Posts Tagged ‘front to back’

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?

Georgia Groen: My Favorite Barefoot Trick

Saturday, April 20th, 2013

I learnt my first ever front to back when I was 13 years old. I liked the front-to-back because it was the start of a whole new range of tricks, such as multiples and one foot turns.

It took me a long time to make my first front-to-back, but I remember it very vividly. One day I was skiing with my brother,Tyler and practicing the trick.  I was taking a lot of falls, but it was about my 7th try when I actually made it. It wasn’t the prettiest turn, but I still did it and from that day on, the trick became natural.

To me, accomplishing my first ever front-to-back was a huge milestone in my barefooting career. It lead me to getting high scores and world records. The key to a front-to-back is confidence; once you believe in yourself–believe that you can do them– they become simple.  I hope everyone enjoys the front to back as much as me. =)

Georgia Groen

Struggling on the Water? Take a Break

Sunday, January 20th, 2013

dani tipping on water

My toughest trick to learn so far was the reverse front to back. I can’t even remember
how many years I tried and failed to get it. It takes 2 hands to count how many different
coaches I frustrated, and I don’t even want to think of all the different ways people tried
to explain it too me. Season after season I showed no improvement, it was just not
happening. I even started devising future trick runs excluding reverse front to backs
because I had started to accept dejectedly that I was never going to succeed, no matter
how hard I tried, worked, practiced, or envisioned.

When at last I began to improve and eventually got the trick, it was after a long period
of not barefooting at all. Complete abstinence. I had gone to school abroad and wasn’t
able to ski at all until holidays and it was this break that helped me clear my mind of
past bad habits, and start afresh.

There are many different ways to learn a trick, but in my mind it is always good to
remember that sometimes, you need to take a step back and take a break from a trick
before you can master it. This isn’t to say if you don’t get a new trick right away quit and,
it will come to you the next time you try, no. New tricks always take work, practice and
probably, a lot of falls. However if you find yourself repeating things improperly until the
wrong ways start to become habits, stop. Take a break, step back, and come back to it
later. Take it from a girl who almost gave up; your impossible trick is definitely possible.
Maybe you just need to look at it with a fresh outlook and an open mind.

Good luck!

-Dani Tipping