“The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at bests knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.’ Theodore Roosevelt This is how I feel about my struggles in barefooting and I hope you feel the same way! It is my great joy to help you to dare mighty things so that you to mat experience this great feeling. I only hope that my experience can create a great shortcut to your miracle! If there ever was an article that could be accused of being too esoteric, this might be it. If there are those of you out there that benefit from this advanced article, please let me know so I feel that this effort is not in vain! And please try to forward this newsletter to as many barefooters as you know so that we can help as many people around the world as possible! My guess is that less than 3% of you even qualify to attempt these tricks that I am going to describe, but maybe it will inspire the rest of you to achieve great heights in your skiing! “Hi Lane, Now that the new trick points include a bonus for line position back one foots and hops, I’d love to hear any tips you may have that could make them easier. I’m sure many others would also appreciate tips on passing the handle and attaining good line position. I’d especially like to know if the line position one foots should be done with only one hand on the handle, and if so, how do you switch hands to do a reverse one foot, or is that even necessary? Sure am glad we spent some time on back line position when I was down there last week. Thanks again for all the help. Best regards, Paul” For those of you who are scratching your heads, let me set this up so you know what we are taking about! We are talking about learning a backwards-barefoot hop and one foots while holding the handle with one hand in-between your legs with one hand! This means that you should be already comfortable with back one foots and the backwards hop before even thinking of attempting this maneuver. My goal will be to add the tips necessary to pass the handle down to get set-up for these tricks and then give advice on how to safely execute these new tricks. The motivation here is that there are new point values that have been added that will definitely entice some competitors to begin their trick run in this position. If you would like to review these trick values, please go to www.thefootersedge.com and click on NEW TRICK POINTS! The safest ways to learn these tricks are to work them on dry land. This should be good news to all of you who are living where the water has now assumed the solid form! As with all new tricks, after you have perfected the dry-land practice, then move to either trick skis or Puppy Paws on the boom and then on the long rope. Only after these steps have been perfected should you attempt these on your feet! #1 The handle pass: You are going to have to briefly ski backwards with one hand while you turn the handle from parallel to vertically downward so that you can use your free hand to reach from the front side of your legs in-between until you can grasp the downward side of the handle. The keys to this trick are balance, practice, and learning to push hard on your foot while straightening the leg that is on the same side as the free hand reaching in-between your legs. In other words, if you are letting go with your left hand, you should be straightening out the left leg as you are letting go. It will be necessary to bend the other knee more so that your left leg can take the pressure. This is critical to the handle pass as you will find yourself spinning to the front if your weight remains even on both feet!!! Once you have your free hand on the bottom of the handle between your legs, you will need to establish a good grip, rotate the handle downwards again so that your handle is vertical with your thumb and the free end of the handle pointing down towards the water! Next, you need to pull the handle towards the front of your legs so that your knuckles are buried into your leg. How far forward should it be? The position should allow you to get upright with your upper body and that should allow you to get an arch in your back resembling great posture this point you should be even on both feet, straddling and sitting on the handle like you are riding a bull (something I have never done, but I hope this helps you to get the picture). Your free hand should be placed with your palm open about head height. You should be upright with a very good knee bend, which will allow your feet to remain relaxed on the water. CAUTION: The most common mistake at this point is to have the handle too far behind you which causes a host of problems; looking down, bad posture, toe-pushing (I call this gas pedaling), and nothing should be attempted from this poor position! You should spend a great deal of time riding in this position until you are ultra comfortable and can exhibit some of that Tigger the Tiger Bouncy Trouncy Skiing (News from THE EDGE#17)! #2 The back one foots are done by rocking from side to side transferring the weight while keeping the feet as close together as possible. You should try to create the angle I have taught you in the video and Ankles and Angles (News from THE EDGE #3). The only difference is that the handle will not be able to move from side to side, and you MUST keep your free hand next to your face to ensure balance! This is so critical that I want you to reread the last sentence again!!!!!! This will take lots of practice so please proceed as I have outlined above! Paul asks a very good question about how to switch hands to lift the other foot. If you are so inclined you can go through the above procedure passing the handle to the other hand and then learning to pick-up and ride the other foot. This will help build good balance! But for those of you planning to compete, there is no time for such a transition. You need to learn to ride either foot with the same hand. Do not be discouraged as you will most definitely fall on your face a couple of (dozen?) times attempting this, but remember.”We never said this was easy.we just said it was cool!” Your neighbor will probably never learn to do this and that is probably one of the motivations we all enjoy! #3 The hop: I would not attempt this until you have perfected a very good hop backwards on two feet and then learned the above back one-foots in the line-step position! The good news is that this hope is quite stable once the two-foot riding position has been perfected. As you are setting up for this hop, compress you knees and Power Band (News from THE EDGE #6) and when you decompress lift your heels towards your butt like a hamstring curl. Make sure and keep your ankles flexed. If you push off with your toes or try and catch yourself with your toes, you will end up with a surprising heel drop! I hope this was of help to you, but do not be discouraged if this is not what you are working on. At least set-up a handle on land and go over the technique as it will help expand your horizons as to what is possible in barefooting! I am getting writers cramp so I am going to allow the laptop to cool down! will be very excited to hear your success story! Email me with your results at email@example.com ! This will let me know that my efforts here are worthwhile. And if you are not getting the success you deserve, let me know and I will try to help you as much as possible. I am expecting a miracle for you! Also, please help me out and forward this to as many footers or even potential footers as you can. This will help to make this newsletter a BIG success! We want everyone to have a GREAT chance to achieve their own miracles! Do you have questions about training with Lane Dawg Bowers down in paradise? I am available to personally help you achieve your skiing goals by calling 877-685-6270! or visit our website @ www.thefootersedge.com. Feel free to email me personally with any requests that you have and I will try to make time to help you achieve your true potential!