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Maple Bluff area water ski competitor Paul Stokes places at Footstock Open

Maple Bluff area water ski competitor Paul Stokes places at Footstock Open
Courtesy: Paul Stokes

MAPLE BLUFF, Wis. — We couldn’t be prouder of our own Paul Stokes, who held the national trick record for barefoot water skiing from 1994 to 2015, was National Barefoot Water Ski Champion in 1994, captained the US Elite Barefoot Water Ski Team for the 2002 Barefoot Water Ski World Championships, and belonged to six World Championship barefoot teams from 1996 to 2016.

Footstock is billed as “the ultimate barefoot endurance championship.” (Courtesy: Paul Stokes)

In late August of this year, Paul came in third place in the Footstock Open at the National Figure Eight Barefoot Championships, held in Crandon, Wisconsin. This 75-competitor, head-to-head, double elimination bracket is considered the most prestigious endurance barefoot waterski event in the world. 2022 marks the fifth year in a row that Paul has come in the top three in the Footstock Open. From 2018, his results are 3rd, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd and 3rd.

Courtesy: Paul Stokes

Check out the Footstock website’s History page (footstockforever.com) to see Paul listed as one of the remarkable skiers who brought this 50-year-old tournament to greater prominence in the mid-1990s. In 2006, Paul, together with Chris Van Zeeland, completed the longest run in the tournament’s history.

Courtesy: Paul Stokes

Earlier this summer, Paul earned the silver, capturing 2nd place in the Wake Slalom for the Pro Men division at the U.S. Barefoot Water Ski National Championships, held Aug. 4–6 at Stevenson’s Ski Ranch in Conroe, Texas. He participated with nearly 60 other barefoot water ski athletes who competed in tricks, jumping and overall. 

Courtesy: Paul Stokes

Both these events were the best of all ages.

What’s next? At press time, Paul is preparing to take on the World Masters Barefoot Championships (2022mastersbarefoot.com) Sept. 26–Oct. 1, competing in the 45–54 age division. He’s currently ranked 2nd in wake slalom and he has his eyes set on gold. There are over 85 currently signed up from around the world to compete in San Marcos, Texas.

We’ll let you know how Paul fared. Stay tuned!

This is an unedited user writing submission. The views, information, or opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Best Version Media or its employees.

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