Most Common Barefoot Questions

Front Deep Water Start

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

1. What is a Butt Glide?
2. What is a 3-point position?
3. How should I look when I stand-up?
4. How should I have my driver accelerate?
5. Any special equipment tips?
6. Should I learn using shoe-skis?
7. What are puppy paws?
8. Is all this on your video?

1. What is a Butt Glide?

The Butt Glide position is where you are seated on the water while balancing on your butt. It can be with your feet on or off the rope, but not with your feet on the water. To learn a great butt glide, you must have good equipment. I recommend Barefoot International's Iron Man wetsuit and shorts which are available in my Pro Shop by clicking here!

Click here to read the entire article!

Click HERE to see a free video of Butt Glide!

By 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.

#1 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.

#2 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.

The 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.

#3 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 situation.

#4 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.

The 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.

To 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.

Once 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.

When 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 stance.  Make sure the skiers' ankles are fully flexed to keep the ball of the foot from pushing through.

After 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.


#1 Major dry-land practice

#2 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.

#3 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.

#4 Slower is almost always better than faster, when it comes to boat speeds!

#5 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!

#6 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.

Good 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!

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

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2. What is a Three-point Position?

The best way is to simply show you on my instructional video, but the next best way is to simply teach you by reading the article below!

Click here to read the entire article!

See my newest instructional video, “Great Six Pack and 3-Point Exercise,” at my all new Virtual Ski School!

I 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;

1. 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),

then this article is for you!

The 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 Mega Glide

Next 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.

The 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 Ski School at
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 huge benefit!

------------------Point and Flex!!!!!---------------------------

I 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

It 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.

“point….hold…..flex….hold…. point….hold…..
flex….hold… point….hold…..flex….hold…”

If this bores you…get over it! It has been approved by
the Department of Redundancy Department.

Butt Glide 3-Point NO ROPE

Sit 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.

Keeping 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.”

Now 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

The key here is to keep your knees quiet (no movement).

If you have down this properly;

1. 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 water
6. your toes are not lifted, but the ball of your foot
is off of the surface you are on

Practice 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!

Now let’s add another challenging element…

-----Butt Glide 3-Point Position WITH the Rope--------------

I 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!

To make your own, all you need is;

1. a wakes handle
(which is easier to use than a trick handle because it
does not get in the way of your knees as easily)

2. a pulley

3. a bucket

4. about 10 feet of rope

Fill 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).

Connect 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.

Adjust 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 legs!

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.

Next take your feet off the rope without lowering your
knees or feet.

“Point…hold…FLEX…hold…Heels to your butt!”

This needs to be done in the exact same manner as
described above!

The only difference is the handle! There are two positions
for the handle;

1. IN to your hip
2. OUT on your knee caps

The 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!

When do you move the handle from IN to OUT?

As soon as your heels make it to your butt, move
the handle to your knee caps.

For women and children, I find it helpful to keep the
handle to the IN position until the feet are settled on the

For big dudes, I find the handle should come out sooner
as long as the “V Sit Position” can be maintained!

The final stage is to prepare your 3-point position for
final check mode before standing!

After your handle is on your knees and you feel relaxed
and stable…

1. Shoulder Roll-roll your shoulders to the back so that
they are behind your chest with your shoulder blades
pinched together.

2. Meat Hook! Lift your rib cage in an upward motion
so you look all “Bowed-up!”

With 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 Warrior
(Star Wars reference)!

You can get a 7 Day FREE Trial Membership of My Virtual
Ski School only by clicking on the link below.

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3. What should I look like when I stand-up?

If you are like me, you learn better by seeing things done correctly. You can see a free sample video of this position from my instructional video by clicking here!

You can also check out my positions page here.

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4. How should I have my driver accelerate when getting up?

Driving is a real art, but it can also be learned by an alert driver. For the average size person, the driver should accelerate to around 25mph until the skier has nailed the three-point position. Once the majority of the spray has cleared, the driver can accelerate to the ideal barefoot speed. In general, if the skier looks unsafe or out of control, slowly decelerate to reduce the impact of the fall or to allow them to get back into a safe three-point position.

For more driving information, see my instructional video and Virtual Ski School or submit another question below and I will post it here!

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5. Any equipment tips?

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 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 Shop.

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

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6. Should I learn using Puppy Paws (shoe skis)?

No! 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 feet!

I 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 first experience.

If you cannot get the three-point position on the short rope, then it would be wise to consider getting a pair of Puppy Paws!

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7.What are Puppy Paws?

Puppy Paws are a type of shoe-skis I designed with Dennis Wasnea of Dawg Paws. They are made in Canada and are sold only in my Pro Shop. They are designed to help you learn barefooting with safety in mind. The flexible bottom simulates your barefoot while adding extra surface area that makes learning much easier!

You can see them HERE.

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8. Is this all on your video?

This and much more is available on my two hour instructional video. I am so confident that you will love my video that I guarantee it to be the best video instructional video of any type you have ever seen or it is free!

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

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The Footers Edge | Virtual Ski School

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