Posts Tagged ‘girls’

Lizzie Rhea: Girls Can Jump!

Friday, April 11th, 2014

I have always tried very hard to do whatever my big brother does, and catching up with him has always been my goal, especially in barefooting. When he learned to jump last year, I wanted to learn too, but I was scared to ask. Then, when we were at the WBC in December, David Small told me that it was time for me to learn to jump.

I was very surprised and also nervous about it, but he was so encouraging. He started me off on the boom, then moved me to a 3 foot rope, and then a 5 foot rope. The next day he moved me to the 10 foot rope. After a few turns he said, “Are you ready to go behind the boat?” I said, “ I don’t know!” Then David said, “That was a rhetorical question! You are going behind the boat!” I was scared at first, but then I realized that if he told me I was ready, then there was nothing to be scared about. I actually landed my first two longline jumps and it felt awesome!

After I was done, my parents came and they were very surprised that I had jumped longline. My Mom asked David, “What made you decide to teach her to jump already?” David said, “She can do anything she wants to do!” I think that was one of the most inspiring things I have ever heard!

I just met a really nice lady in Australia named Deb Williams. She competed in junior girls barefooting in the 1970’s. She told me that when she wanted to jump, they would not let girls do it yet. She was actually told by an official that she could not jump because she was a girl. She got together with her friends, and pressured the officials to let girls jump. I think she told me that she was like the 4th girl ever to jump in a tournament. I thought that was so cool, and my Mom told me that I should be very thankful that they paved the way for girls to jump.

I am so glad that I got to meet Deb Williams, and hear about the history of girls jumping in barefooting (She even took the picture of me jumping during practice time). It makes me very thankful to have such an encouraging instructor like David Small, who says that I can do anything I want to do! It is also awesome to watch girls like Ashleigh Stebbeings and Georgia Groen jump better than most of the boys!

Lizzie Rhea

Lizzie Rhea: Barefooting Needs More Girls

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014


I would like to encourage all girls who like water sports to try barefooting. Barefooting is an extreme sport that is sort of rare and not many girls do it. A few reasons for the lack of girls in the sport might be because the boat goes very fast, it requires a lot of upper body and core strength, and it can really sting when you fall.

I learned to barefoot on the boom when I was 5 ½ years old. The only reason I did it was because my brother, who was 7, was learning at the time. I have always pushed myself to do whatever my brother does, except for football! I guess having a big brother has made me tough, but I think that any girl who likes water sports can learn to barefoot for fun.


I love it when Coach / Mr. Swampy puts me in an all-girl boat at the World Barefoot Center. It is so much fun to be around other girls who love the sport. I have really enjoyed meeting and skiing with Ariana and Kailey Koehler, and also my hero in the sport, Ashleigh Stebbeings . She is my favorite instructor ever!


At our home lake, I have always loved to barefoot with my friend Haley. Haley made a video of us barefooting when we were little (8 years old), and sent it to a website. I have only one other friend, Emmie, who likes to barefoot. I am desperately trying to get my cousin Caroline to learn. I want her to learn so much that I bought her that barefoot suit in the picture! I think the speed and the hard falls have discouraged her, but I told her about the new Seahorse invention. I really think that she will be able to do it this summer because she can already wakeboard and slalom. I can’t wait to barefoot with her!

My advice for all girls, especially Caroline, is to try barefooting. You will probably end up loving it! Also, don’t worry about the speed. The speed is actually fun, especially when you feel the water gliding beneath your feet! One last thing, if you fall, get up and try it again! Be strong, you can do it! Girls can do anything that boys can do, especially barefooting!

Lizzie Rhea