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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rock on Barefoot Nation!