"Barefoot skiing is a delicate balance between the pull of the rope and the push of the water."
In more basic terms, barefoot water skiing involves gliding across the surface of the water on your bare feet. Your first thought may consider how risky this seems, or you may think it’s impossible, however several barefoot water skiing fanatics would agree to disagree. Barefoot skiing provides a special kind of thrill that other watersports simply can’t give.
WHAT EQUIPMENT WILL YOU NEED?
Some of the necessary equipment is similar to what you would use when water skiing or wakeboarding. First and foremost, you’ll need a boat (I’m sure you could have guessed this one) that has good acceleration and the ability to pull the weight of the skier. Second, you’ll need a water ski line. It should be around 70 to 75 feet long and durable enough to hold 800 pounds. You won't need a wakeboard or water skis; your feet will serve that purpose!
As far as equipment specific to barefoot water skiing, there’s the barefoot wetsuit which will help with the overall experience. With thicker padding throughout, this wetsuit will help you glide on the water, protect you from big falls, and also provide flotation aids.
1. Practice Makes Perfect
Before heading out on the water, practice on land first. Tie up your water ski line and go through the motions from start to finish. You’ll want to start sitting down with your feet up. Then begin to stand up while keeping your knees together with your feet in a slightly wider stance. Keep your arms straight and back arched. Finally, get into a chair position with your knees bent in a 90-degree angle. Repeat this process a few times until you get the hang of it.
Be sure to stretch your muscles before getting in the water. Barefoot skiing is unlike any other activity you have done before, meaning you will use muscles you never knew you had. Stretch your calves, quads, hamstrings, back, abs, shoulders, and more. For a refresher on stretching, click here.
3. Don't Start too Fast
Maintain a slow boat speed when starting out. You’ll want to understand and adapt to the intricacies of this type of skiing.
4. Get to Know the Three-Point Stance
This type of positioning is the go-to stance for barefoot water skiers. So, what is it exactly? Similar to how you practiced it, the three-point stance helps with the transition between sitting and standing. With your bottom in the water and feet upright, begin to bend your knees and squeeze them tightly together. This is the three-point stance.
If barefoot water skiing wasn’t adventurous enough for you, there’s a little something called hand skiing. Yes, you read that correctly, skiing on your hands! This option is much more difficult and risky than barefoot skiing, but there are people out there trying it. At the end of the day, it’s not something we recommend trying. Don’t try this at home kids!
BEST BAREFOOT SKIING VIDEOS
- Insane Barefoot Water Skiing Freestyle
- Barefoot Waterskiing Freestyle Craziness
- World's Greatest Barefooter David Small
- She Quit Her Job to Barefoot
- Barefoot Waterskiing: Crank It Up!