How do I get my foot to the strap?
2. How can I stop falling onto my back?
3. How should I drive?
4. Boom height?
5. How much Speed do I need?
6. Should I use Puppy Paws?
7. Dry land practice?
How do I get my foot to the strap?
here to read the entire article!
me first let you know that the front toehold is
a great trick that not only looks cool but also
is fun to perform. It is also a favorite for getting
cool pictures! I can remember my first toe-hold
and I was so excited that I couldn’t sleep that
night! It is also note worthy that I believe front
and back toe-holds to be the foundations upon which
all great skiers are made! Anyone who has ever shared
his or her personal barefoot dreams with me has
had this very speech. I believe that it is way more
important to have your toeholds in order than it
is to concentrate on surface turns. Many people
make this mistake, but not you. You know better!
Learning and perfecting your front and back toe-holds
and then taking them to the long-line where you
perfect your balance on both sides of the wake puts
you in an elite class of skier. With these skills,
slalom, tricks (and especially turns), and even
jumping are begging for you to realize your potential.
It is this insistence on these basics that has helped
me to help so many other skiers around the world
to learn how to ski smart and to enjoy barefooting
with the confidence of knowing that they possess
the basics necessary to learn any and everything
they are willing to pay the price for. So let me
get to it!
all know by now how I am going to approach this.
If you are really serious about making this process
easier on yourself, you need to not only have good
Posture but also good Glide. And if you really like
perfection, you will hold yourself to the standard
of the Ultra
Mega Glide from News from THE EDGE #14!
Most of the people
I teach find it strenuous to reach their foot into
the strap because of the increased resistance of
their plowing heel. The most difficult part of this
for most people is getting to where they can ride
with their foot into the strap without losing their
glide or balance (News
from The Edge #3-Ankles and Angles). The good
news for Clint (the dude who wrote me this request)
is that this is not the problem. But let’s
first get back to where we start. I recommend learning
the one-foots and toeholds on dry land and then
on the shoe-skis (we recommend Puppy
Paws) with careful attention to Posture and
Glide! The real concern is that you will lose
great position as you become concerned with picking
your foot up.
What I am surprised
that I have not been asked is the following; “If
I hold my shoulders back with my chest expanded
as you suggest, how do I get forward over my foot?”
This is a great question because it tells me that
the skier has really taken their one-foot form seriously
and has kept the pull in the hips by keeping their
shoulders further back than their but! Having done
this, how do you transition into the toehold position?
There are two reasons
people have trouble with this transition. Assuming
that the Ultra-Mega Glide stays consistent, people
tend to lose their Angle as their foot rises toward
the strap! The easiest way to solve this is to think
of raising your foot with the foot turned inward
so that the toes are turned to the inside with the
heel turned towards the outside! If you practice
this on dry land, you will see that this will keep
your body angled toward the foot in the water. Remember
we want to position your body so that your weight
is on top of the foot in the water. If you keep
your shoulders and hips parallel to the water it
puts weight over the foot that you are trying to
lift towards the strap (and thus counterproductive)!
Does this make sense?
Well then, if we
have the above problems solved, this leads us to
the problem of not feeling like you can let go safely
after you have your foot in the strap! This can
be accomplished safely by doing three things;
#1 make sure you
have a soft and bent knee (News
from THE EDGE #17-Tigger the Tiger)
#2 transition from
a FULL grip to a FINGER-TIP grip within the first
two seconds of having your foot in the strap
#3 transition from
the shoulders behind the butt to the shoulders in
front of the butt. This is best accomplished by
crunching your abdominals so that you bring the
bottom of your ribs towards the top of the hip bone…without
losing the rest of your position!!!
At this point the
pressure should be off your hands and securely on
your foot in the strap (Make sure that your foot
is deep into the strap instead of just on your toes)!
It is now critical that you release your hands forward
holding everything else quietly in position. The
quieter your body stays, the easier it will be to
ride in a balanced position!
I am a big believer
in listening to your body and mind. If you do not
feel safe, go through the above notes carefully
on dry land and Puppy
Paws until you feel secure in your method! Do
not do a “Hail Mary” to get into the
toehold position! This will yield “eye-peelage”
followed by “Advil-poppage!”
If you do what I
have outlined, your miracle will be awaiting you!
Get your camera ready and start planning for the
Santa Claus suit post card you will circulating
to you close friends on Christmas! I sure hope you
send me one!
2. How can I stop
falling onto my back?
here to read the entire article!
backwards after letting go can be caused from several
problems in your form;
Plowing instead of gliding.
Incorrect "Angle" in your set-up.
Not "crunching after releasing your hands.
on better starting form, a better set-up, a soft
knee, and then crunching your abdominals before
releasing your finger tips! Remember to move your
hands as little as possible maintaining your angle
in your hands, hips, and shoulders in order to keep
your weight centered over the foot you will be standing
. How should I drive?
my newest instructional video on the toe-hold at
my all new Virtual
for the toe-hold is relatively easy. I always drive
to a comfortable one-foot speed and double check
that the form has not decayed. As the skier puts
their foot in the strap, I gently decelerate about
1mph. This should be done so gradually that it is
unnoticed by the skier.
slow down? This allows the skiers foot to keep from
plowing. It also has a calming effect on the skier
if done properly.
sure this is mastered on dry
land and then the Puppy
Paws before going to the feet!
How high should
the boom be?
All boom heights
and speeds are shown on my 2
hour instructional video.
See my newest instructional
video on the toe-hold at my all new Virtual
The boom should be about shoulder
height for athletic individuals, but lower if there
is a flexibility issue for older skiers.
much speed do I need?
a 180lb person, I would aim for 40mph and then gently
slow down to 38-39mph after the have released their
hands. It really depends on how good their form
better the glide, the slower you can go!
Should I use Puppy Paws?
There is no substitute for using the best shoe skis
available. Do not risk injury as well as hurting
it on dry
land training, master it on the Puppy
Paws, and then enjoy the success on your feet!
How do I dry land practice this trick?
is the beginning of success.
Read my article,
carefully practice using your front
toe handle (Front-Toe
Handle - B219) on dry
the Door Knob Barefooting Olympics Begin!),
then on your Puppy
and then you will own it on your feet!
me with your progress. I am expecting a miracle