The 2017 Barefoot Blowout is in the books after an incredible weekend at the Stevenson Ski Ranch in Conroe, Texas.
The lake is usually used for collegiate three event and slalom tournaments, however the Stevenson Family was gracious enough to let the South Central Barefooters hold the first ever barefoot tournament on the lake’s glassy blue water!
The tournament was a laid back format with each footer lining up on the dock at their leisure and choosing whether they wanted to do tricks or slalom. The conditions were perfect all day and each skier was able to get two to three rounds in of each event.
The new ABC performance divisions made for some awesome competition. In the Men’s B Division there was father/son combo of Jim and Durant Rollins skiing against each other as well as the infamous Lee Stone and his prodigy Austin “Cadillac” Kolodejack.
In Men’s C we had some newcomers, competing in their first ever barefoot tournament! There was Reagan Burns competing on his home lake at the Stevenson Ski Ranch, Jose Romero a foreign exchange student from Chile currently studying at Texas A&M University and Kenny Parker from Australia who came in all the way from Fort Worth “just to watch” but got fired up enough to hop in and get on the water! Each one of them rocked it out, but could not surpass the one and only Mark “Shank Diggity” Shank who took first place in both events winning overall in Men’s C.
There was a guest footer from the Southern Region, Brett Swanbom competing in Boy’s B who flew with his father Bob all the way from Florida to hang out and ski in his father’s hometown. Brett thought that “this Texas lake must be lucky” because he scored not one but TWO personal best scores with a 1090 in tricks and 8.25 in slalom. However, it might have more to do with all of his hard work and training at the World Barefoot Center in Winter Haven, Florida!
There was some fierce skiing going on with two pending national records in Men’s 5 slalom set by Blake Ehlers with a 13.2 and Jim Rollins with a 12.1.
The competition was fun, but the Barefoot Blowout was not all about competition! After lunch, there was a tournament intermission where the boom was brought out and three returning Texas A&M students from Aggie Barefoot Day got some more practice on their feet. Also, Joey Holder came out of retirement and got his feet wet again after eight years!!
The 2017 Barefoot Blowout was a last minute tournament put on by the Austin Barefoot Ski Club after the annual Ultimate Barefoot Championships was canceled, however it went off without a hitch! All of the officials did an incredible job coming together and helping each other put on a tournament but mainly just ski and have a great day on the lake. That is what barefooting is all about!
-Submitted by Lauren Landry Ehlers
Huge thanks go out to Landen and Lauren Landry Ehlers for all of their hard work putting this tournament together in Record Time!