Posts Tagged ‘barefoot turns’

Collin Barber: A Barefooting Setback

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

Back in the beginning of April, I was spending my Spring Break at the World Barefoot Center.  It was my second or third day skiing when I started to work on turns once again.  I nailed all four 180’s right off the bat and I was excited.  It was the first time I had done that since December.  I did a couple more runs of them and I was feeling comfortable.  Then, I kinda messed up my whole summer…  I ended up falling on my basic front-to-back and my left knee twisted a way that it was not supposed to go.  I knew I messed it up bad as soon as I felt it.  It felt like giant cramp on the inside of my knee.  I got in the boat and tried feeling it out, but it just felt… weird.  It felt weak and unstable.  The rest of that day I sat in the boat, not saying a word, worried about what could really be wrong with my knee.  The longer I sat, the more the adrenaline wore off and the worse I could feel the injury.

Eventually, when I got back home, I got it checked out by the doctor.  I found out my MCL tore in my knee.  It meant about 2 months of therapy for my knee before doing any kind of skiing.  So, I decided to focus on getting it better and that’s what I did.  Then at the end of May I went back to WBC to train once more.  And just my luck, I ended up hurting my knee again doing turns.  Again, the doctor checked it out and told me I just re-injured the MCL.  He suggested taking a longer time to recover this time.  He suggested to take the whole summer off from turns to lower the risk of putting my knee in that awkward position.
To make a long story short, I’ve basically been off competitive barefooting this whole summer.  I made sure to strengthen my leg muscles and I still kept up with barefooting at home.  I had to limit what I did barefooting at home, of course.  I still managed to make the most of my summer, though, by skiing what I could in the Aquanut Water Ski Shows, including a double barefoot pyramid.  I just had to take it easy the whole summer.  Although, I look forward to getting right back into the heat of things next summer.

By: Collin Barber

Brody Meskers: My 120 Turn Challenge

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

When I went to the World Barefoot Center this summer, Swampy presented me with the 120 turn challenge. The 120 turn challenge consists of 120 turns with no more than 2 falls. That afternoon in the boat was one of the most nerve-racking times barefooting (even more so than skiing at the World Championships that I competed in the summer before). If I fail, I know that 500 turns await me the next day. I hopped in the water, gave myself a pep talk, and before I knew it I had 60 turns in with only one fall. With a glimmer of hope, I am half way there but my arms felt like they were going to fall off. Not a good way to start the next 60 turns.

A fall at 80 turns really messed with my head. Then reality hit at turn 107–I fell! I was disappointed and mad knowing what was ahead of me. Swampy, well let’s just say… he wasn’t too happy with me either. So, we headed back and I just lay down in my room, dreading 500 turns. After calling home to talk to my dad and feeling a little sorry for myself, I sucked it up and accepted that I had a new challenge ahead– and I wasn’t going to lose this one! The plan was to do 120 turns three times and then finish off with the last 140 turns. I didn’t have to worry about the number of falls this time out, but I couldn’t imagine 500 turns. My entire day consisted of turns and sleep, but I did it!

Needless to say, I am much better at doing turns and my mental strength took a little boost as well.

Brody Meskers

Duane Godfrey: Learning the Right Way

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

So, wondering what to write about, I came across a sentence in Carol Jackson’s blog on injury:

When you suffer a traumatic experience with a sports related accident, the episode is imprinted on a primitive part of the brain concerned with self preservation and survival.

Just change “brain” to face and brain and I can tell you about my first, and last for many years, barefoot waterskiing front to back!

My ski experience way back when, was to slalom ski until my lungs and forearms were bursting. Have a few more beers and challenge any driver to dump me off of a tractor tube towed by a super stretch/whippy Kmart waterski rope. Anyway, when completely bagged with bathing suit in tatters, I might top off a day of boat safety with a step off start at 55mph and then just stand there…maybe cross the wake a few times. Throw the handle and flip in. I needed a new challenge. And then… one day on TV and with great astonishment, I saw people barefoot skiing in special suits (likely to prevent bathing suit loss) doing actual turns! Was that possible? I guess so. Well – that’s for me!

So I told my buddies I was going to turn to the back and my instructions were “give me everything and trim that engine as high as it will go without bouncing – I’ll need more speed for this.” Up we go, and yes the engine is rising, the wake is imperceptible, off comes the ski and all is well. Now you see, I would naturally know that in order to barefoot ski you need at least 55 but faster was even better. How did I know this? I am young(er) and knew more about everything than I think I know now. So, I am wise, cool and relaxed…all I need to do is imagine a trick ski turn on a vertical axis and execute. When I get to the back, deal with it. Ok – quick rehearsal…slight down-weight about 2 inches and lead turn with head and shoulders – the body will follow… spot the horizon, keep a near vertical axis and be prepared to ski backwards. I’m cool, here goes…down-weight 2 inches, lead the turn with head and…..

Have you ever careened around a corner and raced up the stairs only to discover that the stairs go down? You might know whilst frozen in midair, that you have time for a complete or half thought like “Uh oh” or “brace for impact”! When you try a trick ski style barefoot turn at 55, no such thought materializes as the sideway impact occurs faster than your synapses fire – or at least if you are blessed
like me and perpetually a few frames behind actuality. As I floated in a lifejacket, that by miracle was still attached, I looked around for a boat obscured by eyebrow and flying chromium bats that were plentiful and splendid indeed; meanwhile asked myself, whatever happened to my daring endeavor?

I think I was looking maybe a bit sideways and have no recollection of the many sideways head/heels cartwheels executed down the lake with rigid body in perfect trick ski stance….for you see, I was still executing the turn though in a different time dimension–wondering where the horizon went. I’m not sure of what grade of concussion I experienced but I knew the performance wasn’t even close. Oh well, the day was young–so I went tubing etc., and decided to put that project, and skiing on bare feet, away for a while.

Dani Tipping wrote an article on a trick that eluded her: Taking some time away allowed a reset of her brain so she could accomplish the trick later in a different mindset. I needed a brief time-out …about 12 years. So, fast forward to 1998 when I first saw a boom and learned a backward start from my awesome friends, Roy and Christine Chidgy. I let out a loud yelp and next time, thought I would rip off a celebratory back to front. Hence commenced the epic saga of how many times you can paste yourself sideways.
That is a whole other story as I instantly engrained the matter of which I shall repeat, what Carol Jackson
said :

When you suffer a traumatic experience with a sports related accident, the episode is imprinted on a primitive part of the brain concerned with self preservation and survival.

No matter what my good intentions were, I could not execute without my subconscious kicking in and aborting the mission. Well, I finally got it in spite of myself then headed to a bonafide ski school for a week learning the basics and nailed the f-b on the 3rd attempt following a solid lead-in. What a feeling! Later, got the rev f-b 1st try but am still fighting with the rev b-f. Why you ask? Because I learned the basic b-f incorrectly. On the f-b, I learned the trick after a considerable time-out and executed the trick under professional guidance with a clean slate.

I came to understand the following by learning from professionals–strive to learn a maneuver the correct way from the outset, and then, only when you are prepared to accomplish that trick, do so following a solid pre-preparation of engrained basics. Seeing a young man like Chandler Cargile execute his first turn, through doing exactly what he is TAUGHT, is great motivation for me and solidifies the right and wrong ways to learn this wonderful sport. Do this–learn from the pros, and Bob’s your Uncle!

By: Duane Godfrey

Where does “Bob’s Your Uncle” come from?

Surface Turns 101

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

I love teaching front one foots and toe holds to students even though most of them are afraid of those tricks.  The number one goal for most barefoot water skiers are surface turns.  When I hear people tell me their goal is to turn, I instantly preach the two most important tricks you will ever learn forward are front toeholds and the most important tricks you will learn backwards are back toeholds.  The reason being is because all surface turns are done on one foot.  In other words the one-foot you will be turning on will act as your pivot foot and axis point.  If you are not 100% on front toes and back toes on shoe skis or your bare feet then you are not ready to turn.  
Can people do turns without learning front and back toe holds you may ask?  Absolutely but they will most likely be doing them wrong and will develop bad habits along the way.  Once they figure out they are doing them wrong or have taken countless falls doing so it will be extremely difficult to learn them the correct way.  We have seen hard-core students work on correcting their turns for months and have a tough time doing so.  Like we tell our students at the World Barefoot Center…this is our professional opinion…we cannot make you do it but our system is proven to work! ~Keith St. Onge