On the Water
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Barefoot Water-ski Tips from a Pro

Contributed by Mike Portugue
Published: August 20, 2010
webSahara-drysuit-mens
The Sahara drysuit by Connelly will keep you warm and toasty.
If you like barefoot skiing in the chilly fall, there are a few tips and tricks to staying warm. Try shortening your ski sessions, and if your boat has a heater or shower, use them to warm up. An alternative is to bring a large cooler filled with warm water and soak your feet to warm up after a run. You can also put small towels or washcloths in the warm water of the cooler and use them to cover your head or feet.
   
But you can also stay warm with the right gear. Here are some items to consider for barefoot skiing in cold weather:

• Dry suit ($300-$500) – get a baggy nylon suit designed for the rigors of barefoot skiing, with stronger seams and seals. While it will keep you dry, a dry suit isn’t good padding or a good insulator against cold water, so be sure to wear something like a Polarfleece suit under the dry suit.

• Polarfleece suit ($110-$200) – these liner suits are very warm and wick sweat and water that leaks into the dry suit away from the skin, which is critical to staying warm.

• Heater shirt ($50-$100) or thin full-length wetsuit ($90-$130) – these can be worn under a padded barefoot suit as an alternative to a dry suit in warmer climates.

• Padded barefoot shorts ($60-$80) – these are made of neoprene and have heavy built-in padding for your bum.
 
• Thin neoprene vest ($75-$115) – wear the vest under your dry suit for both padding and flotation. A vest with a zipper (rather than buckles) is recommended because it will be more compact under the dry suit.
 
• Ski gloves ($30-$60) – the warmest ski gloves have full fingers and neoprene on the back of the hand. Dry gloves ($40-$50) made of latex are an option in extreme cold.

• Dry socks/booties ($30-$35) – latex socks keep your feet dry. In very cold water it’s recommended you wear neoprene or Polarfleece socks underneath to provide insulation.
 
• Neoprene hood ($45-$60) – to block the wind, keeping your head and ears warm.

With the exception of the padded barefoot shorts, much of the gear listed above can be worn for other water sports like water-skiing, wakeboarding, riding a personal watercraft or windsurfing as well.  


Reader Resources:
Adrenaline Watersports - www.adrenalinewatersports.com.
Bare Watersports - www.barewatersports.com.
Barefoot Central - www.barefootcentral.com.
Barefoot International - www.barefootinternational.com.
Bart’s Watersports - www.bartswatersports.com.
Lake Elmo Watersports - www.lakeelmosports.com.
Overton’s - www.overtons.com.
Ron Scarpa Watersports - www.ronscarpa.com.




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