A Fatty Full of Fellowship and Fun…

A National Championship Recap!

This past weekend was long, hot, humid and a whole lotta fun. The Mad-City Ski Team competed in the 2007 National Show Ski Tournament in Loves Park, IL (near Rockford). We’re the defending national champions and are looking for our 3rd championship in 4 years.

The 2007 National Show Ski Tournament started off strong for the Mad-City Ski Team. Our jump team competed in the team jump competition on Friday afternoon. They hit the water first and put the bar way up high by performing a no fall jump act with a whole lotta difficult jumps including a four man front flip and a 720. Nobody else’s jump act was in the same league as ours. Here are some pictures from the Team Jump National Champions…

A Heli & Double Fronts


Quad Helis


Quad Fronts


The 2007 Mad-City Ski Team – National Team Jump Champions

For more Team Jump pictures, you can visit this Picasa Web Album.

After team jump, we headed to our hotel for our team meeting/practice. We started off with pizza party then held a short team meeting before heading outside to run through intros one last time before the tournament. We practiced intros and dances for about an hour or so and then the official team functions were done. A few of us we’re quite ready to call it a night yet and headed to a local watering hole called the Turtle Tap for some R&R.

I rode there with Taryn, T-Bell and 7. Taryn was driving and 7 was navigating and we had several cars following us. As we approach the stop light for the frontage road the hotel is on, the light turns yellow and Taryn guns it to make the light and leave the others stuck behind the red light. We then talked to Taryn about the etiquette of leading cars which consists of basically not running yellow lights so they can keep up.

After pulling over and letting the others catch up, we’re soon faced with the same situation. The light turns yellow and Taryn guns it and then she stands on the brake to bring the SUV to a very sudden stop. The funniest part is she puts her hand over to help keep 7 in his seat. She did the short stop from Seinfeld. Meanwhile, T-Bell and myself in the backseat nearly find ourselves in the front seat and we’re all laughing.

We walk into the bar and let’s just say I’m glad there was a large group of us walking in. Had it been a small group of us, we probably would have turned around and left. Cameras everywhere and a fairly rough looking crowd. In stark contrast to the crowd, they had this mural on the wall…

TMNT?

There was a “someone” with a mullet that went down to the middle of the back and it took us a while to figure out if the someone was male or female. Turned out to be female. We split up into two groups, one playing pool in the corner and another playing darts. I joined in the game of cricket. My team consisted of Laura, Kristen and myself. Whoever setup the cricket game actually setup a team cricket game so we were actually paired up with another team as well. For a long while we struggled, but in the end we caught up and helped our combined team win.

Kristen, Myself and Laura… Cricket Champions!

We headed back to the hotel just a bit after a 11 to get to bed at a decent time for our early wake up. We all had a lot of fun and had a nice relaxing night.

Saturday morning arrives and it is hot and humid, just like the day before. After enjoying the continental breakfast at the hotel (I made myself a really good waffle and drank a whole lotta milk) I headed to the ski site. Made it there at 730. Watched just a bit of RAJ’s show to see how the sound system sounded with crowd and to get an idea of it’s capabilities. Watching this bit of the RAJ show took a long time. They had 2 injury timeouts that delayed everything about an hour.

Finally show time arrives. After doing a quick hook up of the sound equipment and brief sound and mic checks, it was show time. Adam and Matt did their little pre show dance and then the ladies hit the stage. Adam and Matt have a funny pre show dance. The ladies just have a really good pre show dance.

Sandy and Libby doing the Pre Show Dance!

Moments later our show hit the water. It stared off strong with a 6 man barefoot line and a 4-double top 2-4 high pyramid coming through. Montage then came rapid fire after that as it usually does and also came through pretty clean. The Bell sisters made their fliers through some crap water and caught some serious air while doing their deeps. Cake made his sky ski pass. Kristen came through and threw 5 720’s in her single pass (apparently this is too many 720s and makes the trick seem easier than it is). Paul ripped up the water with his wake board. Here are some pics from the first few acts of the show…

6 Man Back Foot Line

Our Opening Pyramid Team… They saved the princess!

A Tale of 2 Ski Shows

Sir Talks-a-lot


The Bell Sisters


Watch Out for Flying Cake


Beau & Kirk


Mr. Paul O’Conner


Kirsten Heilman doing too many 720’s in one pass
Apparently 5 is too many…

After montage we put out a Mad-City original act. The One Act Show. This year we went big. A shoe skier, a 4-high human pyramid, a doubles couple and a pinwheel going over the jump next to all of that. It rolled through the show course and the crowd went wild.

Approaching the Ramp!

Doing their thing!

Next up was the Mad-City Dream Girls. Turns out they are the best all female ballet line in the nation. 23 strong with some great dances. I’ll let the pictures speak for them selves.

On the Dock!

Dancing!

23 Ladies on the Water!

Look at that ballet line…

Strike a Pose!


We even put some ladies on some mini stages…

Everybody Shimmy!

Then our jump team hit the water for their first jump act of the show. Had a couple of falls, but still a very good jump act. Then our star swivel hit the water and like jump had a fall, but still a very strong act with Kristen throwing a 1080. Then our big act took to the water. It also had a handful of falls, but also a very clean act. Here are a few more pictures…

Four Man Helis

Four Man Fronts

Captain Jack Sparrow

Ann

Kristen

Every Pirate Needs a Pirate Ship, Not a Pile of…
The Parrots are the Smart Ones…

7 Staggered Trios

Conventional Doubles

Our Toe-Turnin’ Swivel Wenches!

Toe Turned!

Our Swivel Pirettes!


Ladies… stay away. I have chirpies. It’s a canaryial disease. It’s un-tweetable.

Oh, No He Didn’t!

Next on the water was our second jump act of the day. It was hot. Two fronts and gainer… Triple heli, double splits… and a super sized pinwheel (gainer, double fronts and a heli)… No falls. It would have been the highest scoring jump act, except we have one more jump act in store.

Triple Heli, Double Split

Super Size Pin Wheel

Then we had our SNL fill. Adam and Taryn put on a phenomenal production. This video will be on the internet soon. The crowd loved it. Here’s a couple pictures to keep your interest until then.

Then after an impromptu fill, our ending pyramid came through, a double top 3-2-4-2-4. We lost just a couple people off the dock that prevented the double top 3 from being a 4.


It was suppose to be a 4-2-4-2-4. This is pretty damn close!

After the pyramid we did a completely original version of the Evolution of Dance. This time Adam had a dancing partner with Matt sharing the stage with him.


Let’s twist again, Like We Did Last Summer!


Do the Locomotion!


Everybody was Kung-Fu Fighting!


It takes 2!


Still takes 2!


Oh, Oh, Oh Oh Oh Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh Oh
Oh, Oh, Oh Oh Oh Oh, The Right Stuff!


No Comment Needed, or Desired for this Picture


I’m a Barbie Girl


No comment on this one…


Bringing Sexy Back!

Then the Jaw Dropper took the water. One man, 3 jumps, never leaving the show course. Starts off with the gainer, then does a front and finishes with a 720. When it’s clean, it is an untouchable jump act. Sorry, I don’t have any good pictures of this act. Watch for the video.

Then we put our newest act on the water… our combo ballet line with a hot pick of the guys. We put on a phenomenal show and finished to a standing ovation.


Guys Ballet


Hot Pick


Big Ballet


Our show ends with several dances… here’s the first One!


Then Adam did HIS intro, to the dismay of the rest of the team…


I Love You, You Love Me…


Then we dance some more… What I Like About You!


Left, Right…

After the show, the long wait began. We’re done with our part and now need the rest of the teams to finish their shows. And it is a long wait.

Saturday night, after grabbing some dinner at the local Applebees, we all met up at bar near the hotel (at least those of us that stayed in Beloit). It was a blast that night. Everyone had lots of drinks and everyone had lots of fun. We definately rolled up a fatty of fellowship and fun that night.


Something funny was said… can’t remember what


Shots for the ladies…


Me, Sandy and Paul


This was taken at the end of the night, only a few hours before Brad was waken up and told to move the truck.


Paul and Kelly Dancing


Obligatory picture show both Bugsy and Tristan at the very end of the night at the bar…

Sunday morning came way too early, but I did make it in time to catch Wonder Lake and Little Crow’s shows, the two that I really wanted to see. Both had good shows, but not anything that could beat our show from the day before. Both had some phenomenal acts. Wonder Lake did their pre-fab pyramid hot pick again. They first take 2 pre-fabs off the dock. Then they loop around and come from behind the starting dock. Meanwhile, the starting dock has 2 more pre-fabs on it and their is a floating barge butted up to it with 2 more pre-fabs on it. As the boat pulling the pre-fabs approaches the dock, the barge comes free and gives the boat room to split the dock and barge and hot pics the four pre-fabs. Not sure what I mean, then just watch the video.

Little Crow also had an act that I thought was great. I’m not even a big fan of ATBs (around the boats) but they did an ATB act that was awesome. Just three people, but two went one way and the third guy went the opposite way and they went around the boat. The act didn’t stop there though, they immediately did another ATB, and then they did another. 3 guys doing 3 ATBs back-to-back-to-back. I wish I had filmed it.

Finally, the shows ended and it was awards time. As I’ve already posted, Mad-City swept the traditional box scores (dock & equipment, driving, pickup boats and sound) and some of the act awards (jump, swivel and ballet). A couple interesting facts… Mad-City had the 3 highest scoring jump acts and 2 highest scoring ballet acts. Here are some pictures from the awards ceremony…


The sea of Mad-City blue shirts waiting for the results!


Christ accepting the Best Ballet Award for our Combo Ballet Line
Normally all the girls accept the award. Personally, I think all 30 people in the act should have gone up there.


Paul, with Cyndi and Tony, accepting the Best Jump Act Award for The Jaw Dropper


The Best Swivelers in the Nation!
Ann, Kristen, Laura and Joey accepting the Best Swivel Act Award


Paul accepting the Skip Gilkerson award from Skip Gilkerson
for the Outstanding Male Performance at the tournament.


Some of our Dock & Equipment people accepting the award for Best Dock & Equipment


Best Pick-Up Boat Driving


Don, Jerry, Gary and Tony… Best Boat Drivers!


Adam, Matt and Me (Wedge) – Best Audio Presentation


Chris accepting the National Championship!


A River Full of National Champions!!!

After taking our swim we headed back to Madison for a little party at the Coliseum Bar and Grill. Originally, we planned to watch the production company’s DVD of our show but it didn’t work and appears to be a bad DVD. I made a call and arranged to get a DVD that my dad had made so the team could watch that. A lot of the people in the show don’t really get to see it, so for them it is the first time seeing it.

The night ended with Paul, Laura, Kristen, Bugsy and myself closing down the bar at midnight, all of us exhausted.

Picasa Web Albums in this Post:

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

Did I Just Try A Mobius?

Jumping Definitions:
Helicopter – Rotating 360 degrees around as you leave the ramp
Gainer – A back flip of the ramp
Front – A front flip
Mobius – Basically doing a helicopter and gainer at the same time

Tonight, I hit the ramp again. Been resting my ribs and sore ankle as I waited for some calm water. Would have gone last night, but it was rough. Tonight, very calm water. Excellent conditions to try some more helis.

Well, I approached the ramp with all intentions of doing a heli. But that is not what it looks like. Take a gander for yourself:

As I said, doing what looks like I tried to do a mobius was not my intent. Watching the video, I was back on my heals and that caused my feet to just go out from me and start my backwards rotation, or the gainer motion that is video. Then I let go of the rope to start the heli and that’s when it became what looks like a mobius. Granted I ate it, but it still looks cool. Too bad the video is blurry (not sure why, the others turned out OK.)

Turns out if I pulled in on the rope and brought my knees around, I may have had a chance to land it.

For those that are curious, there were no injuries sustained in this jump. Managed to realize I was about to eat it and managed to almost dive into the water with my skis and braced myself for the impact.

Took two more ride overs after this one, still landing back on my heals and tweaked my ankle again. It’ll be sore for a couple days again.

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

Friday Night Surfing

Friday at work was torturous. Hot, sunny, very little wind, very blue skies and my boat hooked up to my truck out in the parking lot. Makes for a very long day at work knowing what I’ll be doing at the end of the day.

The evening started off with Sandy, Imhof and myself hitting the bay before the crowd showed up for some good water and some good footing… I started of the night with some laps around the bay. Started off with a run nearly all the way around the bay and then a second run 3/4 of the way around the bay again before finally losing my grip on the handle. Here’s a shot from my one…

Laps around the bay at 40 MPH are nice… very nice in glass water!

Sandy was up next and pretty much did what I was doing… laps around the bay. She started off with a good run and then went out on the whip and was pretty much thrown into a tumble turn before she recovered to foot away.

Sandy’s run around the bay started off nice…

and then she was thrown into a tumble turn…

but footed away!

Imhof was up next. He did some shoe skiing. Here’s a picture of one of his starts, but mainly it is a cool shot of the blue sky.

Awesome picture of the skyline… Imhof is doing a deep water shoe ski start.

Imhof shoe skiing

And then we went to pick up most of the rest of the crew at the dock. Paul, Joey and Kirk were waiting for us. A couple runs later we picked up Ronée as well and now we had a full boat. And then we did a whole lot of surfing.

Kirk watched Paul go and then gave surfing his first try. Being a pretty experienced wake boarder, he popped right up and soon was throwing the rope back to the boat to really surf.

Kirk tossing the rope to the boat so he can really surf.

Kirk surfing!

Joey also hit the water on the surf board that night as well. And with the number of people in the boat, we had a nice wave to surf on.

Joey on the surf board.

We did find out the riding on the back of the boat does have it’s hazards… when you legs are dangling over the back of the boat resting on the ski platform, they are right where they can get hit with the surf board if it goes flying. Sandy learned this the hard way. We also learned the board can draw blood.

Sandy nursing her wound from watching wake surfing.

The minor flesh wound didn’t stop Sandy from re-learning how to surf. She said she had tried it a couple years ago, but hadn’t touched a board since. She was quickly up on top of the water.

Sandy getting up on the board

Sandy getting her surfing feet

She did fall a couple times and that is entertaining too!
Even she was having fun hitting the water in this picture… look at that smile!

Then Ronée took her turn on the board. She’d been out surfing last week and with all the people in the boat, she was able to quickly throw the rope to the boat and do some real surfing!

Ronée did some ropeless surfing!

But would occasionally need the rope back!

And we were sometimes just a second late with the rope!

It wasn’t all surfing though… well really it was, but those that were watching the surfing were having a lot of fun too. We had some ice cold beer on board…

Paul, Ronée and Sandy enjoying a beer on the back of the boat

Ronée and Sandy posing for the camera… this could be an ad for Miller Chill

Imhof took the water next. For a little guy, he managed to make a big splash when he hit the water. I had to be on my toes with the camera to keep it mostly dry.

Here he’s surfing and not really using the rope

Imhof on the board with Ronée and Sandy cheering him on!

And here he is making a big splash!

Then Paul took another turn on the board. He does the start a lot different from everybody else. Everyone else lays their feet on the board, rope comes tight as boat starts to move, board pops up on edge and then the boat takes off. Paul on the other hand just kind of stands on the board with the board under water, tells the boat to go and magically pops up out of the water. Here’s a picture of this in action…

Paul doing is unique start!

And here’s proof that Paul his human and does fall occasionally.

Paul’s asking for the rope back!

And gets it just in time!

Paul demonstrating that he doesn’t need a rope to get up on the surf board behind the boat.

Then I took to the board again. Surprisingly, when I’m not in the boat, the wake to surf on just isn’t as big, but I finally did manage to get comfortable enough to toss the rope to the boat.

Finally, surfing without a rope!

We did hire a helicopter to follow us around and they managed to get a few cool pictures of me!

Another picture from the helicopter!
In reality, Paul just held the camera in a precarious position and took some really good pictures…

Then we have what it the coolest group photo from the night… Everybody but me (because I’m in the water) managed to get in this picture taken using the mirror.

From left to right… Kirk, Paul, Imhof, Joey, Ronée and Sandy

Ronée and Joey

All three of us knew I was about to take a picture, but only two of us decided to actually smile and look at the camera…
not sure what Ronée was doing?

Kirk doing his “I’m a serious boat driver” look

Then the night came to a close as the sun finished setting. We managed to get a cool picture of the Madison skyline…

The State Capitol overlooking Lake Monona

And then as we headed back to the dock to end the evening on the water, I snapped this picture of the sunset.

Lake Monona Sunset

That wasn’t the end of the night though… I dropped off the boat at the house as others did there thing… about 945 I met up with Sandy, Ronée, Paul and Joey at the Stadium Bar for some food and beverages. Paul and Joey had finished their v-ball game while the rest of us were just plain hungry. Sandy and Ronée had ordered some sort of chicken pesto pizza while I ordered a side of cheese curds to share. The curds arrived we all ate them. Then the pizza came and the ladies did a nice job on it, nearly finishing the 16 inch pizza… they did have some help from Paul who stopped by to chat. I did try it, ate one tiny slice, and it was OK, but I think I like marinara sauce on my pizza. A couple drinks later and we all were headed home to make our 7am practice on Saturday morning.
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State Tournament Weekend Recap

Probably the funnest weekend year has come and gone…

It started early Thursday morning with a quick ski set on the water with T-Bell and Imhof. I hit the ramp working on my heli’s and it probably would have been better if I hadn’t. Three heli attempts, 3 falls, each one worse than the one before. Main problem was rotating only 3/4 of the way around. That dramatically increases the difficulty of skiing away when you land on your side. Last landing really hurt too! Still feeling today. Here’s are the videos… enjoy my agony!

First fall of the morning… this one just looks painful!

Second fall of the morning… this one stung!

Third and final fall of the morning… this one hurt.

After putting the boat away and eating lunch, I crammed my car full of stuff as I packed for the long weekend and then headed up to Rapids… Took me longer to pack than I expected and I arrived just a little bit latter than I wanted to. As I opened the car door, I heard the beginning of Joey’s swivel song so I hauled ass to the beach to catch her routine. Then I sat through a lot of other swivel ski routines. As they were finishing up, I stopped by to see what the jump team was planning on doing and that is when I was asked what their music was going to be. I was dumbfounded… I’ve never been involved in team jump before. We had a quick discussion and we settled on the song On the Edge by Dee. Problem was, it was an MP3 on my computer, only 3 minutes long and there were on the water in minutes.

I ran up to my car, popped the trunk, flipped on the laptop and started working my magic. 5 minutes later I had a 6 minute version of the song and it was being written to a CD. As I shut down the laptop, I heard the beginning of Ann’s swivel song and once again hauled ass to go watch her ski before I handed the CD to the sound guy.

Then I did the photos for team jump and based on what I’ve heard back so far, I took some good ones. After a little time in the beer tent, we headed to our respective hotels or cottages to get settled. I checked in, unloaded my stuff and then made my way to Lake Sherwood Lodge for a nightcap.

After enjoying a very good pizza and a Stella Artois beer with some friends, others began to arrive… and more and more drinking was done. Here are some pictures from the evening…


We are all much happier after our pizza… [Wedge, Bugsy, Joey and Paul]


This is after a couple more drinks for everyone… [Kirk, Kristen, Wedge and Nick]

You can find more pictures from Thursday night in this album.

I headed back to the hotel late, wnating to wake up early to catch some ski shows, but was just too tired and too sore so I slept in. I did make it down to the Beaver Dam show and was very impressed with it. I also took a ton of pictures of it which you can find here. Yes, they one D2, found their holy grail and are now a proud member of D1.

After the Must-Skis show I headed back to the hotel to wash up quickly and then we headed to the Heilman Cottage for the team meeting and something I’ve been waiting for all summer… the delicious turkey sandwiches. I managed to limit myself to 5 of them this year. After eating, we practiced intros, danced, did the fills and then headed back to the hotel… show time was quickly coming.

Morning came early… left the hotel a little before 7 and headed to the ski site… quick meeting, then I wondered… more dance and skit practices and then I wondered… ate some breakfast and then I wondered… just couldn’t sit still. Finally, show time was arriving so I grabbed my trusty laptop and headed to the sound area. After a quick setup and mike test, I cranked up the volume to 11 and started the pre-show dances. First up the guys and then the ladies.


Adam and Matt’s Preshow Dance


The Ladies’ Preshow Dance… much nicer to look at

Then it was show time… Things didn’t go as well as we wanted, but we still skied a good show and the show portion wasn’t matched by anyone that I saw. Backfoot line had some falls, OP made it up, but had some falls coming back to the beach, montage had falls (but both Bells stood up for the first time at the same time), one act show was money and girls ballet rocked as well. Jump 1 had some falls, star swivel was great. Big act also had some falls and then the jumpers nailed Jump 2. Ending pyramid made it up, slowly, and then had some falls on the way down. One man jump wasn’t all we hoped and big ballet blew up. Crowd was on their feet after the SNL and Evolution of Dance 2 fills. Here are some pics from the show, courtesy of Jim’s Photos.


Show Time!


Back foot line!


Opening Pyramid!


Adam and Matt


The Bell Fliers!


T-Bell pointing to the crowd!


Paul on the Wakeboard


One Act Show!!!
Shoe Skier, 4 High Pyramid, Doubles and a Pin Wheel!


Doing their thing!


Best Ballet in the State!


Adam the Parrot and Matt the Pirate


Super Sized Pin Wheel!


Adam and his hot friend Taryn


Triple Fours for the Ending Pyramid!


Catching the rope with the ski on the second 720 attempt…
Notice one foot point one way and the other the other… not good!


Guys Ballet


The Hot Pick!


The Crowd!

After the show was over, I stuck around and watched the Aqua Skiers (click here for their web album) and Badgerland (click for their web album) shows. Then after a little beer tent time, it was off to get some dinner and wash up for the annual bus tour around Rapids.

I enjoyed some quality Little Ceaser’s and then watch a little TV. About 915 I get a frantic call form T-Bell… when is the bus coming? how do I get there? will I have time to change? I managed to talk her through driving into Rapids to the hotel. She arrives as the bus does and opts to follow it to the first bar so, like any good water skiers, she can change out of the back of her car and then come to the bar. As usually, the bars were a blast. We started at Johnny’s and then headed to Gooses. Here are a couple picks from the night…



T-Bell and I


Sandy and I


Sandy and T-Bell


Kristen and I


Holly and I


Joey and I with my trusty Margarita on the Rocks…


Laura and I… surprisingly it took 3 attempts for this picture… I couldn’t keep my eyes open.

Saturday night ended way too late and Sunday morning came way too early… After going to bed at 3am, I woke up at 630am to try to reclaim my humanity and then head to the ski site to catch the RAJ show (pictures of that coming soon). Arrived with some time to kill so I ate breakfast but was very disappointed that they had run out of milk to go with the pancakes.. I guess the disappointment was evident in my face as my pancakes were discounted because of the lack of milk.

Watched the RAJ show. As usually, they have good skiing, but like our show, too many falls here and there throughout the show… didn’t really bring either pyramid through the show course completely (opener a 5-high but ended up being a big 4-high, closers lost a pyramid). Jump acts had a scattering of falls as well. The whole show just seemed flat to me. No real energy to it.

The RAJ Opening Barefoot Pyramids

My initial comparison between our show and theirs… skied about the same, but we had the better show for entertaining the audience throughout the entire show. I took a few pictures of their show and you can find them here.

Then it was the long wait till awards… watched a few shows on off, but was really just to anxious to find out what happened.

Finally, the awards arrived. First off, congrats to the Beaverland Must-Skis on their repeat as D2 Champions. Welcome to D1. The show you skied would probably put you near the top 5 in my opinion.

As you’ve heard by now, Mad-City took 1st and also won best ballet, best jump act, best boat drivers, best female skier (Kristen Heilman) and best audio. It was a hard couple weeks before state, but it paid off. Now on to Nationals!

Matt, Adam and I… Best Audio Presentation!

After the awards we reconvened at the Lake Sherwood Lodge again. More pizza, more beers and many good times.. Poof pants, One Act ‘fo Show, watching the video, chaffing, cheese curd discussions and what they look like when they leave the body… fun in the little blue rooms, or green rooms as they were this weekend. I laughed for a long time that night before finally heading home at 1215am. Called Sandy at 2 to let her know I made it home safe and talked to a very drunk person who was laughing her ass off too. Unpacked, slept and slept some more…

Links to Web Albums mentioned…
Thursday at State
Beaverland Must-Ski Show
Mad-City Ski Team Show [Jim’s Photos Pictures]
Badgerland Ski Show
Wisconsin Rapids Aqua Skiers Show
The Bus Trip
Janesville Rock Aqua Jays Show
Awards

Watch for updates to this post… I have more pictures to post from ski shows and I likely forgot something that I wanted to include. I’ll put a comment down here indicating when I update it.

[Updated 1046pm on 7/25 – Added albums for Aqua Skiers and RAJ, Added RAJ Barefoot Pyramid Picture]

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

Weekly Skiing Report

It’s been about a week since I’ve last checked in with my water skiing activities and thought it was time to give an update…

Last Tuesday, after catching Transformers the night before, I went out skiing with the family. My parents took their boat out and I took my boat out and my sister and her entire family came along too. Everybody did some skiing and my niece Anna went skiing long line for the first time without any problems. Tuesday night at practice I talked with John, Sandy and T-Bell about skiing Wednesday morning. John and Sandy were in… T-Bell wasn’t sure where she’d be.

Wednesday started off looking bleak. Overcast and gloomy and looking like rain, but I checked the radar and it was clear. I called John to let him know that skiing was on and then headed to the gas station while leaving T-Bell a message that we were headed to the lake. Just as I’m pulling into the gas station, I get a message back from T-Bell. “omw” Not being fluent it text massage, I wasn’t really sure what it meant, but as I finished gassing the boat up, it came to me. “On My Way.” By 815 everyone is there.

We start the morning with some jumping. I take a set, John takes a set and tries some helis and then T-Bell goes again. Here are a few video clips of some of the better ones jumps and falls…

After jumping we head to the bay to do some footing. I started off the footing by taking a quick set of 6 back-to-back runs. Everyone else takes a few runs as well before I take one more set. Here are a few clips of some footing…

After all of the footing, we were pretty much content with the amount of skiing we had done, but decided to cruise down to Waubesa to see if Paul and Joey were out on the lake. After stopping for some drinks, we finally found them floating with a boat that wasn’t running very well. Ronée was out with them and wanted to work on some toe turns so we pulled her on a few runs. She made some turns but was really leaning on Joey for support. After that, we grabbed some more drinks and finally called it a day. It was now a very hot day and we were all getting burned.

Ronée swiveling with Joey

Next up on Thursday, it was a relatively quiet day of skiing, just a ski team practice.

Friday we got back on the water behind my boat and did a whole lot more skiing. I did a quick jump set, Joey did some swiveling, Paul surfed, Rob wake boarded and made what I think is his first inverted trick (a front roll to fakey?), T-Bell did some surfing and then I learned how to finally get up the board, then Kyle had his first towed experience behind a boat when he got up on the wake surf board. Finally it was time for people to get to their volleyball games so we called it a night. Here are the pics…

Me Jumping

Paul Surfing

Rob going ballistic

Finally, made it up on the surf board

T-Bell riding the wave

Kyle’s first pull behind a boat

Rob’s a surfer now!

This is when it got interesting… I’m leaving the boat launch area and heading to the main parking lot as I’m starting the drive home when I feel my truck get yanked backwards and my boat starts to jump around. I quickly stop. I hop out and look and don’t see anything evident on the drivers side with a quick glance. Then I hop over the trailer tongue and see that the trailer wheel is no where near to being in the right location. Not good. The axle was completely loose.

That wheel is not in the right spot!

As luck would have it, my parents happened to be driving through the launch looking for my brother to see if he was out on Monona with their boat. My dad pulled one of the damaged u-bolts off the trailer and ran to Farm & Fleet. About and 75 minutes later he’s back with the parts, a jack and jackstands and we start re-attaching the axle to the trailer. An hour later, at 1030, the trailer is road worthy again.

Wheel’s back in place, fender is still messed up

Then I head out to catch the volleyball post game activities.

The next morning I wake up and head to the jump practice to get a few jumps in. Water wasn’t great, but my jumps went OK. Then T-Bell shows up and does some jumping, which I thought was great because she normally wants really good water conditions, but went jumping anyways. Then, she’s been thinking about trying flips for a while, and a few people know this. They mention that the tail wind is good for front flips and she decides to give it a whirl. I’ll let the videos speak for themselves. Here they are…

She wanted me to try heli’s too, but I declined saying I’d try them Monday night. Bugs was also inspired to try fronts and vowed to try them on Monday as well. Then we talk to Paul to make sure he can come instruct.

Sunday was a quiet skiing day for me…

Then Monday arrived… a day of reckoning… the weather cleared out by the afternoon, but just before we arrive at the lake the wind shifts and starts to come out of the north east… that means a head wind and rough water. Bugs goes first and tries his flips. Actually has a few good attempts. [Video coming soon]

Then I get some instruction for trying helis. Now to go back in time, this isn’t the first time I would spin as I leave the ramp…. year’s ago in 1992 I was jumping and my rope caught on the top corner of the ramp. As I reach the top of the ramp, I’m now facing the top corner of the ramp, which isn’t the right direction. I let go of the ramp, my spin continues and I land on the back and as I slide away from the ramp, the back end of my skis catch and that causes the front of the skis to come rushing at my face. Smack in the lip. Took out a big chunk of my to the point that I thought I had lost teeth. So, long story short, it took a lot of nerve for me to just decide to try a heli.

Back to today… I’m approaching the ramp, jumping from wave to wave with the rope wrapped… I finally skip onto the ramp and I’m going up. On my toes, thinking about not dropping my shoulder. I reach the top of the ramp, still a little shocked that I’m actually wrapped and trying a heli, then realize I need to let go of the rope with the one hand so I start my spin. And I make it all the way around so I land going backwards and almost on my skis. I completed my first attempt. Didn’t ski away, but I did it. Here’s the video…

http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docId=-1514637648517379602&hl=en
My First Heli… or should I say 180?
(7, thanks for the advice about needing to make it all the way around…)

Next attempt, a little better… I make it about 3/4 of the way around.

After we were done jumping, Paul did some more wake surfing… it’s his new addiction. Then he tries something new. He grabs one of Bugsy’s jump skis and starts jump ski surfing…

Jump Ski Surfing?

Then I did a little surfing and we called it a night.

For all the pictures in one convenient location, you can check out the Picasa Web Album with all of these pictures and some more.

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

One Very Fun Day

I hit the water on Friday afternoon at 2 with T-Bell, Libby and T-Bell’s boss Jeff to start a day of water skiing and barefooting. We loaded the boat with a ridiculous amount of skiing equipment. Besides the two pairs of combo skis that almost always in the floor, we had a wakeboard, trick skis, 4 very nice slalom skis, a swivel ski, 2 pairs of jumps skis, 2 jump helmets and way too many wetsuits and the like to count. My boat was loaded. Plus we had a cooler full of beverages!

T-Bell and I started off the day by taking our first sets of the year hitting the ramp. I started on my classic blaze orange Connelly jumpers and hit the ramp four times. Skied away from my first jump, popped the handle on the second, skied away on the third and popped the handle again on the fourth jump. Pretty good set for my first one of the year. My knees didn’t bother me, my back didn’t complain too much and I didn’t kill myself on the ramp. I considered it a good set. Libby was running the camera and managed to get some pictures of my landings. Really need to upgrade my camera.

Landing my first jump of the year

Landing another jump and making a lot of spray!

T-Bell was next, and like me, took 4 jumps off the ramp. Her jumps looked a lot cleaner than mine. She does a little half wake cut and pops off the ramp. Good position in the air and clean landings (unlike mine). Here’s a shot of her new helmet popping up from behind the ramp.

T-Bell’s new helmet

Then we went back to the landing to drop off our jump skis and helmets and pick up 7 and his wakeboard (now we have two in the boat).

I believe Libby was next on the water and she took a swivel run. She’s working on her toe turns and we could see her make progress throughout the day. On her last set she was making the toe turn, not traveling as erratically and skiing backwards for a ways. If she takes a couple runs with someone back there to help her get comfortable she’ll be doing the turns on her own soon.

Next up Jeff took his first slalom run o f the year. If we hadn’t been out in Wally World*, I think he would be a good slalomer. But since there was a constant supply of random rollers, he still looked pretty good on the ski, just really couldn’t go all out.

Jeff on the slalom ski

I believe 7 was next on the water and he entertained us with some more of his mad wakeboading skills. He manages to catch some air, just doesn’t land it yet. He’s trying wake 180s too, which are a source of entertainment for everyone in the boat.

Next up I wowed the crowd with my wakeboarding skills, which are nearly non-existent. I can do the trick where I slide the board from regular to goofy and back pretty good, but my cutting is incredibly awkward. I did figure out I need to change the stance on my board to open it up a bit more. Maybe next time I won’t feel so uncomfortable on the board.

Me on the wakeboard

T-Bell busted out her new slalom ski (which is the same as Libby’s) and liked it a lot. Libby did some slaloming as well.

T-Bell cutting out wide on her slalom ski

T-Bell cutting hard

Libby then took a slalom run on her ski.

Libby cutting hard on her ski

After dropping off some more equipment back at the landing, we headed into the bay to play in the weeds. Monona Bay has weeds, lots and lots of weeds. There are parts that look carpeted. We did find an open stretch and throw the boom on the side of the boat. I was up next.

I’ve been working on tumble turns this year, and finally hoping to get them dialed in this summer. The part I’ve been having issues with the second half of the turn. I get around decently to the point where my head is leading and my feet are trailing and then the handle gets over my head and I get the crap beat out of me by the water. Since I’ve been having the trouble with the 2nd part, I decided to do a tumble up on the boom which is basically the 2nd half of the tumble turn. You drag in the water face first until you’re on plain, flip unto your back, pull the rope down to a hip and spin around to stand up. The Bell sisters make this look a lot easier than it is. Then again they are about 100 pounds lighter than me so if you factor in water drag and other physics related stuff, they have a lot less weight to move when they are pulling the handle from over the head (where it starts) to down to the hips (where you can spin.) I try a few tumble ups and actually manage to get the handle down to my hip once, put it to my right hip and I spun around to the point where I could have tried to stand up, but my spin didn’t stop, it kept going and pretty soon I was back to where I began. I had finally spun around 360 degrees, I just started 180 degrees off from where I would start if I was doing a tumble turn. Took a few more runs on the boom and have officially decided that hanging on to the boom when the boat is slowing down is bad. Very bad! First, I drenched the boat, in weeds no less. Second, when I finally did let go, I didn’t like what I went through at all. Felt like I may have brushed the side of the boat which means I was way closer to the prop than I ever want to be. Scared shitless for a lack of a better term. Not an experience I want to repeat either. T-Bell, who was driving also didn’t like it. She asked to see all four of my appendages, not believing they were all still attached. I also tried some regular tumble turns with similar results as before… handle comes over my head. I also managed to get a good one foot in on the boom, something that I’ve just never really been comfortable doing on the boom (I’ve just found it easier long line). I had adjusted the boom so he would sit a little higher off the water which I think helped a lot. Also of note is when I peeled off my wetsuit, my barefoot shorts were down past my ass. I was dragging in the water enough where they were pulled down even though they were under my barefoot suit. That’s messed up.

Here are some photos from those tumble attempts!

Doing (err Trying) a Tumble Up

Trying it again

When I had finally finished beating the living daylights out of myself, T-Bell went next. She put on quiet the little barefooting show. One foots, tumble turns, tumble ups, even did some back-deeps on the boom. The back-deeps ended violently, but she made the starts which is more than I can do. She also did the same thing I did and held on as the boat slowed down. She didn’t like the footer’s perspective of that at all and I didn’t like the driver’s perspective either. We then made it a rule that when the boat starts to slow down, you let go to protect your life and limbs.

7 then displayed his barefooting skills. He tried the tumble ups as well and after making his first one, didn’t make another and commented that they were a lot harder than they looked. He did try a one-foot and that was fun to watch. I suggested trying one, describing what it feels like I’m doing while on the water and then he gave it a whirl. I was driving so I couldn’t watch the whole thing, but I did hear T-Bell say either “He’s toast” or “His toes” and as I turned to look over my shoulder I see 7 in a full Superman position beside the boat about 3 feet behind the boom and 2 feet off the water. He didn’t like the landing. Teri had noticed that his toes were so relaxed that they were almost pointing down into the water. He literally caught his toes. Not a good thing to do while footing.

Random picture time…

Pose for the camera… Libby & 7

After that we took the boom off to go drop T-Bell and Jeff off. They were heading to a Mallard’s game. After dropping them off and some more equipment, some more people skied and then I busted out the trick skis. They are old school trick skis. Wooden. Very uncomfortable bindings. I’ve occasionally been trying 180s on them with little success. But I keep trying. I did managed to get around once but couldn’t find the handle.

Me on trick skis… just doesn’t feel right

Look, I’m backwards!

After 7 did some more wakeboarding, we picked up John, who had brought some pizza. We were hungry and the pizza didn’t last long. 7, Libby and I inhaled it. I then promptly did a slalom set. You know the old saying about waiting 30 minutes after eating before you go swimming. It holds true for skiing too. Felt like a rock in my stomach. I did get up on the slalom ski, but with it still being Wally World, I didn’t feel comfortable doing much else. Plus it felt like I was going to ralph.

I’m just not comfortable on a slalom ski after eating pizza!

We dropped of my ski and picked up Scotty G and then headed over to the bay for some more footing. After scouting a path through the weeds, Johnny took the first run. Worked on some one-foots and tumble turns. He had few hard falls, but nothing bad. I then took another set, sans barefoot shorts, and had a couple nice long one-foots long line and a renewed appreciation for my barefoot shorts.

A nice relaxing barefoot run to end the night!

7 took the last run of the night as he tried out Libby’s slalom ski. We found a path that ran perpendicular to the barefoot run that would work for slaloming. Little wider and almost enough room to turn around at both ends. One end was tight.

As the sun set, we towed Nick, who has my old boat, back to his dock…. he was having fuel problems. Then people had some beers. Finally, we headed back to the dock, exhausted, to trailer the boat. After cleaning it up and putting all the my wet stuff into my truck, the back of my truck was now full of equipment and I had a clean boat again.

Much props to Libby for lasting the whole day with me and to 7 for lasting 90% of it (he showed up a little late)!

It’s now 10 o’clock, I have a truck that I need to unload, a boat to put away and I’m exhausted. Plus I’m going skiing again tomorrow at 530am. Yes, you read that correctly. 530 in the morning. After putting everything away and eat a snack (I love my Dove Ice Cream Bars), I crawl into bed and I’m asleep by 1130. For those that know me, that is a very early bedtime for me.

So back to my list from the other day on what I wanted to do on Friday. I did the two-skiing (via jumping and tricking), I slalomed, I barefooted, I wakeboarded and jumped. I didn’t get to shoe ski because I forgot those at home, but I did trick ski. So I’d say I pretty much completed my list.

5am comes early. I actually woke up a few minutes before my alarms that are set to go off at 455am. I finally crawl out of bed, very sore, at 505. Eat a couple donut holes, drink some milk, brush my teeth and stumble out to my car, throw my stuff into the trunk and hop in. The gas tank is on “E”. I go anyways. I arrive at Dale’s house at 531. He called me at exactly 530 asking me where I was and I was able to reply “turning onto your street”. Park, grab my stuff, walk to his backyard and hope in the boat. Even though it is early, there are a lot of fisherman on the water and apparently none of them like where they are at as they keep moving around. Luckily, Dale has a great boat for footing (a Sanger) and you can camp out on the table and get a smooth ride. I had a few nice runs including a very clean one foot (42 MPH is soooo nice), but my feet were still sore from the day before and one of them has a very nice cut on the bottom of it that doesn’t like the fact that I’m still barefooting on it.

Footing at Sunrise!

I’m back home by 7, now with a full tank of gas in the car. Back in bed after a shower at 715 and sleep till 930 when I have to get up and pack so I can head to Chicago for my 6pm to 6am shift that I have to work that night.

Here’s a slide show of all the photos worth sharing from theses couple days:

Here’s a link to all of the photos out on Picasa in my web album.

*Wally World – a term I use to reference when Wally’s (aka people like the Griswald’s from Vacation) are out on the water driving every which way. Basically destroying the calm water that we would have on the lake making it into a Wally World.

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

Let’s Talk About What Can Loosely Be Called Tumble Turns

So last August I had tried some tumble turns with very little luck. I decided to give them another attempt yesterday. I hit the water yesterday morning with the Bells, Sandy and Teri. We had all been out late the night before, so morning came early, even if it wasn’t that early. I arrived at 830, they arrived about ten minutes later ready to ski.

I took the first set, just doing some long runs around the bay. Most of the way around one way, then turned around and went most of the way back around. It just felt good to have a few nice calm runs again after my random roller run from Thursday night (it would have been good water, but just roller after roller after roller until I finally hit one that felt like a double up… I caught air and landed on my side, hard; then I took another run).

We then setup the boom and Sandy took the first run. She really wants to work on her one foots. She does a little work on them, mainly cleaning up her form because her natural stance has her knees together and she’s back on her heels. She knows she has to have a more natural stance with her knees in a bit more natural position, not so close together, and also not so far back on her heals. After her foot runs she took a set on her barefoot trainers and managed to clean her form a little and do some one foots on the trainers.

Sandy about to throw a tumble. You can see how she keeps her knees close together.
She’s even catching a little air with left foot.

Next on the water was Teri. She also threw some tumbles and then did a little work on her one foots as well.

Teri on the water. She’s not a fan of the weeds that we’re going through.

Then I took another set, almost anxious to try some tumble turns again. I’d been thinking about them since the night before when we talked about putting on the boom. Like last August, I never quite got them right, but Sandy and Teri did say I managed to get about 3/4 of the way around once. While the other attempts weren’t nearly as good, they did provide some funny photos.

First tumble attempt… something tells me this isn’t the right way to finish a tumble.
It looks like I’m leading with my legs to finish the spin, instead of the hips.

Another tumble attempt. Same problem.

My best attempt, but didn’t make this one either. Need to keep the rope in by my hips.

Now I’m just getting tired.

After heading home to drop off the boat and grab some lunch and an unexpected nap, I turned around and went back to the lake to meet up with Beau (aka Peaches), Bugs and 7. Beau was taking his old school jet ski to the lake to play with. Still a little sore from the morning, I just played the role of spectator. At one point Beau wondered how long it would take to go across the lake and back on the jet ski and decided to find out. Well, the wind was blowing strong out of the southwest, so he didn’t have calm water. I actually wondered if he’d have enough gas to make it there and back. About 30 minutes later, he finally did make it back. Then just about everyone cracked open some of the new Lienie’s Summer Shandy that the Bug man had brought along. I had a feeling it was going to be a fruity beer and was right. A lot of lemonade flavor to it, but I didn’t care for it. I’m not one for fruity beers.

Then after heading home to catch another nap after eating some supper, I headed back to the lake a 3rd time. This time to Russ’s to sit around a fire and drink some beer. We had a few isolated showers (which Jaws felt sorry for since they were lonely) while drinking beer, but they didn’t stop us.

Finally roll back into the garage about midnight, exhausted, ready for some sleep. It was long day, most of it at the lake, spent with good friends. Every day should be like this.

You can find all of the pictures from the morning ski run here.

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