Archive for the ‘David Small’ 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.

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.

World Barefoot Center / Barefoot Water Ski School

Ski School Rates:

David Small – The Jump King

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

David “Small’Z” Small has been around for quite some time.  Now that he’s lived in the United States for over five years, his name continues to grow!  He dominates the Jump event and flies further, smoother and more graceful than anyone in the world. Let’s not forget about his butter landings either.  He literally lands like a cat.

Here’s his latest shot in Waterski magazine.

World Jump Record Holder David Small Barefoot Water Ski Jumping

The World’s Greatest Barefooter: David Small

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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.


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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.

David Small: A Coach’s Dream

Friday, February 1st, 2013

My history of coaching barefoot water skiing goes back over 26 years with Keith St. Onge and most people out there in the barefooting world know our story.  If you’re not caught up to my relationship with KSO then head over to Amazon or the WBC Pro Shop to buy his new book, Gliding Soles, Lessons from a Life on Water.  for a great read and you’ll learn all about KSO. This write up is about the other half of this amazing duo: David Small, also known as Smallz.

As a coach you are always looking for those dream Athletes, the ones that have all the ingredients to bring it all the way plus more. And trust me they are hard to find. So what are the ingredients that I look for when I am looking for the next great one, here is my list:

1 – Heart

You have to have the heart and passion to be great at anything. If you don’t have it then you will most likely fail at being great.

2 – Strong Mind and Body

You will have to have a strong mind that is not afraid to fail and that is willing to overcome all challenges, that can overcome fear and pain and be willing to change what needs to be changed. You will need to have a strong body that has a great power to weight ratio that can stay injury free and that can deal with the pain and abuse that your body will be given.

3 – Coachability

If you are a know it all and already have all the answers then there is no need to apply. You will have to be coachable with an open mind, willing to change and to adapt.

These things alone will bring you a long ways and can make up for any lack of talent that you may have. If you can fullfill all of the above then you will probably be successful and your talent level from this point will then determine exactly how great you’ll become.

David Small – The Man who never stops earning my respect

Before the New Zealand World Championships and before I really knew Small’z, I was watching his tapes over and over. I wanted to identify his weakneses and strengths, as I was setting up trick runs for KSO.  I wanted to figure  out how many points that it would require to win.

By the time we joined forces to create the World Barefoot Center, I already had a good idea of what needed to change in his sking to bring him up to the next level. At that time Small’z was instructing in Clermont while KSO and I were at the central location in Winter Haven, so one day, I took a ride up to Clermont to see Small’z and to watch him ski. I wanted to either confirm or debunk what I already knew; and after watching him ski, the weaknesses were confirmed in my mind. We  were still in the “feeling out” process of our relationship and I was curious to see how he was going to react to my brutal honesty towards his skiing.  Later that evening, Smallz, Ben Groen, and I were at the Tiki Bar having dinner and a beer, and I finally brought up the subject of his skiing. I wanted to share what needed to be changed. I still remember him looking me right in the eyes and he said, “Go ahead, Big Guy, bring it on.”

I proceeded to bring up the things I felt that he had to work on and change to be a stronger and more consistant skier; mostly working on staying commited to his pivot foot and working on his handle movement. He looked at me and said “I’ll work on them and change it all in a week.” I laughed and told him that it would take a little more than just a week.

The following week, Small’z came down to the school in Winter Haven and as he was walking through the door he asked me if I had a couple of minutes. He gave me a video to watch and asked me what I thought. He had listened to everything that I told him and in one week, he changed everything that I had asked him to work on. It was incredible.

Breaking down the Champion of Champions

1 – Heart/Mind

David Small’s attitude is Awesome. I have never seen a challenge that he did not welcome or wasn’t ready to overcome. I remember one day last year, when we were out training one-foot multiples and he took a bad fall. Small’z is one who does not show weakness or pain. When I idled up to him, I could see that he was in pain–he had a hard time climbing up on the back platform and he was holding his rib.

“Get in the boat, let’s wrap it up,” I said.  Instead, he jumped back in the water and he went back out there to do the exact same trick that just kicked his butt.

Small’z had a broken rib.  When I told him that we would have to take a break to let it  heal, he shrugged and said, “There’s nothing that you can do for a broken rib, so I’ll just have to suck it up and ski through the pain.” He was not about to stop his training.  I watched him go out there day after day in pain, without ever using it as an excuse or complaining about it.  He was out there still doing everything that we normally do on the water. The Man was incredible !!

2 – Body

The Man is a machine, pound for pound he has incredible body strength. When Small’z is not on the water training, he is in the gym working out with his buddy Ben Groen. Ben who is also one strong young man tells me that Small’z is just incredible when it comes to the work outs they do and how much he pushes both himself and anyone else that works out with them. I also get to see his strength when I have him on the water. He amazes me each time I am in the boat with him not only because of his strength but also with how hard that I am able to push him. He takes tremendous pride in over coming challenges that I set for him and he thrives off of them.

3. Coachability

He is a world champion and he is a joy to coach, accepting all challenges that I can throw at him, willing to change whatever I am asking him to change, willing to try new things, enjoys being pushed, and never has any excuses. He wants to continue to push the boundaries and he believes that he can always do better.

To sum it up:

Small’z loves everything about Barefooting! He loves the Business, the Instructing and the training. He loves watching video and talking barefooting. His heart and passion is never an issue, it’s what he lives for.

The more time that I get to spend with Small’z, the more that I respect and admire him. I try to be tough on him and it just seems to motivate him. All the things that it requres to be great he excels at. That is why he is the ultimate athlete: a Champion.

For anyone out there who wants to be an elite athlete no matter what the sport, this is what it takes. David Small and Keith St. Onge are prime examples of two great athletes who are willing to do what it takes to be the best ever!

By: Swampy Bouchard

Keith St. Onge or David Small, Who Is The Better Barefooter?

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

The one question I get a lot behind the scenes, one-on-one from interested barefooting fans at the World Barefoot Center or at tournaments is this:

Who is actually the better footer, David Small or Keith St. Onge?

I am the guy who coaches and trains both of these great warriors. I get to see them both ski on a consistant basis during training and at tournaments, so I figured that I would tackle this question head on and give you my honest opinion and breakdown of these two great footers.

The first thing that we will look at is accomplishments:

World Championships Gold medals:

Small’z – 11
KSO – 11

World Championships Overall:

Small’z – 4
KSO – 2

World Games:

Small’z – 1
KSO – 2

As you will see in the comparison below, in the last three out of four world championships, the wins could have gone either way:

In Texas 2012, KSO fell on a back to back 360 and all he needed was that and two 180’s to win that one.

In the 2010 Germany tournament KSO won it from the original score sheets coming out of the boat and it took a chief judge intervention and some video to take his toe turn away and to give Small’z the victory.

Only in New Zealand in 2009 when Small’z fell in tricks and did not make the cut in tricks– was it not close.

In Washington 2006, where KSO won that one, he got a needed re-ride on one of his jumps and had some help when the last jumper zeroed out to allow him to sneek one by Small’z.

All of these tournaments were “that close”–and they all could have gone either way.

World Records

Small’z has held the jumping record for years and I don’t see that changing anytime soon, KSO has held the slalom record for years and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. The trick record is currently held by Small’z and is the one that has been going back and forth between these two skiers and they have both set many pending records in the last couple of years that were not approved. I see this record being broken again by one or both of these guys in the next couple of years.

Worlds standing’s list:

Once again these two have been rotating number 1 and 2 for the last several years. Last year Small’z was slightly ahead for number 1 and KSO has overtaken Smallz for number 1 on this years list by just a few overall points. I expect them to continue to rotate around for that number 1 position.

Breakdown by event:


Small’z is the King of jumping, the best that the sport has ever seen. In recent years, KSO has made some big improvements and has closed the gap up in jumping enough to be one of the top jumpers in the world, but not enough to challenge the King. Smallz is so strong and consistent at this event and has such an understanding of what he’s doing that it’s just not fair for the rest of the competitors–they often don’t stand a chance against him.


KSO is King of slalom, the best in the sport. This is Small’z weak event and even though he has made some improvements, he is not in the position to challenge the King. KSO is so strong and consistent for both back and front wake slalom that any score below 20 is a major disappointment for him.


Tricks is the most difficult event and requires the most time and work, and this is where tournaments are normally won or loss between these two great competitors. They both do all the same tricks and have the same trick runs. KSO’s best score is 13,300 and Small’z best is 13,150. They are the only two that have ever tricked over 12,000 points in the history of the sport and they can both do it today with no problem at all. AJ Porreca has tricked 12,000 points on the money twice, but not over.

Let’s break down the tricks:

Multiple turns:
Smallz has better habits and his turns are cleaner with better technique than KSO, He does a great job of trailing his head and shoulders and staying square. KSO is a little more efficient then Smallz and can usually get a little more in time even though he has a few bad habits that sometimes gets him into trouble.KSO is working hard to clean up some of his bad habits and Smallz is working on trying to become a little more efficient.

Toe Turns:
Here it is KSO who is more compact and solid, while Small’z depends more on his natural talent. Small’z does a lot of upweighting and is loose during his toe turns; and because of that, he also loses precious time. KSO has to learn how to square up in the back position and Small’z is working hard on trying to turn a little more compact– with less body movement.

Line Turns:
Here, they are both rock solid and the best in the business.

So who is the better skier? I am not one to shy away from these questions and I will give you an honest answer. After watching these two great warriors train and compete with each other for the last few years, I will break it down like this: betting on one of these guys over the other is like walking into the casino and laying your chips on either red or black. If you had 100 head to head tournaments between these two, they would both be right around 50 wins each.

Keith St. Onge and David Small are two of the best ever barefoot water skiers– and I will continue to appreciate their greatness. And for my health, I will call it a draw!!

By Swampy Bouchard

Videos of the World Barefoot Champions

Monday, January 21st, 2013

David Small

Four-time Open World Champion, David Small is Co-owner of the World Barefoot Center, and one of the greatest barefoot waterskiers on this planet. He is originally from England, now living in Winter Haven, Florida. Dave holds more Overall World Titles than any other skier in the history of the sport, and also had held the Jump and Tricks World Record.

Keith St. Onge

Keith St. Onge, or “KSO”, is one of the most influencial barefoot waterskiers in our sports history and is a legend in the footing community. As part owner of the World Barefoot Center and 2x World Champion with over 20 years experience, Keith has a grasp on the sport few have experienced, and it shows on the water! Keith is the author of Gliding Soles, Lessons from a Life on Water.