Why did you go, or not go, to the 2017 Nationals? Results of Nationals Survey, Historic Analysis

The American Barefoot Club’s Board of Directors has yet to receive a bid for the 2018 Barefoot Nationals.  The Southern Region would like to host the tournament again but currently does not have a site and the tournament would have to be held in July because the timing of the 2018 Worlds Championships.

Hosting a Barefoot National Tournament is hard, often unappreciated work.  This year, the Southern Region hosted the Barefoot Nationals at Lake Grew, in Polk City, Florida… 40 minutes from Disneyworld and an hour from the beach.

The Local Organizing Committee tried to answer all of the concerns of previous nationals which had been held in the secluded farmland of Central Wisconsin for three straight years.  The LOC created a week-long barefoot waterski extravanganza that included Southern Regionals, Nationals, an X-Games Format Tournament, Night Jump Jam and Divisional Finals.

There were nightly ski shows and events, a barbeque competition and more.  An incredible week of fun on and off the water!  Drone coverage, instant scoring and HD ship to shore video was also part of the week in which some people commented they had never barefooted so much at a barefoot tournament… ever.

But only 66 people competed at nationals… and the LOC wanted to know why.  So Southern Regional Director Jared Lippelgoos put together a survey.

About half of the people who responded did not attend the 2017 Nationals and had not ever skied on Lake Grew.

Also, the Southern Region wanted to know why so few skiers this year.  Was it because it was a non-worlds year? So they had Ryan Gilman analyze the data from the past 25 years.  Yes, he does this for a living and please take a look at his conclusions below!  It’s not because people hate the South or Lake Grew… there has been a steady decline since 2005.

US Nationals Trend

It’s time for everyone to be the change they want to see in Barefoot Waterskiing!

This sport is amazing and it’s down, but it’s not out!  Attend Tournaments, support your sport and look for solutions… not just problems.  I can’t wait to hear your ideas!  Please email me at betsybarefoots@aol.com

Rock on Barefoot Nation!




One comment

  1. I agree we are hurting & the work that everyone put into it was a great undertaking.
    1 I feel we to need to find a Metro site where many people could watch because they are in the area like a Metro park. Not working in small cities & remote areas
    2 Yes a few of the top skiers got a lot of ski time but that does not draw a recreational skier
    3 I have heard many say if I ski at home I get more ski time. My suggestion is give me 4 wake passes & 4 trick pases throw 2of each out
    4 Look at jump I don’t know the answer but it does not draw recreationals & some local Tournaments don’t jump at all.
    5 come up with a simple bullet point communication of a simple trick run & the structure of what you do or someone to help you at a first tournament
    6 Contact former skiers to find out why they no longer come to Tournaments
    7 Please keep after members to give comments as I have always tried to give suggestions, but we need many people’s suggestions to find a few to try because the last few years changes make it better for some but they do not bring new skiers.
    8 last I have a list of many more ideas, but after many years of submitting them along with other most of us feel it was wasted effort. We need to think of it like a health club never stop trying to recruit new skiers because there are a lot of recreational skiers out there that won’t attend & need to find a way to recruit them. Thanks & Good Luck


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