In the Curl: Could You Imagine?
Could you imagine Rodger Federer giving Novak Djokovic a few serving tips before the third round of the US Open? Or maybe Val Adams calling up Nadzeya Ostapchuk and seeing if she wants to train together for a few days? Or my favorite – Greg Murphy calling up Stone Brothers Racing and asking for a blat in the new Ford V8 supercar. Yeah right, like any of those scenarios could eventuate.
That’s the thing about Barefooting – you probably won’t find another sport like it. Competitors helping other competitors, passing on skills, experience and techniques. It’s a family sport for one very big family. Competitors train together, develop together, coach each other, travel to tournaments together – probably even share equipment! They encourage each other and celebrate each other’s success.
A Barefoot tournament site is a unique environment; organizers are likely to be skiing the next event, drivers and judges can spend hours at a time in the boat, and competitors will be together fooling around. Young and not so young, kids and adults, parents and siblings will be enjoying each others company, challenging each other and pushing each other in an atmosphere of wholesome, healthy fun. Weather permitting, the average event will run to time with clinical accuracy.
I think the family culture of Barefooting is the most unique and special part of the sport. It’s such a dynamic and consuming part that many families are now in their second generation of skiers – some in their third. For a sport that was founded in New Zealand in 1973, that’s pretty amazing.
The sport is a true test of many skills and requires a strong, no fear attitude and the ability to push yourself beyond your comfort zone. It doesn’t require raw strength; it’s about technique. It’s easy to experience – just come along and feel it for yourself. Don’t be a stranger when you’re there; ask anyone on site and they will help you to the right place. And, if you want to try it, we pretty much guarantee you will ski on your bare feet in the first session.
by Warren Herbert