Archive for the ‘ben groen’ Category

Highest Scoring Barefoot Act Award at the D2 Show Ski Nationals Tournament

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

The World Barefoot Center likes to support Show Skiing and had the honor to sponsored the Highest Scoring Barefoot Act  at the Division 2 Show Ski National Tournament.

Highest Scoring Barefoot Act Award at the Division 2 Show Ski National Tournament goes to the Lake City Skiers

Team WBC would like to Congratulate the Lake City Skiers for their achievement.

Highest Scoring Barefoot Act Award at the D1 Show Ski Nationals Tournament

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

The World Barefoot Center likes to support Show Skiing and had the honor to sponsored the Highest Scoring Barefoot Act  at the Division 1 Show Ski National Tournament.

Highest Scoring Act at the D1 Show Ski National Tournament Awarded by the World Barefoot Center

Congratulations to the Rock Aqua Jays on their huge barefoot line from Team WBC!!

Keith St. Onge’s World Championship History

Saturday, April 26th, 2014

1996 World Championship:

At the age of 18 Keith skied in his first World Championship held in Fergus Falls, MN in 1996.  Keith was a member of the winning USA World Team that earned a Gold in the Team Overall.  He qualified to ski in the second round in all three events (slalom, trick and jump) and took 7th Overall.

Keith St. Onge competing in his 1st World Championships in 1996

1998 World Championship:

In 1998 Keith moved to Florida for the winter and trained for the World Championship in Sydney, Australia.  He won his 1st gold medal in Slalom and took 3rd Overall.  Keith was a member of the winning USA World Team that earned a Gold in the Team Overall.

2000 World Championship:

In 2000 the World Championships went back to Fergus Falls, MN.  Keith did not place in the top three in the individual events but took Silver Overall.  Keith was a member of the winning USA World Team that earned a Gold in the Team Overall.

2002 World Championship:

In 2002 the Worlds were held in Wallsee, Austria.  Keith was favored to win the Overall.  He took Gold in Slalom, Silver in Tricks and Silver Overall.  He came up short to the young David Small from England that surprised everyone with his talented skiing.  Keith was a member of the winning USA World Team that earned a Gold in the Team Overall.

2004 World Championship:

In 2004 the Worlds were in Mulwala, Australia.  Keith won the Bronze in the Slalom and Trick events.  Keith was favored to win the Overall title once again but came up short to David Small.  For the third time in a row Keith won the Silver in the Overall title.  Frustrated and depressed on coming up short for the Gold Overall medal St. Onge changed his life habits and set out on a quest to win an Overall Title before it was too late. Keith was a member of the winning USA World Team that earned a Gold in the Team Overall.

2006 World Championship:

Keith trained harder than he ever had one year prior to this tournament and suffered a back injury that almost changed the outcome and stopped him from competing.  This event was held in Adna, Washington.  Favored to win once again the pressure was immense.  After the first round of the jump event Ketih’s back injury resurfaced.  The team masseuse (Charlene Portman) kept Keith’s back function-able to carry him through the tournament.  Keith went on to win the Gold in the Slalom event, Gold in the Trick event and his first Overall Title earning him the Gold.  This was by far Keith’s best performance setting World Records in every (3 rounds) round in the tricks event.   Keith was a member of the winning USA World Team that earned a Gold in the Team Overall.

2008/2009 World Championship:

Coming off his first Overall Title in 2006 Keith teamed up with past coach Gary “Swampy” Bouchard to train for the Word Championship in Otaki, New Zealand.  With an incredible trick routine put together by coach Swampy, Keith was the first skier to trick over 12,000 points in history.  Keith won Gold in Slalom and Bronze in the trick finals.  Keith won his first medal (Silver) in the jump event and won the Overall Title for the second time.

Keith St. Onge winning his 2nd Overall World Title with L-R, Team Coach Lee Stone, KSO with close friends Adin Daneker & Ryan Boyd

2010 World Championship:

Brandenbourg, Germany was the location of the 2010 Worlds.  Keith and David Small merged their barefoot water ski schools to create the World Barefoot Center.  They trained with each other under the wing of Coach Swampy and began skiing as friends but still harsh competitors at the tournaments.  Keith took Gold in Slalom and Tricks while David Small took Gold in Jump and Overall.  It was a clean sweep for the new business partners and a big win for the business.  Keith was a member of the winning USA World Team that earned a Gold in the Team Overall.

2012 World Championship:

Waco, Texas hosted the 2012 World tournament and it was another show down.  Keith won the Gold in Slalom and Tricks while David Small won the Gold in Jump and Overall.   Keith also won the Silver medal in the Overall title.  Keith was a member of the USA World Team that earned a Silver in the Team Overall.  This was the first time in twenty six years team USA did not win the Gold Team Overall.

2014 World Championship:

The worlds were held in Mulwala, Australia for a second time.  David Small put a personal best slalom score of 19.8 on the board in the 1st round.  Keith skied next and also put a personal best score on the board of 21.1.  The next event was jumping while Keith put a 25.4m jump up his first round David Small came back with a 26.5m jump putting them dead even for the Overall going into the tricks event.  David put a near perfect run together matching his world record of 12,150 points.  Keith bobbled on his first trick while the rest of his run quickly disintegrated.  He fell early in his second pass and posted low score up.  It was to low to make the semi-final round, which meant he would no longer be able to fight for an Overall medal.  The only thing he could do was focus on winning the gold in slalom and try to medal in the jump event.  Jump is Keith’s weak event but he had put many training hours into this event over the past few years.

Keith won the slalom event and jumped a personal best distance of 26.6m/87.3ft to put the pressure on world jump record holder David Small.  David fell short on his last jump giving Keith his first World Championship Jump Title and 13th career World Championship Gold Medal.  David Small won the trick and overall while Keith won Slalom and Jump.  This meant a clean sweep for business partners David Small and Keith St. Onge as well as for the World Barefoot Center Ski School.

Winning this jump title made Keith St.Onge 1 of 4 men to have ever won all three events at a World Championship. Others being, Brett Wing, Mike Seipel & Ron Scarpa.

2014 Jump Finals: 1st Keith St. Onge, 2nd David Small, 3rd Ben Groen. A World Barefoot Center sweep

2016 World Championship:

The Blue Moo in Alma Center, Wisconsin will host the 2016 Worlds.

Getting to Know Ben Groen

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

The name, Ben Groen, is starting to get pretty big around the World Barefoot Center. You see his name on all of our video’s, You see him in the boat, coaching and instructing skiers of all ages and abilities. You see him on the phone taking care of customers and all over the school taking care of business.

Ben is 22 years old and he is from New Zealand. The Groen name is famous in the barefooting circles, as his Dad Rob and uncle Fred have been involved in the sport for over 30 years and are still deeply involved to this day.  Ben first came to the school when he was 18 for what was suppose to be a one week stay, which ended up being being a six week stay. In those first six weeks with us at the World Barefoot Center his trick scores went from the mid 2000’s to around 5000 points.  We were so impressed with him as a young man that we decided to sponsor him. He came back to the school a few months later but this time he stayed for three months. To make a long story short, we all continued to be so impressed with this young man that we started working on making him a full time fixture at the school.  We started working on getting him a three-year sports visa, with the support of his parents Rob and Wendy Groen. And as you now see, the rest is history.

On a personal level, I love this kid and am very proud to be like a second father to him with the support of his wonderful parents.

On the water, he has a great attitude and works as hard anyone else who I have ever coached. He loves the sport, and when he is not on the water, you will see him watching his videos and doing his dry land practice. He is a true student of the sport and it has all paid off as he is one of only a handful of skiers who has ever tricked over 10500 points in the history of the sport.  In the last two years, he has been bouncing between being ranked the 3rd and 4th best overall skier in the world–with only the two greatest skiers ever, David Small and Keith St. Onge, being ahead of him.

In the boat, he has also become one of the most respected coaches and instructors in the sport. The feedback from all of our students at the ski school from first timers to top competitors is just amazing–everyone just loves skiing with Ben and they all learn so much from him. He has truly become one of the worlds best instructors.

Ben is a very unique and gifted person, big hearted, and very friendly.  He has some of the best people skills that I have ever seen. He is very unselfish and always goes out of his way to take care of people and our furry family members around the school. (Yes, he is a big animal lover.)

He is so mature for his age that I always tell people that he is 22 going on 40. Off the water he is involved in every aspect of the business and I would trust this kid with anything. A hard worker and a quick learner and with people skills second to none and then throw in loyalty and a true love for what he does you then have someone who is worth a ton to the business, a person that can not be replaced with ease. So we at the world barefoot center realizing this have made Ben a partner in the business and Ben has now applied for a green card to be a long term part of this great business that we are building.
So there you have it.

Ben Groen is from a great family with great parents
Is one of the top skiers and instructors in the world
Is one of the friendliest and caring persons that you’ll ever meet
And at 22 is also a part owner of the largest barefoot water sking schools in the world
We are so lucky to have him and I am so proud to be coaching and to be involved in the life of one of the finest young men that you’ll ever meet.
Swampy Bouchard

Ben Groen – Featured in the Australian Waterski Magazine

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

Ben Groen made the cover of the July/August 2013 Australian Waterski Magazine and he was also featured inside with a 6 page article. This article is a must read! It gives you a little insight into the World Barefoot Center, some of his biggest achievements and what he is aspiring to achieve in the future. (Click on each individual page to read).  To see more magazines Ben has been featured in, go to our website and click on the Pros Page.

Barefoot Water Ski School

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

The World Barefoot Center is the #1 Barefoot Ski School to learn how to barefoot water ski for the first time.  The World Barefoot Center has the experience in their staff on and off the water.  Visit the website and follow us on Facebook to learn more about us.  We promote safety, fun and learning the right progressions from the start.  No matter what level of skier you are you’ll be able to learn how to barefoot water ski.  We have taught people that have never water skied before.

If you want more information or have questions please call us at anytime! (863)-877-0039  We offer great summer rates when staying longer than one week.

We also offer traveling clinics from our professionals.  Clinics allow families, friends and clubs to hire us to come to their personal site.  We use your boat and teach from beginners to all levels at your location.  http://www.worldbarefootcenter.com/clinics.html

World Barefoot Center / Barefoot Water Ski School

Ski School Rates:  http://www.worldbarefootcenter.com/rates.html

Best Barefoot Ski School, Biggest Barefoot Ski School & Most Affordable Barefoot Ski School

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

Saying we are the Best Barefoot Ski School may be a little biased, but here are a few reasons we could be considered to be the best:

The best Barefoot Water Skiers in the World own and work at the WBC: David Small and Keith St.Onge have won the last six world titles, Ashleigh Stebbeings is the #1 female barefoot water skier in the world and Ben Groen is ranked #4 in the world.  There are some athletes that should only be athletes and not coaches or instructors but these four individuals have the common sense to be both.  Our instructors will not only provide a great service but they are safety conscious and provide a fun atmosphere in the boat while learning.

We have the best equipment and boats.  We use all Barefoot International products (Boom, Tower, Tower Extension), provide shoe skis and ropes & handles by US Gear.  Our boats are a little older, but that is entirely due to the wear and tear these boats go through on a daily basis.  The Sanger outboards have a flat wake, no chin spray off the side and are powered by brand new Evinrude engines.

The World Barefoot Center is the Largest Barefoot Ski School in the history of the sport.  This is a fact because:

We have four boats, fully equipped.
We have five top-level instructors that have titles as professionals, top four on the ranking list, hold world records, and years of experience.
We have four lakes which we use and can accommodate any wind direction.
We have a fully-stocked pro shop.
Our instructors are available seven days a week.
We pulled 22 skiers in one day, which is a record as far as we have ever heard.

Most Affordable prices:
Our clients can simply do their homework and Google our competitors prices.  The World Barefoot Center prices are the most reasonable, affordable, and fair-priced compared to any other barefoot ski school.

Rates


Subscribe to our World Barefoot Center newsletter and updates

The Hottest Selling T-Shirt at the World Barefoot Center

Sunday, February 17th, 2013

Ashleigh Stebbeings and Dave Small model the hottest selling T-shirt

What goes on in the minds of champions?

“A champion is someone who gets up even when he can’t.”

“No excuses, only challenges.”

“If it’s important to you, you’ll find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse.”

“Pain is temporary. Glory is forever.”

The WBC staff gathered some of their favorite motivational quotes and put them on a T-shirt– this is now the hottest selling T-shirt at the World Barefoot Center.  You can grab yours at the new World Barefoot Center Pro Shop:

WBC Quotes T-shirt

Summer Clinics:

Want to learn from a champion? You can book Keith St. Onge, David Small, Ashleigh Stebbeings or Ben Groen for a summer clinic in your boat, on your lake! From beginners to experts, all four of them have experience working with a diverse range of skills on the water. If you’ve always wanted to learn to barefoot water ski or nail that back deep, grab your chance this summer.

To book a clinic with one of the WBC crew: Summer Clinics 2013.

2012 World Barefoot Water Ski Championships

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

This years World Championships was held 2 weeks after the US Barefoot National championships at the same site provided by Stuart Parsons at the Barefoot Ski Ranch in Waco, Texas.  A big thanks goes out to Stuart for putting both of these events on.  We all know that its a big job so we salute you :)

Areal view of BSR

If any of you reading this has ever been to BSR then you will know that it is probably one of the best water ski set ups in the World and it is very rare for the site to get blown out…. Throughout the week of Worlds we had the pleasure of a huge storm come around Florida and make its way towards Texas.  Fortunately it didn’t get quite over to us however it did bring wind to the site and there were a few occasions where both of the ski sites had white caps.  This made it interesting to say the least.

Opening ceremonies

The opening ceremonies were at BSRs new cable park and it was great to see so many different countries there especially Mexico and China which are new at the World Championships.  We were also shown a true texan show and got to see a shoot off……. interesting to say the least

2012 Medalists

Right after the opening ceremonies Worlds got under way. There were a lot of good skiing and having the live feed on the World Barefoot Centers website made it possible for fans, families and groupies (haha) to watch the skiing take place, real time.  All we need now is instant scoring ….. 😉

Team WBC

Here are the results for the Overall.

Men

1. David Small

2. Keith St Onge

3. Peter O’Neill

Women

1. Ashley Stebbeings

2. Elaine Heller

3. Georgie Groen

Junior boys

1. Keenan Derry

2. Ben Franks

3. Ryan Jameson

Junior girls

1. Georgia Groen

2. Kailey Koehler

3. Courtney McDonald

Senior men

1. Kenny Derry

2. Dan Baumgartner

3. Peter Fleck

Senior women

1. Gizella Halasz

2. Steffi Kirsch

3. Teri Jones

For more results go to www.barefoot.org

On the Friday night Stuart put on another night Jump Jam but this year there was no beat your PB event.  With it being held along side a Worlds event meant that we had all of the top jumpers from around the world which made for a very exciting event!!!  There were a lot of spectators there for this event which made it even more exciting for the skiers.  The results were…

Elimination round of jump jam

Men

1. David Small

2. Keith St Onge

3. Ben Groen

Women

1. Ashley Stebbeings

2. Elaine Heller

3. Georgia Groen

The closing banquet and prize giving was great to see as a huge hall was packed full of all the World wide skiers and spectators that had flown in from around the World to compete and to support the World Championships.

closing ceremonies

Well done to all of the competitors and a big thank you to the sponsors of the Worlds…  World Barefoot Center, Parsons Roofing, Sanger Boats, US Gear, BSR, Lake Elmo Sports

Written by David Small aka Small’z

My journey back to Kiwi-Land!!!

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

As most of you know, this January I returned to my homeland, New Zealand, for a quick vacation to catch up with family and friends (and a little bit of skiing). After 14 months in the United States, I was shocked at how climatized I had become to the American (and by American I mean mainly “Southern”) culture, without even realizing it. Small things that had once seemed bizarre to me, things like tax not being included in the price displayed, the average vehicle being the size of a small elephant, Police with guns (Not allowed in NZ!!!), and 400lb people wedging themselves into little carts to buzz around Walmart, had become a usual sight for me, and the change when I got home was unreal!!

Walking through the shopping mall when I was home, I was suddenly immersed back into familiar slang, food, and fashion. I know it sounds silly but it really is that obvious! People walking past in Stubbies, a singlet, and jandals (Roughly translated, that would be short, thigh length shorts used for playing rugby, a beater/tank top, and flip flops), or all the cafes, wedged between every second or third shop, with folks sitting outside stopping for a quick coffee and “sammy” (Sandwich) on their lunch break.

Walking through Wellington city in the late afternoon/evening it was just nice to see people finishing their days at work or Uni (college) sitting down in parks, or big open areas of grass, just unwinding. A group of young guys throwing a rugby ball or Frisbee around, or a few stranglers with their noses in books, or some people just there to people watch, as everyone made their commute home, either by foot, or what seemed like the second most popular mode of transport – skateboard. I guess the only place I’ve really seen with a similar culture like this in my time in the States would be San Fran.

Anyway, that’s enough about culture. I was only home a matter of hours before I was reminded as to what made Florida so appealing. The infamous Wellington winds started gusting up, turning our lake into something similar to the ocean, with the temperature being cold enough for a Floridian local to dress in snow gear. In actual fact, it was still around 60-65 degrees – but that’s cold enough!!! Luckily the winds gave up and we were granted beautiful water, sadly the not-so-warmness hung around. One big thing about New Zealand that you have to be really careful about, apart from speed cameras, is the sun. There is a big hole in the ozone above New Zealand, and it makes a big difference!! In Florida you can happily sit out in the sun for 3 hours – unless your last name is Small or St. Onge -and you may get a little pink, but you won’t notice it too much. In New Zealand however, if you don’t slop that sunscreen on, those 3 hours will nuke you!! I made that mistake the second day I was back, falling asleep in the warm sun for only two hours in nothing but shorts, and after my entire body shedding a layer or so of skin, six weeks later, and I am still rocking distinctive tan lines halfway up my legs!!

As far as the quality of skiing goes in New Zealand, I will admit we are a little behind the times, with anyone who can do a Front to Back automatically advancing to being one of the best trickers in the country. And with fairness – that front to back is a sucker to learn!!! But these days, we’re starting to catch up with the rest of the world, with more kiwis travelling out to Florida to ski with us at the World Barefoot Center and taking what they learn home, modern coaching techniques have been introduced and its great to see a group of young kids coming up, learning the correct way. What was once just another ski school, the name barely memorable only a couple of years ago, has now become an icon for barefooting back in New Zealand, helped greatly with today’s social media, and more importantly, the results of the skiers that come back after weeks/months of training at the school!!!

So, even though there are some major differences dividing these two countries from one another, there is also one big similarity – the passion for barefoot water skiing, and the huge sense of family you get from anyone else involved in this great sport, no matter where you are on the planet. The greatest thing I think I noticed while in New Zealand was the general level of skiing, as us kiwis move into the modern era of footing, all thanks to what’s been going on here at the school. As far as myself goes, the journey I have taken personally here at the ski school has been a life changing one, with life-lasting friendships being formed, finding a second family, a second home, and a whole new platform for my skiing.

And as much as I have loved every minute of this trip….it’s always nice to go home :)

– Ben Groen, New Zealand