If you have been water skiing then you have no doubt been entertained by or been the source of entertainment for others while you struggled. It doesn’t matter whether you are learning to get up on combo ski, a slalom ski, wakeboard, kneeboard, kid’s skis, or even barefooting. The bottom line is what you knew had to be true in your gut. There has to be an easier way! The barefoot boom is your answer.
Although it was invented to help barefoot water skiers learn as early as the 1960’s, it is hard to pinpoint the barefoot boom’s beginning since there were so many home made versions. Mike Seiple began a company, Barefoot International, in 1983 which specialized in making barefoot booms and it was the hidden secret to the success of his ski school.
The success of Barefoot International drew many machine shops into the boom making business. But you are about to get the industry secrets to knowing what makes a good boom. This is information that the industry is trying to stop me from telling. Booms are not only not all equal, but there is a growing problem with serious injuries from inferior boom construction. Learn the truth about urban legends surrounding barefoot booms.
Myth number 1: light-weight booms are better because they are easier to handle
The Truth about Myth 1: Not true. The most time tested construction a solid core boom. A boom is lighter when it is hollowed out or made from a lesser quality aluminum. Aircraft aluminum is the preferred metal. The amount of leverage put on a boom is tremendous depending on the weight and the activity of the skier during the teaching stages. The safety of the skier as well as the passengers depends on great construction.
Myth number 2: a single cable is better than two cables to connect the boom to the bow of the boat
Boom Cable Myth Truth: false. Booms are subjected to multiple violent forces from multiple directions. A single cable dramatically reduces the stability of a barefoot boom. All it takes is witnessing a cable break to realize that a single cable is unacceptable.
Myth No. 3: a flexible boom clamp allows for easier adjustment and is better than a double bolt clamp
Boom Clamp Myth: Not True. After subjecting boom clamps to continuous heavy downward forces on the end of the boom, we found out that flexible adjusting clamps fail quicker because of the inherit design and thinner materials. The difference in time it takes to adjust a solid construction bolt clamp versus a flexible clamp is about 15 seconds in favor of a flex clamp. This could be an expensive trade of of seconds for safety.
When you are looking at booms, you are investing in the happiness and well being of others. Make sure that the construction of your boom meets the highest standards that you demand from your equipment. When you find yourself becoming the pro on your lake, you are going to want to make sure that your equipment will meet the demands of combo skiing, wakeboarding, kneeboarding, slalom skiing, and even barefooting. If you demand the best boom, you will only have to buy one.