When it comes to water skiing most think of skies that are made from fiberglass, wood or aluminum. However, there is another option to water skiing and that is using just your bare feet. Many find this form of water skiing enjoyable since they are traveling forty miles an hour on their own feet without the use of skis.
Barefoot water skiing first started in the forties in Florida. Now the sport has grown in popularity to the point that many water skiing schools will teach it and it even has its own competitions. Barefoot water skiing can be challenging and if you want to learn there are three primary ways you can start.
One of the most common learning methods and the easiest is to step off a slalom ski. Make sure you ski has a loose and adjustable binding or if you can remove the heal piece completely. It is best to do this while holding onto a boom, but you can do it with a long line. After doing a normal slalom deep-water start you can take your rear foot off the ski and gently place it in the water.
Now make sure you foot that is on the water is ahead of the foot that is still on the ski. It should only be about a half foot to a foot in front of the other foot in order to have success. Through a gentle rocking motion you should place all of your weight on the foot that is on the water. The ski will easily slip away and you can place your other foot on the water. This method will have you doing barefoot water skiing within a couple of hours and a few trial runs.
However, if stepping off a ski doesn't sound like the right method for you then there is the tumble-up boom start. If you are going to use this technique you will want to be wearing a barefoot suit. Essentially you are hanging from the boom like you would on the monkey bars while the boat is put in gear.
As the boat starts your feet will drag out behind you. Once the boat has picked up speed you can bend your knees about ninety degrees and then use your arms to swing the lower half of your body to bring it in front of you. Now you will be traveling on your butt with your feet in front of you. By gently placing your heels on the water you will stand up almost instantly.
The third and final option for those who want an easier way to barefoot water skiing is to start with your feet on the cables. This doesn't require the arm strength of a tumble-up boom start and is nearly as easy as the slalom ski start. You start out by grabbing the boom with your hands shoulder width apart and your feet in an upside down "V" pattern on the outer most boom cable.
Once the boat gains speed you can slide your feet up the cables while you sit up. Soon your butt will be in the water. After the water is hard enough you can bend your knees ninety degrees and take your feet off the cables. When ready gently place your heels on the water and stand up. It can't get any easier than this to start off with barefoot water skiing.