Lauren St. Onge: Barefoot Water Ski Competition

After the Worlds Championships in Mulwala, Australia Keith and I travel around Australia teaching barefoot clinics.  I have the pleasure of meeting numerous people and skiing with them at their home ski sites.  It was a wonderful experience!  Through my conversations with many of the new barefooters I have discovered a common negative thoughts towards competitions and uneasy feelings.

I am writing this to clarify a few things, not only for the Aussies but for everyone around the world who enjoys the sport.  PLEASE don’t be intimidated by the title. To be honest barefoot tournaments (for the majority) are an opportunity to be scored by judges and to better your own skiing, compared to where you started or your previous score.  If you can do a barefoot start and ski behind the boat, that is 50 points!  Lifting one hand off the handle to wave at the judges is 10 points.  Sitting down and standing back up is 20 points.  Are you getting it?  Many of you are more than qualified to ski a competition and I encourage you to do so.

Did you know for slalom you are allowed do two forwards passes?  I overheard a new skier claim he wasn’t good enough because he wasn’t consistent on his back deeps therefore he couldn’t enter slalom.  GO FORWARD 2x!  Work your way up to a forward and backwards pass.

Most of the videos posted on YouTube are of high-level skiers, this is by no means what you should compare yourself to when starting to ski.

Test it out!  Enter, ski, learn, and have fun.  Keith St. Onge preaches that the more tournaments you ski the better off you will be.  Each competition will give you more knowledge of what to expect the next time and you will excel, I promise!

The judges are helpful and friendly (well most of them, hehe) Let them and others know it is your first time, I am sure they will be more than happy to help you any way they can.  Our sport is diminishing and the fear of comps are not helping.  Get your bum out there and have some fun!
Lauren St. Onge

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