What is the easiest way to learn to
2. How can I learn if I do not have
3. What equipment do I need?
4. Is there any way to practice before
getting on the water
5. Is it ok to learn to "tumble-up"
holding directly on the boom?
6. Should I wear booties or tennis
shoes to protect my feet?
7. How much speed do I need?
8. How do I practice falling?
9. I started to try barefooting at
the end of last season but flopped bad. Is there
a way I can do this without the bruising on my thighs?
I am starting from a boom.
What is the easiest way to learn to barefoot?
here to read the entire article!
to see a free video of this method!
far the safest way to teach a beginner is to put
them in a swing such as a barefoot slalom handle
or even better yet,
The Easy Footer (877 685-6270). The Easy Footer
allows the skier the ultimate in safety as long
as some guidelines are followed that are not included
in the video that Mike Seiple ships with it.
Boom Height: with the skier in the handle (sitting
like they are on a swing with the handle on their
tail-bone), the skier's butt should be about an
inch off the water while the boat is at a stand
still. If it is not, adjust your boom height accordingly.
Driving: The driver is responsible for the safety
of the skier! As long as the skier knows not to
take their hands off of the boom, the driver becomes
the one responsible for the skiers safety. If the
skier ever catches a toe or looses footing the driver
must respond immediately by turning the boat in
a direction away from the boom so the skier is lifted
out of the water long enough to get back into their
posture and glide. The driver may then lower the
skier back into the driver using a gentle turn towards
the skier until their feet are safely back in the
water. A slightly arced boat path is very helpful
for getting the boom height right where it is most
helpful to the skier.
worst case scenario is that the skier catches their
toe, their feet get swept behind them, and the inattentive
driver does not rectify the problem quickly enough
by lifting the skier out of the water before the
skier gets pulled into the boom. This is especially
critical with smaller skiers such as children.
Passengers: Many times passengers think they are
helping me out by moving closer to the skier to
put the boom lower. This in turn puts more weight
on the skiers feet and not so much on the handle
that they are sitting on. While this is a good idea
in time and with attentive driving, warn the passengers
to only help in a coordinated effort to keep the
skier safe. The driver calls the shots and should
ask for assistance when the boom should be lowered
or raised. One thing that I ask of passengers is
never to move quickly as this can cause too sudden
of a change in the boom height for the skier. Also,
I like at least one experienced passenger to carefully
watch the skier with me so that if they fall, the
passenger then immediately moves away from the boom
in order to raise it along with my driving away
from the skier to get them quickly out of a bad
Before first attempts: Always go over correct
Posture and Glide so that the skier knows what
the end position is to look like. Using the instructional
video and dry-land practice, carefully go over a
perfect Butt Glide and Three-point Position. It
is critical that the skier has perfected this on
dry-land before attempting it in the swing.
best way to practice the butt glide is to hold a
small Gatorade bottle between the legs as high above
the knee as possible. This will keep the skier from
opening the knees. Then have the skier extend the
legs and lean back a bit until they are balanced
on their butt without the use of a handle. Keep
the feet and knees no more than six inches off the
land (water). This balance point is the key to a
great butt glide. This will take some abdominal
strength so it is not a bad idea to get the sit-up
program in gear. While in the Butt Glide position,
practice keeping the handle next to the hips with
the knuckles on the skiers' legs.
practice the Three-point Position
on dry-land, go from handle tucked in to
the handle up and out to the top of the knees while
sitting forward, raising the knees and bring the
heels wide and close to the outside of the hips. If this is done properly, the skier should
never lose the bottle between the legs.
these steps have been practiced to perfection on
land, have the skier sit in the swing and practice
the Butt Glide and the Three-point Position in the
handle BEFORE taking off.
you feel the skiers confidence is good, have the
skier lean back to a Butt Glide position holding
their feet out of the water until you have accelerated
enough to get the skier out of the chine spray (from
the side of the boat). This speed should not exceed
20-25 mph for adults and 10-15 for small children.
(Many times if I think the child is nervous, or
if I am really concerned to gain some extra confidence
between the skier and I, I simply put the boom high
enough to allow the skier to assume a good position
while the boat is at an idle. While doing this their
should be a constant stream of praise and reinforcement
while attending to good position and making sure
the skier keeps the water line right below the ball
of the foot consistently.) Then have the skier lift
their knees without losing the bottle so that they
can bring their heels back to their butt in a wide
sure the skiers' ankles are fully flexed to keep
the ball of the foot from pushing through.
the skier is comfortable in the Three-point Position,
and not before, have the skier squeeze their feet
closer and stand to a good position as practiced
on dry land.
Major dry-land practice
Be alert with the driving so that at any given moment
you can lift the skier out of the water if they
catch a toe.
Constantly monitor the attitude of the skier reassuring
them that they can stop at any time if they are
uncomfortable or nervous. Do not push the skier
at this stage! This is simply a confidence outing
and the skiers good state of mind (happiness), and
most importantly their safety, is quintessential.
Slower is almost always better than faster, when
it comes to boat speeds!
A carefully planned outing that has nothing but
good vibes is the key to keeping the skier interested
in barefooting. Most barefooters are very tough
and they try to force toughness on family members
and friends who do not appreciate it or do not respond
well to it. Remember, it is always better to end
the set one pass too early than one pass too late.
I know I have been successful when the skier does
not want to stop. This is a good thing!
Make sure you have a great boom because this puts
a tremendous amount of pressure on the boom. The
safest boom out there is available for FREE
Shipping for my members at our equipment page.
luck to you in either learning or teaching someone
else to barefoot in this manner which I believe
to be the safest when the proper homework is done!
me know how you do!! Email
me your success stories!
2. How can I learn
if I do not have a boom?
here to read the entire article!
I remember the actual spot
on the Illinois River where I was trying just like
you are. I was behind a very old outboard and was
wearing a life jacket and a pair of “ballistic
shorts from Bart’s! I thought I was the bomb.
And that is what I proceeded to do. I am going to
outline how to save you major aggravation.
By the way, since
this is getting to be the time where everybody is
getting their feet wet, I am going to send out a
double header. I will fire out another article on
entering your first tournament as soon as I finish
this brief project! I will keep this short so that
I can help as many of you as possible.
#1 I prefer a wakeboard
(boots removed) to a kneeboard for this type of
start as it is longer and easier to balance on!
I go over this start thoroughly in my
video so give yourself an unfair advantage!
High extended pylons, towers, or a helicopter
like the one we use make this much easier than going
off a regular pylon or a lower pull. The extra upward
pull makes life beautiful. I never ski down low
because it makes me feel like I am being pulled
by submarine compared to a high pull.
Make sure and read NFTE#19
Long Line Front Deep Water Start (http://www.thefootersedge.com/equipment/info/ne19.htm)
because it will explain how to set your feet in
the water. The only difference between THAT start
and a wakeboard start is that you will start slower
on your plant when on a wakeboard, and you will
not HAVE to wear as much protection—although
I highly recommend that you do as it will help you
to protect one of your favorite body parts!
the way, I have made the front deep water start
video lesson in its entirety viewable for FREE at
Do not exceed 35 mph as your maximum speed if you
are under 200 lbs! I have taught many people over
300 lbs to do this under 40 mph!!!! So to answer
your question about speed, speed kills especially
when you combine it with inexperience!!!
Reduce the practice time and aggravation by 87.2%
and come down to paradise where miracles are in
the making! Click HERE
for information on training with me at The
Footer's Edge Training Center!
and sweet. Here we go. Once you have mastered the
awkward chore of learning to get out of the water
without tipping over (WAY EASIER from about 12 inches
of water your first couple of times---long line,
I mean…of course!), have the boat driver pull
you easy up to about 10-12 mph, but not so fast
that you start bouncing!!!
outside the wake staying right next to the curl
of the wake. Once you are very comfortable there,
work your Three Point Position by lifting your knees
a little so that your feet can be as close to your
butt as possible.
your ankles flexed? http://www.thefootersedge.com/equipment/info/ne14.htm
Mega Gliders only please! If you do not know
this, you do not have enough tickets for this ride
boat driver will be doing you a huge favor if he
or she slowly accelerates after your feet are planted
to about 18-20mph for a good run of perfecting your
plant without standing up! This is a MAJOR help!
“Here me now, believe me later.” (Spoken
in a Hans and Franz accent-Saturday Night Live joke)
perfecting this maneuver for several passes, you
are now ready to accelerate at a medium pace to
your minimum barefoot speed. For most people, this
will be below 35mph! I am 190 and can do this easily
stand-up is accomplished by following the pull of
the boat without pulling in on your arms! Keep your
feet and knees relaxed while maintaining Ankle Flex.
the boat accelerates, lift up your ribs and expand
your chest like you are getting all bowed-up (guys-redneck
terminology from down south!) or like you are in
a bikini contest (girls!).
not stand-up higher than a chair position for your
first pass. Stop BEFORE you get tired by letting
go and sitting down!
can’t wait to hear about your progress!
What equipment do I need?
believe that the very basics for barefooting are
barefoot wetsuit you can afford. I believe
the best wetsuit on the market is Barefoot International's
Iron Man wetsuit. I personally wear this suit and
guarantee it to be at least 30% more protection
than any other suit. It is an enormous advantage.
You can see these suits and receive the best pricing
anywhere along with free shipping by clicking here!
I also believe that you MUST use padded shorts and
that the best shorts out there are the Iron
Man shorts. I unconditionally guarantee
these shorts to be the best shorts of any kind in
bare foot water skiing.
highly recommend getting the best boom on the market
since this also is a major safety issue. The Barefoot
International boom and Fligh High extended pylon
are the best out there. I also guarantee these to
be the best out there.
I do not normally start barefooters out on shoe
skis, it is critical to learning the more advanced
tricks and are an absolute must for the serious
barefooter. The Dawg
Paws are the best shoe skis on the planet
and I also have a less expensive shoe ski which
you can see by visiting our Pro
you have specific questions about any equipment,
please submit them on the form below and I will
post the answers here!
Is there any way to practice before getting on the
here to read the entire article!
my newest instructional video, “Great Six Pack and
3-Point Exercise,” at my all new Virtual
have witnessed the power of dry land practice so
many times now that I more passionate than ever
to help you experience your own special miracle!
If you have ever wanted to;
learn to barefoot water ski
2. improve on bad form
3. revamp your glide for better one foots
4. just learn a new abs workout to improve your
six pack (don’t worry if yours is a one pack),
this article is for you!
following exercise will turn you into a barefooting
machine by tapping into the power of proper dry-land
practice. First, I am going to show you how to properly
practice the foot position for the Ultra
I will show you how to practice the butt glide and
3-point position without a rope, and finally the
butt glide and 3-point position WITH a rope.
bonus is that I am going to show you how to set-up
a great dry land practice apparatus (pictures and
video are on my Virtual
to realistically prepare you for the water! And
the best part is, if you follow my advice, you will
learn all this without ever getting hurt! What a
want you to practice the following exercise where
ever you are right now! Point your tows and hold
for several seconds. Next, flex your ankles WITHOUT
lifting your toes. I have the pictures you can see
to make sure you are doing it right near the bottom
of my Positions’ page
is critical that you perfect this flexed position
because the following exercises will build on this
foundation. Make sure to practice this exercise
frequently so that your muscle memory will be there
perfectly when you
get on the water.
this bores you…get over it! It has been approved
by the Department of Redundancy Department.
Glide 3-Point NO ROPE
on the floor with your feet out in front of you.
Place your hands about one foot behind you and wider
than shoulder width apart. Lean back with your upper
body about 45 degrees from vertical.
your legs completely straight with your knees together
and toes pointed, raise your legs until your knees
are the same height as your shoulders. Let’s call
this the “V Sit Position” because your body resembles
the letter “V.”
add your point and flex exercise while holding your
“V” position! Can you feel your ‘flab-dominals’
working? We are just getting started. Once you have
the perfect flex, bring your heels wide and back
to your butt at about the same width or just wider
than your butt WITHOUT SEPERATING YOUR KNEES … WITHOUT
LOWERING YOUR KNEES!
key here is to keep your knees quiet (no movement).
you have down this properly;
your knees are about shoulder height,
2. your knees are together
3. your ankles are flexed
4. your ankles are as close to your butt as possible
5. your heel is the only part of your foot on the
6. your toes are not lifted, but the ball of your
is off of the surface you are on
this over and over again until it is perfect, smooth,
and effortless! This will be a great abs workout
as well as turn you into a three-point machine!
let’s add another challenging element…
Glide 3-Point Position WITH the Rope--------------
have found a great way to simulate the realistic
pull of the boat that works much more dynamically
than a handle on a door knob!
make your own, all you need is;
wakes handle (which is easier to use than a
trick handle because it
does not get in the way of your knees as easily)
about 10 feet of rope
your bucket with enough water to give you a little
resistance. I filled it all the way up with water
for me, but only about a third of the way full for
my wife Cindy who is 98 pounds (and
featured on this video).
them all together and scoot back on the floor so
that you are keeping the bucket about half way off
the floor the entire time.
the height of the pulley and the rope so you can
easily get into the “V Sit Position” and keep your
feet on the rope and your knees the same height
as your shoulders. Pull the wakes handle into your
hip so that the rubber of the handle is touching
your hip bone while keeping your knuckles on your
feet should be pointed with your toes overlapped
on the rope. Your knees should be straight WITHOUT
knee bend. Your knees are squeezed together.
take your feet off the rope without lowering your
knees or feet.
to your butt!”
needs to be done in the exact same manner as described
only difference is the handle! There are two positions
for the handle;
IN to your hip
2. OUT on your knee caps
key here is to accomplish this without ever opening
your knees or lowering your knees! The handle goes
from the IN position to the OUT position as your
knees remain constant!
do you move the handle from IN to OUT?
soon as your heels make it to your butt, move the
handle to your knee caps.
women and children, I find it helpful to keep the
handle to the IN position until the feet are settled
on the water.
big dudes, I find the handle should come out sooner
as long as the “V Sit Position” can be maintained!
final stage is to prepare your 3-point position
for final check mode before standing!
your handle is on your knees and you feel relaxed
Shoulder Roll-roll your shoulders to the back so
that they are behind your chest with your shoulder
blades pinched together.
Meat Hook! Lift your rib cage in an upward motion
so you look all “Bowed-up!”
this mastered, you may take to the water with more
confidence and preparation than I ever had when
I was learning. While others rip their heads off,
you will foot with the quiet confidence of a Jedi
(Star Wars reference)!
can get a 7
Day FREE Trial Membership of My Virtual
Ski School only by clicking on the link
Is it ok to learn to "tumble-up" holding
directly on the boom?
Here me now and believe me later! DO
NOT LEARN OR TEACH OTHERS TO BAREFOOT BY TUMBLING
AROUND ON THE BOOM!
There are more people injured attempting this than
in any other way in learning barefooting. You will
definitely suffer abuse if not serious injury for
too many reasons to mention here so please believe
me and read my article NFTE#18
The Easiest Way to Learn to Barefoot
Should I wear booties or tennis shoes to protect
I believe in learning on your feet first unless
you are in water that has debris. There is nothing
like feeling the rush of the water underneath your
do believe that shoe skis such as my Puppy
Paws are critical to the success of mastering
your form, but I do not believe it should be your
How much speed do I need?
this formula: your weight divided by 10 and then
a 180lb person you would calculate a good starting
speed by dividing 180 by 10 which equals 18. Then
add 15 to the 18 to get 33mph.
this speed feels too slow, then your form is incorrect.
Please read my articles on Posture and Glide in
you were my personal friend, I would not let you
attempt barefooting without first watching my 2
hour instructional video and NFTE#61
Great 3-Point and Six Pack available
for members of my Virtual
Ski School! Your success will be 10 times greater
than without these tools! I guarantee it with a
money back guarantee!
How do I practice falling?
someone to fall is necessary to keep them from getting
hurt, BUT practicing falling is like teaching someone
to take a good punch by punching them. Please read
my article below for my answer to a concerned dad
teaching his children.
here to read the entire article!
Quarterback and Sports Broadcaster
comes from hours and days and weeks and years of
constant work and dedication. When I am in the last
two minute of a December playoff game, I am drawing
confidence from wind sprints I did the previous
march. It’s just a circle: work and confidence,
then more work and confidence.”
I realize that you get too many special requests
and therefore I hesitate requesting this again.
But, could you talk about falling. I know of quite a few folks who won't barefoot because they
feel they WILL get hurt.
I must say, I definitely have held back knowing
that I need to go to work on Monday.
All that I'm asking is...
is there a good way to fall?
A bad way to fall?
What should we beware of?
Falling is part of the sport however how
can we reduce the possibility of injury?
I would suspect that you must fall every
Any ideas here would be definitely appreciated.
Congrats on your Worlds accomplishments.
there Jerry this is an excellent question and I
know that there are a lot of people who will benefit
from your interest. Maybe you might know someone
who might benefit from this too! I am going to answer
your questions in two parts; the first is to give
you what you need, and the second is to give you
what you asked for in your email!
looked for a quote that would lead me into an answer
that would be appropriate. Read again what Roger
has to say. Roger’s insight is awesome! He addresses
the importance of having confidence and where confidence
is derived. Properly placed confidence comes from
preparation. Preparation comes from an aggressive
plan that is carried out on a regular basis. What
you really need to keep safe is preparation for
the battle that is barefooting. I can tell from
your question that you believe that it is O.K. to
fall all the time. This is a fallacy! As hard as
it will be for you to understand this without experiencing
it first hand down here in paradise, it is true.
Ask any of my advanced students and they will tell
you the same thing…we hate to fall.
we fall? Yes. When a fall comes we usually have
a good time laughing about it because it was unnecessary
and definitely unexpected. Chances are, it came
from a lack of preparation or a bad attitude toward
the task at hand.
I fall every day? No. I sometimes go for weeks or
months without falling. I will give you an example
that includes my wife. “Big Momma”, as we like to
call her (Cindy), has footed three times over the
last week which is the first time in almost a year.
I would expect that your old paradigm would suggest
that she will most likely fall and fall hard. Because
Big Momma is 98lbs soaking wet, and more importantly
is my favorite wife (I jest), I am highly motivated
to make sure she remains healthy and happy so I
build her workouts with the same precision the SWAT
team would enter a dangerous lair! Because I have
the added advantage of guiding her skiing from its
conception, I know what she is capable of and what
is risky for her. I start her off with what I am
sure she can perform 100% of the time and gently
work her towards the things that she is about 75%
efficient. You notice that I did not allow her to
try anything very difficult no matter how well she
was skiing. She suggested to me that she wanted
to try a back to front on her feet on the 7 foot
rope. I disarmed her enthusiasm with the kind of
care an NTSB agent would decide whether to cut the
red wire or the blue wire. I talked her down from
that dangerous precipice and kept her happily within
her safety zone. A lot of smart barefooting is simply
good decision making for THAT person at THAT time
for THOSE conditions. The best barefooters in the
world make these decisions at lightening speed while
they are skiing so as to avoid falling.
do you get to this mythological place? Ask Roger
Staubach! Well since he is not here I will reiterate.
The beautiful place called Enefpi (N.F.P=No FALL
Practice) can only be reached through the map of
PREPARATION! Here is my list of suggestions in order
A trip to paradise here in Winter Haven is
the quickest way to achieve barefooting nirvana!
You can plan on every day at
The Footer’s Edge Training Center is equivalent
to a summer on your own (I guarantee it). Visit
the ski school
page or the question
and answer section to get information or call
the command center at 877-685-6270 to book your
If you do not have my
2 hour instructional
video, The Footer’s Edge, you are crippling
your efforts (call 877-685-6270 and relieve the
angst). If you cannot afford to get down here to
paradise and learn the optimal way, at least get
the best instructional video on the planet and see
your goals performed perfectly from a ton of cool
angles and with all the speed, boom, and driving
tips in one place! Then you can film yourself and
compare it. You will learn twice as quickly and
will have a much better shot at remaining safe.
You also can add all these FREE tips I am sending
to you to your collection and you will have ALL
the cliff notes. (WARNING: This has been an unannounced
haneous plug for video sales). Why am I so adamant
about this? Because I am right. Of this I am 100%
and approach your skiing sets with a plan. Practice
the move on dry land being very careful to make
sure you are accurately performing the move. Use
a mirror or video to make sure it is right!
Break everything down into the smallest steps
possible and practice these steps sequentially to
perfection from easiest to most difficult. Here’s
an example to put this into perspective if this
seems too “pie-in-the ski” for you. Let’s say that
you feel ready to try a front deep behind the boat.
What is the first step. Write it out and then compare
it to the following and let’s see if you are getting
the hang of this…….. Go write it down!!!
you were down here with me, I would do it in this
check you Butt Glide and Three-Point Position ON
THE BOOM. I bet you didn’t have this as your first
step. Why? If I have never skied with you, I do
not want any surprises or beating before we get
down to business. The best way is always the safest
way which for many people would be right on the
boom. That way if you made a mistake in form it
could be corrected without rolling your eye lids
Same thing on the five or seven foot rope. If there
is a problem we go to shoe-skis (Puppy
Paws) and solve it safely.
We work on the Butt Glide and Three-Point Position
behind the boat. No standing up!
Once you can perform these so well it is getting
boring, I will most likely be confident that standing
will be safe. This assumes that you have the right
boat speeds, boom height, rope length, equipment,
and good conditions. These are all things that can
be BEAT INTO you or learned safely by reviewing
a video of your trick safely while you crack a cold
Diet Coke on the coach. Which sounds better to you?
Just yesterday, I spent 1 hour reviewing video footage
of a trick that I am bringing out of hibernation.
I take great joy in this process! You should too!
I know this is not what you were asking me. You
wanted to know how to protect yourself in a fall.
My first answer was in short, “the best defense
is an offense!” The second part of my answer is
what you were wanting in the first place. What is
the safest way to get to become a “crash test dummy?”
This field is filled with willing participants lined
up to compare whose got the best scars, best medivac
story, and most complete mobile files filled with
the most recent X-RAYS, MRI’s, and complete spinal
views provided by your chiropractor. Having Doctors
on speed dial is not necessarily a good thing. I
am making light here for entertainment value only!
is your answer;
ALWAYS let go when you fall on anything other than
the boom. If you are on the boom, you need to communicate
with the driver to discuss worse case scenarios.
I recommend holding on to the boom until the boat
driver slows down (boom only!) If your grip is getting
tired, be honest with yourself and stop before you
take that “one last run” to prove your machismo.
It is ALWAYS better to “stop one pass too early
than one pass too late!” One of the last falls that
many people will take (before realizing they are
better suited for wakeboarding) is the fall on the
boom when they catch so violently that their hands
get ripped off the boom leading to a “scorpion”
fall where their heels hit them in the back of the
head. This can break your back and surprises many
people who think they cannot get hurt on the boom.
Whenever falling forward, the most important piece
of advice I can give you is to tuck your chin to
your chest. This happens quickly and you need to
become lightening fast with this reflex. You might
think that tucking might put your face into harms
way, but it does the opposite. At this point, you
definitely are going to hit the water so the only
question is what is the best way to finish this
pass? It is critical that you do not fight against
the force of falling into the water. On the contrary,
go with the flow by tucking your chin, closing your
eyes and mouth, and unless you would like a good
punch in the face, put your hands down towards your
hips. If you are the kind of person who likes a
good beating, simply make a fist with both hands
and place them about six inches away from your face
before you hit the water. This will give you something
to talk about at the water cooler tomorrow!
Never, never, never lift your head away from the
water. This would be a BAD thing!
Avoid skiing in rolly or rough conditions. Although
my buddies in St. Louis take great pride in skiing
in a river that has more debris than I have seen
in the entire state of Florida, I do not recommend
skiing in water that has appliances, vehicles, dead
fish, entire trees, or anything that would cause
an inelastic collision with your feet!
Keep your elbows in when you fall. The further away
they are the more likely you will be to injure your
Be as loose as possible when you hit the water.
The tighter and straighter you are, the easier things
I should have mentioned this earlier, but you should
be thoroughly warmed up and stretched before skiing.
The colder and tighter you are the more likely you
will be to get hurt.
this now ends the longest article I have written
to date, I think. It is glass out there as I am
writing you this so I must now shred!
Thanks Jerry for the compliment. The Worlds were
a blast! And yes, I did fall.
me with your progress. I am expecting a miracle
9. I started to try barefooting at the end
of last season but flopped bad. Is there a way I
can do this without the bruising on my thighs? I
am starting from a boom.
easiest way to learn to barefoot can be found by
reading my article above in question
keep from bruising your thighs, you should also
wear the correct gear which includes Iron
Man padded shorts and an Iron
Man barefoot suit which you can get in my Pro
Shop by clicking here!