Search:

 

Most Common Barefoot Questions

Backwards Barefooting

Need Equipment? Click here. Need Instructional Videos? Click here.

1. When am I ready to learn?
2. What are the 3 stages of learning to get up backwards?
3. How do I plane?
4. How do I stop bouncing?
5. How do I plant my feet?
6. When do I get up?
7. Driving?
8. Equipment?
9. Standing position?
10. What is the power band?
11. Puppy paws?

1. When am I ready to learn?

Click here to read the entire article!

Now how can we focus the power of these warm fuzzy thoughts in the specifics of learning your first backwards deep-water start? First of all, let me let you in on a little secret that should dissolve a lot of myths about going backwards. If you had never barefooted before in your life, and you came down to ski a week with me personally in paradise, I would spend the entire first day helping you to learn to barefoot forwards in the way that I described in my previous newsletter, News from the Edge #18. On the very next day, I would begin to mix in teaching you the joys of learning to backwards barefoot! It is much like learning a second language. If you start early, it becomes second nature. When I begin this process, any fears are melted away and replaced with the kind of excitement that many have forgotten!

How can you get in on the fun? Realize that learning to go backwards requires baby steps that must be taken carefully and with a lot of patience and understanding! These baby steps are grouped into three stages; Learning to Plane, Learning to Plant, and The Power Band©.

 Let me know how you do!! Email me your success stories!

top ^

 

2. What are the 3 stages of learning to get up backwards?

Click here to read the entire article!

Realize that learning to go backwards requires baby steps that must be taken carefully and with a lot of patience and understanding! These baby steps are grouped into three stages; Learning to Plane, Learning to Plant, and The Power Band©.

top ^



3. How do I plane?

I believe that the very basics for barefooting are as follows;

#1 The best 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!

#2 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.

I 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.

Although I do not normally start barefooters out on shoe skis, it is critical to perfecting your backwards form 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 Shop.

If you have specific questions about any equipment, please submit them on the form below and I will post the answers here!

top ^


4. How do I stop bouncing?

Click here to read the entire article!

Bouncing can be caused by several factors;

#1 pushing down on the rope with both your feet. Only one foot should be on the rope and there should be almost no downward pressure

#2 Boat speed is too fast. Slow down to 8-10mph or adjust until the bouncing stops. There should be a fountain of water coming up between the skiers legs.

#3 Bending any part of your body. Keep your arms, legs, and torso straight.

You can get a 7 Day FREE Trial Membership of My Virtual
Ski School
only by clicking on the link below.
http://www.thefootersedge.com/newskischool/7daytrial.htm


top ^



5. How do I plant my feet?

Before you think of planting your feet, you must master the art of point and flex so that your feet learn how to be in the proper position BEFORE planting.

Here is my newest revolutionary principle that I will call my Foot Ski Principle.

Quite simply, you must think of how the actual shape of your foot can be improved to resemble a ski. This is best explained in dramatic pictures that will change your skiing forever!

You would never ski on a water ski that was curved downward in both the front and the tail like an upside down “U.” But 90 percent of all barefooters do! Look at the pictures (#8,9,10) of my foot on my Position's page at http://www.thefootersedge.com/positions.htm How many of you barefoot in a similar position?

Mimic this first foot position yourself and notice how the foot curves in a way that does not resemble a nice flat ski! In addition, check out how the tendon in the bottom of your foot is strung tight as a guitar string when you crank up your toes.

Now, check out the dramatic difference in picture #10 showing the correct Foot Ski position. Can you believe that that is the same foot? Mimic this position yourself by flexing your ankle without lifting your toes. It is critical that you practice achieving this position over and over again until this muscle memory is natural to you before attempting to do this on the water!

Practice my Point and Flex exercise alluded to in my article on learning your first back deep (All my articles are back logged at my Trauma Center at http://www.thefootersedge.com/traumacenter.htm Many of these articles are not included in the Ebook you have received as they are the most recently published technology!)

Improving your range of motion in your ankle will give you greater ankle flex without lifting your toes. This greater flex will allow you to bring your heel and ankle back further under your knee until you achieve the ultimate glide that all barefooters crave!

Remember that lifting your toes will make you push on the ball of your foot. This creates that nasty curve that not only exposes your tight tendon to the surface of the water, but also forces you to push your feet forward out in front of your knee to keep from catching the front edge of your foot (the ball). More people fall from pushing the ball of their foot under the water than do those who actually ‘catch a toe.’

Now that you know how to get into the right foot position, you are ready to learn to plant your feet.

Very very slowly take your feet off the rope and convert them from being pointed to being flexed and turned outward at a forty-five degree angle. The flexing part is one of the best challenges to this whole start. It is critical that you distinguish between lifting your toes up and flexing your ankles by lifting the entire foot towards your shin! This is so critical to barefooting that I have written an entire article just on this called, The Ultra Mega Glide, and can be found in my new FREE eBook at http://www.thefootersedge.com .



top ^

6. When do I get up?

Click here to read the entire article!

To get into the The Power Band© from this position requires a combination of rotating your feet, squeezing your legs, and pushing your butt out. Notice how I purposefully left out “lifting your head.” That is because it is the cause of many a problem.

When you are ready for this final frontier, first push out your butt while rotating your feet and knees inward. You will only have to bring your feet in about twelve inches each before starting to feel some lift in your upper body. A lesser informed individual might be tempted to lift his or her upper body and head at this point, but not you! You know the key at this stage is to wait as long as you can, and then wait some more. Your concentration should be on morphing into that The Power Band© position so you could hold a handle in-between your lower abs and your quadriceps. Keep pushing your hips upwards as you rotate your feet inward until you feel the water on your chin. Although this will not go down as your most favorable sensations, get pumped (calmly, of course) because victory awaits you! As soon as you feel the water on your chin, start the squatting process by bending your knees.

The driver’s responsibility here is to accelerate gently while the butt is moving up in the air. For almost every size person I have taught, do not accelerate over 22 mph. For kids under 140lbs stay below 18-19mph. For people over 200lbs, do not go over 25mph. If your butt stops rising, have the driver stop accelerating even if you are not at the above speeds. If you feel or look stuck and cannot raise your butt or squeeze your feet together, the driver should decelerate until the butt and feet start doing their jobs.

The huge help here is to understand the power of waiting combined with a complete The Power Band©. Let your driver pull you from your hips onto your feet. As you feel your head levitate off the water, go through your head-to-toe checklist for the perfect position I described at the beginning! If you find yourself catching a heel, keep your chest and chin closer to the spray coming off your feet by leaning away gently until you find the perfect resistance. Notice I did not say look down and lean back into the water. It is critical that you maintain your vision without losing your position or the proper resistance! Think of the proper resistance in the following way. If you had a rope that went up and over a pulley and was connected to a bucket full of weight, you would want to maintain that bucket at a constant height so that the bucket did not go up or down. If you let your butt get pulled too far towards your heels, then you would get pulled over as the bucket dropped. If your butt got too far forward of the ball of your foot, then the bucket would rise as you leaned too far forwards.

Congratulations! You have just had your eyes opened to a whole new world of backwards barefooting. I hope you let me know of your success!


top ^



7. Driving?

Driving for the back deep requires extreme patience and alot of practice. The beginning backwards barefooter is probably the most difficult bit of driving in barefooting.

A brief description is as follows;

#1 8-10mph while the skier learns the Planing Stage

#2 After the skier has successfully planted their feet on the water without skipping and jumping, add 3-5mph and let the skier get comfortable with the gliding of their feet. They should be able to hold this position for at least 10-15 seconds without any instability problems.

#3 Next accelerate to the minimum barefoot speed (low 20-23mph!). This is best done by matching your acceleration the the raising of the skiers' butt.

top ^

8. Equipment?

This will be much easier to learn on the boom, but is the same for the long-line. If you do not have a boom refer to News from THE EDGE #9.  I like to have the boom at about shoulder to head height of the skier (once the boat is on plane). To use the boom this high, I like to use a 2-foot extension which keeps the skier from being pulled out of position. I also recommend a 15 inch barefoot slalom handle (Wakes Handle - B223). For the guys, I highly recommend a barefoot cup barefoot cup! A good barefoot wetsuit is a must. If you have a barefoot dry-suit, it is even easier to learn this start as long as you wear your wetsuit underneath. Although I use Puppy Paws™ (http://www.thefootersedge.com/equipment/trainingaids.htm) many times for people who have problems, I believe it is best to start learning stages one and two without them. There will definitely be a place and time for switching to the Puppy Paws, but do not start with them. If you are on the long-line, I highly recommend a Skylon or tower!

Email me with your progress. I am expecting a miracle for you!


top ^

 

9. What is the Standing Position Suppose to Be Like?

What I like to do to keep things in perspective is to put you in the correct proper position for backwards barefooting while on dry-land first! This will give you a mental image of where we want to go while starting to build the muscle memory you will need to be a great backwards barefooter (do not laugh, I know you will be great!).

Start by standing up straight with your feet shoulder width apart and parallel. Now roll your shoulders back so your shoulder blades are scrunching together. Lift your rib cage as high as possible and arch your low back. This should put your chest further forward than your shoulders and you should feel like you are puffed-up and standing at attention. Next, push your butt out as you bend over. Simultaneously squat by bending your knees just a little less than the kind of bend you would have sitting in a chair. Create a ninety-degree bend at your waist so that you could hold a ski handle between your hip and the top of your quadriceps. Your shoulders and head should be higher than your butt. Rest your hands on the top of your butt with palms and elbows pointed upward. If you can accomplish all this without losing the upper body posture, then you have accomplished  The Power Band©. Keep practicing this position over and over again so that you build up your familiarity with it. If you feel you would learn better by watching this performed properly, then you can order my 2-hour instructional video on my video page

top ^

 

10. What is the Power Band?

Click here to read the entire article.

Click HERE to see the Power Band in the front position.

Click HERE to see the Power Band in the backwards position.

The POWER BAND is the position that is achieved that puts the pull of the boat into your hips and allows you to ski with way more power than you would in any other position. It is easiest understood in the back position. The best way to get you into this position is for you to get out of your chair....I am waiting...still waiting...thanks! Now, stand at attention in perfect posture. Spread your feet to about shoulder's width. Now bend over into a backwards barefooting position without changing your posture or the position of the arms at your side. Now, take a barefoot handle of something of similar dimensions and put the rubber handle under where your belt buckle would be (yes, I know some of you are reading this in your under wear!). Pretend (not that hard) that you have an enormous gut and put it onto your thighs while arching your back as described previously. If you can keep the handle squeezed into place while keeping your head up and your chest out, then you have achieved the POWER BAND!

top ^

11. Puppy paws?

I put EVERYONE on the Puppy Paws at some point while I am teaching them. The question is not "if," but "when."

Continue on your feet until you run into a problem that you can not fix in 3 attempts. Putting on the Puppy Paws will help solve that problem. Wear them until your form is perfect and you can move into a "Bouncy Trouncy Tigger the Tiger" position!

top ^


 

 

The Footers Edge | Virtual Ski School

The Footer's Edge Training Center
Winter Haven, Florida
1-877-685-6270
Fax: 1-509-756-4343

lane@lanedawg.com