Posts Tagged ‘carol jackson’

Carol Jackson – Other Sports That Complement Barefooting

Sunday, November 15th, 2015


Barefoot Water skiers as athletes must maintain a level of strength to ski and prevent injury. Working the upper body, core and lower body is essential. Balance can be improved being involved in other complementary sports.

Some sports you might try are as follows:

  • Rollerblading
  • Indo Board
  • Horse Back Riding
  • Bicycling
  • Tennis
  • Slalom (3 event)
  • Wake boarding
  • Trick skiing

It is always good to cross train between sports particularly in the off season.

– by Carol Jackson

Carol Jackson: Barefooting Can Inspire Others

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Barefooting can inspire others! I was training one of our horses one morning in an area which borders a road. Two ladies were walking past like they were out to get some exercise. They stopped to admire the horse and I stopped to say hello. The one lady said she had seen me out on the water getting up backwards and skiing quite often. She said that inspired her to get out and start exercising. She said if I could get out there and ski like that. then she should be able to make  a commitment  to  walk every day.

That was about 6months ago, she is still walking every morning. I am happy I was able to get her out of her sedentary lifestyle just by skiing past her house!

By: Carol Jackson

Reduce Barefooting Injuries with Strength Training

Monday, May 6th, 2013

In every sport, athletes prepare their bodies to accomplish whatever sport they want to participate in. Barefoot skiing is no exception!

Barefooting puts huge external forces on muscles and joints. Crashes twist and turn our bodies in abnormal ways. This sport requires all shoulder, arm , core  and  leg muscles to be strong. To reduce injury and have the muscles protect the joints, it is important to strength train these areas. Just a few minutes a day, 2x a week will create muscle balance and strength.

We all lead busy lives, but this can simply be done while watching TV– all you need are some weights. Keep a set nearby and use them often.  By strengthening your body off the water, you will be better prepared for whatever happens on the water.

~Carol Jackson

Carol Jackson: My First Impressions of Barefoot Water Skiing

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

I was on vacation at a hotel on Lake Jackson in Sebring with my family and friends. We had a fish and ski boat at the time which we slalomed and tricked behind. Another family pulled up to the beach with a brand new Nautique. “Wow, what a ski boat!” we thought.

The next morning, we saw a few guys load up in the Nautique and off they went bare footing on the boom. My husband, Tom was intrigued– he always wanted to learn. We began talking to the footers upon their return to the beach. They were more than willing to teach  Tom to barefoot. I went along for the ride.

The two brothers one who owned the boat went first.He acted like he was going off to war! He grunted and groaned and stretched, finally getting in the water, with his brother egging him on. He took a few runs and got back in the boat looking exhausted. The other brother jumped in and showed off some tumble turns and one foots. Ooh, I thought, he must be good.

My husband took a turn . He was able to get up after tumbling around a few times. He was pumped! Then they suggested I take a turn. How hard could it be? I agreed to try. They gave me their daughter’s suit . “Swing yourself around and set your feet in gently,” they said. During my first attempts, I rode on my back with my feet facing the sky. I knew I had to tweak my technique because the “dead cockroach” position was not working for me.

On the next try, I thought, “This it I am just going to stand up!” I slammed my feet into the water. At this point, I became “Rocket Girl.” I was airborne, my scrunchie took flight from my pony tail and soared thru the air.

I was in the air long enough to think, this landing is not going to be good.  Crash, flip,flip, flip, upside down , under the water, just hoping to surface in one piece! I took a breath and made sure all my limbs were attached and moving. The boat came back to me . They looked relieved when I said I was okay, especially Tom.

That was enough of that, those guys were trying to kill me. They had to be going 40 MPH. I was glad to go back to my bass boat and strap on a slalom ski. I did not attempt to barefoot again until two years later.

Carol Jackson

Featured Footer: Carol Jackson

Friday, August 26th, 2011

In the summer of 2001, Carol Jackson watched as her husband learned to barefoot with Billy Nichols, the skier who holds the Guinness record for the longest barefoot run (two hours and 42 minutes).  After Billy left, Carol went out on the boom and put her feet in the water.  She’s been barefooting ever since.  At the 2011 Barefoot Nationals at the Barefoot Ski Ranch, Carol set a pending World Record for tricks and slalom in the Women’s 5 division.

The 55-year-old Ocklawaha, Florida resident received her first formal training from Lane Bowers.  “My husband and I wanted to learn more.  I wanted to learn how to do it right, and not the ‘crash and burn’ style,” said Carol.   “Lane taught me how to get up on the short line properly, and then he taught me how to get up backwards.  It was easy for me to learn because I often watched others on the water.”  Carol began to learn surface turns on shoes– a trick that she found relatively easy to do because of her previous experience with trick skiing.

When David Small set up his ski school in Claremont, Carol began to train with him since it was just a half hour from where she worked.  “I heard good things about David and he taught me a lot of new things,” said Carol. “Plus, he has a good sense of humor!”  Carol began to advance with her skills, working on one-foot wake crossings, tumbles to one and refining her surface turns.

Carol didn’t enter her first tournament until 2008. “I was a weekend skier for a long time,” Carol explained. “I looked up the tournament scores on the internet and figured that I could score the same scores in my age division. I contacted Rachel George and Kay Wiser and a few others and they encouraged me to try it.”   Carol received a warm welcome at her first tournament and quickly found herself enjoying the people she met.  Her first tournament experience was filled with some unexpected surprises.

“It was much more difficult than I expected,” said Carol.  “I wish someone would have told me the reality about the boats–the boats are loaded with five people, so the wake is huge.  I didn’t know how to call a start, and  it didn’t feel like barefooting behind my boat.  It was much harder than I ever thought it would be.”  Carol doesn’t remember much about her trick runs– just that she couldn’t complete a tumble turn and her score was low.  “I didn’t give up– because I really liked the people there.  Despite my bad experience, I had fun. I decided to try it a few more times.”  After a few more tournaments that summer, Carol skied in her first Nationals and scored a personal best.  She was firmly hooked on competition at that point.

Of all of the tricks she’s learned, Carol found the back toe hold to be the most challenging one of all.  After crashing over and over, she gave up on the trick for a while.  Earlier this summer, she took it up again and accomplished it while working with David.  During a session with Swampy, Carol explained her difficulty with the trick and how she kept falling on one side, over and over.  Swampy explained the proper position, gave her a few positioning tips and Carol soon found herself doing the trick.  “Swampy is very good at explaining position on the water and where you need to be– it was like a light bulb– I just got it.”

The next trick that Carol wants to master is the line-step in her backward run.  “I don’t try any new tricks unless I receive instruction,” said Carol.  “I don’t want to crash or learn the wrong way.  It’s easier to learn the right way than to fix the wrong way.  Plus, my job is very physical and I can’t afford to get hurt.”

As a “mature” skier, Carol encourages others to take up the sport, but to get in the best physical shape possible before getting out on the water.  “I used to break in horses for a living, and that’s harder than barefooting,” Carol chuckled.  None of her friends have adopted the same love for barefooting, but they still think Carol’s talent on the water is a cool thing.  Only one of Carol’s friends was brave enough to try sitting in the swing off the boom, and she was sore for days afterwards.

“Barefooting taught me to work hard in a sport, but to have fun as well,” said Carol.  ” Ten years ago, I used to watch Billy Nichols on the water doing all those tricks and I thought, ‘I’d never be able to do that!’  But here I am today–I’ve learned that I’m more capable than I thought.”

Written by: Karen Putz