Skiing master class

ASPIRING barefoot skiers will have the chance to train alongside world No2 Brendan Paige in a week-long clinic at Big River Holiday Park and Ski Lodge in Grafton next week.

It's a sport with no skis, no tubes and no rules.

Ballina competitor and event organiser Al Barrett is thrilled to be running the clinic with Paige.

"It looks like an extreme sport, but we teach kids in a safe environment," Barrett said.

"I've taught my 12-year-old daughter and we have kids coming from the Gold Coast, Lennox Head, Ballina and Coffs Harbour."

Barefoot is similar to normal water skiing and includes three main disciplines - trick, slalom and jump.

The main difference is competitors use their feet instead of skis.

"It's faster than water skiing and you have a lot more freedom," Barrett said.

"Most people compete in the freestyle division where anything goes.

"There are world championships in Texas this year and usually you have to put together a video of yourself to enter competitions."

Paige finished third in trick ski at the world championships in Germany in 2010 and is now the world No2 in freestyle.

Competitors in the sport range in age from seven to 70.

"It's a growing sport and it was really popular in the 1980s," Barrett said.

"There's been a bit of a revival lately when wakeboarding became popular.

"It's very safe and there is no age limit.

"We'll teach kids the basic posture on land and start them out on shoe skis.

"They progress to barefoot and we use the rope and take them out in the boat."

The clinic runs from Monday to Friday. Anyone interested can contact Barrett on 0408-868979.

An adult clinic is planned at the same venue on February 13.



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