“The addictive challenge of barefooting is to ski that perfect pass where everything flows without the awareness of power and precision.
To achieve this elusive pass requires facing dangers others are notwilling to face.and to prevail where others are not willing to sacrifice.
The passion to ride the adrenaline rush of victory over fear on our way to the next greater challenge parallels life in that the successful confrontation of fear defines our existence.”
-Lanemus Dawgumus Maximus circa 2001
“The difference between a warrior and an ordinary man is that a warrior sees everything as a challenge, while an ordinary man sees everything as either a blessing or a curse.”
-Carlos Castaneda, A separate Peace
If you are like a lot of barefooters out there you have either competed in or at least thought about getting involved with a team and entering one of the popular ‘Dam to Dam’ races, endurance tournaments (like Banana George Blair’s tournament in Winter Haven, Fl), or figure eight tournaments (like Footstock in Minnesota).
Although I have only been involved with only one of these events, they are a great way to meet other barefooters and compete in an environment where high-tech skills go right out the window.
While top-level skiers are present at most of these events, it is the grass roots footers who seem to thrive because they ski in the kind of conditions typical to these events. The only requirement to get in these events is the ability to stand-up behind the boat, ski through difficult footing conditions, and hold on for a long time from slow speeds to really fast speeds (some around 50mph!).
>For all of you who have had the privilege of skiing with me down here in paradise, you have experienced the beautiful conditions and the huge difference in your skiing when you achieve perfectPosture and GlideT and The Power bandT! (https://www.thefootersedge.com/videos,https://www.thefootersedge.com/equipment/articles_listed.html)
Well sit back and catch your breath because I am about to blow the doors off the secrets to becoming the best endurance footer on your lake!
Lane Dawg Bowers Patented Principles for Barefooting in Four wheel Drive (LOW!)
It is time to master SLOUCH and PLOWT!
If you are to get really good at endurance, you need to conserve energy and change gears! Posture and GlideT and The Power bandT! were designed for relatively good water conditions, explosive power, and to maximize the surface area of your foot on the water making difficult moves as easy as possible.
SLOUCH and PLOWT RULES the rough water world and endurance events!
How do you achieve SLOUCH and PLOWT in your skiing? The perfect PLOWT is achieved pushing forward on your heels so that the water breaks more towards the middle of your foot or arch. It will also be helpful to take the bend out of your knees to conserve energy. A great knee bend can blow your quads if you are not careful.
How do you achieve a great SLOUCHT? Chances are great that if you just mimic the upper body position you have right now while you are reading this at your computer, you will have arrived.
All that work we put into your upper body goes from being unbelievably helpful to a huge waste of energy in these types of events. Rolling your shoulder blades back so that your scapulas touch while keeping your ribs up and expanded, are not techniques that were intended to keep you skiing efficiently over long periods of time!
But if you think that the SLOUCH and PLOWT method is for Neanderthals, you would be wrong. It takes the same time and dedication to improve your endurance skiing (SLOUCH and PLOWT!) as it does your high-tech skiing (Posture and GlideT and The Power bandT!). You need to treat both with respect.
“Danger Will Robinson” WARNING: DO NOT INTERMIX THESE TECHNIQUES!!!!
Slouch and Glide, Posture and Plow, The Power band and Plow are not compatible skills. Although many of you have tried different combinations, it cannot work! This is similar to trying to put a lift kit, four-wheel drive, gun rack, 15-inch wheels with Thornbird tires, and stainless steel pit bull cages on a Porsche 911 Turbo (Polk County has already tried this and it was embarrassing and dangerous).
But there are several other keys to success in endurance skiing.
CREATIVITY: The main rule is that there are NO rules. It boils down to survival of the fittest. Move around and do whatever you have to do to give the areas experiencing the most pain a break. Anything goes as long as it keeps you going.
PAIN MANAGEMENT: “Pain is only weakness leaving your body” is a great slogan for endurance barefooting! People write me all the time asking me how to condition their feet to ski longer. I am sure a lot of you have some great ides that I would be happy to categorize for everyone, but it all boils down to a simple fact. You cannot improve your time or distance without skiing up to where you feel pain, and then skiing longer. Keep a journal of your times and set small reasonable goals for improvement.
NEVER put your arm through the handle in order to ski longer!
Think of it like aerobic activity. How come you can’t begin a new program by going for an hour right off the bat? Unless you like throwing up and ambulance rides, this is not a good idea. It is much healthier to take baby steps. You would never put a baby on a treadmill maxed out to full speed and incline, and I hope you do not approach endurance skiing without taking my advice.
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 protected]
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Talk to you soon!