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Ben tries a different option.
Ben tries a different option.
Will he stay on his feet?

Bay Barefoot Water Ski

Thursday, May 2, 2002
Ben really wants to believe that you can have a whole lot of fun on your feet. But will he?

Port Stephens offers crystal clear, pollution-free water, sandy beaches and sheltered bays. It's a special place for a holiday of relaxation or activity — or a combination of both.

Peaceful Taylors Beach is lined with Norfolk pines. It's also home to Port Stephens' only ski school, Bay Bare Foot and Water Ski School, run by Kim and Steven Booth. The Booths offer regular and barefoot skiing and wake boarding. Kim has been skiing since she was eight years old. Her entire family is involved in the sport in some way — coaching, managing, competing and judging.

The majority of Kim and Steve's customers are beginners. They are given demonstrations and instructions on the beach so actual skiing time is not wasted. When on board the boat, Kim shows you how to position yourself, how to get up and then stand. Two basic rules are keeping your knees bent and arms straight. Kim feels the most difficult part for most people is actually putting their skis on!

Wetsuits are recommended, and safety jackets are a necessity. Once you are in deeper water, you hop out of the boat and hold onto a steel bar to practise getting up. Kim stays in the water giving instructions to help you get it right. Generally after 30 minutes, beginners are confidently standing up and holding a long rope. Experienced skiers aren't given tips unless they ask.

Barefoot skiing is far more difficult than regular skiing. It's all about balance and arm and leg strength. The boat goes a lot faster and they say it doesn't hurt your feet — it feels more like a good foot massage! Kim doesn't allow novice skiers to try barefoot skiing until they are very, very confident, and never on the same day.

Wake boarding is very similar to snow boarding. It is the slowest of the three. It is also more difficult to get up on a wake board than it is to get up on two skis. Whichever you choose, Kim will tailor your time to suit you. She can even organise a barbecue lunch.

Location

Taylors Beach, 2½ hours north of Sydney.

Cost

Bay Barefoot and Water Ski School starts at $70 for half an hour for two people. The school operates from September to May.
Please note prices are valid at time of transmission and to the best of our knowledge are inclusive of GST.

More information

Bay Barefoot and Water Ski School
30 Albert Street, Taylors Beach 2316
Ph: (02) 4981 9409
www.portstephens.org.au
waterski40@hotmail.com
Best Western: Ph: 131 779
www.bestwestern.com.au

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