Did you know you can barefoot with no hands? I’m talking with no toe strap and no rope in teeth. A skill I practice with my students is literally letting go of the boom and clapping, then regrabbing the boom without slapping water and face together.
The purpose of no-hands barefooting is to see whether you have good body position. That is, the feet – not the boom or handle – are supporting all your weight. Perfect barefooting position is different from what you might have learned as a slalom skier with that big lean away from the boat. Only when you balance your weight completely over the feet can you relieve the tension from your arms.
B Your upper body (head to hips) should be vertical.
B Keep your elbows in, with the boom positioned low.
B Keep your legs parallel
and your feet directly under the knees.
B Think of your feet as wheels on a train track. They should stay flat on the tracks, with equal pressure.
B Relax toes to give yourself more planing surface.
B A great way to practice this exercise is to glide along the surface in proper position when you let go at the end of your runs.
It’s fun to show off, but these adjustments will open the door to easier and more advanced barefooting.