Who needs pesky waterskis to do tricks? Certainly not barefooter Greg Sample, who set a world record for the most 360-degree rotations in a minute.
Twisting and turning behind a motorboat in Florida, Sample managed to pull off 33 full rotations called tumble turns.
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Barefooting involves higher speeds than traditional waterskiing and has been around since the late 1940s. Sample set the timed tumble turn record in Alva, Fla., not far from the barefoot waterski school he directs. Barefooting like this requires tremendous skill and a strong stomach, according to Guinness World Records.
The American Barefoot Waterski Club described the tumble turn as being invented by accident in 1960. Barefooters Don Thompson and Terry Vance were performing a routine when Vance started to fall but managed to hang on. His feet spun and Thompson helped pull Vance's legs around so he could stand.
As you can easily imagine, barefooters have set all kinds of world records since those early days. Guinness noted that barefooter Scott Michael Pellaton reached 135.74 mph on a quarter-mile course in 1989, and Teresa Wallace achieved 96.08 mph in 2006. My favorite is the oldest male footer on record: "Banana" George Blair, who was known for clenching the tow rope in his teeth and holding a banana in each hand. He got out on the water in 2005 at 90 years of age.
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My first thought watching the video of Greg Sample's successful record-breaking attempt was that this guy doesn't look at all like what I was picturing. His white hair is closely cut, he dons a face mask, and he has the steely air of a military commander.
Even after he's set the record, Sample doesn't crack a smile. He just lets go of the tow. Boom! Done. Watch him rotate his way into the record books here: