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  • Writer's pictureAdventures with Jim

Barefoot Water Skiing

What do kids who live for water sports do while enjoying life on a lake? Well, most of us will jump of the end of the dock, then with a little encouragement will jump out as far as we can while standing at the docks edge. A running start along the dock will allow water enthusiasts to enter the water even further that a simple leap will take them. Their repertoire will expand to cannon balls, head first dives and the like.

Once the neophyte water enthusiast gets more expertise by learning to do freestyle, breast stroke, side stoke and back stroke swimming styles they are ready to graduate into advanced activities. Activities that involve boats that will pull them through the water. (We bypassed getting pulled in tubes behind the boat and went directly to water skiing).

We started with two skis and quickly dropped a ski so we were skiing slalom. That was a kick. You can turn faster on one ski than you can on two and we tried to out-do each other by quickly cutting across the wake to get a huge burst of speed. We also would ‘jump’ the wake, completely passing over the bubbly water created by the motor. There is only so much you can do with open water where there was no method of actually determining who was the best. So Jim found out how slalom courses were set up and we created or own course to conquer.

We found it fairly easy to move from side to side and around the floats marking the course. Of course, it was easy to do at slower speeds. The boat speedometer was called into play to try and separate the best from the rookies. Speeds of 30 and 32 MPH were quickly mastered by these enthusiasts. However the faster the boat moves the harder it was to do. Jim’s best was always better than my own. I believe he was more driven to be better that his younger brothers.

But, why stop there? Why use skis at all? Why not go one step further and ski on your bare feet instead of using skis? Who would lead us into this final adventure of being pulled behind a boat? Do you really have any doubt? Yes, it was Jim who first tried it and first succeeded. We, Jim, Tom and Bill all managed to ski barefoot but once the goal was reached we quickly dropped it. Skiing slalom was more rewarding. Skiing barefoot was pretty much just a matter of being pulled behind the boat without much maneuvering taking place.

~Tom Kaufeld

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