Archive for the ‘Barefooting Across America’ Category

Barefooting in Buffumville

Sunday, June 12th, 2011

Visiting Barefoot Roots
Buffumville, MA 

The Buffumville ski site is a place I am familiar with, I grew up barefooting in tournaments on this lake. The memories were revisited and a smile brought to my face. 

New to the footing community Kate Mercier, hosted the barefoot clinic on Buffumville. We had nice conditions and a huge turn out of barefooters. Brian brought a pontoon so those who were not sking could take a break and relax on the water. It was a wonderful set up and well organized, Kate did a spectacular job, especially for hosting her very first clinic! Thank you Kate! 

Kate Mercier visited the World Barefoot Center in Winter Haven, FL last year, now she is hooked. During the clinic Kate worked on her front toe holds and back deeps. The front toe holds are coming along quite nice. As for the back deepwater start Kate learned to plant her feet and ride exceptionally well. Now it is just getting that tushie in the air and letting the boat pull her up. Kate promised that she is going to work on it and send us a picture in the next couple weeks. We love success and can’t wait to see proof:) 

Learning with the HeadZone Helmet

Working Toward a Front Toe Hold

Back Deep -Kate Mercier

Brian Boria the man with the pontoon, we can’t thank you enough, it worked out perfectly. Brian makes us laugh! He has purchased an old barefoot suit online and well to say the least Brian had a hard time sitting at work because he was so sore. After some persuading Lauren talked Brian into trying on a new fully padded KSO barefoot suit with padded shorts underneath, WOW what a difference. Brian make some comments that he actually floated and didn’t mind riding on his butt! With just a few minor corrections Brian barefooted on the shortline with ease. Smooth plant, and he even learned to do tumble turns. 

Rocking the nose tape! No water in the nose!

Ouch! The non padded suit!

Brian's First Tumble Turn! Woo Hoo!

Brian brought his son Andrew Boria. We played a little game, it was to make sure that Andrew stayed just a little bit ahead of his father to encourage him to keep working on new tricks. Andrew started off on the boom and with this natural talent he was moved quickly to the 5ft leader and was footin’ like he had been doing it forever!  Andrew learned both tumble turns and on the WBC shoe skis he is working on front one foots. Keep it going! 

Listening to Keith's instruction via the HeadZone waterproof Helmet.

5ft Leader! Yay!

Nice Barefoot Form- Anderw Boria

A regular at the World Barefoot Center Ski School and Keith St. Onge Barefoot Clinics Rodney Allain. Rodney has been training with Keith for many years and continues to progress more and more. Years ago when Keith first met Rodney he was struggling to barefoot on the boom. Now it is amazing to watch Rodney backwards barefoot as he has the most perfect position, the hard work over the years paid off. 

Back One Foot One Hand!- Rodney Allain

Rodney Allain

Paul McManus we thank you for allowing us to use your boat for the clinic. Paul has a love for the sport of barefooting, his enthusiasum shines. Keith cleaned up Paul’s barefoot postion and that allowed him to ski clean. With his athletic ability and determination Paul did his first back deep water start and skied 30+ feet! That’s amazing! Once we brought him to the WBC shoe skis he was popping up with no problem. Nice work Paul! 

One Foot One Hand!

Slalom skiing is Myles Lemansky’s sport but we think that we might have turned him on to barefootfooting at this clinic. Myles worked on becoming more comfortable and that helped make a smooth transition from the deepwater to planting and standing. After a few attempts tumble turns were a success! Barefooting behind the boat on the long line will NOT be an issue any longer. Easy and smooth! 

Sweet Tumble Turn! -Myles

Footin' on the Leader Rope

Seth Lemansky Myle’s brother also join in on the fun. Seth was struggling to get up on the shortline before he arrived. Now that is history, Seth is strong and consistent on getting up on the shortline. Seth worked on front one foots on the WBC Shoe Skis, before we know it we will see pictures and videos of front toe holds! Keep working it! 

Greatest Spotter! Seth's son Owen

Seth ready to ski

Woo Hooo! One Foot One Hand on the Shoe Skis!- Seth

Before we arrived Sean Mattei was missing the three point portion of his front deepwater start. Keith St. Onge made sure to make Sean aware of it and had him practice standing up barefooting without tons of spray in his face. After a few runs Sean had worked it out, and moved on to tumble turns. 

Sean ready for his first tumble turn

Tumble Turn

Sean’s brother Keith Mattei used to do barefoot competitions years ago. During the clinic Keith worked on cleaning up his barefooting position. We hope to see Keith competeing again soon:) 

Keith Having Fun!


Peter Boria is a solid footer and ready to learn. Peter worked on his front one foots and once those were good he moved on to a front one foot one hand. Checkout Peter out after, just a little professional instruction. It can go along away. 

Working the one foot one hand

Peters Daughter Isabella Boria 11 years wanted nothing do to with barefooting after a hard fall on the boom her first time. The first day was asked and she was positive that she did not want to take a turn.The next morning her parents informed us that Isabella woke up and decided that after school she was going to learn to barefoot the correct way. Isabella went into the barefoot swing. Its a great tool forbeginners and those who have had a bad experience. As long as the skier holds on to the boom they will NOT fall, the swing holds them in place and allows the skier to learn without the faceplants. After Isabella mastered the swing she barefooted on the boom without the swing. Ladies let’s mark that one down as another female footer! 

Barefooting in the Swing- Isabella

Isabella BAREFOOTING!!! First try!

Eleven year old Seamus O’Brien is a gung-ho athlete. Seamus learned to do the barefoot swing in no time and was having a blast barefooting around the lake. This summer Seamus will get lots of water time, we look forward to seeing him advance. 

Seamus McManus

Barefoot Swing- Seamus

Kyle Boria learned tons at the clinic!  He moved from the boom to the five foot leader by the end of the second day!  Then to top it off he busted out a few tumble turns! Way to go!!!

Kyle Boria

Footin' on the Five Foot!

Visiting Buffumville was a real treat, we throughly enjoyed our stay. Thank you to all the wonderful skiers that came out. We wish you all the best this summer, keep working on it and we will see you in Florida at the WBC Ski School or next year at a KSO traveling barefoot Clinic. Ski Ya Later!

Friends and Barefooting in Malvern, PA

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

Traveling on our way to Malvern was exciting, we were able to visit Hershey PA, the Amish Villages, and Valley Forge.  Traveling in our Anytime Fitness

National Barefoot 35ft RV– the last thing that we needed was low bridges.  After leaving Valley Forge the TOMTOM brought us on some winding back roads and

then to top it off, an eight-foot bridge!  We pulled out the good ole map and worked our way to Rich Kaufman’s house.  Rich and Vicki were kind enough to let us

set up camp in the yard.

Footin Crew!

Skiers License PlateMucles!Aww

At 7 am, we hit the water of the Schuylkill River.  It was beautiful. We skied for a half day and the guys did fantastic!  A few of the guys were first

timers and they all had success. :)

Barefooting Boys

In the afternoon, we took off and hopped a train into Philly.  Downtown Philadelphia has tons of US history.  We did a walking tour to see the sites,

Liberty Bell, Benjamin Franklin’s Grave, Independence National Historical Park, and much more.  To cool down from the hot sun, we visited the National

Constitution Center It was a great reminder of what our country is founded upon.

As many of you know we love FOOD! When you visit Philly you must try Philly Cheesesteak.  Unfortunately Lauren Lindeman does not eat meat or dairy, so

this task became a little more difficult.  With some searching online, we came across Blackbirds Pizzeria Yum! Blackbirds is

a 100% Vegan restaurant that not only has pizza but offer a vegan Philly  Cheesesteak!  It was delicious!

Vegan Philly Cheese Steak! YUM!

The clinic organizer Rich Kaufman had a great clinic.  Everything was well organized and conditions were great for footin’.  Rich has been working his

barefoot multiple surface turns.  In the past Rich has completed a few multiples of for credit in tournaments.  This week he worked on making sure to

turn with correct form.  Learning to step over in the turn will make it much more consistent.  Be on the lookout for Rich’s new scores this summer!

Step Over Barefoot Turn- Rich Kaufman

Barefoot Surface Turns- Rich Kaufman

Toe Turn- Rich Kaufman

Hello ladies!  Two ladies joined that barefoot world in PA.  Vicki Rothweiler and Sherene Toebe tried barefoot waterskiing for the first time.  Like most, they

were afraid to take a hard fall like they have seen others do, but with professional coaching from Keith St. Onge, they learned the correct way.  HeadZone helmets

helped them become more relaxed knowing they wouldn’t have to worry about not hearing what Keith instructed them to do.  Headzone helmets are waterproof

communication from instructor to skier, no more yelling! Yay! Once their feet hit the water, these ladies had big smiles. :)

Barefooting Babes

Vicki Barefooting in the Swing

Sherene's New Sport!

Peter Bostozk barefooted for a day and did great! Peter is a natural footer and all his basics came back to him quickly.  Don’t we all wish that happend to us?  Keep up the awesome footin’ Peter we look forward to doing some skiing with you next year.

Peter After a Great Set

One Foot One Hand

Bob Cullum the DJ, well, there is only one thing that stand out in our minds about Bob– and the picture below explains it all.

Bob the DJ- OUCH!

Bob actually did very well before the picture above was taken.  Bob was lucky enough to barefoot side by side with Keith St. Onge!

Bob the DJ and KSO

Back Toe on barefeet! Way to go BOB!

Mike Rawalina cleaned up his front one foots on his feet, they looked great! Mike was a quick learner he moved on and did his first ever toe holds on shoe  skis.   Mike started the process to learning his back deep, with his determination he will be gliding across the lake with no problem.

Barefooter Mike

Back Deep- Mike

John Brower Jr. has been working the basics of barefooting for years.  John has trained with Keith St. Onge for many years in a row.  This summer, John had a surprise for Keith, during his warm up pass John did a back deep, some one foots and proceeded to shock us with a clean back to front turn!  Way to go


Front Toe Hold- John

John and Keith St. Onge

Scott Highley not only plays football but barefoots too!  Scott cleaned up his form and worked on his shoes.  Check it out!

Footer- John

Oh Yeah!

Dave Baranowski was skiing up a storm.  In just two short days Dave learned tons!  Look at his solid front toe hold! He is excited to show everyone his Back Line Step trick!

Toe Hold- Dave

Being a Tourist in PA, for a Day!

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

We played tourist!

Our first stop Hershey, PA.  Mmmm the smell of the chocolate was mouthwatering.  We went on a tour through Chocolate World and learned about the entire

process of making the Hershey chocolate bar.  After the tour we walked through the store with walls of candy, it was spectacular.  On our way out of

town we waved goodbye to Hershey Kiss street lights.

Kisses Street Lights

Visiting Hershey PA

Not to far a drive and we visited the city of Landcaster and then onto the Amish Villages.  The tour informed of of the Amish way of life as we toured

through an old house.  It is a simple way of life that is extremely home and family oriented.  It’s a nice refresher to realize you can be perfectly

happy with family and the bare neccesities.  Life doesn’t have to be complicated like we make it out to be a good majority of the time.  Keep life

simple, be happy!

Amish Boy

Valley Forge National Park is located near the clinic site of our next tour stop.  We jumped on our bikes and headed for the trail, half way across the

parking lot we heard a loud PPPSSSSSSSSSTTTTTT noise.  Keith’s bike had a flat tire.  We decided to run walk the park, it was nice to see all the

history and get a workout at the same time.  We are truely thankful for all those who have fought and are fighting for our FREEDOM! God Bless them all!

Footing on the Mon River-Morgantown,WV

Monday, May 30th, 2011

The Mon river in Morgantown, West Virginia is a prestine place for footers to get there feet wet. Rarely will you see another boat, except for the coal barges that pass by every now and then. This mountianous area has tons of history but it is most well known for coal mining.  All along the river sits barges filled to the top with coal, it is amazing.

Ready for a Flyer?

Coal Plant on the River

Footers Ready to Hit the Water!

The barefoot clinic organizer Neil O’hara hosted a spectactular clinic. Great boats, sites, even Channel 12 News covered the event and did a story on the Anytime Fitness National Barefoot Tour with Keith St. Onge. Neil has a love for the water, when he gets out there the smile on his face says it all. Barefooting is addicting as many of you know, Neil is making an effort to promote the sport of barefoot waterskiing in the community. We applaude his enthusiasm and are happy to be included in his efforts. A big thank you to Neil for your hospitality and organization.

Front Toe Hold- Neil O'Hara

After: Keith Tweaked his position!

Before:Keith Tweeked his Position

Barefooter Neil O'hara

Unfortunately work comes before play. John Boyd works in the coal mines and was called in early in the AM on the first clinic day. Even though John was not able to make it out he was kind enough to let us use his boat for the clinc. Thank you for kindness, we appreciate it.

Barges Full of Coal

Heather Towers footer, mother, and all around great person. Heather’s upbeat personality keeps her working hard for more in the barefoot world. Working on barefoot surface turns is extremely difficult and time consuming, Heather takes one day at a time. Before we know it Heather will be spinning like a top on the water. Keep it up, we are rooting for you!

The Amazing Barefooter- Heather Towers

Barefoot Turns- Heather Towers

Does this Helmet have Goggles? :)

He didn’t compete last year but Kevin Towers is getting back into the barefoot world and plans on competeing in the 2012 Worlds Championships, Waco, Texas. Kevin has a love for music, his boat is decked out with speakers galore. It has been tested and proven that behind his boat a barefooter can hear the music from the boat clear as day, and we thought only wakeboarders did that. Kevin has a natural talent and drive that will allow him to succeed greatly. Keep your eyes open for Kevin’s posted scores this next year.

Front Wakes- Kevin Towers

Listen to Tunes and Foot

Kevin and Heather Towers

Cody Ebbert is a frequent visitor of the World Barefoot Center down in Winter Haven, Florida. His competing scores have sky rocketed from all of his hard work and tailored training. Turns are not a problem for Cody, he has smooth turns, now he is moving on to toe turns:) Cody is motivated and we look forward to seeing what scores he posts this summer.

Front Slalom- Cody Ebbert

Toe Turn-Cody Ebbert

Does Hair Sticking Out Make You Better?

Cody’s father Greg Ebbert, what a joy to have in the boat; Greg kept us laughing the whole day. Greg has been a barefoot enthusiast for years. For being so early in the season Greg is skiing extremely well. This summer we are cheering him on to complete all four turns behind the boat!

Driving the Boat

Front to Back-Greg Ebbert

Female footers are sometimes hard to come by but Diane has her head in the game and goes footing with the boys. Ski partners Greg and Cody encourage Diane to keep it. Last year was the first time Diane competeted, since then she has learned boat loads:) We hope to see you at the WBC Women’s Week in November. Click here for more info on Women’s Week

Back One Foot- Diane

Keith Coaching Diane on Backwards Position

Did your college professor barefoot waterski? Mike Strager is a professor at West Virginia University and has a passion for footing! Thats cool! Mike has the right idea, work in the winter and ski all summer long, thats the life. Focusing on following the correct steps to advance is a main goal of Mike’s and we applaud him for that. As funny as it may sound its not everyday that someone wants to learn baby steps and not jump to the extreme stuff right away. Mike is on the right track and he hope that he follows his plans and enters a tournament this summer! Go Mike!

One Foot One Hand- Mike

Proffessor Mike

Front Toe Hold- Mike

Kris joined the barefooting world this week. We are happy to share this common addiction of barefooting with you. Kris worked from the WBC shoe skis on the boom, then to his feet, and he ended the day with a front deep on the shortline. Great progress, way to go Kris!!!

Kris barefooting on the boom! Woo Hoo!

Neil, Kris and Keith St. Onge

Kris Shoe Skiing on the Shortline

Zack Dell 11 years old, puts his feet in the waters for the first time!  We started Zack out on the swing and he surpassed it quickly.  With a smile on his face he proceeded to the boom on his barefeet and did great.  Keep practicing and next summer we can teach you a few tricks:)

Zack our Newest Barefooter!

Zack Barefooting on his BAREFEET!

Barefooting in Morgantown, WV Channel 12 NEWS!

Saturday, May 28th, 2011

A three day traveling clinic by Keith St. Onge done in West Virginia! Neil O’hara was the organizer and look what the news crew captured!

There’s also a story here:  Barefoot Water Skiers Glide Down the Monongahela River

Surface Turns 101

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

I love teaching front one foots and toe holds to students even though most of them are afraid of those tricks.  The number one goal for most barefoot water skiers are surface turns.  When I hear people tell me their goal is to turn, I instantly preach the two most important tricks you will ever learn forward are front toeholds and the most important tricks you will learn backwards are back toeholds.  The reason being is because all surface turns are done on one foot.  In other words the one-foot you will be turning on will act as your pivot foot and axis point.  If you are not 100% on front toes and back toes on shoe skis or your bare feet then you are not ready to turn.  
Can people do turns without learning front and back toe holds you may ask?  Absolutely but they will most likely be doing them wrong and will develop bad habits along the way.  Once they figure out they are doing them wrong or have taken countless falls doing so it will be extremely difficult to learn them the correct way.  We have seen hard-core students work on correcting their turns for months and have a tough time doing so.  Like we tell our students at the World Barefoot Center…this is our professional opinion…we cannot make you do it but our system is proven to work! ~Keith St. Onge

Barefooting Across America Tour Stop #2

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Anytime Fitness National Barefoot Tour Stop #2 is complete! Yet again another wonderful clinic a great set up by Don Simon in Harriman, TN. Footers from all over the United States came to ski at this barefoot clinic.

Ski partners Pete Whitcomb and Chris Ritchie show up for a day on the Emry River and walk away with many new techniques!  Enough information for them to “Chew On” for the rest of the summer.  Our friend Danny Richardson used that tag line at least 30 times per day and I even began to say it over and over!  It’s funny how some people can rub off on you after hanging out for several days in a row.  Pete brought his converse shoes because he was having a hard time standing up. I was confident that he would not need them so we kept those on shore.  I explained a few things to him, got him directly on the boom and he instantly had success!  He then went to the five foot and got up without a problem.  His goal was to stand up behind the boat for the first time on his feet and I made sure we took our time before getting there.  Of course, he had instant success on his first try.  We had to give most of the credit to HeadZone Helmets for the great communication they provide!  Congrats Pete!

All the way from McCordsville, IN Paul Miller. Energetic to say the least, Paul found us on Facebook and noticed we were going to be in Tennessee.  Since he is in sales and TN was part of his territory he decided to take a business trip…wink, wink!  Paul was full of positive energy and successfully completed both toeholds on shoe skis behind the boat.  He also did a toehold on his feet off the five-foot extension.  He also cleaned up his backwards stance at 30mph, which is always a big challenge!

Chris, on-air Personality of the Year – medium market otherwise known as “Chris & Andy” on Country Radio station WVIK-FM came out for the day.  He worked on his one foots and got up backwards six plus times on the shoe skis for the second time ever!  If it is someone’s first few times getting up I tell them to simply get miles under their feet or shoes.  The more miles you can put on the more you can work on positioning and confidence.
Don Simon a young mature man of 73 is still like a kid on the water, he simply loves it. Over the years Don has been doing all that the can to grow the sport of barefoot waterskiing. All that are involved have a great appreciation for Don and his works. Anyone in Tennessee that wants to learn or just ski with some good people, let us know and we will put you in contact with Don.

Here is an article about Don and his knee surgery:  Don Simon, Extreme Sport Enthusiast

A local ski partner of Don Simon’s is young footer Todd Fipps. Todd was intoduced to the sport of barefooting and he is 100% focused on succeeding in 3-event barefooting. Todd is quickly working his way up the ranks. Keep an eye out for this up and comer.

Our most enthusiastic student was Danny Richards from Kernsersville, North Carolina. If you live in the area please let us know, Danny is looking for some barefooters to ski with, he is willing to teach. Danny has a love for the sport like no other, his excitement overflows and makes everyone laugh and feel encouraged. Listening closely to every detail paid off, look what Danny has been working on this week.

The man that has a love/hate relationship with shoe skis :) — Drew Stutphen from Almin, Ohio.  Drew had an uneasy feeling about using shoe skis the first morning, and absolutely did not want anything to do with reverse foot. Keith knew what Drew needed to work on to become a better skier– and reluctantly, Drew followed instruction. By the afternoon set, Drew came to an understanding with what Keith was teaching him and when he was done, he had already ordered a pair of WBC shoe skis from the WorldBarefootCenter. We wish Drew the best this summer and look forward to seeing his progress.

Dr. Jim Murakami also from Amlin, Ohio made the trip down to barefoot with Keith St. Onge.  Jim had great questions and learned tons while at the clinic. Jim and Drew are ski partners and they have plenty to work on this summer. This early in the season clinic will give their skiing a boost for the summer.

1st Stop of the Anytime Fitness National Barefoot Tour = Success!

Saturday, May 21st, 2011

The first clinic stop of the Anytime Fitness National Barefoot Tour in Maryville Tennesee.

Maryville, TN Anytime Fitness National Barefoot Tour 2011

Keith St. Onge 2x World Champion and 11x National Champion travels the country teaching hundreds to barefoot waterski.  What better than the Smoky Mountians for a back drop?! It was a cool temperature clinic but we are not complaining because the wind was minimal and the lakes were like butter!

Channel 8 News came out for an interview! Here is a picture of the new crew filming Keith, Nate with the camera is amazed!

New Crew Filming Keith St. Onge

Wade Masters the clinic organizer did a wonderful job everything went smooth and was enjoyable.  Take a look at what Wade worked on during the barefoot clinic.

Back Toe Hold Wade Masters

Front Toe Hold Wade Masters

First Back One Foot EVER Wade Masters!

Thank you to Rusty and Kelly for allowing us to park the Anytime Fitness Tour Bus at your house, you were great hosts.  Kelly didn’t get a chance to foot this trip but before we know it she will move on from the barefoot swing and show us her stuff. Check out Rusty’s tricks on the water!

"Look No Hands!" Rusty Gaston

Back Barefooting Rusty Gatson

It's Lucky if a Butterfly lands on you, even more so if on your NOSE!

Tina McKeehan is amazing!  Tina learned to barefoot last summer and is improving quickly.  Like many women Tina is the only female skier in the area, but those men better watchout because she is on the road to pass them up!

Backwards Barefooting Tina McKeehan

Great Listener Tina McKeehan

Working on Tumble Turns Tina McKeehan

Mark Johnson AKA Claw Foot/Bear Claw has success with his back deep! Yippie! Determination is the best word to discribe Mark Johnson.  When he wants something he goes for and nothing is going to stop him, not even a raw swollen chin;) As many of you know learning a backdeep can be a process to figure out, once it is understood it is as easy as pie.  We predict that Mark will be gliding along with ease this summer! Keep it up!

Mark Johnson relaxing in the boat

Back Deep by Mark Johnson

Back Deep By Mark Johnson

Keith Willocks or you may know him better by Willy was skiing up a storm in Tennessee!  Keith is a solid barefooter but always striving for more.  Its early in the season and Keith has already started working on turns.  If the he works hard and does some dry land practice he will be spinning like a top!

Willy Willocks

Front to Back Keith Willocks

Footer Keith Willocks

We had a wonderful time in Maryville, TN thank ya’ll  for particpating!

Why Barefoot Waterski?

Friday, May 20th, 2011

Watch this video and find out why barefooting waterskiing is part of life in Tennessee!

Channel 8 News Covers Anytime Fitness Barefoot Tour in TN

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Channel Eight News was on hand at a clinic in Tennessee to capture some barefooting on the Barefooting Across America Tour:

Keith St. Onge– Barefooting in Tennessee

The entire interview: