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TrickyNicky

Barefoot Shorts! If you barefoot (or want to), Read This!

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TrickyNicky

Summary at the bottom if you don't want to read the blabbing.

So I've been footing for ~10 years now. Spent the first 2 years on the boom and the last 8 a mix of boom, short line and on rare occasions long line. 4 years ago I learned tumble-ups and subsequently tumble turns. I can do them consistently but they are always frantic and sloppy with a big explosion of a stomp to get me back up. I have NEVER been able to butt slide or three point, not even close. I've practiced multiple times but never had any success. The suit I use is probably 20-30 years old, so I always figured it is just not as slippery on the water and I should probably upgrade. Last year we had a good barefooting friend up at the cottage and his tumble turns were like 1-finger pulls in slow motion, there was no effort at all and I craved that control.

Last night we had the same crew for a ski/barefoot night and I wanted to learn that control. I borrowed his barefoot shorts and I must have looked like (certainly felt like) a pro. I probably spent an equal time sliding around on my butt as I did standing. I could sit down, stand up, sit down as much as I like. Instead of doing a sloppy tumble, I was linking tricks like: sit-down, tumble-left, sideways-lie-down-butt-slide, double-tumble-right, tumble-left, up-on-one-foot. It was AMAZING!!! I feel like a brand new footer and my love and desire to go again is back in FULL swing.

My confidence was so high I was footing on one foot with ease (although one more than the other) for extended periods of time, I even had my foot in the handle and could let go of either hand but didn't feel right dropping both as I would start twisting (any help?) and last but not least i got to pull one of these off for a good 10 seconds on a couple occasions.

NoHands.jpg

If your wondering what I'm trying to say here it's that barefoot shorts are essential to tumble anythings. I would say there usefulness when footing on a rope is the equivalent of having a barefoot suit vs none on the boom, they made that much of a difference! We had two guys that were going to learn short-line deep water starts and I honestly said, it's not even worth the stress without the shorts. The rate of success would be so much greater with the shorts that I wouldn't waste my time trying (despite the fact I learned without shorts). FTR, the shorts I used were probably around the 20 year mark too and were far from brand new condition, but they worked none-the-less. So needless to say I'm buying myself some shorts or I'm never footing on a line again :rofl: .

SUMMARY:

If you barefoot, or want to barefoot, GET BAREFOOT SHORTS!!!! If not you are the biggest :crazy: :Doh: :Frustrated: :loser: :lame: , even more so than me because you just read this and still chose to go without!

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Kenw

Friends would not let friends foot without bf shorts! :)

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MalibuNation

Friend of mine nearly got killed bf-ing as water went up his you know what

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WoodyBC

I totally agree. Ive been at it for a year and just a couple if months ago, I added BF shorts under my BF suit and WOW what a difference. The deep water start is smoother and easier, glides are great. Get some!

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rushman

Congrats on the tumbles. Yes shorts do make all the difference when learning tumbles, or really any of the fundamentals like 3 points, deep starts or 'butting out' longline. A little extra flotation and tightening up the suit is a good thing. Go buy some good Eagle shorts (or even Iron shorts) and they will last for years.

As far as the toe hold advice...do what you are doing (foot in handle, still holding on) and ride it for as long as you can. Get comfortable. Remember (and this is the scary thing about toe holds) is you MUST crunch forward, bring your chest and hips OVER your knee and you WILL feel more comfortable and glide on top of the water better. You are "twisting" most likely because you are flattening out and falling off balance. Where you hold your arms will help with this...one arm should be higher than the other. For example...if your right foot is up in the toehold then your right arm should be higher than your left. This will help rotate your right shoulder forward and you will stay balanced. Trust me, if you are plowing in a toehold, you are very close to a world of pain. My advice...ride your ones foots until they are super clean (no fighting, no plowing, with holding on with one hand, etc.) then go into the toehold, crutch forward...let go and ride it. It will be easy from there. AND set your foot back down GENTLY on the water. I see most beginners get into the toe, get excited, forget they are doing 42 mph and get out WAY too fast and slam their foot down. It definitely raises the fun factor IN the boat but the skier sure wishes they had not done it.

Get some GOOD shorts and nail it. Good luck.

Kevin

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SeanQ

A good suit that fits correctly (very tight) really doesn't need barefoot shorts. A flimsy suit or a loose suit can be made WAAY better by adding shorts.

As far as the toe hold goes, definitely crunch forward, get your foot in the toe hold and quit messing around, just let go! The most unstable point is when you have your foot in the harness and your hands on the rope, believe me when I say it gets easier when you let go. To boost your confidence/take away some fear factor, remember that 95% of front-toe falls are falling backwards (to your butt), not forward (to your face). Like Kevin said, be patient when you take it back out of the harness, there's no hurry to slam it in the water.

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TrickyNicky

IF I do fall forward (or back for that matter) what are the chances of my foot being caught in the rope? That was my biggest fear. A fall I can take but I had this cringe that I was going to fall and get yanked around by my leg and end up cutting my season (only a bit) short.

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rushman

IF I do fall forward (or back for that matter) what are the chances of my foot being caught in the rope? That was my biggest fear. A fall I can take but I had this cringe that I was going to fall and get yanked around by my leg and end up cutting my season (only a bit) short.

As long as you are not locked into a "bear trap" type front toe handle the chances of having your foot suck in is ZERO! From the look of the picture you have a normal front toe handle. Do not fear being 'stuck" in at all. It has never happened to me and I have never heard it ever happening either. I have seen many people learn front toes and it just doesn't happen. Do not use a "bear trap" handle.

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SeanQ

As long as you are not locked into a "bear trap" type front toe handle the chances of having your foot suck in is ZERO! From the look of the picture you have a normal front toe handle. Do not fear being 'stuck" in at all. It has never happened to me and I have never heard it ever happening either. I have seen many people learn front toes and it just doesn't happen. Do not use a "bear trap" handle.

Exactly.

Bear trap told holds are pretty much only used for doing long line toe-ups. The one in your pic is just a regular front toe handle and like rushman said, you can't get caught in it, so there's no need for a pin like if you were trick skiing.

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footndale

Nice job.

Upgrading to a newer Eagle, will help too. Quite a bit has changed in comfort, material and padding in 20-30 years. BF shorts do make it more comfortable riding on you butt and is always good to have.

Glad you are finding the confidence to foot more and have fun with it.

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TrickyNicky

Thanks for all the advice ill be going for the toe hold next time, and crunched forward!! Really makes me feel better knowing my chances of getting caught up in the rope is slim to none.

And there's always room to upgrade but only so much $, plus we love our retro colors!!!

Edited by TrickyNicky

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rushman

Tricky,

I see you are from Ottawa...If you are ever in the Peterborough area, drop me a PM. We can get you nailing your front toes.

Kevin

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TrickyNicky

Tricky,

I see you are from Ottawa...If you are ever in the Peterborough area, drop me a PM. We can get you nailing your front toes.

Kevin

Absolutely rushman!!! What about back-deeps?! Btw, I spend most of my time near Arnprior but don't usually head out that far but I will certainly keep you in mind.

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footndale

Retro is cool, until they shred apart.

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JB-FOOT

Retro is cool, until they shred apart.

Retro Is COOL. until you try NEW...then Retro is FOOL....LOL

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