s, or so he claims. Next time, I plan to just tell Teri 30 minutes earlier than the rest of us. They did bring some trail mix for everyone to snack on though.
Back to the skiing… We didn’t freeze, calm water and lots-o-sunshine. John, Teri and I did some footing, Sandy did a little slaloming, Rob got dragged around on the boom (much to our entertainment), and then we busted out my new surfboard. I won’t go into details about the day, I’ll just let the pictures do the talking… We took lots of them, and here the best of the pictures…
John threw some tumbles…
Back to my earlier comment about dragging Rob around on the boom… he tried he hand (or feet) at barefooting. Now he’s not a small person and tested out the boom. He threw up some big splashes with some of his tumble up attempts, even dosing the camera once. We decided to catch them on video. I need to do a little editing and set the videos to music for maximum entertainment value. Be sure to check back.
Links: Picasa Web Album
This past Saturday, the Best Dam Barefoot Race took place in Beaver Dam, WI. This year, I suited up with Bugsy, Beau, Dano and Marky to go the distance. Russ was driving for us in his Malibu.
The weather this year, although not warmer than last year, was better than last year. The winds were much calmer, making the race like a Nascar Race. One slip up and you’re not going to win. For the race results, go check out Tales from the Foot. Basically, they messed up a pit stop and lost the race.
We didn’t have delusions of winning, we just wanted to finish. Shortly after the winners finished the race in a mere 23 minutes, we approached the turn around boat. The story in the bar afterwards goes that we stopped for a “drink” before making the return trip. We’ll neither confirm nor deny that, all we’ll say is that we were happy to see the turn around boat and they were happy to see us.
We finished the race, riding the feet of Marky, Dano and Beau while Bugsy and I did our contributions by giving them some recovery time and entertainment. Admittedly for all of us, it was a rough day. I’ve been on the water once, Dano a couple time, Bugsy did a 3-Event tourny (but hadn’t footed) while Beau and Marky suited up for the first time. None of were really ready for 22 miles, but we went anyways. Towards the end of race, the cold started to take affect, but then we finally spotted the bar and the finish line and rolled across the finish line 63 minutes and 43 seconds after we started.
But when the race finished, the party began.
We put the boat away, dried off and made our way into Dawn and Woody’s Moonlight Bar for food and drink. Before anything got too wild, we parked our cars at the Bell residence and car pooled back to the bar. We planned to have a good time.
As we arrived back at the bar, the karaoke was starting up. Beau, Dano and Marky had to head back to Madison for various reason, but we had reinforcements show up. Sandy and Beth were there to cheer us on, John arrived a little later, Teri was there as well with her own team and Douch arrived for the party as well. Many of us took turns on the stage… Sandy and Teri sang many songs, Pa Bell took the stage, Bugsy graced us with a boy band song, I did some Fishin’ in the Dark and got to sing along with Black Betty.
It took a while to get them to play Black Betty. First they said they’d already played and couldn’t play it again. Then I called them on the fact that they had already repeated several songs that night. Then they were like we don’t have a karaoke version and I told them I knew the words. After Douch made a comment about wanting ot hear it, they finally relented. It took way too much work to get that song played.
While I snacked on some cheese curds, Ann quizzed me on how I thought they were. I gave them 3 stars. They had a good batter on them and were white cheddar so they were pretty decent. We agreed that the curds at Old Fashions would be 5-star cheese curds and the variety served at The Coliseum Bar and The Dane in Fitchburg 4-stars. Ann then tried a cheese curd and agreed they’d be a 3-star cheese curd.
Talked with Footstock Dave and Chris Van Zeeland a little bit (he’d seen my other barefooting sight and liked it.) Shot some pool and caught up with some friends from the Must-Skis. All the while, I had a steady supply of margaritas on the rocks. I felt very good by the end of the night and none of us went home thirsty that night.
Here are some pictures from the night…
Wedge, Douch and a One of Many Margaritas
Around 11pm or so, we made it back the Bell house for the after bar. We arrived to find the garage fridge nearly empty, but Greg showed up with reinforcements. Meanwhile, Ma Bell kept feeding us with a steady supply of pizza. What some people found amazing was I was eating the pepperoni pizza even though it also had mushrooms on it. I don’t normally eat mushrooms. Correction… I don’t eat mushrooms. Or at least I hadn’t up until then.
But look at Ruby drinking some beer while Pa Bell watches proudly!
We made it past midnight and finally called it a night. I claimed a recliner in the Living Room once again and grabbed a blanket and quickly fell asleep.
Sunday morning arrived way too early and Ruby greeted me at 6am with a wake up call. Unlike last year, she didn’t have a pair of underwear with her this time. I was tired, thirsty and very sore, but surprisingly, not really hung over. Around 8am Ma Bell started making some breakfast for the Mother’s Day Breakfast she had planned. Slowly, the rest of the household started moving. I rolled out at 9am so I could make it back for my Mother’s Day festivities.
More pictures on Picasa.
And now back to our regularly scheduled blog-casting. Water Skiing and Barefooting season is finally back!
Spring is doing everything in it’s power to push the last remnants of winter away. The weather is slowly warming, and with that, the water is slowly warming.
Unfortunately, the weather and my schedule haven’t been very cooperative this spring. The handful of nice days that we’ve previously had, I’ve been busy. The days I’ve had time, well let’s just say the weather has been a bit wintery. Hell, we’ve even had snow coming down on some of those days. Other days, 50 MPH gusts of wind. All great for water skiing… err maybe not.
But the weather and my schedule finally lined up on Monday. 60 or so degrees, sunshine, calm winds. After texting T-Bell and calling Lisa, I had the magic number for skiing.
After work, ran home to quickly get my boat, put some fresh gas in the tank, and headed to the lake. Teri and Lisa arrived and away we went. The lake’s a little high right now and we all felt the need to duck are heads as we went under the railroad bridge into the bay. I don’t think my head would have hit, but it was definitely low enough to make me think twice.
Once in the bay, I finished suiting up. And unlike last year, where I needed some assistance zipping up my suit…
This year, I zipped it all by myself. I’m a big boy now… or maybe not quite as big of a boy now since I fit in my suit a bit better.
Anyways, onto the skiing!
I took the honors and took the first run of the year behind my boat. I usually do. Ownership has it’s privileges. Somehow on my first run, I managed to be footing and have slack in my rope. That’s a neat trick. The first runs of the year took their toll on me. 2 sets of 2 runs each. No major runs, but it had it’s after affects. My feet were sore the next day, ear aches from the cold water, and arms that felt like jelly. Completely worth it though… I was back on the water.
Next up Lisa dusted off her slalom ski. After letting the waves calm down from the barefoot circles, Douch took her runs back and forth across the bay cutting up the glassy water.
Teri dusted off her dry suit (not that it was really needed that night) and took her footing runs for the night and the first of the year for her as well.
As we headed back to the boat launch, the three of us were treated to a great sunset!
After just a couple runs, maybe totaling 2 miles, I’m off to Beaver Dam this weekend for The Best Dam Barefoot Race. 22 miles of something. Last year it was brutal water, but a hell of a party afterwards. This year we’re crossing our fingers hoping for better water. No matter what, it’ll be a lot farther than I went on Monday.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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…
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!
Thought I give a little shout out to a new little site I’m putting together called Tales from the Foot. I’m hoping it’ll eventually evolve into the destination on the web for barefooting. Schedules, news, stories, what ever. There really isn’t much there yet, but I’m working on it.
The name came up in my brainstorming for an unused URL. I wanted it to be somewhat barefoot related in the name and also evoke the idea of the stories that people tell each regarding their exploits on the water. First thing that came to mind was related to the Fish Tales people tell each other, but Foot Tales just didn’t do it for me. Same with Barefoot Tales and Foot Stories. I also wanted it to be somewhat original (no, I didn’t get inspired by the name Tales from the Crypt, at least not knowingly, but maybe that was in my head subconsciously). The goal is to have lots of stories out there, not just who won each tournament, but personal stories that are funny and or entertaining. Those stories that you share with your friends… here’s an example of a story that you would see out there, in addition to the tournament type stories.
There was this one time I tried a step off, hadn’t really made one yet and basically didn’t care for them that much. When my friends did them, we always spent way too much time looking for the ski later. Well, I decided to give it another whirl. I knew the process in my head, plant the foot, slowly transfer my weight to it and the step off the ski. Well, I guess I rushed it a little bit and face planted hard… not once, but three times. My face hit the water and then I kept spinning, saw the sky, hit the water again, saw something blue again, and then faceplanted a final time. I came up seeing stars, lots of them. I decided to call it a day. Luckily we didn’t have to spend anytime looking for the ski, it was just an arm’s length away from. And it was 3 years before I tried that again. Deep waters were much easier.
Bookmark it and stop by over the next couple weeks and watch it evolve. You should see things changing on it every couple of days for the next few weeks as I build the best barefoot website on the web.
Have ideas or suggestions? First give me a little time to get my ideas going out there. Come February, feel free to start sending them my way.
This site isn’t going anywhere. This will still be my personal blog.
It has been busy couple of weeks since my last significant post. Sorry ’bout that. In my defense it has been a couple weeks since I’ve been on the water, so I haven’t had much to post about… but I do have a few things.
First up, a little critique of 7’s tumble turn skills. Back on Sept 29, the last day I’ve been on the water, 7 tried some tumble turns. I’ll give him an “A” for his effort. The trick can be broken down into about 5 primary steps…
- Sit back down on to the water and transition to your back
- Initiate the spin
- Stop the spin
- Stand back up and continue barefooting
7 has steps 1 thru 3 down pat. In fact, he has step 3 down so well, he keeps spinning. He’s having some issues with step 4 though. Let’s go to the video…
I’m OK giving out a critique because I’m also willing to admit my last time trying tumble turns looked like this…
Next up, Imse, the other person out in the boat that day, has been working on his back deeps for a while and at this point I would say he them down pretty well when he’s doing them on the boom. His back deeps themselves are very clean, but his backfooting did produce this awesome photo of one of his falls…
Here’s some video of his back deeps…
As you can see, they look pretty clean. His next step is do them long line.
For a few more pictures from this outing, you can check out the pictures here… there are some good ones of 7 trying a flip on the wake board.
In non-water skiing related news, I’m sure you all remember the really old joke where people ask “Is your refrigerator running?” and most normally people answer “Yes” and then the joke is “Well you better go catch it!” For the past week I’ve been able to answer that joke with a “No” My fridge is dead right now and has been since last Tuesday. I’ve been living out of a mini-fridge from my college days for the past week and a half now and have been keeping my beer in a cooler on the deck. Here’s hoping the neighbor kids don’t find it or realize what’s in it.
Next, one of the most impressive feats of human determination you will probably ever witness… a high school girls breaks her leg and manages to finish her race. I found this on the The Big Lead, but wanted to share it…
At the time that The Big Lead posted it, not much was known, but since then ESPN has had a story on it as well.
A couple weeks ago I had a pretty busy weekend. Nothing too wild on Friday, but Saturday was a long day. Woke up, grilled out, watched the Badgers destroy Michigan in football, then headed downtown to meet up with some peeps… first I hit the Big Ten Pub to meet Paul, Joey, Josh, Cake and Solberg. They had some friends in town. Hung out with them for a while and when the started to head out about 630, I then walked down the street to the Regent Street Retreat to meet up with the Badger Bash Crew. Ran in to KTB, Bugsy, Tristan, Adam and a whole bunch of UW related skiers. By UW related I mean they either skied for the UW, still ski for the UW or skied against the UW in a collegiate event. Met Steve (again) and Meghan from UW-Whitewater’s ski team. Turns out she’s a WaterBug too.
After hanging out a Regent Street for a while, we hit up Toppers and then made our way to the KK… the Kollege Klub. Can’t say I’ve been there recently. About 1030 we migrated to Brats. Bugsy got friendly with The Captain, danced with some random people. Roller Girl showed up with some Healies on and slid up and down the isle… Bugsy, being “smart” asked me to move to my left to be more our in the isle. I had seen what she was doing and new what was going to happen. She came flying down the isle on her heals and ran right into me full speed. Not really an issue for me because a) I knew it was coming 2) the striped bibs she was wearing were hot… especially with the shirt on underneath and not much else from what I could tell and lastly) I’m not a tiny guy, played hockey in my past and knew how to take a hit, but in this case, taking a hit meant catching her so she didn’t fall down after running into her.
After enduring the chaos there, I finally departed about midnight and headed up to the The Dane to meet up with Sandy, Teri, Libby, Scotty, Beth and Sandy’s friend from Florida, Mark. Had some drinks and then we hit up Mike’s Horseshoe Inn near Sandy’s house. It was a little hole in the wall bar and had some great prices and a Patrone Margarita on the Rocks that can kick your ass. Finally, we ended up at Sandy’s for an after bar for a final beer before heading home… crawled into bed at 415am… way too late.
Sunday, watched the Packers blank the Vikings… which was awesome. 7 called during the game asked if I wanted to go the Badger B-Ball game… so we watched them struggle early before dominating IPFW.
Finally, found this video on the net over on BareFootSki Dot Com… guy put together what amounts to a remote control for his Sea-Doo and now he can barefoot and ski solo. No driver or spotter required. Not completely safe or legal, but I still want one.