In three weeks, the World Barefoot Center will host the second annual Women’s Barefoot Week. I’ll be down in Winter Haven, Florida for this event on October 29 to November 6th. If you’re a gal who loves water sports and have always been curious about learning to barefoot water ski, then this is the week that you’ll want to try the sport.
Barefooting is a sport that is dominated by men, so it’s a welcome break to have an entire week of just the gals in the boat. It’s the only time of the year that you get to see the World Barefoot Champions, Keith St. Onge and David Small, and Coach Swampy dressed in pink. This year, on Halloween, the gals will be skiing in costumes. The World Champions will be skiing in… well, you’re going to have to wait until Halloween to find out.
If you think you’re too old to take up an extreme sport, think again. Sixty-eight year old Judy Myers started barefooting at the age of 53. Joann O’Connor got back on the water at the age of 50– today she’s 62 and she skis on a fused ankle. Claudia Landon started barefooting in her 40’s and today, at 58, she slaloms on one foot in competitions. Val Shinn is 61– and when she’s not barefooting, you can find her climbing water ski pyramids three tiers high. So age is just a number.
So if you’re a water rat and you’ve always wanted to walk on water, reserve your spot and join us! Check out the highlights from last year’s Women’s Barefoot Week: