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C36
01-26-2007, 04:16 PM
We bought a barefoot tower boom last summer as a training aid for our children and friends. Funny thing is I had to go out on it to demonstrate skiing a few times and it got me thinking, "Maybe I could learn to barefoot afterall?" Only problem is I am on "the wrong side of 40". ;)

I also just got a copy of "The Secret Spot" and my kids now want us all to learn how to barefoot! :eek:

So I would be interested in knowing, if you do know how to barefoot, how old were you when you learned?

I have read through the tips that were posted for Pendo and UMP - but all suggestions welcome.

Thanks. :)

chudson
01-26-2007, 05:14 PM
This comes up from time to time and I read a post once that was put up by Sporty( who hasn't posted for a while) which I felt covered it real good and like I've said before I hope he doesn't mind me putting this up but it's as good of an explanation as I've seen. I learned when I was 18 -19, been awhile!!!


Originally Posted by Sporty
Well while I'm not Scarpa, I have been footing a long time. The way I try to teach folks is with a simple but effective visual and demo instruction. First, I don't put my front foot in the binder when getting up. I simply set it on top of the binder, heel placed against the heel-piece. It will stay from the tug of the boat. Since I drag a foot anyway to get up, my rear foot is ready to set down when I so choose (looking for rollers )Once I'm up, I like to get a solid 37 - 38 MPH (me at 210 pounds). That works just fine. Too fast and you're skipping on the water. Find a good speed to plant your foot and not have it skipping at 41 - 42 MPH. I get just outside of the wake and set the rear foot down on the water getting ready to step off with the front foot. Here's the trick (and try it yourself tonight at home to see what I'm talking about); Bend the front foot knee (that is still on top of the binder). Bend it extra and while the rear foot is about to plant or possibly may already be on the water). Bending the knee of the front foot will extend the rear foot / leg out forward in front of you. Prior to bending the extra effort, the plant foot is more-or-less "under" you and not in front of you. Bend the front foot knee and you'll see the rear foot go forward, (in lieu of trying to hyperextend the rear leg and only throw you off balance and accomplish nothing). Once you're almost squatting (not literally but in a sense of figure) then plant the rear foot, throw your shoulders back (a slight tug on the rope) and lift (not step) the front foot and set it forward onto the water beside the other foot. At this point the ski is gone. Do all of this in one smooth motion and you'll be good to go. Done deal.

Now what you'll find is that you're probably drowning.. LOL... If so, you know your feet are where they are supposed to be. Leave them there (out in front of you so to speak) and raise your head, shoulders and your upper body upward to breath. This is actually allowing you to develope your balance as you stay up and get out of the spray. It won't be two or three more tries before you're stepping off, standing up out of the spray and enjoying the ride.... Trick is to bend the front foot knee but the "purpose" of this is to get the rear foot out front (and not under) before you plant.

If you're falling forward, the feet are not out front enough. If you're falling backwards, they are too far out.

For those that may want to try footing, that's the ticket. You may be rushing it a bit but honestly the smooth motion I described in stepping off is supposed to be a rush!! Just make it smooth and one continuous motion instead of several part motions to get on the water. I think by keeping the front foot on top of the binder it is much much less distracting and less maneauvers compared to getting the foot back out from the binder, out of the heel piece, and then forward to set the foot down. Barefooting is probably one of the easier things to learn in my opinion. I like to wear short pants (jump pants) so I can slide out on my rear when I'm done footing.

Just practice a mental process and you'll learn quickly on the water...

For the lighter guys and gals 34, 35, or 36 MPH is plenty. However I do like a hot speed to foot on one foot.... I do all of this on a long line. Booms are not my thing. Long line footing.... Nothing like it....It's the real thAng


Someone else can add on of give their own thoughts but that splains it in a nut shell.

lawless1
01-26-2007, 05:53 PM
I learned off of a knee ski/hydroslide, but now drop a ski. Let me know if you would like a detailed explanation of the knee ski method. GL

phecksel
01-26-2007, 07:14 PM
We bought a barefoot tower boom last summer as a training aid for our children and friends. Funny thing is I had to go out on it to demonstrate skiing a few times and it got me thinking, "Maybe I could learn to barefoot afterall?" Only problem is I am on "the wrong side of 40". ;)

I also just got a copy of "The Secret Spot" and my kids now want us all to learn how to barefoot! :eek:

So I would be interested in knowing, if you do know how to barefoot, how old were you when you learned?

I have read through the tips that were posted for Pendo and UMP - but all suggestions welcome.

Thanks. :)
I was really close to 40 when I learned how. Trying to teach myself wasn't a really good idea. Go get some lessons to get passed the initial stage. At 48, I do most of my barefooting off the boom. It's not sexy, but it also doesn't hurt, LOL. Never did learn the deep water start.

TMCNo1
01-26-2007, 07:53 PM
I voted option #2 because as a younger daredevil I tried the stepoff method and the ski and I ate each other for lunch in a bad way. Then as a brave adult (?) I tried the kneeboard, sit on it, stand up after the transom rollers and the kneeboard became a groin board, then I became the father of a competitive skier (slalom, trick and jump) and that made me proud. I loves to drive me some boat!

pram
01-26-2007, 09:19 PM
I never learned how to deep water start it was always off of the knee board. I never footed off of a boom until 2 years ago behind my last boat. I don't think that I even put the boom on my current boat last year.

Then as a brave adult (?) I tried the kneeboard, sit on it, stand up after the transom rollers and the kneeboard became a groin board, then I became the father

Hey TMC at the least the kneeboard didn't wreck anything important when it became the groinboard

C36
01-27-2007, 12:32 AM
chudson/Sporty: Thanks for that - very detailed and very helpful!

lawless1: Thanks for the offer of help. I would be curious to know how much harder you think "drop ski" is compared to "knee/ski". Particularly after reading TMCNo1's comments. :eek:

phecksel: I think I will seek some professional help (to learn to barefoot anyway). ;) My wife's second cousin is quite an accomplished barefooter and he might be willing to coach me through learning. Only problem is he skis on a rolly ocean sound.

prambold: Thanks for the comments.

Leroy
01-27-2007, 12:49 AM
I learned at Tenn Tech Univ PE course in ~1984 taught on Dale Hollow. Was taught using the kneeboard method.

tex
01-27-2007, 01:12 PM
Learned long line behind a bass boat with a 65 hp outboard on a kneeboard. I was 25 and drunk with a bunch of buddies. Came up on the 1st try! I don't advise learning the way I did...well maybe a couple of beers would help!

Laurel_Lake_Skier
01-27-2007, 01:30 PM
I learned by trial and error stepping off a ski......many failed attempts and then just enjoyed getting out making runs "hanging on" and would get out a couple of times a summer. About 5 years ago (in my late 40s) I started going to day long barefoot clinics and have learned a ton of new stuff. The learning process is pretty painless if you have someone teaching you that knows how to progress step by step. Now I make several runs each morning and I've been getting better every year.....hope to continue for quite a while. Getting the new tricks down is a gas and skiing a few tournaments a summer gives me motivation to keep improving. I'm not sure on the barefoot jumping but feel like I will be able to add quite a few more tricks and keep improving my wake cross score for a while (after all I'm only 51). You can do it at any age!

JohnnyB
01-27-2007, 02:22 PM
I learned by trial and error stepping off a ski......many failed attempts and then just enjoyed getting out making runs "hanging on" and would get out a couple of times a summer. About 5 years ago (in my late 40s) I started going to day long barefoot clinics and have learned a ton of new stuff. The learning process is pretty painless if you have someone teaching you that knows how to progress step by step. Now I make several runs each morning and I've been getting better every year.....hope to continue for quite a while. Getting the new tricks down is a gas and skiing a few tournaments a summer gives me motivation to keep improving. I'm not sure on the barefoot jumping but feel like I will be able to add quite a few more tricks and keep improving my wake cross score for a while (after all I'm only 51). You can do it at any age!

Who's clinics do you attend? I'm considering attending one this summer for the 1st time.

Slinkyredfoot
01-27-2007, 02:37 PM
I learned at age thirteen, stepping off a ladder and then long rope. I do not try to attempt the tumble turns and deepwater starts I used to be able to do, I know my limits these days, but I still enjoy the rush and am thankful I can still do it.

FlatBoard
01-27-2007, 06:03 PM
Was on the Muskingum river in Ohio. The guy I was with is an excellent footer, long liner. He put me out on the boom and said just do it, so I did!! Rode til my feet were burning.

C36
01-27-2007, 11:14 PM
...You can do it at any age!

LLS: Your whole post was very positive, but I liked the line above best of all. :)

tex
01-28-2007, 12:32 PM
Who's clinics do you attend? I'm considering attending one this summer for the 1st time.
Call Paul Stokes. Great footer and a great teacher.

JohnnyB
01-28-2007, 01:18 PM
Call Paul Stokes. Great footer and a great teacher.

I've been footin' for quite a while but recently realized I'm not invincible/indestructable anymore......time to move away from trial and error to some good coaching from a teacher :D

Footin
01-28-2007, 01:27 PM
I learned about 15 years ago behind a 130hp I/O.....long line with no kneeboard. I do not recommend this to anyone.

tex
01-28-2007, 02:49 PM
Call Paul Stokes. Great footer and a great teacher.
He's in cheeseland!

C36
01-29-2007, 02:14 PM
...You can do it at any age!

LLS:

Thank you for the detailed response. Your last line is my personal favorite.

But what has me a little worried is with 107 responses (so far) only five (so far) have been over age 40 when they learned and all of these five were in the 40-49 age group. :worthy:

Looks like it might be now or never (for me). ;)

lawless1
01-29-2007, 02:50 PM
Ah, give it a shot - you have insurance don't you? I've never tried a boom but I have been told that it is the easiest. When I learned (about 17 years old) I tried both the ski and kneeboard method and found I was more comfortable learning with the board. Don't get me wrong, I took a lot of tumbles trying (no teacher).

The basic approach is that you either semi kneel on the board and quickly move your feet forward as the driver takes you out of the water gingerly or you sit on the board with your feet forward as you start out (gingerly). I prefered getting ouside of the boat wake (smoother water) for my attempt. You then inch your body forward on the board and lay back, but not all of the way (don't want the nose of the board to dip). Once comfortable, signal the driver to increase the boat to 38-42 (depending on your comfort). The board will bounce a bit and you can adjust your weight to compensate/counter.

Now the risky part. You are going to place both of your heals in the water at the same time. Do not jam them in. Keep your weight back. The concept is like getting out of a chair, keeping your knees bent and your feet apart. Once comfortable (hopefully within a couple of quick seconds) put all of your weight on your feet and stand up.

Laurel_Lake_Skier
01-29-2007, 09:20 PM
Looks like it might be now or never (for me). ;)
If you want to do it you will be able to. On one day of a clinic with Paul Macdonald, a woman that had NEVER SKIED before was footing by the end of the day doing deep water starts off the short line on a boom! Check into clinics in your area.....most of the top footers spend a good part of their summer putting on clinics all over the place. You should be able to find one within a reasonalble distance. All of them teach using a progressive approach that takes out the hard falls and abuse of the trial and error method. I sure wish I would have started out that way. Get out and do it.....it will be something you'll wish you'd have started long ago and most likely will be able to do for a good many years to come.

WTRSK1R
01-29-2007, 11:48 PM
I was 42 last summer when I learned. A friend has a boom, and using just the boom with no rope or handle, I was able to plant and hold it on the first try. A boom is super easy to learn on. Adding the handle with the 5 foot lead adds a whole new element to it, but even after doing some serious face plants, I am still lovin it. I am a hardcore slalom skier, but the rush barefootin makes it worthwhile. By the end of last summer I was able to do a step off from an old wooden ski long line behind the boat. Next summer I hope / plan to conquer deep water starts so that I do not need the ski anymore. But even after getting up long line, my friends boom is still great for working on tumbling up from a superman start, and working on body position at slower speeds. In fact, I think one of the best parts of having access to someone with a boom is that even if you do a faceplant, it is not quite at the peel your eyelid speed that you get long line. Go for it. You will not regret it one you are up on just your feet.

CoFooter
01-30-2007, 03:08 PM
I was late 30's when I first tried it. My wife got me a one hour lesson in So Cal on Christmas Day. I didn't know a thing about it and apparently neither did the guy teaching me. I only had a 3mm wetsuit and he told me to tumble up off the boom which I did and made it up the second or third time but the lite chop in the water gave me a bruise up and down my legs and but like I have never seen. The next year I got up off of a wakeboard behind the boat. I screwed around and paid my dues for several years before I found a club in my area that had a clinic. Learned more in one day than I had learned in 3 yrs with the right coaching. Deepwater start, tumbles, slalom and one foots in the same day. The next year was my first tournament and learning back deeps, the following (last year) one foot stand ups, hops, and my first back to front on shoe skis. Its amazing what you learn with capable coaches, local support from footers and good water. I'm 44 this year and looking forward to trying and learning even more tricks and planning on 2 or 3 tournaments. I think a lot of people take up this sport in their older years as a way to keep the challenge going after slaloming, or other sports begin to wear off. my wife calls it my mid-life crisis which is fine with me. Keeps me motivated to stay in shape over the winter waiting for the first run in the spring. 40 is not too old, its a great time to start. Good luck and this forum has a lot of footers that provide a lot of good advice.

Willski
01-30-2007, 03:19 PM
I learned when I was 16 by stepping off a ski from the boom. Many failed attempts with the ski popping off and hittting my other leg. Spent the whole summer bruised. My first actual success was dropping a ski long-line. I would suggest kneeboard off of the boom as the easiest, unless you have a lot of upper body strength, then tumble up directly off the boom is fairly easy. Once the plant is mastered try a 5 ft. line off the boom for deeps!

C36
01-31-2007, 12:19 AM
lawless1/LLS/WTRSK1R/cpfooter/willski:

Thank you all for the detailed descriptions and encouraging words. I have already started looking into a clinic for next summer.

jlf
01-31-2007, 07:54 AM
I made my first attempt at 30 last summer. I started off a boom with some excellent teachers!! They used the boom with a training swing I believe they called it, it looked like a ski handle if you asked me. It was attached to the boom and you sat in it like a swing, hold your legs up out in front of you, let the boat get up to speed and then plant your feet. The swing sort of holds you in the right position. Made it up first try and by the end of my session I was out on the boom with no swing and I planted and was footing with out the swing!! It was a blast. In fact I had so much fun that I am looking into a barefoot suit and boom for our boat so I can continue to learn. I'd like to be able to start trying deep water starts by the end of summer.

Mag_Red
01-31-2007, 07:56 AM
Hey I just made the oldest, first attempt at footin!:banana:

jbfootin
01-31-2007, 03:29 PM
started off a knee board when I was 18-19 .

trickskier
01-31-2007, 03:38 PM
After many attempts and headaches. I finally stepped off a ski behind a Baja with an outboard.

chudson
01-31-2007, 03:49 PM
After many attempts and headaches. I finally stepped off a ski behind a Baja with an outboard.

Just my opinion but that 's the best way to start is behind the boat or with a 5' rope handle off the boom cause then you can do it behind just about any boat. I had a small accident off the hydroslide tryin to barefoot called a 5 gallon lake enima, that smarted!!! Wasn't sitting forward on the thing enuff and it began to porpise and I bounced right off!!! :rolleyes:

ilikeitglacy
01-31-2007, 03:54 PM
my father taught me to drop the ski (the wrong way), i was12 and it took me 15 or 16 tryes, my son learned (the right way) last summer he was 10, to this day he has not missed one attemps on 22 tryes... and still counting:toast:

chudson
01-31-2007, 04:05 PM
Way to go Dad, heres a picture of one of the TT members teaching his son. Never thought of tryin this way but looks good to me!!!

18027

roddydog
01-31-2007, 04:20 PM
I'm closer to 50 than 40 and I am footin' this year come he!! or high water.

It's all in yer mind!

chudson
01-31-2007, 04:53 PM
I'm closer to 50 than 40 and I am footin' this year come he!! or high water.

It's all in yer mind!

Go for it Bud and "Good Luck"

C36
01-31-2007, 06:53 PM
Way to go Dad, heres a picture of one of the TT members teaching his son. Never thought of tryin this way but looks good to me!!!

That is exactly what I did the first time my daughter went up on skis. We went up together on the boom and then I let go and she continued.

I have never seen anyone do it for barefoot though! Nice work!

C36
01-31-2007, 06:55 PM
I'm closer to 50 than 40 and I am footin' this year come he!! or high water.

It's all in yer mind!

PM headed your way.

Slinkyredfoot
01-31-2007, 07:04 PM
Way to go Dad, heres a picture of one of the TT members teaching his son. Never thought of tryin this way but looks good to me!!!

18027


This method is pretty cool, wish we would had booms when we were learning...
Does anyone remember shoe ski's???
I still have a pair, these skies were cool, a good theaching ski for aspiring barefooters..
I am sure many of you have done this, but I always thought barefooting with tennis shoes on was a Wild Ride:D :D :D

C36
01-31-2007, 07:09 PM
Hey I just made the oldest, first attempt at footin!:banana:

141 votes and you were the first one! I was hoping there would be a least one person who gave it a try beyond their 40's. Well done!

mess33
02-01-2007, 12:05 AM
This method is pretty cool, wish we would had booms when we were learning...
Does anyone remember shoe ski's???
I still have a pair, these skies were cool, a good theaching ski for aspiring barefooters..
I am sure many of you have done this, but I always thought barefooting with tennis shoes on was a Wild Ride:D :D :D

I learned when I was 15 stepping off long line behind a 200 I/O. I am now teaching my son with a boom. I have shoe skis and I also thought tennis shoes were a wild ride.

Mess

chudson
02-01-2007, 08:33 AM
This method is pretty cool, wish we would had booms when we were learning...
Does anyone remember shoe ski's???
I still have a pair, these skies were cool, a good theaching ski for aspiring barefooters..
I am sure many of you have done this, but I always thought barefooting with tennis shoes on was a Wild Ride:D :D :D


I've got a pair of Cypress Gardens Dog Bones ( shoe skis ).................

18044

Mine are in a little bit better shape than these, this picture is from a pair that sold on ebay. You know when you're gettin old when all the skis you own there are skis just like them being sold in the "Vintage Ski" area of ebay!!! But on the plus side they're bringing a real good price!!!:D

C36
09-13-2007, 11:15 PM
I wanted to thank everyone for their responses to the “Do you know how to barefoot?” survey. Your comments added to my motivation to give it a shot. :)

On July 16, 2007 (the windiest day of the summer) I learned to barefoot at the age of 42 (this puts me in the oldest 5% of survey respondents 8p ).

As the sequence of photos below shows my first time was stepping of a slalom ski while on a boom.
Photo 1 – barefoot suit on.
Photo 2 – getting last minute instructions.
Photo 3 – up on slalom ski with arms straight.
Photo 4 – knees bent with back foot out on the water.
Photo 5 – more bend in the knees (this is the only time I think I am close to being a “good” position”).
Photo 6 – bum slides back (bad) to get ready to step off the ski.
Photo 7 – I’m up (briefly).
Photo 8 – down. It was a rush to be skiing on my feet.

10 days later I gave it a second try on our boat (stepping off a ski on a tower boom) with a trusted friend driving. We found a glassy section of water and I skied further this time and best yet it was on our boat with my two children on board – this was super fun! I told my wife I want to get a barefoot suit for Christmas this year!

/edit - 2007 Oct 15 found a barefoot suit

WESSTAR
09-14-2007, 01:39 AM
That's cool I can not barefoot by steping off a ski. I have to use a Wakeskate or kneeboard. I agree with you it is a rush I did it for the first time since we got the new MC about a month ago.

C36
09-14-2007, 12:41 PM
That's cool I can not barefoot by steping off a ski. I have to use a Wakeskate or kneeboard. I agree with you it is a rush I did it for the first time since we got the new MC about a month ago.

WESSTAR:

I think using a wakeskate or kneeboard may be a better approach - I really had a hard time with staying in a "good" barefoot stance (low position with feet slightly in front of my knees) while stepping off the ski. It just seems that it would be easier to get/stay in a "good" barefoot position by pulling up (from a wakeboard or kneeboard) rather than stepping-off a ski, no? But I do have a concern or two about pulling-up off of something at barefooting speed (1) our wakeskate has rather sharp rails; and (2) the kneeboard may start to bounce. Would be curious to hear a little more about your expereince with pulling-up.

sunsational
09-14-2007, 01:47 PM
Congratulations! :toast:

Hollywood
09-17-2007, 10:46 AM
I have a friend that learned to barefoot at age 50 after meeting Banana George at an event, which would have put him somewhere in his 70s at that time.

Also, the current endurance record holder didn't learn to foot until he was in his 40s, the guy is in his upper 50s now and still can outrun ANYONE.

C36
09-10-2009, 10:42 PM
This summer past a friend taught me a superman start with a tumble to glide and then plant. This was WAY easier (for me) than stepping off. I go up about 7 times this summer with a couple of runs well over a half mile long (feet started to tingle too much to keep going). It was a really nice change for me to decide when to stop. ;) Three of the four photos below are from the same run (photo number 2 is from another day on another boat). Thanks again to all those who said "you can do it" - there is nothing like it. I hope to give a 5' section of line a try next and maybe a deepwater start after that.

51576

51577

51578

51579

SKIBUMM
09-10-2009, 11:46 PM
I learned when I was 32 and have since done many clinics. I learned a great method for teaching smaller kids. Take the boom and put it up pretty high and put on a barefoot handle (yes there is a difference). Have the handle about 2 feet off the water. Have the kid sit in the handle like a swing and slowly start up. As you get up to a slower than barefoot speed (remember weight is the speed determinate) have a person move from the non boom side to the boom side slowly which will slowly drop the kid into the water. Sitting on the swing puts the legs in a very good footing position and if they catch a toe they simple swing out and can re-start with out taking a fall. This worked so well my Daughter barefooted at age 9. In one day she graduated from the swing to doing deep water starts off the boom.

EarlyriserX9
09-11-2009, 11:48 AM
I learned to barefoot over the last couple weeks. The first day I went off the boom for about 5 or 6 runs. I took some pretty bad falls until I realized I could just hold on whenever I lost it. The next time out, I took four runs on the boom and then moved to the five foot line. The biggest thing for me was keeping my feet wide and not rushing. I tried long line, deap-water last weekend for the first time. Driver took a hard turn and shot me outside the wake hard. I thought this was normal, since I had never done long line before. I stood up, did a couple wake crosses and stopped when my feet were burning. What a rush! In my opinion, barefooting isn't necessarily that difficult, but the fear-factor is off the charts. Oh yeah, and the full-body bruises. haha;)

Hollywood
09-11-2009, 12:14 PM
C36, you should try to find some smoother water next time!

I finally succeeded at stepping off a ski long line at age 19. I tried many deepwater and step-offs before that over a 2-3 year period. Hell, I grew out of my first suit (JR 16) before I ever even footed in it! I didn't know anyone who could barefoot or had a boom.

ProTour X9
09-12-2009, 09:27 PM
I was going to try footing this year but a broken ankle prevented me from doing so. :(

ahhudgins
09-13-2009, 06:54 PM
I learned about 27 years ago when I was 20! Learned by stepping off of a ski with my swimming trunks. It took me 2 weekends and a lot of face plants. The retired skier who was teaching me said "Sooner or later you will get tired of falling on your face and get in the right position". Since then I learned every thing else on my own. Deep water start, 2 ski jump out, tumble turns, one foot, etc. I went to a clinic to learn backwards but that didn't work out very well and I've given up on it without a good teacher and a reliable boat driver. I always look forward to a barefoot run in the evening when everyone is packing up and heading home.

Covi
09-13-2009, 07:20 PM
Yes, I learned (self taught) by stepping off of a ski when I was 13. I can or could step off, deep water, and knee board start. One foot forward wake cross, and tumble turn.

specialk
09-14-2009, 09:19 AM
I learned at age 24 starting with on a boom then going long line. I can remember my first deep water start. I have been out of skiing for 10 years and now got a boat and I am 38. I am trying to decide if I should go for it again. I use to ski and barefoot now I only wakeboard and I am not very good at it. I think next year I may get back to skiing and maybe some barefooting. Is that too old to pick it back up. I know there are older barefooters but ten years off is a long time.