The eighth edition of Feet on Fire took place on Wednesday at The Waterfront, Orlando restaurant on Lake Jennie-Jewel, just south of downtown. This classic barefoot contest, created and hosted by Dan-O (Danny Amir), the longtime watersports announcer, brings out athletes young and old from the skiing and wakeboarding worlds to have some totally intense, but totally fun battles on the water. As has been the case at each and every Feet on Fire contest, a good time was had by all while some unbelievable barefooting went down on the water.
Some of the riders competing included legends like Danny Harf, Darin Shapiro, Parks Bonifay, Shane Bonifay, JD Webb, Shaun Murray, Erik Ruck and Zane Schwenk. Mix those guys with the likes of young bucks Jake Pelot, wakeskater Jake Ramsdell, Cody Hesse, and show ski veterans Tom Oka (Guenther’s dad), Tom Weber (just inducted to the Water Ski Hall of Fame), Kevin Michael (Kevco, former editor of Wakeboarding Mag), and Dan-O himself, and you have a recipe for a hell of an afternoon of barefooting.
One of the constant themes of Feet on Fire from over the years is the fact that some of the best performances come from wakeboarders with show skiing and barefooting roots. Daniel Watkins, Chris O’Shea, Zane Schwenk, Shawn Watson, the Bonifay brothers, JD Webb, and others all do well at this event. This year was no different. In fact, after all the head-to-head battles took place, the final round came down to two of those names, each having one FOF twice themselves: Zane and JD. The funny thing about this pairing is that Zane, the legend, first got to know JD when he was just a 4-year-old tike running around Cypress Gardens in spandex as part of the ski show. Basically Zane has been JD’s watersports big bro his entire life. The two footed for nearly five full laps around the course before Zane finally caved and JD claimed his third FOF victory.