Archive for the ‘Keith St. Onge’ 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 in the Aberdeen, SD News

Saturday, June 14th, 2014

I was lucky enough to have the Aberdeen News come out and take a few pictures of myself and my students while out barefoot water skiing at Mina Lake, SD.  I was doing a barefoot water ski clinic for the Aqua Addicts Show Ski Team this past week and it was a huge success!

To see the article and video click here

To see the pictures and students in the clinic click here:  Scott Schauer has been coming down to the World Barefoot Center Ski School for the past three years and it’s a pleasure to work with him on his own turf this time around.

Keith St. Onge on Mina Lake near Aberdeen, SD

Keith St. Onge makes the South Dakota News

Saturday, June 14th, 2014

I had the pleasure to go to Rapid City, South Dakota and barefoot water ski with the Mortimer and McGrath family the first week of June.  While I was there KOTATV came out and shot a bit of video.

Too see the news clip click on the link below.

KOTATV News in Rapid City, SD

Body Slide be Keith St. Onge

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 Skiing in MEXICO!!

Thursday, January 30th, 2014


This was the first barefoot water ski destination trip ever and this is a trip you don’t want to miss in the future!!

After I did a clinic this past March in Mexico with Juan Carlos and Gustavo I knew I had to return!!  It was one of the best trips I had taken with awesome food, perfect weather and glass conditions every day…no lie!!

Our host Juan Carlos barefooting backwards

There isn’t a lot of Mexican barefooters (yet) so Juan Carlos invited me back down but asked if I could bring a few people with in order to help support the clinic.  We arranged a week in November, put a schedule of events together and organized a week of fun that included: Fly Boarding, barefooting, tourist trip to the town of Taxco, eating out and other local venues to see and explore.

I expressed to everyone that this trip would be a “relaxed barefoot clinic.”  This clinic wasn’t going to be pressed for time, we would start a bit later than usual, lunch wasn’t served till 3pm and we would enjoy the surroundings and live in the moment.  This is exactly how most Mexicans live and it was something I needed to learn and practice along with other busy businessmen.

I invited several people on this trip and the guys that decided to give it a go were Lee Stone, Don Stoppe, Glen Kinnear and Jimmy Stone.  My wife Lauren accompanied us and Juan Carlos’s wife Edith was so gracious to pick us all up from Mexico City airport.

The night or our arrival: L-R, Gus, Glen, Don, Juan, Jimmy, Keith & Lee

Here is how our schedule went:

Arrive in Mexico City on Nov. 10th, late morning or early afternoon.

Drive to Tequesquitengo on the 10th    (2 hours depending on traffic)

This trip is about the “experience, culture and relaxation.”  Nobody is in a hurry in Mexico.  Lunch is typically around 3pm, a siesta and late dinners similar to Europe.  Instruction will be from Keith St. Onge and four sets per day is not our priority, purpose or guaranteed.  This clinic will a two set or three set kind of clinic.  There will be plenty of skiing to do.  The sets may be slightly shorter or longer depending on the weather, physical ability and number of skiers.  Some days we may have seven skiers and other days we may have four or less.  I also want this trip to be fun and relaxing.  This will be a stress free and fun environment.

There will be internet/wifi available at Gustavo’s house, which will be one of the homes used for Lodging.

Nov. 11th

Wake up at 7am-ish Central Time

Eat breakfast, leave at 8am-ish (20min.) drive to site.  The ride is a great experience, seeing how people live off the land in Mexico.  Very poor area’s but amazing to witness.  Horses and donkeys are used to transport local crops.
For more info visit this link.

Put boat in the water and begin skiing at 9am or earlier or later.  One or two mornings we will do a Mexican style breakfast at the site.

Jimmy Stone enjoying his 1st run in Mexico

Lauren St.Onge relaxing while foot'n in Mexico

Don Stoppe foot'n with his sunglasses on.

Everyone skis two sets and we have a late lunch around 2-3pm, which is customary in Mexico

Everyone skis one set and we leave at 5pm or earlier or later.

The two homes used for lodging are on a beautiful lake that is very populated and busy.  We will not be skiing there.  The site we are skiing on will be private to us with no other motorboats. It has shorelines like our lakes in Florida.  No back wash and great for wind protection.  I can just about guarantee glassy conditions based on my first trip there.

At the end of the day Don pays the Mariachi Band to play some Mexican music for us.

Nov. 12th

Wake up at 7am or earlier and leave at 7:30 for breakfast at the lake.

Ski at 9am-ish

Lunch at 2-3pm

Leave at 5pm-ish

Pina coladas with fresh Pineapple & coconut milk (Rum optional)

Nov. 13th

Touring Day

9am – FlyBoarding

Lauren taught local Mexican lady how to water ski for the 1st time and Jimmy Stone enjoying the FlyBoarding in the back ground!

Don Stoppe getting ready for a rib shot, ouch!

Visit local Pyramids, and then drive to the city of Taxco, which is known for their Silver mining.  Silver can be found very reasonable here.  I explain this town like Greece without the ocean.  The city is built on the side of a mountain overlooking the valley below. Beautiful!

The crew visiting the local Pyramids

Mexican barefoot water skier Juan Carlos giving us the tour of the Pyramids

Nov. 14th

Wake up at 7am or early or later

Eat breakfast

Leave at 8am

Ski at 9am

Lunch 2-3pm

Leave at 5-ish

Pick up Coco’s to hydrate and visit the Estate of wealthy Cane Sugar owner.  Dinner was amazing with a beautiful atmosphere!

Awesome Dinner at the old sugar cane factory

Glen Kinnear loving the warm weather!!

Nov. 15th

Wake up at 7am

Leave at 7:30am

Eat breakfast at the lake at 8am

Ski at 9am – 9:30am

Lunch at 2-3pm

Finish at 5pm-ish

Pure glass everyday!!

Lee Stone striking a pose after enjoying a relaxing message!

Nov. 16th

Fly home early afternoon or evening

Time to head home

To say the least this trip was well organized and a compete SUCCESS!!  We plan on doing this trip again in November and possibly twice a year if we have the demand.  So, if you are interested please contact the World Barefoot Center, inquire and put your name on the list.

Private instructor: Keith St. Onge

Keith St. Onge coaching in Mexico

Thank you Gustavo for the amazing dinner on your terrace over looking the lake!!

Gustavo Barefoot water skiing backwards in Mexico

After the clinic in Tequesquitengo we said our good byes to Lee, Jim, Don and Glen.  Lauren and I along with Gustavo and his girlfriend Fernanda drove two hours South to Acapulco.  We met Juan Carlos and his wife Edith there.  The plan was to search for a barefoot paradise on one of the local lagoons.  We heard about some great places there and thought it would be a great place to host a clinic in the future.

We went up and down the coast and found many lagoons that would work out but the wind always blows off the ocean around noon.  This would hinder our plan to barefoot all day.  We then found a spot that has wakeboard boats and my next favorite thing to do on the water after barefoot water skiing is wake surfing.  It’s so fun because it’s slow pace, the falls don’t hurt, smooth water is not required and you can load the boat up with people.

My plan is to barefoot water ski in the morning, have lunch and then wake surf in the afternoon.  If this is something you want to be a part of please contact the World Barefoot Center or private message me on FaceBook.  I’m looking for four people that would be interested in this trip.

Here is one of the places we stayed at, which is only a ten minute drive from the site.

Lauren St. Onge relaxing in the infinity pool in Acapulco

Keith St. Onge taking it all in while in Acapulco Mexico

By: Keith St.Onge

Questions about Barefoot Water Skiing

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

I love when kids from school send me an email or letter as a school project.  Some kids send the notes just because they want to.  Either way, I think it’s fun because it was something I always wanted to do as a youngster.  I don’t know why I never did?  Maybe it was because I thought I wouldn’t hear back from them.  I make it a point to always write back and answer all letters or emails.  If I did miss one or two in the past, I apologize, but you can send me another one if you’d like to and I’d be happy to answer your questions.

Here is an email I received from Abby:

Dear Mr. St. Onge,
My name is Abby. I am a fourth grader at Boulevard Elementary School in Shaker Heights, OH. Ms Tina McCauley is my gym teacher. She told me about how you are a champion barefoot waterskier. I love to waterski too, but I don’t do barefoot. My favorite is slaloming; I learner when I was 7. Ms. McCauley gave me your book which gave me the idea to write about you. I need to write an article for my school newspaper, the Boulevard Times, and I’d like to write about you. I have some questions about barefoot water skiing that I was hoping you could answer.

1. My first question is, how much harder is barefoot waterskiing compared to slaloming?

​I explain it like this: A slalom ski has a lot more surface area and two bare feet has much less surface area.  It is a little more difficult to barefoot water ski than slalom skiing, but as long as you learn correctly with a proper position ​it’s not too hard.  Think about it…skiing with no skis on…how cool is that?

2. When the weather is too cold to ski, what else do you like to do?

I wrote a book as you know and that took me over two and a half years to write, so writing took a lot of my time.  I like to work out and stay in shape when I am not barefoot skiing.​​
3. What age did you decide that you were going to make waterskiing your career and why did you decide to do it?

When I was 13 years old I had a news paper reporter ask me what I wanted to do when I grew up.  Just as I explain in my book I said, “I want to move to Florida, open a barefoot water ski school and become National and World Champion.  I decided to do this because it was my passion.​

4. How long did it take you to get up, consistently, barefoot waterskiing?

Learning how to barefoot was easy but learning the start on the rope took me a long time.  I was 10 years old when I learned and I use to hate the water splashing me in my face.  Every time the water splashed my face I would let go of the handle and have to start all over again.  It took me all summer to learn that start but once I got past my fears I was extremely consistent.​

5. When you compete, how many people are you up against?

At local tournaments I’m up against guys like David Small, Ben Groen and only a few others.  At Nationals I’m going against about ten.  When I compete at the World Championship I’m going against thirty or more skiers.​

6. Do you have any advice for people who want to learn to waterski?
​Make sure you learn from someone you can trust.  If you learn the wrong way it is possible that you’ll take hard falls and you won’t want to try again.  Getting professional help from people like us at the World Barefoot Center is what most people do the first time out.  We now have the SeaHorse Ski where people can try for the first time and not fall.  Here is a video of it.
​Abby, I hope my answers to your questions will help out!

To grab a copy of my book: Gliding Soles, Lessons from a Life on Water

Keith St.Onge

14 x US National Champion
11 x World Championships Gold Medalist