BAREFOOTING – FEET INSTEAD OF SKIS (BAREFOOTING)
Who would have thought that barfuting will come in water skiing. An explosion of popularity was provided to him by water sports enthusiasts from Florida – they posted a video on the Internet that quickly gained a lot of views. It was in the summer of 2014, since then this sport has attracted a large number of supporters – both professionals and amateurs. Strong and courageous athletes are not stopped by the increased injury risk and more stringent training requirements – they are happy to test their strength.
Barefooting comes from the English barefoot – barefoot. The idea to drive a boat on bare heels belongs to Dick Pope and he made his first race in March 1947. This fact is disputed by sports historians – some believe that the discoverer was Hancock, a young man of 17 years old. Interestingly, these wonderful people also come from Florida. Then the first powerful speedboats and riders appeared who learned to maintain balance without falling into the water.
The first water barfuting championship was organized in 1950 in Cypris Gardens, Florida. Dick Pope and his Mexican counterpart, Emilio Zamudio, persuaded the jury to allow them to come forward with their own program.
Another pioneer – Don Thompson, who expanded the previous five-minute endurance records – he could maintain balance for more than 30 minutes. He also authored several spectacular tricks that brought him fame.
“Barefoot skiers” existed in the USSR. The most famous is A. Petrov, a two-time silver medalist of the USSR slalom championships. The first attempts were made in 1965. In those years, our country did not have fast enough tugs, and extreme sportsmen who risked to ride their own heels often often fell into the water. But failures only spurred the brave souls and in the end they succeeded, although this sport was still not very popular.
No instructions then existed and decisive pioneers had to independently seek their own path to fame. They relied on their own knowledge of the laws of physics and biomechanics, making their way through countless falls and playing on the patience of tug drivers.
Nowadays, special boats with a special bottom shape are used for barefoot water skiing – it creates a wave along which a fearless extreme extends. At the same time, it reaches much higher speed than classic water skiing. According to reviews, it is just breathtaking!
To fans of extreme sports this was not enough and they adapted a seaplane as a tugboat. It looks very spectacular: daredevils fly through the water at a speed of 80 km / h and perform absolutely breathtaking stunts. According to fans of such entertainment, the seaplane significantly alleviates the load on the legs due to the direction of movement forward and upward. A flying machine pulls an athlete out of the water, increasing speed and simplifying the process of maintaining balance. The rider must have a flexible and strong back with strong arms, since all the load falls on them. Any mistake can lead to a fall and a painful hit on the water. Therefore, not everyone can participate in such an event.
In the homeland of water barfuting, it is recognized as the national water skiing authority, Water Ski, and is taught in the respective schools.
In the United States, there are many competitions where athletes show their skill, dexterity and fearlessness. A footstock tournament is regularly organized at Lake Pestigo in Wisconsin. About 150 “skiers” take part in it and about 2000 spectators gather. Participants walk in pairs head-to-head along an intersecting trajectory – the extreme eight, trying with all their might to maintain balance.
No less interesting is another hobby of American barfooters – long-distance river racing in Austin, Texas. This tournament grew out of friendly competition in 1987 and is held annually. This is a rather difficult contest, because in some places tugboats are forced to slow down and the participants need help from the team so as not to lose their balance. But this is exactly what attracts adrenaline lovers, because this is a great reason to recharge with the spirit of competition and show your abilities.
Boating in water skiing is a very strong and bold idea. It is worth the effort and deserves wider popularity.