Caitlyn Rowland: Barefooting is a Family Thing

My parents grew up together in the summers at a camping ground called PineLake. My dad was a huge lake bum and worked for the site doing anything from cleaning boats, to cleaning the seaweed off the shore to pumping gas. In return, the owners would pull him for a ski. He quickly got my mom into the water skiing scene after they got engaged at 19 years old.

Naturally, I grew up in the boat in the summers. They both loved slalom skiing, then one day my dad came across barefoot water skiing… after some convincing, and a ski clinic at Mable Lake later, both of them fell in love with the sport.

My dad competed in the 2004 world in South Africa, then the following year, both of my parents as well as myself competed in the 2006 worlds in Seattle Washington. It was my first worlds ever and it was right after I turned 12 years old.  I thought it was an outstanding experience and so cool that we were all able to support each other and represent team Canada!

I truly think it is a sport that is full of such amazing individuals and has allowed our family to bond like most families never could.

After graduating high school, both of them encouraged me to take a year off before jumping right back into school. So I worked for 10 months and was able to put enough money away to move down to Florida and live the dream at the World Barefoot Center. My skiing improved HUGE. They had me doing all turns for the first time in my life. PROPERLY (by stepping over) and even taught me how to jump inverted! (that being said, I still have a long way to go on that… but the fact that they were able to push me to break that traditional barrier was so exciting for me and definitely one of the biggest highlights in my skiing carrier.

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