Put Devin Graham, a.k.a. Devin Super Tramp, behind a camera and chances are good that something insane will happen. That certainly was the case in a secret Florida locale where expert barefoot water-skiers did the highly unusual: They went barefoot waterskiing behind an airplane.
Three veterans barefoot water-skiers from the World Barefoot Center in Winter Haven, Florida, joined Graham for a video shoot that shows some insane barefoot waterskiing, none the least of which was jumping ramps while being pulled by a floatplane. Watch the insaneness:
For Ben Groen, 23, and David Small, 30, it was their first time barefoot waterskiing behind an airplane. For Keith St. Onge, 36, it was a first at taking a jump off a ramp while being pulled by an airplane.
“It’s something that’s not done very often,” Groen told GrindTV Outdoor. “I’d say it’s probably been done under a handful of times.
“I was really excited about it. I’d seen Keith doing it in the past. It’s always been something that’s been on my bucket list to ski behind a plane. So to go out there and ski behind a plane and then ski over the ramp as well was pretty cool for me.”
The maneuver was a bit tricky. The water-skiers would get in the water on two skis and wait for the plane to pass overhead with the rope dangling behind. They would grab the rope, get up on both skis, and as the plane increased speed, they’d drop one ski and then the other until they were barefoot waterskiing.
“It was a little hard to coordinate,” Groen said. “There was a couple of trial-and-error runs there for sure, trying to get the rope at the right time. If we missed the rope the pilot was kind of committed to keep going. He’d have to fly up, do a loop and come back down again.”
One might think barefoot waterskiing behind an airplane would be quite difficult, but that’s not the case.
“It’s funny—it’s a little bit easier because the plane is picking you up off the water so you’re lighter than you usually are when behind a boat,” Groen explained. “It actually makes you lighter on your feet, which makes it easier, but the plane can go a lot faster than a boat would.”
The barefoot water-skiers typically go 40 to 45 mph behind a boat, but the plane travels 50 mph or more.
“You’re skiing light on your feet so the water feels like it’s going by super fast,” Groen said.
Which sounds and looks insane.
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