Subject: For Advanced Barefooters Only, January 6, 2006 Winter
"Youth is not entirely a time of life; it is a state of mind.
Nobodygrows old by merely living a number of years. People grow old bydeserting their ideals. You are as young as your faith, as old as
your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair."
-Douglas Mac Arthur
Surface turns such as front-to-backs and back-to-fronts are the
biggoals of almost anyone who gets addicted to barefoot water skiing. Why? Because they are the top tier of tricks which open up a whole
world of difficulty thought to be out of reach to most.
Can you learn to do a front-to-back? Of course you can! All you
need to do is follow the baby steps I outline and master the basics.
One of the questions I would like to answer is concerning differences
between "step-behind," "step-over," and "hop
and swap" turns. These terms refer to what your feet are doing during the actual turn.
For example, some people seem to lift a foot and "step-behind"
the other foot by bringing their foot through the spray. Barefootersdo not try to make their feet move in this manner...it just happens.
The skiers who "step-behind" are mostly interested in
learning to"step-over." Why? Because it is a mechanically easier
turn and it lookscleaner and it is more efficient which leads to easier multiple
turns like 360's and 540's.
This entire terminology is Old School and it leads into a complete
distraction from what really matters...form. If you have my 2 hourinstructional DVD, have skied with me, and/or been following my
newsletter for awhile, you know that all my teaching comes down
the three basic principles upon which all great barefooting is built;
Posture, Glide, and PowerBand.
I am going to cut to what you really want...How do you stopfrom doing the more awkward "step-behind" turn...even
if you have done it that way for years?
I have a three step solution that assumes that you will firstlearn to ski in a great front and back position even if you think it is not necessary.
Here are three ways to surface turn success;
#1 Practice turning with a small Gatorade bottle or something similar up high near the crotch of your wetsuit. Learn to turn without dropping the bottle on your Puppy Paws or other shoe skis until you have mastered it. Then start slowing your speeds down until it is even more difficult than doing it on your
#2 Practice using one Puppy Paw on your strong foot while keeping the other foot barefoot. Make sure you use your thigh squeeze you learned above!
Major Key to Success: Alot of you old school barefooters gotexcited when I suggested the one shoe ski method, but here isThe New School Twist, once you have mastered the above steps,you MUST then master it with the OTHER ski on the opposite foot. This means you are now forced to use the foot on the water that you had the tendency to lift.
The key to doing this is that you will have to increase theboat speed about 5-8 mph to compensate for your favorite foot taking more weight than the previous foot.
#3 This will take some commitment, but you should get excitedabout your future when you follow this step;
Learn to do your one-foot turns on the Puppy Paws! You do notneed to do them on your feet now, but by learning the one-footfront-to-back and one-foot back-to-front on show skis, you will have learned more about the critical nature of the form I teach,the critical nature of "squeezing" during all your turns,
and how to turn on both feet!
Major Key to Success: Step #3 must be learned on BOTH feet oryou will not have mastered these principles.
The great news is that you will become a surface turn master once you have followed these steps and you will be on your way to reaching your barefooting miracles!