Archive for the ‘David Small’ Category

First WBC barefoot water ski clinic of 2012 with David Small …… Austria

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

The first WBC clinic of the year was in Austria and hosted by Andreas Rektenwald.  I flew from 92 degrees in FL to the UK where I was met by lots of rain and a high of around 50…… this is why I do not live there any more :) From the UK I went to Vienna where Christian Antos met me and we drove straight to the river where we started skiing that evening.

my view on arrival in the UK

The next day turned out to be very cold and raining.  Antos ended up tweaking his knee on his second pass of the day, on a backward one foot of all things, which coupled with the 400 foot ships sharing the river with us made us decide to travel to Walsee, where the 2002 World Championships were held.

The river on one of the beautiful yet cold evenings

In Walsee we were met by Stefan Wimmer who had been training at the WBC for a few weeks this Spring as well as his brother and father, George and George Senior. Although it was still very cold and raining we had good water for the next two days there and the Austrian team skied up a storm with Stefan working on his multiple turns, cleaning up his slalom and smoothing his jumping out.  Andreas has a goal this Summer of consistently tricking around 2000 points as well as getting consistent back one foot slalom and seeing how far he can get with his invert jumping so we worked hard on his toe ups and reducing the transition time between tricks.  George Wimmer jn had not skied much in the last few years or this Spring but even with the lack of water time he could still go out there and look stable on his basics and could still do his 3 turns which was great to see and hopefully we will see George skiing well at this World Championships in Texas this Summer.

The site of the 2002 World Championships in Walsee, Austria

Andreas had a cold morning set in Walsee....... brrrrrrrrr

The 1200 bhp barefoot machine!!!!!!

The final couple of days brought us back to Andreas ski site. We got blown out for some of the time so we went on a bike ride up one of the local hills and what a view it was from up there and left early on one day where we all went in to Vienna to check out the city life and tourist stuff..

Afternoon crew

Inside of Viennas cathedral

Desert before dinner in Vienna

After a good ride up the local mini mountain this is the view we got for some dry land training ;)

I had a great time over there and I am looking forward to going back in a few weeks to see how they have all gotten on with the skiing homework I have given to the guys.

Thanks again lads!!

Written by David Small

aka

Small’z

New and innovating teaching techniques used by the WBC…. HeadZone Helmets!!

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

Teaching how to stand on feet using the HeadZone Helmet and the swing

We all know that Barefoot Waterskiing is one of the most exciting and adrenaline filled sports out there but this also has its difficulties when learning.  When we get a lot of beginners skiing at the World Barefoot Center and a lot of the time they find it difficult to concentrate on what they have to do out on the water as they are so excited to stand up or have a sensory overload with being pulled across the surface of the water at speed :)

HeadZone Helmet allowing the student to relax in the butt ride position

What we used to have to do was to pick our battles and only give students one or two things to think about when they are out there…. this leaves a lot gaps which takes a lot of time to fill.  This problem was then solved when we started using HeadZone helmets. These are comfortable helmets with speakers in so that we, as instructors, can talk the skiers through every step when they come to it.

69 year old Judy Myers being taught how to get in to the backwards step position using the head zone helmet and WBC shoe skis

We can now talk to the student in the water before their next ski pass about what they are doing wrong and how they need to correct it in detail and then walk them through each step with the use of the HeadZone helmet.  This new and innovating teaching technique is allowing our students to relax on the water due to not having to worry about remembering what the instructor was talking about and learn at an accelerated rate with reduced falls.

We have been getting amazing results in the past couple of years from using these helmets and if you haven’t tried one yet then come on down to the school and see how fast you can progress with the help of the WBC and HeadZones.

Written by

David Small

Small’z

Off season, off the water training… Get in better ski shape!!!

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

If you are serious about barefoot water skiing or any other sport that is relatively seasonal then you will need to think about what you are going to be doing in the ‘off season’. Unless you live in Florida or some tropical climate then it will be hard to train on the water when the lakes are frozen or it is bitterly cold and raining all the time……… I.E. England 😉
You don’t need to be a member of a gym and have to drive miles to get some basic work out in. Barefoot water skiing is a lot of core work and balance so working this out will make a big difference when you come to start skiing again.
Some basic things you can buy for your home are a chin up bar, swiss ball (big blow up ball), bosu ball circular top with half a blow up ball underneath and some basic weights. Using these simple things you can get a decent work out at home and can stow all of this stuff in a corner somewhere out of the way so that the wife doesn’t moan at you.
Here are a few simple exercises that you can try at home…

Stand upright on the Bosu ball holding some weights by your side. Try to keep your feet as flat as possible and your back as straight as you can and slowly squat down.

Position at the top of a squat

Bottom of the squat

Drop the weights and stand on one leg, lift the leg in the air in front of you (like a toe hold) and then keeping your core tight and foot flat slowly move in to a back toe hold position. Keep doing this until your standing leg is fatigued (you will start shaking).

One leg balance

Continuing the one leg balance exercise


Another balance exercise is to, again standing on one leg, reach your leg in the air off to the side and arms up in the air. Once stable, reach the leg across and behind your body and brings your arms in the opposite direction. It is important to keep your stomach muscles tight and engaged to get the full benefits from this exercise.

Balance

Balance

The last couple of exercises on the bosu ball are using some dum bells. Engage your core, have a slight bend in your knees and complete slow bicep curls, shoulder press’s, side and front arm lifts to work your shoulders.

Biceps on the bosu

Shoulder press on Bosu

Shoulder press on Bosu

Setting up for front arm lifts

Front arm lift

Setting up for side lifts on bosu ball

Side arm lifts on Bosu

Setting up a chin up bar in your house is easy and is a good way of working your shoulders, biceps, and back….. all good for footing. You can do chip ups with your palms facing back, forward, arms narrow and arms wide. This will work slight different muscle groups and then you can lift your legs up in front of your hips for an abb workout at the same time.

Setting up for a chin up

Top of chin up

For abdominal exercises you can sit on the swiss ball with your legs together and do some front and side crunches. This will work your middle and upper abs. To work your lower abs you can lay in your push up position with your feet on the ball and roll your legs to your chest and butt up in the air. You can also sit on an upturned boss ball, sit slightly back with your legs outstretched and then bring your legs in to your chest.

Straight abb crunch. Upper and middle abbs.

Straight abb crunch. Upper and middle abbs.

Set up for lower abbs

lower abbs

Lower abbs on Bosu

Lower abbs on Bosu

Side to side abbs on Bosu

All of these exercises will give you a little head start in to the on season but you need to be engaging your core muscles and concentrating on good technique.

Enjoy!!

Written by David Small

Small’z

David Small and Ashleigh Stebbeings IWWF 2011 Barefoot Athletes of the Year

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

David Small and Ashleigh Stebbeings were selected for the 2011 International Waterski and Wakeboard Federation (IWWF) Male and Female Barefoot Skier Athletes of the Year.

From the World Barefoot Council:

David Small (GBR) – David continues to raise the bar in the barefoot trick event. During the 2011 season he posted three scores over his current World Record. On extremely close calls during record review, the last trick was found to be out of time in each case. His performance of 13,100 points at the 2011 Canadian Nationals serves notice of things to come in 2012. His dominence in the jump event once again went unchallenged as he won every event he competed in and holds the #1 world ranking in jump for the sixth time over the past eight years.

Ashleigh Steebeings (AUS) – Ashleigh’s 2011 season introduced women’s barefoot tricks to a completely new level of skill. Multiple turns prior to this season have been limited to a very few female barefoot trickers (in the distant past) scoring front to front 360 turns. Ashleigh executed every single muliple turn in the rule book this year over her comeptitive season. All four 720’s, all four 540’s all four 360’s. She tops the 2012 Rankings list in Tricks, Slalom and Overall. Still being only one of two women to jump inverted she holds the #2 spot in that event.

Both of these great atheltes will be going for gold at the 2012 World Championships on the waters of The Barefoot Ski Ranch in Waco Texas, August 27 – September 2, 2012.

Nap Time at the World Barefoot Center

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Barefooting is hard work. Good thing there’s nap time at the World Barefoot Center.

A. J. Porreca

Brody Meskers

Like father…

Robbie Groen

Like son:

Ben Groen

Even champions need sleep:

Small'z

Caitlyn Rowland

Caitlyn Rowland

Ted Baber

Ted Baber

The King of Sleep at the World Barefoot Center:

Adin Daneker

Even Swampy goes down for a nap:

Swampy conks out

Barefoot Water Skiing in the sunny climates of the UK

Monday, September 12th, 2011

Ive come back to the sunny climates of the UK for a couple of weeks coaching and a week or so to see my family and friends. During my teaching we got some great new barefooters involved, with Bibbi Curtis learning how to foot and almost get up backwards, Josh Brown learning how to get up longline, do one foots and get up backwards, Dom learned how to stand up longline and do some one foots back there as well as getting up backwards and Harrison who also learned how to get up long line, do one foot and tumble turns! All new skiers and they all did a great job out on the water and im looking forward to seeing them all out at the World Barefoot Center this Winter!

The girls huddling to stay warm in-between sets

Ben Harris stretching out


Ted Baber and his Dad organized me coming over to the Cotswolds and we were using his boat most of the time. Ted has only been skiing for a couple of years and he is coming on leaps and bounds. In just this week he learned a toe up on the long line, greatly improved his slalom and managed to do all 4 of his surface turns on his feet!! Amazing job Ted and looking forward to getting you out stateside for the run up to Worlds next Summer!!

Ted putting a safe jump down on the long line

Ted Baber getting ready for a toe up


At the end of my time at the Cotswolds I had some old school UK team members come on down for a day of skiing. We had Ben and Matt Harris as well as Emily Goldie showing us how things are done out in the cold water and it was great to see them all back out there and having fun.

Adam Chaulk flying high

Matt Harris showing his son how to do it


Natasha giving it a go for her first time

Written by David Small

How can I learn to Barefoot Water Ski?

Monday, September 12th, 2011

Do you want to be the best barefooter on your lake? Come to Winter Haven, Florida, to learn the exciting sport of barefoot water skiing at the World Barefoot Center–safely and effectively. We have the best water skiers (multiple World Champions) and instructors at the school and we take great pride in making our learning environment the best out there.

We will be posting instructional articles and videos throughout the off season that will give you a step-by-step approach to walking on water.  These will be posted to our World Barefoot Center website, Blog and Facebook page.

What a lot of barefooters out there do is try the brutal trial-and-error method…. This can be a painful and totally unnecessary way to learn– and we would highly recommend not doing this unless you like a good fall. ☺

A big question we hear is… ‘Is it possible to learn to barefoot water ski if I am an average person who doesn’t exercise and not very athletic?”

YES, anyone can barefoot water ski!!! At the World Barefoot Center, we use all the latest equipment that will give you the best opportunity to barefoot. We use Barefoot International Booms, swings, Headzone helmets (we can communicate directly with the skier on the water), shoe skis and much more. We have taught people of different ages, backgrounds and abilities– and we take pride in getting everyone to succeed, plus we love a challenge!!! Feel free to contact any of our past customers (best way is on our Facebook page) and see if they would recommend coming to the ski school.

Who are the instructors at the World Barefoot Center and are they qualified?

We have the best instructors and skiers at the World Barefoot Center. The main instructors at the ski school are David Small (3-time World Champion) and Keith St Onge (2-time World Champion) and between the two of them, they hold all of the World Barefoot records. Gary ‘Swampy’ Bouchard is also an instructor at the school and he coaches both David and Keith.  Swampy trained and coached Keith since he was nine.   He also is the US Junior team coach and a top bloke! We also have A.J. Porreca (ranked 3rd in the World) and Ben Groen (5th in the World) working at the school who will offer you great advise off the water and on if requested. Most of the barefoot teams from around the world are now coming to the World Barefoot Center to progress in the sport.  We take huge pride in also teaching complete beginners and intermediate skiers–they’re the grass roots of the sport and they’re the ones who will grow the sport!

Where can I stay when I come to the World Barefoot Center?

The World Barefoot Center offers discounted rates at the Holiday Inn Express, Hampton Inn and Days Inn and we also provide accommodation at the ski school if needed. When you book your reservation at the hotels, be sure to ask for your discount through the World Barefoot Center.

By David Small. AKA, Small’z

WBC Invitational Teaser 2

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

4 weeks to go until the WBC Invitational!! Check out the latest video.

WBC INVITATIONAL OFFICIAL TEASER 2 – DO YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES? from WorldBarefootCenter on Vimeo.

WBC Invitational Teaser 1

Saturday, September 3rd, 2011

This is the WBC Invitational Official Teaser 1….. MORE TO COME!! Keep and eye out for them.

WBC INVITATIONAL OFFICIAL TEASER from WorldBarefootCenter on Vimeo.

South Carolina Barefoot Clinic with David Small

Sunday, July 31st, 2011

I had a few days come open in my Summer schedule so I got in touch with Ron Meekes to see if he would want me to come back down to his place for a couple of days.  He asked around and filled the spots within the day so we booked the flight and headed on down.

A few of the crew plus a random guy from the bank that we picked up.... we made his year :)

Ron had the Southern regional championships down on Lake David in Groveland, FL the following weekend so we worked a lot on his trick runs.  His back toe holds on the long line got more efficient as well as figuring out how to make a flying back deep water start not any more complicated than a regular back deep.  He had been struggling with his backward wake crossings so we started out correcting his position on some cut out and then brought these techniques to the wake crossings.  After the second day he was keeping both feet up consistently the whole way down the passes!!!  On one morning we headed out and took ron over the ramp a few times to get him ready for the comp.  He figured out that he did not need to come in to the jump defensive and kick it as hard as possible but to stay on top of his feet (while in a safe position) and simply ride as much of the ramp as possible!

Ron Meekes, the clinic organizer, doing some back toe hold drills

Rons partner in crime, Becki Welsh skied up a storm.  She is an extremely clean skier so I was constantly trying to get her to ski a little bit ‘dirtier’ so that she did not take any unnecessary falls.  Becki managed to get both of her one foot stand ups on her feet as well as getting up backwards consistently!!  Way to go Beck!!

Becki Welsh and Jim Miller watching the other skiers and waiting for their set to come back around

Pat Vella is new to footing but got up on the 5 foot rope on his feet and managed to get his backwards plant on the WBC shoe skis, all in a day!!

Tom Gabey who used to be big in to barefooting until about 10 years ago came out of the woodwork and hit the water after a long stint of not skiing!  He could still go out there and rock out a lot of the tricks he was doing while he was skiing in Nationals etc etc.  He learned all of his stuff back in the day so his style was very ‘old school’.  He wanted to work on his turns and see if we could get them consistent.  He stepped through the spray on most of his turns as well as leading with his head and shoulders so we got him on one shoe ski so that he had no option but to be on the ‘correct’ pivot foot and in just doing this he cleaned up his turns and got him motivated to start skiing again.  Its amazing what happens when new teaching techniques are introduced making barefooting easier which, in turn makes the skier want to ski more 😉  Love it!  Good to see you back on the water Tom!

Chris Fousd also wanted to work on his turns and we also managed to get him to step over on his turns and keep his shoulders level.  I have never seen a guy love doing a backwards toe up as much as Chris does!!  His own little bit of freestyle J At every opportunity he flips over and stands up in his backwards toe hold!!  Very impressive!

Shauwn Sheely skied both days I was there and just wanted to work on his surface turns.  Lat time I was there I made him do 31 turns on his feet.  When I told him what he had to do he wasn’t overly enthusiastic but once he completed the turns he was ecstatic.  Anyway, Shauwn was getting his 4 turns behind the boat on his feet consistently after the couple of days and can now look forward to the joys of learning some multiple turns and expanding his trick run!!

Jim Miller up backwards

Jim also showing us what no man should do...... pee in his suit

Jim Millers ‘thing’ for a while has been getting up backwards.  He had a bit of a confidence issue to start with but after a few talks and progression on the backwards I saw a complete turn around in his attitude towards not only skiing but in himself as a person! He was going out there and believeing that he could get up and loan and behold he managed to get up on his feet backward on the 5 foot and backwards on the WBC shoe skis on the long line!!  Keep that attitude up Jim and stop peeing in your suit ;))

Last but not least we had a special visit from Don Simon.  Don is in his late 60s and still hitting the water hard.  It was a great privilege to see Don ski and do his front one foots, tumble turns and backwards with ease!!!  He is a great ambassador for the sport and is continuing to build the sport as best he can which is great to see!  Thank you Don!

Don Simon getting ready to ski

I had a great few days down there and had the best food!!  Ron and Becki are excellent hosts and its always a pleasure to head down there and see them!

This random guy watched us for a couple of hours on the bank so we picked him up so he could have an up close and personal look at footing.... he LOVED it!!

Written by David Small