Subject: Back Tumble Start

“No one gets an iron-clad guarantee of success. Certainly, factors like opportunity, luck and timing
are important. But the backbone of success is usually found in old fashioned, basic concepts
like hard work, determination, good planning and perseverance.”-Merlin Olsen, NFL Tackle, Sports Broadcaster

“Truth is generally the best vindication against
-Abraham Lincoln

I have had a lot of people asking me about a very advanced barefoot start.the backwards tumble-up.
This is a start that is widely unused in competitions,but is spectacular to watch when done properly. When this start is performed as a “flyer” (running off a dock)and is then performed on one foot, it is the most difficult and highest paid start in barefooting competition!

To see an example of this start done off a 15 foot bridge at my Connecticut clinic, simply go to and click on “World’s Most Difficult Start from a 15’Bridge.”

If you want a 7 day FREE Trial of my Virtual Ski School
( see this on video along with other never before seen instructional videos that compliment and add tomy 2 Hour Instructional video 

I want to break this start into three parts;

#1 How to properly hold the handle
#2 How to get outside the wake
#3 How to spin properly

Driving Note: Most people take a medium pull from the boat until they are outside the wake at around 22-25 mph, and then spin while the boat is not accelerating.

Equipment Note: This start is noticeable easier in a dry suit. I also prefer using a trick handle. It is not necessary to havea “T-Bar” to hold onto if you hold the handle as I describebelow.

———- #1 How to properly hold the handle ———

While standing, hold the handle as you would normally for a back deep as in picture #1
( #14).

Next, let go with the hand that will be holding onto the rope (your choice) out in front of you (this is the hand that you will use to push off of to spin around) as in picture #2.

The rope will then go under your armpit to your push-offhand. The hand on the handle should be pressed firmlyinto your hamstring where it meets up with your butt as shown in picture #3.

It is critical to keep your handle here when the boat takes off in order to keep the pull from hand-cuffing
you. This critical position is what will allow the pull of the boat to help you surf outside the wake where
the back tumble start is easiest!

#2 How to get outside the wake

With a medium acceleration from the boat, you will be able to surf outside the wake as long as you do twocritical things:

#1 Keep the handle in the position described above!
#2 Get onto the edge of your body furthest from the

DANGER: If you do not keep the handle in the criticalposition, you could hurt your shoulder and wrist!

———-#3 How to spin properly———————–

Once outside the wake, you can keep from bouncing by keeping your weight on the same edge of your bodyas you used to surf on.

When you feel stable and ready to spin, push away from the rope by sliding your straight arm down the rope towards the handle. Simultaneously, throw yourhead and upper body towards the back position. It is critical that you spin on your hips, keep your eyes open, and arch your back until you get your hand onto the handle.

You may find that you are missing the handle. If thisis the case try keeping your hand on the rope longerand grab any part of the handle as you spin. You can stabilize yourself and the adjust your grip afterwards.

Remember that this is like a tumble turn so make sure that you keep your leading edge (hip) out of the water during the spin!

Once you are backwards, you simply plant your feet as you would for a regular back deep start!

I am anxious to hear about your successes or challengesso make sure and keep me updated!

My Virtual Ski School will have additional video soon of how to practice this on dry land!