Feet on Fire is a 32-man, head-to-head barefoot endurance contest with one main rule: no barefoot suits allowed, only a pair of shorts and a vest. The event was founded by watersports industry announcer Danny (Dano the Mano) Amir and pro wakeboarders Parks Bonifay, Daniel Watkins and Erik Ruck. The first Feet on Fire was held in 2005 on Clear Lake in Orlando, Florida. Since then, the barefoot endurance competition has taken place numerous times in Central Florida, Wisconsin and Australia. The 2018 Feet on Fire South event took place on May 23 in Orlando on Lake Jennie Jewel, and Feet on Fire North took place August 17 in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin at the Twin Lakes CornFest: Music & Waterski Showcase. The event is owned, organized and produced by Touch of the North Events, LLC.
The year was 2005. On the fateful day, pro wakeboarders Parks Bonifay, Daniel Watkins & Erik Ruck along with watersports industry announcer Danny (Dano the Mano) Amir were sitting in a boat, naturally.
The four grew up doing a variety of towed watersports, and still enjoyed getting out on the water and getting pulled while doing whatever made them happy. Around this time, they happened to be barefoot waterskiing, a lot. So much so that their lake had its own barefoot club – the Clear Lake Barefoot Club (it was pretty epic).
The idea of a throwback barefoot contest was tossed around. And, before they knew it, they had a list of wakeboarders and friends who had pasts in barefooting or just knew how to do it.
The idea was an endurance barefoot contest, with almost no rules. The one main rule: no barefoot suits allowed, only a pair of shorts and a vest. Aside from that one golden rule, the barefoot contest would basically be anything goes. Two guys start behind the boat and have to be barefooting by a certain point, but they didn't care how – deepwater starts, one or two ski step-off starts, wakeboards, wakeskates, wake surfers, kneeboards … anything, they just needed to be barefooting by a certain point.
The four were pretty stoked. They chatted with their buddy Tony Smith, who at the time was editor of Alliance Wake Magazine – he dug the idea and came up with the name: Feet on Fire.
The first Feet on Fire was held in 2005 on Clear Lake in Orlando, Florida at Crazy Kelman’s legendary house. Since then, the barefoot endurance competition has taken place numerous times in Central Florida, Wisconsin and Australia.