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View Full Version : Barefooting Start - Custom Kneeboard Hook


PeteS
05-16-2005, 12:10 PM
After great help last fall from all of you footers on the board, I experienced success last summer and this spring with the "kneeboard starting method" for barefooting.

I wanted all to know however, that the most difficult part of the process is getting from my knees on the kneeboard, to my butt without falling. I've tried unsuccessfully many times to get up on my butt, I could never do it. That being said, I've designed a custom "aquatic strap" which mounts to the tip of the board to hold the handle while you get situated on your rear-end.

I'll take photos once the project is complete, but I wanted to design something that would lay relatively flat on the board when not in use, yet still be able to hold the handle securely while you go from your knees to your behind. A protruding hook seemed dangerous, as when you stand up the water, the board falls behind and I didn't want anything "hooking" any pertanent organs.

I didn't want to buy a new board just for the hook that could snag me, so I simply picked up a 3" stainless steel bolt with a stainless eyelet on one end, two large stainless washers, a stainless nut, one stainless carabeaner, and a 2 foot piece of 14 guage rubber-coated steel cable, and two cable locks.

My plan is to mount the eyelet to the board, making sure to seal it with silicone or 5200, connect one end of the cable permanently to the eyelet, and then use the carabeaner to connect the other end of cable to and from the eyelet.

Once on your knees prior to getting on your butt, you can simply run the cable though the handle, connect the carabeaner to the eyelet, and the ride no handed, using your free hands to help get situated. Or possibly easier, you could hook the handle up to the cable on the board prior to starting, then get up as ussual, switch to your butt, then unhook the handle.

The eyelet only sits about 1/4" above the board, and is closed so snagging is lessened, and I'm hoping the procedure of hooking up the handle, and latching the cable while being towed isn't too difficult. Anyway, I was just trying to give back to you all for helping me out with the initial process! Hope someone can find this useful, and like I said before, I'll get some photos up once complete.

erkoehler
05-16-2005, 12:12 PM
I saw a kneeboard for sale with a hook already on it.

PeteS
05-16-2005, 01:07 PM
I saw a kneeboard for sale with a hook already on it.
I've seen them on the market also. Like I said above, I don't want to spend $100 on on new kneeboard that I'll only use for barefoot starts.

Also, it looks like the way the hooks are set up on the manufactured board, they sit up above the deck. That worries me as typically when you do the kneeboard start, there's always a chance the board may bounce up and could catch you.

But yes, there are boards for sale that have hooks.

rodltg2
05-16-2005, 01:16 PM
its alot easier to start out on your butt than doing that whole monkey motion of switching from your knees. just practice sitting on it like a surfboard. i used my wakesurf the other day and it works great. its narrower and tracks better.

skimax
05-16-2005, 01:21 PM
Just sit on it and go! what's all the drama with your "crazy" set up, you should learn to do a "deep water start" it's alot eaiser than what you are trying to do.

wiltok
05-16-2005, 02:05 PM
I can see why you were never able to switch knees to butt while going. Just start on your butt - but pretty far back on the board. Once the boat/board gets on plane - go slow and hop up and down to inch you butt forward until your crotch is even with the front pad. Then, signal for full speed and up and away you go...

erkoehler
05-16-2005, 02:08 PM
I will be learning deep water starts over the next couple weeks....

BriEOD
05-16-2005, 02:24 PM
Start sitting but make sure you get your feet up out of the water, or you'll be hurtin'. It's a little bouncy until you hit about 25/30 mph but better than swtiching positions.

PeteS
05-16-2005, 03:08 PM
Boy I wish I could sit on the board in the water! It sure would be much easier then messing with the device I've engineered, but I was really having a hard time starting on my butt. It was 15 unsuccessful attemps, to one successful start on my rear.

It may be the age of the kneeboard, as it's close to 15 years old, but everytime I try to sit on it to do the start I have a very difficult time keeping my balance. I'll give it a few more tries the next time I go out, and to respond to skimax, yes, I'm in the process of learning a deep water start. That's the ultimate goal.

My line is a standard slalom line right now at 75 feet, with stretch, and I've been told that it'll help immensly if I have more rope and non-stretch for the deep water. Thanks for the comments on the kneeboard start though, keep them coming!

PeteS
05-16-2005, 03:17 PM
Speaking of trying the deep water start, here's what I have on the technique so far:

Body stiff as a board, handle at waist, line between feet, be prepared for 2 or 3 stern rollers, you should be on plane in around 3 seconds after a medium-firm start, "butt out" to curl of wake, get in three point position, signal to drive to take boat up to speed, and stand up.

What am I missing?

rodltg2
05-16-2005, 03:21 PM
add another 15ft or 25 if you got it.if you dont want to buy a 100' barefoot rope , i just use the 15 off loop off another slalom rope. 75 too short. also if your not using a barefoot handle , get one that will help alot. a wakeboard handle will work.

skimax
05-16-2005, 03:25 PM
Pete - you will find that a deep water start is as easy as a board start, but you don't want to use a standard rope, get a barefoot rope (no strech) you don't want a "handle pop" on you toes.....

skimax
05-16-2005, 03:40 PM
Pete - there should'nt be any stern rollers to deal with, barefoot starts should be slow and easy to get you on a "plane". Most common mistake is boat drivers gun it out of the hole, you need less throtle than when pulling up a skier. To help you plane out arch your back ( hips up) and keep your head back. Once you plane out ride on your butt, if you want to "cheek out" to the curl or find a spot between the prop wash and the wake, from here it's the same as on a board, slowly put your feet in as the boat speed picks up to your footin speed.

And remember have fun and aways wear a floatation device

PeteS
05-16-2005, 04:11 PM
Thanks for the tips, Skimax. I'm looking forward to trying, and feel relief that it's not much more difficult. When you "cheek out" to get outside of the wake, should my feet still be in the air at this point off the water? On the rope perhaps? I shoulnd't be in the 3-point position at that point, should I?

roddydog
05-16-2005, 04:22 PM
Pete - there should'nt be any stern rollers to deal with, barefoot starts should be slow and easy to get you on a "plane". Most common mistake is boat drivers gun it out of the hole, you need less throtle than when pulling up a skier. To help you plane out arch your back ( hips up) and keep your head back. Once you plane out ride on your butt, if you want to "cheek out" to the curl or find a spot between the prop wash and the wake, from here it's the same as on a board, slowly put your feet in as the boat speed picks up to your footin speed.

And remember have fun and aways wear a floatation device
Arch back, head back as far as you can look and I also find putting the arch of your feet on top of the rope helps. Once on a plane sit up with your feet still on top and SLOWLY place you feet in the water stand up and go.
Try stepping out of a ski also. Not as hard as it seems.

wiltok
05-16-2005, 05:03 PM
Getting back to the kneeboard start (only because I believe it is an easy way to learn - go to the deepwater soon as you can). Next time you are swimming or hanging out in the water - get a kneeboard (ideally with your vest on) and practice sitting on the board just in the water. That is the most difficult time - before there is tension on the line. After 10 or 15 minutes of just concentratin balancing the board - you should be able to get fairly proficient. It's the same ole' story - practice practice practice...

rodltg2
05-16-2005, 05:11 PM
practice with a beer in hand too. that helps :D

skimax
05-16-2005, 06:00 PM
Rod :confused: NO BEER allowed on FOLSOM LAKE for a family atmosphere, can't you read the signs.

CoFooter
05-16-2005, 06:55 PM
Pete, instead of a kneeboard, use a Wakeboard with the boots removed, or better yet get an old version with just the footstraps. I have an old skurfer (pre-Wakeboard vintage) I used to use before the I learned the deep water. The extra length and fin really help. Just lean back, keeps you feet up and go.

As far as the deep water, where are you having problems, or have you tried yet. Try it on a five foot rope and boom first I you have access.

PeteS
05-17-2005, 09:35 AM
Thanks a million, Guys. Everyone's tips and comments are going to make the process of trying that much eaisier.

I have an old wakeboard line up north that is non stretch and 85ft, so I'll be nearing the 100 ft. mark, hopefully that'll do. Also, I have a barefoot handle that I got as a gift last year, so that'll help also!

Great idea on practicing the kneeboard method in the water, and I'll also grab an old wakeboard and try balancing on that as well. Hopefully I won't have to screw around with the devices for too much longer and just go to the deap water.

I tried stepping off the ski last summer, and although I liked the idea, when I tried, for some reason the ski kicked up and cut my shin open. Oh well.

I'm not having problems with the deap water start yet, but when I start trying they may come up -- this is a preventative discussion :)! I'm thinking that'll be within the next couple of weeks once I can get a hold of a long-line. Thanks again!

Stritt
05-17-2005, 11:06 AM
Do you have access to a boom? Everyone gave good info. I will re-enforce the arching of the back and pressing the feet on the rope. Slowly roll up to the 3 pt position then get ready and go!

tex
05-17-2005, 11:09 AM
Do you have access to a boom? Everyone gave good info. I will re-enforce the arching of the back and pressing the feet on the rope. Slowly roll up to the 3 pt position then get ready and go!

Don't forget to WAIT 4 SPEED! I teach alot of people to foot and that is, along with, pushing your hips up are the 2 most important things!

jimmer2880
05-17-2005, 11:56 AM
I've used old wakeboards before also. Both the original Skurfer (with the huge fin on the bottom) and one of the first compression molded boards, the Connelly Blade. I think both work better than a kneeboard. The biggest problem is moving front/back to fix the purposing (sp? - bouncing).

PeteS
05-17-2005, 11:59 AM
I've used old wakeboards before also. Both the original Skurfer (with the huge fin on the bottom) and one of the first compression molded boards, the Connelly Blade. I think both work better than a kneeboard. The biggest problem is moving front/back to fix the purposing (sp? - bouncing).
Utilizing the wakeboard, do you have to "scoot" from the back of the board to the front after the start, the same as you do on the kneeboard?

I know where it is on the kneeboard, but on the wakeboard to prevent the pourpusing, where is the ideal position on the board to be in once you give the driver signal to go to speed? Thanks again to Jimmer and all!

tex
05-17-2005, 12:06 PM
if you are using the boom. get right next to the boat and start accelerating. have someone lean out and hold the front while you scoot into the best position. have the driver hold the speed constant until you work your way to the end of the boom. it is easy when you are not bouncing up and down. once at the end-put your feet in soft, smile, tell the driver to drop the hammer, and WAIT 4 SPEED!

PeteS
05-17-2005, 01:04 PM
if you are using the boom. get right next to the boat and start accelerating. have someone lean out and hold the front while you scoot into the best position. have the driver hold the speed constant until you work your way to the end of the boom. it is easy when you are not bouncing up and down. once at the end-put your feet in soft, smile, tell the driver to drop the hammer, and WAIT 4 SPEED!
Great ideas, Tex!

I completly forgot to mention in my first post, that unfortunately I don't have one, or have access to a boom. Sorry, I should have said that earlier before you did your excellent explanation.

CoFooter
05-17-2005, 01:18 PM
One other comment, to keep from bouncing as you are coming up to speed, you can use your feet to help stabilize the board. Just slowly, softly put your heels in to stop the bounce, keep them in until you get up to speed, then plant.

jimmer2880
05-17-2005, 02:55 PM
Utilizing the wakeboard, do you have to "scoot" from the back of the board to the front after the start, the same as you do on the kneeboard?

I know where it is on the kneeboard, but on the wakeboard to prevent the pourpusing, where is the ideal position on the board to be in once you give the driver signal to go to speed? Thanks again to Jimmer and all!

yes, you do still have to "scoot". Actually more than on a kneeboard. But - since the board is slick and skinnier, it's much easier. The first time I did it, I was surprised that the board didn't move when I didn't want it to. But - it's just the right amount of friction.

If at all possible, get one of the older "newer style" boards that is a first generation compression molded board (like the old Connelly blade). It's much easier to start sitting on it vs the old Skurfer due to it's much less floatation.

PeteS
05-18-2005, 09:42 AM
Thanks Cofooter and Jimmer. I'll try the wakeboard after I dig up an old one, and take off the bindings. Unfortunately, I don't think we have a first generation one, but it's an old Liquid Force Squirt.

I'd think it'd be eaisier to balance in the water with an wakeboard in between your legs, as opposed to a kneeboard. And then I'm assuming, as you start to get up you just lift your legs out of the water and pur your feet on the nose of the board, as you do with the kneeboard. Then, edge outside of the wake, scoot as far forward as you possibly can, and give the drive the "nod" for speed?

jjsosnowski
05-18-2005, 10:33 AM
Helpful hint #1 Do yourself a favor and buy a good barefoot suit,Padded shorts ,Barefoot rope and handle.Equipment is cheaper than lost time at work and not to mention medical bills.I know a dude that shattered the top of his foot because he was to cheap to buy the correct rope.Hint#2 E-BAY sells booms cheap. If you can't swing that, spend your money on a tower/fly hi pylon, could even make one.They help to pull you up better at starts. Hint#3 stop trying to re-engineer the wheel.No replacement for proper techniquie and form.Hint #4 don't take advice from a person that posts pics of himself barefooting in bad form and with no life vest/saftey equipment. Hint#5 Shoe skis help,can slow the boat down to work on 3 point and form.Hint#6 Use your elbows for balance when butt riding to help cheek out. Good luck

PeteS
06-07-2005, 03:06 PM
First of all, thanks once again for the comments and suggestions. For everyone that helped with instruction on a deep water start, and not that it is very important, but I have an update on my attempts.

There was no difficulty getting on plane in the arched back position, and I felt comfortable initially. Once I began the process of cheeking out, for some reason stability was lost and the boucing began. Was the boat speed off? I told the driver to take me up to about 25, allow me to cheek out, and then accelerater up to 36. It seemed that I kept loosing it during the cheeking out stage.

Either on the crest of the wake, or in the curl I'd start bouncing badly and had trouble controlling myself. How fast should the boat be going while I'm riding on my butt and cheeking out? Was my technique off somehow? My feet were still on the line at the point, and I was in a leaning back, seated position. Once I can get past that point, I don't think standing up will be very difficult.

Other than that, it was a lot of fun trying! Can't wait to get out there again! I know I'll hear about this one, but you guys were right about using a barefoot suit. I tried in a shorty wet then full wet, and now there is bruising in places I have never had before. Thanks again!

erkoehler
06-07-2005, 03:27 PM
I have been working on long line deep front starts, and my main problem is cheeking out. I can't seem to get out there for some reason. I could ride all day in the seated position, but can't seem to get out and be controlled.

tex
06-07-2005, 03:45 PM
Pete and Erkle-If you keep your feet on the line, you should not bounce. Sit very upright and you should be able to hold that position up until barefoot speed. Try having your boat driver put you outside the wake. I don't usually cheek out. I sit up and wait for speed and put my feet in and steer outside the wake and stand up. I drink a little more water, but feel alot more in control. I can cheek but don't feel as confortable or quick to my feet. Sorry for the run on sentences-Hope it helps.

PeteS
06-07-2005, 03:49 PM
Pete and Erkle-If you keep your feet on the line, you should not bounce. Sit very upright and you should be able to hold that position up until barefoot speed. Try having your boat driver put you outside the wake. I don't usually cheek out. I sit up and wait for speed and put my feet in and steer outside the wake and stand up. I drink a little more water, but feel alot more in control. I can cheek but don't feel as confortable or quick to my feet. Sorry for the run on sentences-Hope it helps.
Thanks for the info, Tex! I think I just realized my problem, as I was not sitting upright at all, more so leaning back quite a bit. I'll try sitting up more, and I'll be sure to keep my feet on the rope. How about boat speed during the cheek out period? What would you reccomend? Thanks!

T Scott
06-07-2005, 04:22 PM
I have been working on long line deep front starts, and my main problem is cheeking out. I can't seem to get out there for some reason. I could ride all day in the seated position, but can't seem to get out and be controlled.

I have driven a lot of footers in my day and have had to give a few the "driver assist" to help them cheek out. As the driver, simply turn gently towards the opposite side the footer wants to cheek out towards. Once they catch a VERY gentle glide towards the wake, straighten the boat back out and the footer should have enough momentum to make it outside the wake.

erkoehler
06-07-2005, 04:25 PM
I will have to have the driver give that a shot

tex
06-07-2005, 04:27 PM
Thanks for the info, Tex! I think I just realized my problem, as I was not sitting upright at all, more so leaning back quite a bit. I'll try sitting up more, and I'll be sure to keep my feet on the rope. How about boat speed during the cheek out period? What would you reccomend? Thanks!
Once I'm sitting up-Give her the berries!

MasterCrafting
06-08-2005, 12:46 AM
So i went out the other day and tired one of these deep waterstarts...i was able to get up and ride around on my butt, but the water was alittle too rough for footing. I also thought i was too cool to listent to the advice you guys gave and using a staic line. Now my feet have nice bruises on them...live and learn i guess?

Rockman
06-08-2005, 01:39 PM
I will have to have the driver give that a shot

You just need to get a good driver :D

Footin
06-08-2005, 01:44 PM
A good driver can make a huge difference. Once you get to back deeps a good driver is inpairative! a novice can nearly drown you.

PeteS
06-08-2005, 01:50 PM
So i went out the other day and tired one of these deep waterstarts...i was able to get up and ride around on my butt, but the water was alittle too rough for footing. I also thought i was too cool to listent to the advice you guys gave and using a staic line. Now my feet have nice bruises on them...live and learn i guess?
I was too cool to listen to everyone on the necessity of a barefoot suit, and the bruses on my rear end are just now fading. I suit order is pending now, and I have a no stretch line and barefoot handle as well. Loving the sport though itself.

Just to clarify, once I'm in the sitting position and before I stand up, the driver should bring the boat up to barefoot speed? Which I guess is for me, 36 MPH? I'm 160 LBS. Can I ride on my butt like that at 36 for a while? Thanks for the advice, fellas.

tex
06-08-2005, 01:59 PM
you can ride on your butt at that speed. it may get a little unstable. i like to foot at 42 and most like around 40. i like it faster due to the suface feeling harder. my advice would be move up to 38-40. but that's just me.

erkoehler
06-09-2005, 11:19 AM
You just need to get a good driver :D


I tried to get you out there Mr. Jury Duty!

ajgressette
06-09-2005, 11:50 AM
make sure you arch your back some, head all the way back. Use a barefoot handle, its wide and dig your elbows into the water. Helps stop you from spinning like a fancy bass lure. Ha! Start leaning to one side just as soon as you pop up. Fast up to 20~25, once your outside the wake speed up and stand up on yer feets!

for the hydroslide: sit or get on the hydroslide and do the back float. keeping the upperbody down in the water and your rear on the hydroslide. rope in hand and taut.

speed = weight/10+17
not exact but works for me

AJ :rolleyes:
Santee Cooper Lakes
where the water is slick as glass
and the gators are numerous.

tex
06-09-2005, 11:58 AM
Turn the kneeboard around backwards.

scott88prostar
06-09-2005, 12:22 PM
To cheek out ...If you keep the handle on top of your thighs with the arches of your feet on the rope ....slowly move the handle to the oppsite side you want to go( only a few inches will do it)..if the driver is going to fast you wont go anywhere...Im 215 and I like to cheek at 30...like all barefooting keep it slow...dont rush it....then hammer it!

Rockman
06-09-2005, 01:35 PM
I tried to get you out there Mr. Jury Duty!

I know...I know...Guilty! :D

But I will be out for next weeks events! :banana:

erkoehler
06-09-2005, 01:37 PM
Got to get the boat going first! :mad: I am calling ski dim now to try and narrow it down alittle more. I did talk to Paul at Redline tough!