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Old 09-11-2014, 12:19 PM
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501s 501s is offline
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Tips for Barefooting, I need help/advice

So after about 7 years of wakeboarding, I decided to try barefooting yesterday. We are behind my new X30 or my friends Moomba Mojo, so not exactly barefoot boats but we can get the speed out if them we need.

So how we tried to do it was we used a really long line (125 feet), and how I tried starting was sitting on a wakeskate/wakeboard and once we got to speed, up my feet down and stand up. The big issue we had was while sitting on the board, once we got over 20 it would start bucking like a horse. It was almost impossible to get up to speed to actually foot. Out of my 20 attempts only once did we get to speed and I did manage to foot for about 15 seconds and it was Awesome.

A few things we were unsure if was should we tow from the tower or ski pylon?
Is 35 fast enough for a 155lb guy?
How long of a line?

We don't have access to a boom, so it's long line or nothing. It's hard to get any advice which is why I'm turning to TT.

Thanks guys
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Old 09-11-2014, 12:42 PM
H2ORidr H2ORidr is offline
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I'm no expert, but I've watched a lot of REALLY good barefooters and I took my 11 year old to barefooting school this summer and she got up in 2 minutes 17 seconds, so she is making you look bad.

What I observed: starting on a boom is very, very, very helpful. I see you don't have a boom but try to find a boat with one to get started on. It helps you get your feet in the right position so you get the feel of how to plant then and then pick them up so you slide out on your butt. A good boom rider can get up to speed, put their butt down on the water and then plant their feet so smoothly it is as if they were on a hard smooth floor.

Next, the further you get off the boom, the harder it gets. The people in my daughter's class all made it up on the boom in less than 10 minutes. When they went to just 5' of rope handle hung off the boom and things got ugly fast. A lot more flopping and problems. Only one of the 4 of them could ride well on the 5' rope hung off the boom.

Long line is HARD! Nobody in the class made it up successfully with the long line, and it was attached to a Fly High(tm) tower with a fairly short rope. So you will for sure want to hang the rope on the tower. They were being pulled up as much as they were forward, and they still had a heck of a time. Some major faceplants and problems were had by all. My daughter, being the smart one of the group, went back to just riding the boom so she could work on her skills of getting going and getting back down without faceplants. It was time well spent. The rest of the crew got beat up and pummeled over and over trying to get going on the long line. One succeeded for a grand total of ~6 seconds and then blamo, cartwheel and he was seeing chrome mosquitos.

One thing I have seen over and over and over is people try to rush getting up. If you watch the pros, they ride on their butts for a long time until the boat is up to speed and they are sliding on the butts and in control. They ride that way just as smooth as silk and then they put their feet down and stand up effortlessly. I saw it over and over where people get going and they stick their feet down too soon and flop, over they go. My daughter takes 2-4 seconds to put her feet down and she rarely crashes now. Don't rush standing up. Take your time. And make sure your knees are bent and stay bent. It is just like waterskiing on two skis, "knees bent, arms straight!"

It's so easy an 11 year old girl can do it.

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Old 09-11-2014, 01:14 PM
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Rockman Rockman is offline
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Speed estimate is divide your weight by 10 and then add 20...35mph for you may be good but may be a little slow.

Shorten rope to a maximum of 100 feet...rope will get soft at 100 foot mark and longer.


Learning to foot off an X30 can be done but going to take some time and patience.
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Old 09-11-2014, 01:33 PM
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A barefoot wetsuit will go a long way here. I learned from a plywood disc, so I understand the crazy ride. It's all about balance and waiting until the boat is up to speed. If you have a barefoot suit, you may consider doing a deep water start. Avoids the crazy ride and allows you the time to be sliding on your butt to get set up to plant your feet.
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Old 09-11-2014, 01:40 PM
ladecker ladecker is offline
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use normal line length, get up on a slalom combo, flatter the ski the better. ride in the curl if left foot forward ride left curl if right foot forward ride in the right curl... wait for boat to get to speed, get low almost like you are sitting in a chair set non dominant foot in the water ride for a bit transferring more and more weight to the foot in the water, eventually slowly step off the ski and bam... barefooting... wave to the girls.
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Old 09-11-2014, 01:47 PM
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Mastercraft13 Mastercraft13 is offline
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Reason why you get the bounce is your too far back on the board.

Give this a shot, get up to 15-18 like you normally do and then scoot your butt way forward on the board almost to where if you had your feet on the tip of the board your knees would touch your chest. Once you are forward have the driver do a firm smooth acceleration and you should avoid the bounce and able to stand up slow. Once this happens the board will float away behind you.
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Old 09-11-2014, 01:52 PM
jmhjgh jmhjgh is offline
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I agree with Mastercraft13. I learned on long-line sitting on a kneeboard. The boat driver needs to go to around 20, and then slow down until you stop bouncing. Move forward on the board and have the driver accelerate and give you a hand wave when you at your desired speed. Slowly plant feet and stay in a crouched position until you learn how to hold your feet.
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Old 09-11-2014, 02:25 PM
H2ORidr H2ORidr is offline
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For anyone not seen it this video of barefooting is amazing. Very inspiring.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rj7pJZ6hbpg
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Old 09-11-2014, 02:29 PM
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Knees together, feet spread out and pigeon toed. This will keep the spray out of your face. You are time ahead to get a wet suit if it looks like you're gonna like the sport
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Old 09-11-2014, 03:22 PM
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kyfooter kyfooter is offline
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lots of good advice here, all worth considering and trying.

I too learned to barefoot without a boom or wetsuit. Wouldn't advise it now, and my kids are sure benefiting from my less than easy learning approach, but it can be done.

I'll try to hit each of your points:

1) Longer rope length is not the answer...use a normal 70' or 75' rope. I'll explain in a moment.

2) If you can pull from a tower, do so. The slight upward pull will help.

3) weight divided by 10 + 20 is approximate speed if you have good form. No disrespect, but most new footers have bad form so you may need another 2-3 mph as you fix your form.

Without a boom, this would be my approach:

Sit on a kneeboard or wakeboard, and have your driver pull you at about 15-18. On the initial pull, start leaning to your preferred side to get outside the wake into the curl. Gently, bend your knees and put your feet in the water (heels first) almost beside your butt so the spray stays out of your face. You'll be in the barefooter 3-point stance, except your butt will be on the board still instead of the water. To get a sense of the stance, sit on dry ground and without using your hands, stand up (without rocking forward). The only way you can stand up is with your feet close to and next to your butt...same position on the water.

As you plant your feet in the water, keep in mind you're only going 15-18. The board should have never had a chance to bounce because your feet were already planted before speed was increased. Arms out, clear visibility ahead, feet in the water, still sitting on the board...breath! I think you mentioned putting your feet in after the boat was to speed...not the way to do it...put your feet in early.

Slowly take the speed up to 35-38 (Or just ride at 28 and don't try to stand until your comfortable at that speed). Don't "jump" up from the board though...as the speed increases, the pressure on your feet will build. The only thing you'll need to do is rise slightly...the board will shoot right out (even if it doesn't, who cares).

Stay relaxed in your arms, and breath. Do Not Plow! Stand over your feet and glide. Do not make it a tug-of-war against the boat...you'll crash. Knees together (or close), feet not more than shoulder-width apart (once the board washes out), head up always, arms relaxed and straight, handle down.

You may also try with shoe skis...they will help tremendously. I would not recommend stepping off a ski. Reason being is you need to briefly do a one-foot, at 38-40 mph, and when you fall (not if) it's going to hurt. The whole concept of stepping off usually entails a new footer hurrying, which is the oposite of what you want. Stay calm, relax, and get to your feet in a fluid motion.

Good luck and have fun!
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