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?
9. Standing position?
10. What is the power band?
11. Puppy paws?
When am I ready
here to read the entire article!
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
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!
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
me know how you do!! Email
me your success stories!
are the 3 stages of learning to get up backwards?
here to read the entire article!
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
How do I plane?
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 perfecting your backwards
form and are an absolute must for the serious barefooter.
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!
How do I stop bouncing?
here to read the entire article!
can be caused by several factors;
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
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
Bending any part of your body. Keep your arms, legs,
and torso straight.
can get a 7 Day FREE Trial
Membership of My Virtual
Ski School only by clicking on the link below.
How do I plant my
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.
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
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
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
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
When do I get up?
here to read the entire article!
get into the The
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
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
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.
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.
You have just had your eyes opened to a whole new
world of backwards barefooting. I hope you let me
know of your success!
for the back deep requires extreme patience and
alot of practice. The beginning backwards barefooter
is probably the most difficult bit of driving in
brief description is as follows;
8-10mph while the skier learns the Planing Stage
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
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.
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
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!
me with your progress. I am expecting a miracle
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
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
is the Power Band?
to read the entire article.
HERE to see the Power Band
in the front position.
to see the Power Band in the backwards
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
put EVERYONE on the Puppy
Paws at some point while I am teaching them.
The question is not "if," but "when."
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!