Cowboy Boot Skiing

Buffalo Tip: Don’t throw them old boots out!

Not certain where the idea germinated but, I found myself wondering if anyone had tried waterskiing in cowboy boots. A quick Google and youtube returned nothing. A slightly longer search of my closet returned a pair of size 10, worn out Tony Lama’s.  The boots have pointy toes able to give a cockroach who is trapped in corner a hard time and 3 inch heels that haven’t seen a stirrup in 20 years. The soles are worn through enough my socks get a dirt spot on the ball of my foot every time I wear them. These are the perfect boots to ski in.

Cowboy Boots

My wife has asked me a dozen times why I don’t throw those boots away. It’s hard to explain. Truthfully, they hurt to walk in, I haven’t ridden a horse in quite a few years, I’ll never get around to taking them in for repair and I have a good pair of Ariat boots which I love and wear all the time when riding my motorcycle which is almost daily. The funny thing is, a guy has a certain sense about these things and something told me to hold onto the old boots. Just like that song “I Hold On” by Dierks Bentley.

Thinking this would be a fun 60th birthday challenge I set the plan in motion.


Step 1. Put on boots

Step 2. Tell driver to go fast

Step 3. Hold On

In my younger days I was a water ski show performer for a number of years and have a lot of experience barefoot skiing in all sorts of water conditions. Learning to barefoot waterski will beat you up a bit and teaches you there are places water can go that will surprise you.

I once took a hard barefoot fall and broke an eardrum. This was just days before my water ski audition with Sea World in Orlando. Beyond the initial pain which is no joy ride, I had an odd feeling while floating in the water that I was falling over. Later in my skiing career I met a skier that everyone called Mallard. It was a few months later I learned his real name was Mike.

The story goes, Mike had taken a very hard long distance jump fall in a show. It was the kind of fall we called a yard sale. One ski over here, another over there, a helmet floating off in the distance. Everything spread out like a yard sale. He too, hurt his eardrum. He signaled from the water he was OK and the crowd cheered, relieving the tension of worry. It was then that Mike, started kicking trying to get his feet up over his head. He would push his head down and kick,kick kick, with his feet in the air, then bob upright. After a number of attempts it became obvious there was a problem and he was pulled into the boat. Someone mentioned that he’d looked like a duck feeding and from then on everyone called him Mallard.

Funny how a nickname can pop up out of thin air and stick.

Anyway I hope you enjoy.

Go Horns High

My favorite boots 50+ years later.

Old Boots

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