Posts Tagged ‘pulling barefooters’

Chandler Cargile: Learning to Pull Barefooters

Friday, November 1st, 2013

One thing I really struggled with and continue to struggle with some is pulling other skiers. I am just so used to always being the one skiing behind the boat. Finally one day, everyone at the World Barefoot Center said it had been past time for me to learn how to drive the boat. Honestly, pulling skiers skiing isn’t too scary and is actually pretty fun.

This summer, Johnathan Martines and I pulled each other skiing on shoe skis, which was very fun. Then, we would go out and pull each other doing slalom. Next, we would go out and pull Ricky Bruce barefooting. The more we pulled, the more fun it would get. Johnathan was familiar with driving a boat because he pulled his dad back home. For me, my mom would pull my dad and I would either watch or video his skiing.

I think it is important to learn how to pull skiers because the next step is coaching. It all plays a part in each other. I finally pulled my first skier (Ben Groen) over the jump behind the boat. I was really far out and I was very nervous, but I pulled him on his last two jumps behind the boat. Not only is it something that is needed to be learned, but for me, I feel good after I do it. I feel more responsible and grown up just by doing that. I really don’t know why I have waited this long to be pulling skiers, to me I think it is actually pretty fun.

By: Chandler Cargile

Boat Driving 101 with Dave Miller

Friday, May 10th, 2013

Much like being a great barefoot skier, being a great barefoot driver requires many hours of training, practice and most of all desire to do it well.  Do you have what it takes?

I’m sure you’ve all been out skiing when everything just felt perfect. The pull on the start was great, the speed was “spot on”, the boat path was straight when it needed to be and all you had to do was concentrate on your tumble turn, one foot, toe-hold  or turn….nothing else was on your mind except for the trick you were working on. On the other hand if you are always wondering if the driver is going to drown you on the start, not get your speed right or give you a bad line (not straight) maybe your driver is in need of some education so that you can stay focused on the trick you are working on, therefore advancing your barefoot skills quicker.

Ever wonder why you often ski so well at ski school? Most instructors at the best ski schools have years of experience driving all levels of skier and have become very good drivers.

How can you improve your driving so you can help your skier advance quicker? There’s no simple answer but in the same way a skier can improve their skills and understanding of a trick, technique or body position by watching other skiers (one of the biggest benefits of a ski school in my opinion) a driver can do the same thing by riding along in a ski school boat or participating as an official at a barefoot tourney and watching the drivers. It’s not easy to become an ABC Senior Driver or a WBC Level 1 driver but to get to that level we’ve all taken suggestions and constructive criticism from our peers, skiers and other officials and have the desire to do our best for every skier whether it be a training run or the finals at the World Championships.

All of the respected drivers I know are more than happy to share tips, tricks and ideas on how to provide a great pull on the start (watch the skier and give them the speed they need at the right time), how to hold speed (try using the tachometer in conjunction with the speedometer), drive a straight line (pick a spot at the far end of your run and use gentle course corrections) and being honest when you didn’t actually give a good pull.

Having an open minded and “willing to learn” attitude to become a better driver will help your skier advance quicker and safer. It doesn’t matter if they are learning a front deep for the first time, trying to get up backwards, perfect a multiple turn or beat KSO in wakes or SmallZ in jump–a good driver is key and a GREAT driver makes it even easier!

Dave Miller (who has pulled 10+ ABC or World Record runs)

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