January 8, 2005 – Winter Haven, Fl… Cheeking Outside the Wake The addictive challenge of barefooting is to ski that perfect pass where everything flows without the awareness of power and precision. To achieve this elusive pass requires facing dangers others are not willing to face…and to prevail where others are not willing to sacrifice. The passion to ride the adrenaline rush of victory over fear on our way to the next greater challenge parallels life in that the successful confrontation of fear defines our existence.–Lanemus Maximus circa 2001 Problem: …When ever i hit the stern rollers i end up falling to one side or the other, and actually the other day i really hurt my foot when i lost my balance, and my foot got nailed by the handle. anyways, i beleive that it has something to do with the position of the handle, because i have been holding it against my hips for the start, but then i am supposed to move it it forward right? i just dont know when to do this and where to hold it excactly. hope to hear from you soon, thanks alot. -Parker Burke Solution: 1. Equipment check- rope: Make sure you are using a barefoot no-stretch rope so that there is no bouncing going on that occurs when using a poly-propylene rope (wally rope that skiers or tubers use). handle: A barefoot handle such as the slalom handle is 15 inches instead of 12 inches. This gives better balance unless you are a small child who might be better off using a 12 inch jump handle. wetsuit: this is not a place to skimp on money. It is critical that you use a great barefoot suit and full wrap shorts. For my recommendations go here. Fligh High: Tremendously easier with a high pull 2. Boat speed- This is one of the most common mistakes. Keep your boat speed at 25mph or less until you become proficient at cheeking outsidethe wake. Now that you are on a level playing field with the best chance of success, you need to brush up on your butt glide position and thenlearn how to change directions while in the butt glide position so you can plant your feet in your three-point position in the calm wateroutside the wake! Position-The butt glide position should have your knees completely straightwith either one or both feet on the rope. Knees are together to keepwater out of your face. Handle remains into your hips until your feet touch the water in your three-point position. Only then does your handle come out in front ofyour knees. EXCEPTIONS: small kids or women(may need to keep the handle AT their knees in the three point) and BIG DUDES (220-380lbs) who I allow to keep their handle out furtherfrom their hips to counter balance their beef. It is absolutely critical that your legs remain completely straight so that your knees are never above the rope while in the butt glide position. A bent knee is the beginning of many troubles …trust me on this. Another huge tip for added control is to make sure that your feet and yourhead are the same distance from the water. This creates stability by keeping your weight balanced. Rolling over in the butt glide position occurs when you are not balanced.I almost forgot. Make sure never to put your heel over the rope. Only putyour foot arch on the rope. This keeps your kneestogether and below therope. If you roll over AND have your heels or ankles crossed on the rope, when the handle comes out of your hands, it smashes your feet when it cannotget away. This usually feels like you have broken bones in your feet from the impact…but it usually is just a nasty contusion. The only exception to heel over the rope is when you are wearing shoe skis. In this case, put only one heel over the rope. Keep the other off and straight. Cheeking Outside the Wake- With your new and improved position, think of the wake as a big bowl were you want to get up enough momentum to get up and out. As soon as you can sit up into your butt glide position, begin by leaningto the left to get your momentum started to the left. I usually tell kidsto fart to the left to go left, fart to the right to go right. Do not try to get out on your first attempt. Simply start the momentumand then as soon as it dies, fart in the other direction. With two or three goes at building up your edging speed, you will be able to cheekout to the trick curl. Bonus points- If you start way off to one side instead of directly behind the boat, youcan either get one swing and get right outside or even better…get outside the wake without having to go over it! I hope this helps. If you need more help try a layer of SlickFeet50.