wwsf

You’d Think This Post Was Off Topic…

…but it’s not. You’ll need to read all the way to the end to find out why.

First, lets look at some behind the scenes footage of the Red Bull Depth Charge. Now you’re asking, what’s that? Well, it was the world’s first UNDERGROUND wakeboard event. They used a mine from 1864 that had since flooded with a whole lot of water, installed some features and put up some lights and whala, they had themselves a wakeboard course set about 120 feet below the surface of the earth.


Red Bull Depth Charge

Next up is the Dew Tour Mastercraft Wakeboard Rail Jam. One would think they’d hold a wakeboard event in a lake, right? Even in the Red Bull Depth Charge they were in a lake, granted is was underground, but still, it was a lake. The Rail Jam, they held it in a parking lot… on pavement… and built some really big pools. And by big pools, I mean ginormous (gigantic * enormous = ginormous) pools. In word, they were big. But not so big that if they jumped too high or too far, they might just hit pavement. Be sure to watch this one to the end because they managed to find a guy to explain everything for you.


Dew Tour Mastercraft Wakeboard Rail Jam

By now you’re wondering why are there two wakeboarding videos posted here on a barefoot site? One might be OK, but two? Seriously? [just watched me some SNL] Well, both of these events had one Mr Peter Fleck involved in the planning of them. Who’s Peter Fleck? This guy…

That is Peter Fleck as he appeared some 26 years ago. It’s also this guy…

peter_fleck.jpg (42417 bytes)

He’s had a lengthy career as a barefooter, skied professionally in ski shows and has even competed at Footstock in recent years. He also helped plan both the Depth Charge and Rail Jam events. In addition to everything he’s done on the water, he’s done a lot of stuff off the water to help promote the sport of water skiing and all is various disciplines, even wakeboarding. Here’s the video that was played at the Wisconsin Water Ski Hall of Fame induction ceremony in 2009. It highlights some of the things he’s done both on and off the water.


Peter Fleck Wisconsin Water Ski Hall of Fame Induction Highlight Video

Hopefully you’ve taken the nearly 30 minutes to read this short article and watch these three videos. Two highlight some spectacular water ski events and one highlights a truly spectacular water skier who helped make those events happen.

Spring 2009 Wisconsin WaterSkier

The new issue of the Wisconsin WaterSkier showed up in my mailbox today.  Flipping through the Official Publication of the Wisconsin Water Skiing Federation I was pleasently surprised to find several articles by barefooters for barefooters in it.  Typically you’re lucky to find one article about barefooting in a water skiing magazine.

The issue is primarily focus on the details of the Wisconsin Water Skiing Expo and Convention (previously called Think Tank) with details on all of the various sessions available.  But towards the back of the book there are three good barefooting articles.

The first barefooting article is by Jamie Kunlien.  He recently just competed at Worlds in New Zealand and in the summer is a member of the Janesville Rock Aqua Jays (a show ski team in Wisconsin).  His article went through many good things to think about when going to a barefooting school, or any type of water skiing instruction, and really any type of instruction in general.  He wrote about what you need to do be an Active Learner. There’s a lot there that seems obvious, but it is worth everyone’s time to read it. You can apply it to a lot more than just barefooting.

The second article is by Paul MacDonald, also a world class barefooter.  His article is about how to dryland train for barefooting. This is a good article for those of us in the frozen north because even if we do get out on the lake, we’re probably ice fishing right now.  He goes through several things to work on when you’re not on the water and how they’ll translate to making you better on the water.

The third and final article is by Dave Small, yet another world class barefooter. His article talks about how to do a tumble turn.  It’s a simple trick and his explanation is yet another rephrasing of every other explanation of how to do a tumble turn.  It wasn’t anything new, but hearing everyone give a consistent explanation means it must be the right way to explain it.

Finally, for those of you looking for something to do the weekend of February 27th thru March 1st, come to Wisconsin Dells for the Water Skiing Expo.  They’ll be several sessions about barefooting with topics about goals, driving, how to practice, stretching, figure-8 competition (by KSO), back deeps, 3-event (by KSO), and about what barefooting can teach you about life.

I know I’ll be attending some of these sessions, as well as many other sesssions about show skiing.  This year one of my goals for Think Tank is to do less 12-ounce curls on Friday night.  🙂  I hope to meet some of you there.  Ask around for Wedge.  There are lots of people that know who I am.

Think Tank 2008

Don’t know what Think Tank is?  I’m about to tell you if you don’t.  Think Tank is the world’s largest water skiing convention and expo and it is put on by the Wisconsin Water Skiing Federation and this year it is February 29 thru March 2 at the Chula Vista Resort in Wisconsin Dells.

Why am I telling you about this? Well, it is a great opportunity to meet some of the best barefooters in the world and get some instruction from them.  Here’s where you are probably confused if you’ve heard about Think Tank.  You may be thinking “isn’t that just for show skiers?”  And the answer to that is no with an asterik.  Yes there are a lot of things there geared towards show skiers, but hey, it is in Wisconsin and that sport is pretty popular here (yes, I live in Wisco).  But there is more to it than show skiing stuff.  There are wakeboarding, 3-event and yes, barefooting clinics put on in addition the show skiing clinics.  You just might make some new friends to go skiing with too once the weather warms up.

So if you’re in the area or just want to head to the great white north (because it’s snow covered) for a weekend get away, come by Think Tank.  In addition to the instructional clinics and deals you might find on some new equipment, you’ll be able to spend a weekend at a great resort.  If you’re tired of the freezing weather, you can pretend it’s summer in their indoor water park kept at a toasty 80 degrees.  If you register for Think Tank, you’ll even get a good deal on the room.

They don’t have their schedule posted online yet, but keep an eye on their website for more details.

Links:
WWSF
Think Tank
Chula Vista Resort