Here’s are some of my favorite pictures from the 2008 ski season.
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.
Where to start… it’s been about a month since my last post. No, I haven’t gone away, just been busy dealing with “winter” stuff here in Wisconsin.
I guess the first big update from the last month would be I hit up Think Tank. For those that are wondering what that is, it’s a water skiing convention put on by the Wisconsin Water Ski Federation. You can go there and learn about a lot of different aspects of water skiing. 3-event, collegiate, wake boarding, barefooting and show skiing. Lots of show skiing stuff there. It’s a good way to get people excited about the ski season starting here in Wisconsin (not that it has yet, but it’s getting close). It’s also a good excuse to get a bunch of water skiers together and have a big party. Only real complaint from the weekend is the hotel bar at the Chula Vista is not big enough to hold all the skiers. Over at BFC, they’ve posted a pretty good update about there trip to Think Tank.
My personal experience there was a lot of fun. I had my friend Linda, a show skier herself, up from Florida for the weekend. We got up there late afternoon on Friday and hit the water park in the hotel. I think it’s the first time I’ve gone to a water park in about 15 years. That was a lot of fun. Then we hit the outdoor hot tub for drinks before changing and heading down to the doubles competition and fashion show (better known as 2 good reasons to drink at Think Tank.) Saturday was rough, dranks lots of water, taught my tank in the afternoon and partied some more that night.
If watch the trailer closely, you’ll see the newest skis from HO (yes that’s a real ski company name), twin tip jump skis. Yes, they’ve been doing it for years on the slopes and now they’ve done it for jump skis. Seen on the water ski blog-o-sphere first over on the Row Boat, you can pick up your own pair for four bills over at waterskis.com.
While I’ve been lacking in my blog posts, the Row Boat has not. Then been posting up a flurry lately. Word on the street is the Row Boat has expanded a little bit. It’s no longer one man on the oars and it sounds likes he’s got a couple people over there helping to row himself around the lake.
Meanwhile, it looks like winter may actually be over here in Wisconsin. Spring officially starts tomorrow and my yard is pretty empty of snow (except where I piled it up clearing off the driveway). The lakes are still not open yet, and probably won’t be for a couple weeks yet. Too much ice needs to melt.
To compare the weather from this year (tons of snow) to years past (not tons of snow), back in 06 I actually went skiing without a dry suit and didn’t freeze on Good Friday. This Friday, which happens to be Good Friday I’ll definitely not be on the water. One reason, the water is still frozen solid. The second reason, which actually trumps the first, is it will likely be snowing here on Friday. Southern Wisco is under a winter storm warning from Thursday night thru Friday. 4 to 6 inches expected. Now you’re thinking “but it’s spring”? Well, spring here in Wisco still means we get some snow now and then.
Finally, been busy with Mad-City stuff. You’re thinking, but it’s winter, how can you be busy. Well, Mad-City goes year round. Being on the board keeps me pretty busy, but I’ve been helping out on the show committee helping to plan next years show, also keeps me pretty busy. Plus, we’ve had some winter practices. Those don’t take up much time, but they are there. We’ve got a small army of new people on the team this year and need to get them up to speed for climbing so once the water thaws, we can get the pyramids going.
We’ll, I try not to go a month before posting again. I’ll be getting my boat ready to hopefully hit the hopefully no longer frozen water the first weekend in April. Won’t be breaking my record season start of March 24 from last year, mainly because the lakes are frozen. Although as you can see from the previous post, I did get a little water time in January. (Still get shivers in my spine thinking about that.)
Couple last things… over on the right, you may have noticed it looks a little different. First off, there’s a section titled What I’m Reading. That’s mainly random funny or interesting things I’ve found on the net. Click on one of the links now and then, it might make you laugh. Just below that there’s my attempt to help cross promote the other skiing sites on the web as I Scour the Web for Water Skiing. The good sites that I’ve found, I’ve set up in a feed so as they post stories, you’ll see them in the feed there on the right. Way down at bottom of the right side column, there’s a place to sign up for email updates from here. Put your email address in, and after you confirm your subscription, these posts will come right to your Inbox. Inbox cluttered, just use the RSS feed… don’t know what an RSS feed is? Go here to get a crash course on what they are, then make your way over to Google Reader. Sign up or use your existing Google/Gmail account and it’ll keep track of all your RSS feeds.
Lastly, if you’ve made it this far, you’re a dedicated reader. Show your dedication by sending my a barefooting story my other site… Tales from the Foot. I want to get some reader generated content up there. Send me barefoot successes, failures or funny stories.
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.
That’s where I spent a good portion of last weekend… the boondocks. My friends Beau & Kelly were getting hitched in the north woods, or at least what a boy from Madison would call the north woods. Beau called it the boondocks…
But anyways, the wedding was in the afternoon and was very nice. Then we made our way to the reception with just a slight detour to make a brief stop at a liquor store for some supplies. One of my responsibilities was to start the music at the reception. We then put our stuff in the cabin we were staying in and made our way back to the reception hall and had some cocktails and snacks. The wedding party arrived, dinner was served, a nice video they had put together was played and then the dance started. After playing the part of a wall flower for a while as I continued to drink some beer, I eventually worked up the liquid courage needed to make my way out to the dance floor. I never looked back. I spent most of the rest of the night on the dance floor, only taking breaks to refresh my beer or find another shot. Needless to say, I had a blast. Shortly after midnight, I realized I had enough. Enough what you ask? Fun, drinks, dancing, everything. I was ready to call it a night. I said my goodbyes and stumbled my way to the cabin. It was like someone had flipped a switch. Here are a few pics from the night…
Final damage… 12 pack of Stella and a shot of Souther Comfort and about 5 or 6 shots of Jaeger Bombs. Yea… I was down for the count. And you knew you could have so much fun at a YMCA camp?
Next day, roll out of bed about 9am. Get some breakfast, say our goodbyes and head home. Roll into Madison about 11am ready to do nothing for the rest of the day. That didn’t happen though.
First, picked some of the ski teams 2006 DVDs. Next, headed to the ‘rents for some lunch and then got a call to go skiing… so I did. Hit the water at 230 in the cool brisk sunny afternoon air. Other than a few footing runs, I didn’t do much. It had only been 15 hours since the previous night and I was still a bit run down… Did get to see some good footing and some good falls. Here are some pics from the afternoon on the lake…
Imse did some backfooting… I have really good videos of his backfooting, and I was about to get a really good picture of him backfooting when this happened…
I have some videos of Imse backfooting and 7 doing his best break dancing imprecation. Both are really good. They’ll be coming soon.
The first pictures are from the very beginning of October. I hit the water right after work on October 3rd to get some quality skiing time in.
John with a nice one foot
Me, smiling for the camera…
John’s buddy from New York getting a slalom run in…
John throwing up a wall of water
The sun setting in the bay…
A nice view of the capital
The next set of pictures is from the morning of the 20th… so this time it was a little colder. First a little background. Originally I lined up T-Bell to go out in the morning. I originally suggested 930 to 11am wanting to give it at least a little while to warm up. She asked to go earlier so she could go to the football game. I didn’t mind so we changed our plans to 830 to 10. Meanwhile, I’m realizing it is going to be a cold morning. Friday rolls around and she had a change of plans and asked if we could go out earlier. Once again I didn’t care, so we set the time from 8 to 930. It was going to be a frosty morning. Everything is set to go.
Much later that night, about 330am, my phone beeps at me. New message from Teri. I flip it open and read it through my half open eyes. It said something to the effect of “Do you know it is going to be 45 degrees in the morning? Still want to go?” I flipped the phone closed and went back to sleep.
7am rolls around and I crawl out of bed. As predicted, it was 45 degrees out, but also a bright sunny day. I’ll ski. Message back to Teri… game on! Then I gave Beau his wake up call. After breakfast, I head off to the lake. I ended being the only one that skied that morning… only one brave enough to hit the chilly water in the even colder air…
Yea…it’s a little colder out here, but I love doing this!
See the nice bright sunny day behind me?
Yes, it’s a bright sunny day out… gotta love it!
And now my face is completely frozen from the wind chill!
I’ll have another update a little latter this week recapping this past weekends adventures… a little trip to the north woods of Wisco for a wedding (the reception was blast… I think… as Bugsy put it “Drunk Wedge came out”) and then I hit the water today. I’ve got some killer pictures of the skiing today (some that are accidentally awesome!) and some good videos too! Check back latter this week.
After Work Skiing
Tonight, after a busy day mowing the lawn, cleaning, doing laundry and watching the Badger’s win their first game of the year, I caught up with my old friend Brent. He’s in the navy now, so I don’t get to see him very often, so it was good to catch up with.
We stopped at BW3’s first for some food and our first frosty beverages of the night. Then we headed to the UW Memorial Terrace for another beverage. They usually have a band playing there as well, which is always nice, but tonight, they really had a band. A very good band. They weren’t playing your typical music though. The band was Orleans Avenue, a project of a musical virtuoso named Trombone Shorty.
If you read up on the guy, he’s been “leading bands” since he was six years old. He’s that good. And after watching him in person, he is. My reaction was wow. His band that he plays with is really good too!
Initially, I’d think to describe the music as Dixie Land Jazz… but there more to it than that. Way more. A little funk, a little bit of a rock edge and a whole lotta fun. He manages to get a crowd of Wisconsinites up on their feet dancing and singing along to the song “When the Saints.” Yes, we all know the song, everyone does, but to get a huge crowd up and dancing and singing… now that is a very big feat in my eyes. The crowd loved it.
And then after that, he busts out the next song… “Back in Black”. Everyone knows the riff that opens that song. Everyone. Well, you haven’t heard that riff until you’ve heard it done on a trombone. Wow! The song will never be the same.
If you ever get the chance to catch this act, do it. You might be thinking that the music doesn’t sound like something you like. I would think the same thing and I’d know I was wrong. The music is great.
So a while back, Paul, already a little bored with using a rope to start out on the surf board behind the boat decided to just step off the platform and onto the board. For him, it worked out good. In case you missed it the first time, here’s the video…
One of the many people in the boat that night was Ronée. Not counting Paul, she is probably the best surfer of the rest of us. She has it down pat. And she’s apparently also becoming a little bored with the traditional start using a rope and wanted to try out the platform start. She was a little more hesitant than Paul, and had Sandy distracting her, but she did manage to complete the start… she just didn’t catch the wave that well. Here’s the video…
I still give her props for trying it out. The thought has crossed my mind, but I’m still having a hard time catching the wave while using the rope. Probably not going to happen without it.