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Garry Barton

Garry Barton

Honored in 

Since the inauguration of the International Hall of Fame in 1989, very few Pioneers have actually received this IWWF International Hall of Fame Award. This makes Garry’s induction all the more special. While in 1922 it was Ralph Samuelson who highlighted the role of pioneering with waterski designs, in 1947 it was A.G.Hancock who pushed Barefoot Waterskiing to new levels. However, regarded by many as the actual Godfather of Barefooting, as an athlete, innovator and developer for over 50 years, Garry Barton devoted his life both on and off the water to the sport. In the equipment field, his innovative Wet Suit designs, specifically for Barefooting, introduced a new level of awareness of injury prevention and comfort. As an instructor in Martial Arts and a successful Road Cycling competitor, he understood the need to avoid both pain and injury! His adjustable draining leg straps, velcro zip locks and much more are still used today. They also played a critical role in creating a whole new generation of tricks, often pioneered by himself on the water. Back, chest, kidney and bum protection were a priority. His innovations were sold worldwide. His rigid handle designs also spread to our other disciplines. In 1969, following a full year of experimentation, Garry performed a “first” with the backwards barefoot start and later the backwards one-foot stand-up from deep water, impossible without a great deal of protection and purpose designed suits. In 1970, as both an ambassador of the sport and representing the Australian Water Ski Association (AWSA) he was introduced to Queen Elizabeth, appeared in many TV shows and featured in books and magazines throughout the world, all promoting the sport as a pioneer. As testament to the respect earned by Garry, no less than 27 testimonials were received in support of his induction here in Putrajaya tonight.

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