Posts Tagged ‘figure 8’

Footapalooza 2014 Results

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

Well Footapalooza 2014 is in the bag, and what a great event this year. Friday stated out very well with many practice runs and catching up with the northern footing crew. Silver lake was flat, warm, and at a great level. With the level of the water being nice and high, it kept many of the lily pads out of sight. By the time night fell the course was set and everything was ready to go for the next day.

​Saturday morning came in cool, foggy and overcast, but the water was flat. As the footers showed up, the fog began to lift and by 9 am the sun was beginning to get warm and the water remained flat. When registration was over we had a total of 29 footers and many new faces. This year was the biggest turnout we have had in 6 years. We had footers from all over. New Jersey, Winnipeg Canada, Florida, Iowa, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Missouri, and of course Wisconsin.

The first set of footers set the bar for the day by completing the first figure 8 of the day. The competition was fierce with great sportsmanship. There were many great match ups throughout the day, and with two divisions, it’s really too hard to go thru them all. I think many of the reader of this post would get bored, but I have a few key points to mention. We had several people that we’re doing 2 figure 8’s or more throughout the day. Additionally I believe the highlight of the Footapalooza was Doug Smith sr. facing off against his wife Kristin. As you can guess, the jokes were flying especially after Kristen took her husband out in the first 8, but let’s face it, Doug was in a no-win situation.

The day progressed smoothly without any weather delays, injuries, or boat issues. (Whew, thank God). After all was said and done we had a guy out of Winnipeg Canada winning the open division and taking 3rd in the pro division. It is important to mention that Wayne King skied back to back five times and never asked for a break and in fact, wanted just to keep going. The matches he was facing was no easy task–either every person he faced ran him at least 1 figure 8. Very impressive for anyone especially for someone that is 56 yrs old!

The rest of the breakdown went like this:

​Open division: Wayne King, Al Morrison, Todd Thompson, Travis Lepak, Brody Meskers, and Paul miller.

​Pro division: Jon DeBelak, Marc Donahue, Wayne King, Brad Pylman, Eric Devries, and then Ron Blouw.

​I would like to thank everyone that participated and helped with the running of the event. A special thanks to Dave Mueller for announcing, thanks to mike miller and Kevin bender for driving, and Trisha bender for running the bracket board.

Additionally I would like to thank our sponsors the World Barefoot Center, Masterline, Thor thoradson, al Morrison and Wood Ya eye ware, barefoot graphics and promotions, Beth ann baker, and if I forgot someone, I am sorry, but thank you so much. Finally I would like thank Bill Wolf and Greg Ake for allowing us to use this wonderful site.

​Footapalooza is going to happen next year in June time, as far as the date goes, that is up in June air. There is a chance–a better than average chance that it will be the week before Father’s Day. I will keep everyone posted. Additionally we have another contribution which means more of a payout.

Foot safe this summer and good luck in the tournaments. God bless you all.

Chris Mcwatters

The 2014 Greg Wilkinson Memorial Figure 8 Barefoot Tournament

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

The last two articles I wrote were about the person that taught me how to barefoot or the person that got into competing.  This article is about promoting an annual Figure 8 barefoot tournament.   This event was first called the Silver Sheep figure 8 barefoot tournament when Thor Thordarson was the organizer, but due to his busy personal schedule, he turned the organization duties over to Mark Donahue and me.  Mark and I originally called this tournament the Footapalooza Figure 8 barefoot tournament.  The tournament  is always held on the 1st weekend after Fathers Day.

A couple of years ago, the barefoot community lost a great person when Greg Wilkinson lost his battle to cancer.  Greg was a  great advocate for the sport of barefooting. He always had a smile on his face and was always very supportive.  With the permission of Greg’s wife, Penny, Mark and I changed the tournament name to the Greg Wilkinson Memorial.  We take a  portion of the entry money and any donations– and give them to Penny for a charity of her choice in Greg’s honor.

The Greg Wilkinson Figure 8 tournament has a few different rules and regulations than maybe some of the other Figure 8 events out there.  First and foremost, we want everybody to have the opportunity to compete and barefoot.  Therefore, we really don’t care how you get to your feet during the start.  If you can’t deep water start and you need to drop a ski then bring a ski; if you can’t drop a ski and you can only deepwater start, then leave your skies at home.  Deepwater starts and drop ski footers can go side-by-side without any problem.  Our goal and motto has always been and will continue to be “No footer left on the beach.”

This is a double elimination event.  For next year, we are fortunate to have a couple monetary contributors.  Contributors have given this event 1,000 dollars each. Yup, that’s 2,000 dollars plus the entry fees.  Now, instead of having these Figure 8 junkies coming and fighting over the lump sum, Mark and I decided to make two divisions.  Those two divisions have been uniquely called Pros and Open.  If any footer has won or placed in the top 3 in the last 3 years in any Figure 8, you are considered in our book a “pro.”  If you haven’t done that, we are considering you an Open footer.  We are here to attract footers and not scare them off.  We want to give the open footer the opportunity to win money as well.  The monies will be divided between the two divisions.  Also we do pay down to the fourth and maybe the fifth spot in the open division.  The Pro division will only be paid down to the top three.

So, that being said on June 21st 2014, the Greg Wilkinson Memorial Figure 8 barefoot tournament will be held in Rolling Prairie, Indiana, behind the Sacred Heart Apostolic school located at 5901 N 500 E  Rolling Prairie, In.  The entry fee is $55.00, and if you register between now and May 1st, a tournament shirt will be included with the registration fee. Otherwise you will have to purchase shirts at the tournament.

This event is located approximately 20 miles from South Bend, Indiana.  If you’re flying, Chicago is the closest major airport, but there are small airports around the area that some airlines will fly into. This site is very nicely situated behind the school surround by trees and lily pads.  There is a great viewing area for spectators on a grassy knoll overlooking the lake.  The lake is just big enough for a Figure 8 tournament–it is real nice and decreases the chances for a blow out.

Between the lake and the school, there is a large area for camping–sorry, no hook ups, but we do have porta restrooms on site.  For you non-camping types there are hotels within 10-15 minutes of the site.  We will be cooking on site and we seek donations for the food and the cook.  Saturday night after the tournament is over we have a large bonfire with music and beverages.  Sunday morning we all like to get up and get a quick ski in before we pack upon a leave.

There is an opportunity for barefoot lessons on Thursday and Friday if there is enough interest.  The World barefoot Center with Keith St. Onge, David Small, or Ben Groen would be interested to put on a clinic.  Please contact either me or the World Barefoot Center if you are interested.  The sooner the better of course, the WBC schedule fills up rather quickly.   Mark and I will be advertising this event on social media, word of mouth and hopefully a ski magazine or two, so please help spread the word and come out and enjoy a great time, meet new people, or shoot the poop with old friends–and honor a great person and friend.

Thank you and foot safe,

Chris Mcwatters

Footapalooza Figure 8 Barefoot Event and Greg Wilkinson Memorial

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

Footapalooza Figure 8 and Greg Wilkinson Memorial

June 22-23rd

Rolling Prairie, Indiana

and clinic with Ben Groen

Every June, for the last four years, Mark Donahue, myself and a few others have organized a Figure 8 barefoot event the small town of Rolling Prairie, Indiana.  This cozy little town is situated between La Porte, In. and Notre Dame on a small lake behind a church.  This lake called Silver lake is surrounded by trees on 3/4ths and a grassy hill for the last 1/4.  Just big enough for a figure 8 and about 200 ft short for a 3 event lake.  The site offers plenty of area for camping on site and a port-a-potty.  Traditionally on the Friday before the event, Mark and I spend the morning clearing some of the lily pads and setting up the course followed with plenty of horse playing and figure 8 practicing.  We like to start the event between 0800 and 0900 on Saturday depending on the number of footers.

After the event is over we have a BBq and a bonfire with music.  Then on Sunday we like to enjoy a day of fun skiing and relaxing.  The tournament has always been called Footapalooza, but this year we have decided to change the name a little.  This year we are calling it Footapalooza figure 8 Barefoot Event and Greg Wilkinson memorial.  Greg Wilkinson was a fellow barefooter and good friend who lost his battle to cancer this year.  Greg was a great person who always had a smile on his face and loved to barefoot.  So, starting this year Mark and I decided to change the name of our tournament in memory of Greg.  In the years past we had cash payouts and trophies.  This year we will only have trophies.  After tournament expenses, we will be donating the money gathered from the entry fees to Greg’s wife Penny, for a charity of her choice.

This Figure 8 tournament is a very friendly and easy-going event.  For those that are unfamiliar with figure 8 barefooting, the boat tows 2 footers in a figure 8 pattern until one footer falls.  There are a few challenges throughout out the figure 8 pattern, but the most challenging obstacle is the set of rollers caused by the tow boat.  Mark and I believe everyone should get a chance to give it a go if they desire, so we believe in the phrase “no footer left on the dock.”  In other figure 8 events a footer would have to step off a ski, well here we allow either, step off or deep up.  We like everyone to have fun and be as comfortable as possible.  The entry fee is $40.00, for this double elimination event.  We are hoping for a big turnout to honor a friend and have a great time.

Clinic with Ben Groen:

Additionally, this year I am putting out feelers for any interested skiers that would like to host New Zealand’s national champ, #4 ranked barefooter in the world, and World Barefoot Center elite skier Ben Groen for a clinic on Friday the 21st and Sunday the 23rd of June.  Ben is an outstanding instructor and great person.

The possibility of having Ben Groen to the site depends on the interested parties.  I will need a firm commitment prior to flying him up to the area.  Ben teaches all levels of footers– from those who have never tried to surface turns, to beginners, and much more.  Take this opportunity to advance your skills or clean up the ones you have now.

Please RSVP Chris Mcwatters at barefooter71@me.com for any questions regarding the Figure 8 event and the clinic possibility.  The directions are very easy,  the address is 5901 north 500 east Rolling Prairie, Indiana– it is behind the Sacred Heart Apostolic school, but email me where you are coming from and I will send you the directions. Mark and I look forward to seeing everyone and enjoying each other’s company and having fun doing something we all like to do:

Barefoot.

By: Chris Mcwatters

Duct Tape Now Allowed at Footstock

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

Footstock, the grandaddy of all Figure 8 tournaments, is now allowing the use of duct tape again– legally.   According to a recent article on the Waterski website:

One of the most controversial rule changes to this year’s event will be allowing skiers to use duct tape to protect the bottom of their feet. The rule change, which has been happening at smaller endurance tournaments, is in response to the growing number of competitors suffering severe burning of their feet due to the increasingly long runs. Last year’s runner-up Pete Fleck actually burned holes in his feet as a result of barefooting over 30 figure eights over the two day competition.


Gary and Dave Mueller posted a humorous debate about the use of duct tape in Footstock:  To Duct Tape or Not to Duct Tape?

Last year’s Footstock summary: Endurance Records Fall at Footstock

Keith St. Onge and Lauren Lindeman are heading up to Footstock.  Will they don the small piece of duct tape allowed?

Written by: Karen Putz

Footers get FRONT PAGE!

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

Lauren Lindeman makes a splash on the front page of the LaPorte, Indiana Herald Argus news:

Footapalooza Makes Front Page!

WBC 2011 Figure-8 Tournament Series

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

two skiers barefooting behind boatDo you have what it takes to be the last person standing at a Figure 8 barefoot tournament?  The WBC 2011 Figure-8 Tournament Series is one way to find out!  The series consists of four tournaments around the U.S., with two skiers at a time competing in a Figure-8 pattern.  To be a contender for the Overall titles, a skier has to ski in three of the four tournaments to qualify.

Though we strongly encourage it, you do not have to enter all four races.   A skier must post positive scores in three tournaments to be a contender for the overall title.  The scoring and placing  is based on a points system, with skiers earning points for each round (excluding the first round).  The skiers with the highest combined scores in three tournaments will win the top three Overall titles for the series.  Skiers that ski in all four tournaments will have the lowest tournament score eliminated.

If you’ve never competed in a Figure-8 tournament, don’t let that stop you!  All it takes is some solid barefooting skills and the mental will to hang on until the other skier falls over.

Tournament sites and dates:

June 25:  Rolling Prairie, Indiana

August 6:  Lake St. Louis

August 27:  Madison, Wisconsin

October 22:  Winter Haven, Florida

The total cash prize for the WBC Figure-8 Tournament Series is $4,000.  The payout is as follows:

1st Place: $2,500

2nd Place: $1,000

3rd Place;  $500

Everyone is invited to the BBQ and awards at the World Barefoot Center on October 22, immediately after the tournament.