Ryleigh Stenson loves wake slalom and barefooting with her Dad. The youngest of three Stenson sisters says one of her favorite things about barefooting is just being in the boat training with her Dad.
“He says I am a good driver… most of the time,” says Ryleigh. “But it’s so cool to just have him and me and the water.”
And Ryleigh having a break out year on that water.
Thanks to dominating her first tournament of the year, Minnesota State in June, she is also looking forward to competing in the 2018 Junior World Championships. She tricked 950 and scored 4.9 in slalom… blowing away her previous personal bests. Those scores qualified her for worlds and an incredible 2018…
But first, 2017 is going to get schooled.
“I am more motivated than I have ever been,” says Ryleigh. “I just want to get better and go open in the next couple years.”
Ryleigh, 14, will compete in Midwest Regionals this weekend where she hopes to set some more PBs. She is from Buffalo, Minnesota and foots on Lake Varner near her home. She says there is a lot of cool people in our sport.
Ryleigh credits her friend and competitor Sammi Eaton with helping her get excited about barefooting and getting better. Ryleigh spent most of last summer training with Sammi, who won the 2016 American Barefoot Club’s Rising Superstar Award.
Ryleigh has also trained with the incredible Kenny Kaestner at Footn Foundations and Ben Groen at the World Barefoot Center. She says all of that training has helped.
Barefoot Legend and occasional ski partner Joe Knapp says it’s been incredible to watch Ryleigh on the water.
“It seems like everything started clicking with Ryleigh this year, she is stronger and more focused… She is on fire!” says Joe, who has attended every U.S. Barefoot Nationals and nominated Ryleigh to Featured Footer of the Month.
Ryleigh says her immediate goals are just to keep pushing herself and stand up both trick runs at Nationals… and then Worlds.. Look out!
“I just want to keep barefooting, tell more people about barefooting and teach more people about barefooting… I just want to spread the barefoot love.”
Go Ryleigh go!
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She is incredible. Fantastic. And a winner for sure. ( I am her grandma so not prejudiced 😘👏🤣