“When you have confidence, you can have a lot of fun and when you have fun, you can do amazing things.”
NFL Quarterback and Sports Broadcaster
Well there my barefootin’ buddy, this is going to be short, but could be one of the biggest helps for you in attaining that super light feeling on the water that is so critical for achieving success as the difficulty increases. I was going to write about surface turns and decided to postpone until I finished this tip as it is quintessential to surface turns, one foots, three-points, jumping, and everything in barefooting with the possible exception of front slalom and endurance barefooting!
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!
Please help me out and forward this to as many footers or even potential footers as you can. This will help to make this newsletter a BIG success! We want everyone to have a GREAT chance to achieve their own miracles!
Do you have questions about skiing with Lane Dawg Bowers? Click here to check out our question and answer section.
I am available to personally help you achieve your skiing miracles by calling 877-685-6270 or visit our website @ http://www.thefootersedge.com Feel free to email me personally with any requests that you have and I will try to make time to help you achieve your true potential!