Crandon Hosts World’s Biggest Water Ski Competition // WJFW Newswatch 12
Photo by WJFW Newswatch 12
Lilly Zoller story
Local News Posted 08/22/2021 6:10 PM
Crandon – “The thrill is the fact that you glide across the surface of the water with nothing but your bare feet,” said Jon Debelak, defending Footstock Open division champion.
Hundreds of people gathered in Crandon for this year’s Footstock water ski competition. Competitors showed off their water skiing skills by riding the wakes with nothing but their bare feet.
“I mean, it’s almost like a massage on your feet but I don’t really think about it anymore. The adrenaline really takes over,” said Noah Kinnaman, a Footstock competitor.
Each race features two competitors competing against each other behind a figure-eight boat. The name of the game stays longer than the person next to you.
Footstock is the world’s largest eight-barefoot water-ski competition with 152 entries this year.
“It’s a privilege to be here and I’m just delighted that I can still do it at my age,” said Paul Elsen, a Footstock competitor.
The competition brings together competitors of all ages from across the country. Participants say that the camaraderie at these events is one of the best aspects of the sport.
“It just brings us closer, like meeting new people from different states and the like,” said Sophie Miljevich, two-time women’s champion at Footstock. “It’s just really cool.”
This gives attendees the opportunity not only to form friendships, but also to learn from some of the best in the country.
“All the best of the best will train you even if they go against you,” said Marc Donahue, the senior Footstock champion. “As you get better, they’ll keep training you. What other sport do they play that in? No one. Never. Not when you’re their competition.”