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Blast from the Past: Don Mixon, Jr.

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don mixon slideDon Mixon Jr-85 Natls-001

1. Tell us about the first time you barefoot water skied. When was this and where?  Who taught you?

My Father taught me how to barefoot in the spring of 79 skiing on his walk around ski with no bindings and put my foot in the water, asked for them to go faster and the ski disappeared at a friend’s house in Land o’ Lakes.

2.  How many years have you been barefooting?

I’ve been barefooting for 35 years.

3. Who was/is your favorite instructor/mentor/coach?

I had 2 instructors/coaches that really pushed me early years my Father and later years Jim Taylor.

4. What are some memorable moments of barefooting?

Most memorable things in the sport would be traveling and skiing with all the many friends around the world that I still keep in contact with today.

5. Where and when was your first tournament? Tell us about that experience.

My 1st tournament was the 79 southern regional’s  in Orlando Fl. I won 3 bronze medals in Junior boys.

6. What was your most memorable tournament and why?

1985 worlds my 1st worlds where I got the highest score in slalom and was the top seed for the finals. I’m sitting on the dock with Ron Scarpa as Mike Seiple  goes off for his first run and I ask him for some advice and he told me I could play it safe or go all out to beat him.

7. What has been the most challenging skill to learn in barefooting?

Most challenging skill to learn was inverted jumping, after 11 years of jumping traditional it was difficult to change my habits on and coming into the jump.

8. Who inspires/ed you in barefooting?

The two people I wanted to be like in barefooting on and off the water was John Gillette and Mike Botti.

9. What is a favorite quote or lesson you live by?

Turn your hips and your feet will follow….First slalom lesson that I got from Charlie Houk and I still use it today helping anyone that will listen.

10. What was your greatest accomplishment in barefooting?

My greatest accomplishment would be always contributing to each and every team for the team overall my 6 teams I was on and being a 4x world record holder in wake slalom.

11. What advice would you give to someone in the sport today?

Best advice I could give someone is have fun and enjoy yourself first and everything else will come in due time.

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About: Karen

Contributing writer for WaterSki and The Waterskier. Author of Barefoot Water Skiing: From Weekend Warrior to Competitor. Co-author of Gliding Soles with Keith St. Onge. Barefoot junkie.

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