Barefooting’s next generation is growing up deep in the heart of Texas.
The Austin Ski Club held their 5th Annual Aggie Barefoot Day at Lake Austin on April 22nd and good fun and footing was had by all.
The event began on a chilly Sunday morning with three boats pulling 26 college students up on their feet… 20 of those barefooting for the very first time! Even with the brisk 60 degree water of Lake Austin, everyone had a blast laughing at boom crashes and cheering on first time footing accomplishments!
The tradition was started in 2013 when Landen Ehlers, USA Waterski’s 2017 Coach of the Year, was on the Texas A&M Waterski Team and decided there was enough stick skiing going on and it was time for the collegiate team to get on their feet!
For a group of already passionate water skiers, it was no surprise that the first Aggie Barefoot Day was a hit and inspired not only yearly barefoot days, but also inspired young adults to stick with the sport competitively.
Lauren Ehlers was one of those to learn how to barefoot at the inaugural event and has gone on to win two U.S. National Women’s A Overall Barefoot titles and about to compete in her second World Barefoot Championships. Austin Kolodejack was another Aggie who got up long line for the first time that day and continues to compete in local barefoot tournaments.
These students have now become teachers and helped put on the 2018 Aggie Barefoot Day along with the Ehlers Family, Jimmy Taurus, Jim and Durant Rollins, Ariana Koehler, Pat Hammil, Mark Shank, VonL Adams, Ali Gates and Reagan Burns.
This is one of the Austin Barefoot Ski Club’s favorite events. They provide breakfast, lunch, boats, drivers, coaches and all the necessary equipment free of charge. It is their way of giving back to the sport and growing it at the collegiate level to inspire more barefooters for years to come. Each skier at the event said they were ready to come back next year!
Well done, Texas #BarefootNation
Story submitted by Austin Ski Club, Lauren Landry Ehlers