“Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth-that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves, too.”
-Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
“It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.”
“I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavor.”
-Henry David Thoreau
In conjunction with Short Attention Span Theatre, I bring you my fast food approach to instructional help that I have named Barefoot Band-Aides! I will continue to write full feature articles, but judging by the response, this just might become a regular feature!
Here are the first 10 questions and answers. I will include links to additional info at www.thefootersedge.com/../trauma_center.html
#1 From: Bill McKee
“Lane, What are the keys to tracking straight backwards behind the boat?”
Lane Dawg: You must learn to keep your knee soft and “bouncy trouncy” in order to keep from moving all over the place instead of skiing in the curl. It is also critical to keep your VISION!
READ: Tigger the Tiger @ http://www.thefootersedge.com/equipment/info/ne17.htm
Ultra Mega Glide@
Learning to ski well long line is also covered in my video in my “balancing section.” ../../video_ad.htm
#2 “When doing dry land practice (only way to do it this time of year in NY) in the backward position. Should the heel be touching the ground or should you be balanced on the ball of foot?”-Kevin Kremler
Lane Dawg: Keep your feet as flat as possible with your ankles completely relaxed and the end of your butt directly above the ball of your foot. Trying to keep your heel off the ground or water is what we call “gas pedaling” or “plowing.”
Want a great foot position? Click here� Ultra Mega Glide@
Ankles and Angles is a MUST READ @
#3 Is there any way to toughen up my feet in the off season besides going to Florida for a visit, so they don’t burn so much in the early spring? – Doug
Lane Dawg: I find that a steady dose of belt sanding really does the trick (STOP!!!! I am kidding!). The best way I know is to let your feet out to breathe and walk on them as much as possible. I personally like those inserts that you can put in your shoes that are prickly because of the hundreds of rubber tips that your foot rests on. I am not sure where to get these. Other than that, I have not found a great solution, but when I train for endurance barefooting, I like to keep a little bit of crushed gravel in a pair of sneakers which I wear around to toughen up my feet. This should do the trick!
#4 Should your glide position be different in rough water? In rough water, I tend to have my feet in front of my knees with my feet angled steeply upward because I feel (perhaps mistakenly) that it helps me to avoid catching a toe.
– Tim Baker
Lane Dawg: It depends on “how” rough a water you are talking about. If you are talking about really wind blown (6″ chop +) or Sunday after noon “Wally” water, then you have to get into more of a survival position which allows you to push your feet in front of your knees and change up your posture so that it allows you to conserve energy. This could include wider, straighter legs all the way to a much more crouched position.
Make sure and read my article on “Slouch and Plow” @
#5 What is the rule of thumb for speed on beginning surface turns on your bare feet, after of course mastering them on the “paws”. Also, should the speed
be varied for BTF vs. FTB.
Lane Dawg: This is something I pride myself in being able to master, but it is not an exact science. In general, I aim to start at the MOST COMFORTABLE starting speed and aim to “back off the throttle” (“backing-off” is a skill that must be mastered by your driver if you want the best possible advantage in the learning stages. Incorrect use of this technique has the opposite effect!) so that you end-up at the MINIMUM END POSITION SPEED! If you are a 150 pound guy doing a front-to-back, you may need to start at 36-37 mph for the set-up and turn, but you will have to have the driver back off so that you end-up around 30mph. There is no need to “accelerating” if the skier does not have the handle. I.e., keep backing down OR begin accelerating again after the successful completion of the trick!
Please read The Back to Front @
The Front to Back @
Power Band and Squeezing @
The Art of Barefoot Driving@
#6 “Master Qui Gon Lanemus, That new trick I’m working on where the handle is between my leg’s backwards and I’m trying to do a line step/Back-to-Front! Do I let the boat pull me around like a normal Back-to-Front or do I induce it? Landing on my butt a lot” -Andy
Lane Dawg: The quick answer is “yes.” In ANY back to front, let the boat pull you around. I like to use my Power Band to initiate momentum on my “line-fronts,” but this is dangerous if executed improperly. Use a POWER CRUNCH to increase the squeeze, and then when you release, step over slowly. Make sure you do not use your upper body to initiate the turn (“Quiet Upper Body”), do not come up above the “perfect position,” and keep your free hand open next to your face to help you keep your VISION!!!!
Please read Line Step One-foots and Hops @
Power Band and Squeezing @
The Back to Front @
The Front to Back @
#7 What is the best way to keep from getting water in the ears and schnozz while footing? Are Ear plugs or Schnozz (nose) plugs dangerous and if not, what are the best types you have seen success with? – Jack B.
Lane Dawg: I do not use them, but I have a lot of people who enjoy and could not do without them. The safest and most successful technique that I first started seeing out of Europe is to use “plasters” or waterproof band-aides around a “pinched nose.” I have also used plain old duct tape that I keep in the boat for people who freak out about water in their nose. It seems to put a lot of people at ease. Maybe it will help you?
#8 Do you feel that height of a person’s arch affects their ability to ski at the same speed as someone with a lower arch or flat feet? Why or why not? -Jimmy N.
Lane Dawg: Having a high arch definitely makes skiing at slower speed more difficult because the shape of the foot makes it hard to get maximum surface area on the water. I tell people that the bigger the footprint you can leave on the water, the better. If only a small part of your foot is on the water then you are definitely not maxing out your potential for your foot!
Read Ultra Mega Glide @ http://www.thefootersedge.com/equipment/info/ne14.htm
#9 What is the Barefooter’s Think Tank?? Is there an agenda or what? I’m interested…-Gean
Lane Dawg: I have a friend who generously donates his conference call line to us at NO CHARGE. I therefore invite anyone who wants to call in to ask any barefooting related questions which I answer for them. The goal is to get people on my newsletter fired-up about barefooting! If this happens to get people fired-up about coming to ski with me or buy my video, it is a bonus, but it is designed to promote barefoot water skiing!
Lane Dawg Live tonight @ 1-702 876-7738 8pm EST.
#10 “I can foot on a long line (off a knee board) but that’s about it. What is the next easiest step, without eating water through my eyes, ears, nose, and mouth??? -Jason”
There is a certain amount of water that will always be around your face when learning to start barefooting. With proper technique, you can greatly minimize water in your nose and ears. See the above comments about nose plugs! If you really study the correct form for a front deep-water start, I am sure you will persevere and join the elite ranks of those who barefoot without skis and boards! A proper thigh squeeze and proper breathing techniques will turn you into a front deep machine! A little raw meat and sushi will not hurt either!
First front-deep water start� http://www.thefootersedge.com/equipment/info/ne10.htm
Also check out the FREE Video lesson at
I really work hard on these articles to help you to become the best barefoot water skier you can be. Please do me a favor and forward this to some of your footin’ friends and encourage them to sign-up. I have made it easy for you. All you have to do is “cut and paste” the segment below. Email your friends and c.c me at email@example.com.
Hi (Insert their name here)
Do you subscribe to Lane “Dawg” Bowers Free Barefoot Tips Newsletter?
I do, and I think it’s great because…. (Insert your own reasons here)
Subscriptions are FREE and you get a copy of Lane’s 159-page
“Be the Best Barefooter on Your Lake” Ebook with 48 articles covering everything from The Easiest Way to Learn to Barefoot Water Ski to Learning to Backwards Barefoot to Jumping Inverted…
Just go to http://www.thefootersedge.com/free_ebook and you can get all the details.
Talk to you soon!