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Most Common Barefoot Questions

Barefoot Theories & Principles

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1. Posture & Glide
2. Ultra Mega Glide
3. Power Band
4. Clock theory of Surface Turns
5. Clock theory of Backwards Slalom
6. Should I wear Puppy Paws for this?
7. Ankles and Angles Theory of One Foots
8. Tigger the Tiger Bouncy Trouncy Skiing
9. Slouch and Plow
10. Foot Ski Principle-Point and Flex Your Way to Success
11. The Resistance Theory of Barefooting
12. The Power of Vision

 

1. What is Posture and Glide?

This is my now famous theory that is not only being used by all forms of water skiing but also by many other sports such as martial arts, snow boarding and even golf!

Quite simply, Posture refers to the correct upper body form while Glide refers to the correct lower body form.

I like to think of form from top to bottom. This will help you maintain great form at all times;

#1 Eyes on horizon (Vision)

#2 Shoulder roll- (1st stage of posture) roll your shoulders to the back which will allow your chest to be further forward than your shoulders. To do this properly, you are actually squeezing your shoulder blades together.

#3 Meat Hook!- (2nd stage of posture) Keep your rib cage expanded and upward like someone is lifting you by a meat hook under your sternum! Gross thought, but a great mental picture!

#3 Hips forward toward the handle (Power Band). It is critical that you do not pull in on the handle to accomplish this! This must be done by adjusting your shoulders further back while sliding your hips forward. Do not change your posture as you do this!

#4 Soft Knees (this is my "Tigger the Tiger" theory)

#5 Ankles Flexed and behind the front edge of the knee (Glide)

Click here for a picture of this position in action!

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2. What is Ultra Mega Glide?

Click here to read the entire article!

Check out the pictures #8,9,10 on my Positions page.

I just finished a 10 day road trip and I find myself showing people everyday how to get the ULTIMATE MEGA GLIDE (U.M.G) every time I open my mouth. I realized that there are only only a hand full of barefooters out of every 1000 that truly have achieved this level of mastery that is so important to tapping into your miracle that we are aiming for!!!

My newest discovery is a shocking one. I noticed that when people "lift their toes" they simultaneously "push the ball of there foot" down! (Try this out as you are practicing your dry land drills.

Note: Just so we are all on the same page, the ball of your foot is the callused part just behind the toes that should not be in the water in the forwards position!

I found that people who dry land practice with their foot flat on the ground in a forwards position, are not getting the true feeling of the U.M.G. This is critical in dry land practice as it will most likely transfer the muscle memory to the water. The only way to really get the true feeling of the U.M.G is to dry land with the front of your foot flexed upward as much as possible so that your foot is at an upward angle.

To illustrate this principle, practice the following; sit on the edge of a chair or the gunnels of the boat, pull your heels back behind your knee so that there is a slight forward angle to your shin bone, Your foot should be flat on the ground here. Now, without lifting your toes (stop lifting those toes!), lift the ball of your foot towards your shin bone until you feel your shin muscle flexing. You should be able to lift the entire front of your foot off the surface of whatever you are practicing without moving your toes.

"But Lane Dawg, this is making my dig my heals into the water!" The truth of the matter is that the foot does sink into the water some what as it is not as hard as the land. The foot is not really ever "flat on the water," but at an angle. The key is to find the U.M.G. angle. This is a shocking revelation! What I find most people doing regardless of the level of skiing is to keep there heels out in front of their knees and then "lift their toes while dropping the ball of their foot." This gives them the feeling that they have flattened their foot and put the water line near the ball of their foot where it SHOULD be. The problem with this is that the weight of your body is too far behind the water line. The other Major problem is that if you get used to this type of foot angle, it will carry over into your backwards skiing which will end up making you "gas pedal." "Gas pedaling" is where you push the ball of your foot forwards as if you were accelerating in a car. In backwards barefooting, it makes you ski on a very small part of your foot which causes tons of problems which effect every area of your skiing.

If you are not backwards barefooting yet,  be really happy you are learning this now because it will make stage two (see instructional video) tremendously easier!

"But Lane Dawgy, it is impossible to keep the front edge of your foot off the water in the back position!"-you

That is correct! But flexing the front edge of your foot upward without lifting your toes and pushing on the ball of your foot will help you to achieve the correct angle of your foot and thus U.M.G, mythical levels of stability, and massive enjoyment achieved only by true connoisseurs of Posture and Glide!

The best way to work on this is dry land practice. Try putting some object under the front edge of your foot while practicing your front position, one-foots, or the set-up for the front-to-back. Remember to do this while maintaining forwards shin angle. Also, practice holding your shins in this flexed position while you are sitting at your desk, watching TV or some other mundane task. Build up your tolerance for this shin flex while keeping your heels behind your knees!

For those of you who were expecting the Big Dawg Turns Article, it is coming next (News from THE EDGE #15). I will have little tolerance for anyone who has not practiced this U.M.G and then complaining later that their feet are "spearing into the water as soon as you get backwards"!!! This is a must have discipline!

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3. 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!

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4. What is the Clock Theory of Turns?

Click here to read the entire Clock Theory of Turns article!

See this video 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!

Lane “Dawg” Bowers’ “Clock Theory of Surface Turns”:

Pretend that while in the backwards position, you are standing on the face of a clock with your feet at the center and your chin directly over the 12! While performing the back to front, the most common mistake is to let your head circle around the clock from 12 to 1 to 2 to 3 or in the other direction in the same manner. Contrarily, turn so that your head never leaves the 12 position throughout the entire turn so that as you get to the front, the back of your head is over the twelve position. If you can accomplish this you will have turned with your hips and kept your upper body quiet! Does that make sense?

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.
http://www.thefootersedge.com/newskischool/7daytrial.htm


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5.
What is the Clock Theory of Backwards Slalom?

Click here to read the entire Clock Theory of Backwards Slalom article!

Back slalom cannot be conquered without learning to ski on the insteps of your feet! Think of your foot as a ski and learn to ski deep onto your instep keeping your “pinky toe” edge out of the water.

One way to learn to edge is to use my Clock Theory to manipulate your body to ski on your outside foot while learning to turn in the direction you want to ski.
http://www.thefootersedge.com/traumacenter/info/ne21.htm

I short, if your normal position is facing “6 O’clock,” and you want to go to your right, move your head, shoulders, and hips over to your left or “4 O’clock” while pointing your heels in the opposite direction. As you do this, your weight should be dramatically transferred onto your left instep while keeping your increased resistance!

To go to your left, simply repeat in the opposite direction at 8 O’clock.


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6. Should I Puppy Paws?

Yes! This is an absolute must. There is no reasonable alternative to learning surface turns and backwards slalom without the aid of shoe skis and the Puppy Paws are the best in the world and only sold in our Pro Shop Online!

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7. What is Your Ankles and Angles Theory of One-Foots?

My Theory of Ankles and Angles is an explanation of how to take your Posture, Glide, and the Power Band from two feet to one foot! Read, practice on dry land, Puppy Paws, and then enjoy the success on your feet!

Ankles And Angles For Great One Foots


If you want to learn great one-foot tricks, there is a new leading edge technology that can make you great... the principle of "ankles and angles"!

Good "ankles" means having a good glide with your knees over or slightly in front of your ankle bone. How then can you lift up the other foot without pushing on your supporting foot? I'm glad you asked! The key is in your "angles".

When I say "angles" I will be referring to the combination of identical "angles" in your hips, shoulders, and handle. Think of your hips, shoulders, and handle as being three separate planes or lines that are all parallel to the water in a two-foot position. In other words, the distance between your right hip joint and the water surface is the same as the distance between your left hip joint and the water surface.

Regardless of whether you are attempting a front or back one-foot there is no difference in the movement of the three angles. First of all, you must start and maintain a gliding position if you want to do this without exploding from strain! Before raising the boat speed, practice creating angles in the three areas by first tilting the handle so that the hand over the foot you are being supported by is 8-12 inches lower than your other hand. As you do this, make sure that your hips and shoulders are mimicking the handle angle exactly.

WARNING: As with any new trick, always practice the maneuvers on land and
then on shoe skis before attempting them on your feet! I highly recommend
purchasing and studying our 2-hour instructional video
(http://www.thefootersedge.com/videos/index.htm ) as a guide.

After you feel comfortable creating angles while maintaining your ankles, try squeezing your feet together until they are within 6-8 inches, then add the angles as the driver SLOWLY accelerates to your one foot speed [weight divided by 10, add 21-24 mph for 5' rope on boom which is set height equal to skiers shoulders, add three mph more for the long-line]. If you have patiently followed the above steps, the foot that you would like to pick-up should feel very light on the water, If it does not, exaggerate the angles more!

When you are confident and solid in this position, slide the foot forward [toward the boom or boat] and up while keeping the same knee bend and ankle flex that it had on the water. Make sure that your posture does not deteriorate as you go through this procedure! If you feel unstable or nervous as you start transferring the weight, then you should recheck your posture.

Smile, breath, enjoy the glide!

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8. Tigger the Tiger Bouncy Trouncy Skiing?

Bouncy trouncy Tigger the Tiger skiing!!!

The keys to proper mobility and fun!

I admit that I am one of those teachers who taught many many people to ski with straight arms, but I am here to correct the mistake that I have made and help you to unlock the potential that is awaiting you. What is amazing is that as I have been traveling these last three months, I have noticed a proliferation in this problem. I am seeing a lot of people like you who have great glide, pretty good posture, but are still rather unstable. I have found a simple way to help you ski with more power and great control! I call this the "Tigger the Tiger mode."

Much like Tigger the Tiger, I find that great skiers have great Posture and Glide and a great Power Band but still exhibit a looseness and lightness in all joints without any loss of stability. They are bouncy and trouncy on the water and that seems to provide tremendous control that I know that people like you will benefit from!

I noticed this when I started seeing the number of straight armed skiing on the rise. I found that these same people where unstable when going into one foots, surface turns, and slalom. I am going to outline how you can get into the ultra fun "Tigger the Tiger mode (TTTM)."

Let me first say that this will be helpful in the following areas of your skiing; all front and back positions including toe-holds and one foots, all surface turns!

To launch TTTM there will two keys; proper flexing or bend, and BREATHING!!!

Let me start with one of the best tips I can give you in this format ....BREATHE early, breathe often, and breathe continuously! I recommend that you make a journal and checklist to consciously check to see if you are breathing in all the different skills that you have accomplished in your barefooting! I am constantly amazed but not surprised to see the dramatic effect this has on people. I have quite literally watched a barefooter's entire skiing demeanor change after successfully applying this to their skiing! By the way, the most successful breathing is done by breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth!

Once breathing is established you should find that you already feel a little more sassy in your skiing, but let's take this one step further by completing the TTTM transition!  It is critical to the perfect position that you have a slight elbow flex in all front and back positions. To do this properly you should not be increasing your grip squeeze or flexing your biceps.

I sure hope you are paying close attention to this because this is POWERFUL! In the front position, get into your great posture, then simply push your chest out slightly more while flexing your elbows. If this is done properly, your elbows are close to the side of your body and the chest is slightly ahead of your elbows. If your elbows have a gap of more than a couple of inches between them and your chest, simply close this by splitting the difference by 50% chest expansion and 50% elbow squeeze.

On the back position, there should never be a gap between your wrists and the top of your butt! If you are one of those skiers whose handle is lower than the top of your butt, then you will not be able to enjoy the pure ecstasy of TTTM! To correct this, simply bring the handle in towards your imaginary belt line across your back so that the handle sits on top of  you butt. You should be in a slightly chicken winged position. The key here is that you have a slight elbow bend that does not exceed 45 degrees, the handle is on top of  your butt, your grip is relaxed, your elbows are pointed up and not out (otherwise it is impossible to achieve great posture), and that you are breathing!!!!

Now that we have achieved the TTTM, you should have greatly increased stability in all skiing. To really take this to the next level that would most likely make Tigger the tiger light headed with joy, practice being bouncy and trouncy in ALL of your positions both forward and backwards; two foots AND one foots.

I honestly believe this will bring you one step closer to skiing like a champion while being able to have fun while on the water. Remember, never let TTTM interfere with the basics of Posture and Glide and The Power Band!

Let me know how you do! I am expecting a miracle for you and I hope you are expecting one also. I hope we get to ski together soon!

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



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9. Slouch and Plow Skiing for Endurance and Rough Water Skiing

Click HERE to read the entire article on Endurance and rough water skiing.

Lane Dawg Bowers Patented Principles for Barefooting in Four wheel Drive (LOW!)

It is time to master SLOUCH and PLOW™!

If you are to get really good at endurance, you need to conserve energy and change gears! Posture and Glide™ and The Power band™! were designed for relatively good water conditions, explosive power, and to maximize the surface area of your foot on the water making difficult moves as easy as possible.

SLOUCH and PLOW™ RULES the rough water world and endurance events!

How do you achieve SLOUCH and PLOW™ in your skiing? The perfect PLOW™ is achieved pushing forward on your heels so that the water breaks more towards the middle of your foot or arch. It will also be helpful to take the bend out of your knees to conserve energy. A great knee bend can blow your quads if you are not careful. 

How do you achieve a great SLOUCH™? Chances are great that if you just mimic the upper body position you have right now while you are reading this at your computer, you will have arrived. 

All that work we put into your upper body goes from being unbelievably helpful to a huge waste of energy in these types of events. Rolling your shoulder blades back so that your scapulas touch while keeping your ribs up and expanded, are not techniques that were intended to keep you skiing efficiently over long periods of time!

But if you think that the SLOUCH and PLOW™ method is for Neanderthals, you would be wrong. It takes the same time and dedication to improve your endurance skiing (SLOUCH and PLOW™!) as it does your high-tech skiing (Posture and Glide™ and The Power band™!). You need to treat both with respect.

“Danger Will Robinson”

WARNING: DO NOT INTERMIX THESE TECHNIQUES!!!!

Slouch and Glide, Posture and Plow, The Power band and Plow are not compatible skills. Although many of you have tried different combinations, it cannot work! This is similar to trying to put a lift kit, four-wheel drive, gun rack, 15-inch wheels with Thornbird tires, and stainless steel pit bull cages on a Porsche 911 Turbo (Polk County has already tried this and it was embarrassing and dangerous).

But there are several other keys to success in endurance skiing.

CREATIVITY: The main rule is that there are NO rules. It boils down to survival of the fittest. Move around and do whatever you have to do to give the areas experiencing the most pain a break. Anything goes as long as it keeps you going.

PAIN MANAGEMENT: “Pain is only weakness leaving your body” is a great slogan for endurance barefooting! People write me all the time asking me how to condition their feet to ski longer. I am sure a lot of you have some great ides that I would be happy to categorize for everyone, but it all boils down to a simple fact. You cannot improve your time or distance without skiing up to where you feel pain, and then skiing longer. Keep a journal of your times and set small reasonable goals for improvement.

NEVER put your arm through the handle in order to ski longer!

Think of it like aerobic activity. How come you can’t begin a new program by going for an hour right off the bat? Unless you like throwing up and ambulance rides, this is not a good idea. It is much healthier to take baby steps. You would never put a baby on a treadmill maxed out to full speed and incline, and I hope you do not approach endurance skiing without taking my advice.

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10. Foot Ski Principle-Point and Flex Your Way to Success

I am so excited about my latest discovery in helping barefooters around the world! The following explanation is so simple it is amazing that I have not been able to bring this out until now!

My revolutionary Ultra Mega Glide article that I published previously (http://www.thefootersedge.com/traumacenter/index.htm) is so powerful it is scary. I simply took the Glide part of my Posture and Glide technique and showed how you can learn to ski with the maximum amount of foot on the water by practicing great ankle flex.

 I am now going to expand on this in a visual way that will help you be able to ski better in any position or any trick regardless of skill level. In addition, it is going to help many of you eliminate painful bruising and burning in your arches. How do I know this? I have just witnessed students who I have explained this principle to in my two-week West Hartford, CT make dramatic results in their front and back two-foot and one-foot positions while completely eliminating years of bruising.

The best part is that I am giving this to you for FREE because you are on my newsletter. 

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 picture (#1) of my foot at my new Foot Ski Principle page at http://www.thefooterseddge.com/foot_ski_principle.htm How many of you barefoot in a similar position?

Mimic this 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 the next picture 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/index.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.’

How can this help you other than the obvious way of increasing your foot size on the water and enjoying the Ultra Mega Glide?

This foot position will help;

  #1 jumpers trying to jump inverted

  #2 advanced skiers trying to learn their front to backs and back to fronts

  #3 skiers who feel it is too difficult to reach the strap in a front toe-hold

  #4 backwards barefooters who keep falling onto their faces backwards

  #5 back slalom footers who cannot seem so keep skipping of their toes going into their transitions

The Foot Ski Principle should help countless barefooters to enjoy barefooting more than ever before and I hope that you send me your success stories when you are able to apply this technique to your skiing!

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11. The Resistance Theory of Barefooting

This is a good one so pay attention!

Imagine you were doing your dry-land practice (I sure hope you do religiously!). Instead of having your handle attached to a door knob, imagine that a long rope (attached to the handle, of course) went up 15 feet in the air, passed over a pulley, and the down to a bucket of weights. Let’s say for arguments sake, about 25 pounds.

The idea of correct resistance is that the bucket should maintain a constant height as you go through your turn (or one-foot forwards and backwards, back to front, etc…).

If your position and set-up are correct and you STILL catch your heels, then you have lost your mo jo (proper resistance) in the backwards position. In other words, your butt has drifted over your heels when it should have been over your toes.

This information is so powerful that it is illegal in several Eastern block countries!

I want you to take the following test

What is the difference between the two “resistance 1” pictures at http://www.thefootersedge.com/resistance_1.htm

What is the difference? Is there anything noticeable or are they basically the same positions?

NOW look at the “resistance_2” pictures at http://www.thefootersedge.com/resistance_2.htm

The first picture shows the rope going through a hook and is connected to a one gallon container of water that weighs roughly 7 pounds.

The other picture shows the same set-up connected to a cement curb that weighs about (I am guessing) 70 pounds.

Surprised? I hope you are because this dramatically illustrates my Resistance Theory of Barefooting.

Critical point; REISITANCE IS NOT BAD WHEN IT IS APPLIED FROM A GREAT BAREFOOT POSITION. This means great posture, glide, and an awesome Power Band!

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12. The Power of Vision

One of the greatest lessons I can give to skiers of all skill levels is the awesome power of vision. This is a constant lesson that I teach every day and is so powerful that it is as critical in my skiing as it is in the skiing of a beginner.

So critical is this concept that I am willing to make the following statement; “No great skiing is accomplished without great vision.”

Most skiers believe that they do not have a problem with vision because they do not see the immediate effects of bad vision.

Manifestations of bad vision;

Falling forwards, imbalance, fear, skiing on your toes backwards, straignt legs or the inability to bend your knees in the back position, difficulty riding one foots or toe holds, inability to keep from falling your face after getting up on a back deep, difficulty with multiple turns, difficulty in landing a long jump, “facing-out” on a front to back, toe-turn, line-turn, or one-foot turn, poor back or front slalom!

Does any of this sound familiar? Could you get excited about solving any of these problems? If the answer is yes, then you are a lucky person because you are getting this information for FREE. If this does not sound like this could help you, then I look forward to reading about your upcoming World Records and magazine coverage!

The good news is this is the easiest problem to solve if you know when you are committing the heinous crime of poor vision, but the bad news is that most people will never take the time to look for or correct it!

The easiest way that I know to correct this problem without having me personally there to help you is to use a video recorder. I find that most people actually make the same mistakes on land as they do on the water. It only makes good sense that you practice your visions dry land.

Here are Lane Dawg Bowers’ tips for improving your eyesight without getting a prescription (i.e. GREAT VISION);

#1 Keep your eyes open

#2 Keep your face vertical to the water at all times

#3 Keep track of what you are seeing

Does this seem too easy to be true? Is this the easiest solution for improving your skiing that you can imagine? YES!!!

Let me give you one more motivating statement; poor vision is the cause of most poor Posture, Glide, and Power Band, but is also the easiest fix to improve all three!

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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