Archive for the ‘Keith St. Onge’ Category

Regina Jaquess & Keith St.Onge Awarded Athletes of the Month for September

Saturday, October 6th, 2012

USA Water Ski has selected Keith St. Onge (Winter Haven, Fla.) and Regina Jaquess (Santa Rosa Beach, Fla.) as its Male Athlete of the Month and Female Athlete of the Month, respectively, for September. The U.S. Elite Water Ski Team was selected USA Water Ski’s Team of the Month. St. Onge, Jaquess and the U.S. Elite Water Ski Team are now eligible for the United States Olympic Committee’s Athlete of the Month and Team of the Month honors.

St. Onge won gold medals in Open Men’s slalom (20.2 points) and tricks (11,350 points), and the silver medal in overall (2,846.39 points) at the 18th Barefoot Water Ski World Championships, Aug. 27-Sept. 2, at the Barefoot Ski Ranch in Waco, Texas. He also contributed a team-high 2,728.02 points to the U.S. Elite Barefoot Water Ski Team’s 7,735.47-point total, leading the team to the silver medal at the biennial event.

Sept. Athlete of the Month Keith St.Onge

Jaquess won gold medals in Elite women’s slalom, jumping and overall, and the bronze medal in tricks at the 2012 Malibu Pan American Water Ski Championships, Sept. 12-15, at the Pickos World Ski Resort in Santa Rosa Beach, Fla. Her performances – including a Pan American tournament record 4-1/2 buoys at 39-1/2 feet off in slalom – helped lead the U.S. Elite Water Ski Team to the overall team gold medal at the biennial event. Jaquess also won women’s slalom titles at the 2012 Diablo Shores Pro-Am on Sept. 23 in Brentwood, Calif., and at the inaugural Soaked Orlando water sports festival on Sept. 8 in Orlando, Fla.

September Athlete of the Month, Regina Jaquess

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

Keith St.Onge “TIES” Ron Scarpa’s National Overall Titles

Monday, October 1st, 2012

Read about Keith St.Onge in the local news.  Just click on The Ledger link below.

www.THELEDGER.com

Breaking Ron Scarpa’s record of National Overall titles has been a dream of mine since he retired in 2005.  I had beaten Ron Scarpa at six Nationals before his retirement and I never thought the record could be broken until I received my seventh National Overall Title.  I would have to win seven more titles and I had a few tough competitors like Lane Bowers and AJ Porreca.  Lane Bowers was showing sings of retiring and his strong event was jumping, which was my weakest event and that put me in a bad position for the Overall.  I was able to hold off Lane in the 2006 Nationals but it wasn’t an easy one…”he kept me honest!”  is the least I can say.

Keith St.Onge & Lane Bowers

L-R, Keith St.Onge & Lane "Dawg" Bowers competing against each other many years prior.

AJ Porreca was a young man climbing the ladder quickly in the sport with the help of my coach Swampy and I.  He was showing signs of being the next US super star!  He was skiing so good and I was being pressured not to make one little mistake!  Otherwise, he would slide in for the Overall Title.  Granted, he still had a lot to learn but again, I was being kept honest.

AJ Porreca the 2012 Open Pro Trick Champion, left - Keith St.Onge

2010 was a breakout year for AJ and he became the forth person in history to score over 11,000 points.  He stood up incredible trick runs at the 2010 Nationals again putting pressure on me.  He came runner up to me in the tricks event.

In 2011 he again put a great score on the board.  In 2012 he skied great in choppy water conditions.  He skied about 7,500 points from what we gathered before my run.  I knew what I needed to beat him and fell about 3/4 of the way through my first pass.  Coming back I was bouncing all over and thought how in the heck am I going to beat him?  I needed at least two back to back 360’s and two 720 back to backs.  I got through my 360’s miraculously and now it was time to pray for the next two tricks.  I started my first 720 and instantly caught sideways.  I knew AJ had beaten me in tricks for the first time in his career.  I was happy for him and taking second place to him was an honor.  When he received his first place medal he got a standing ovation!

All I could concentrate on was landing a jump to secure my 13th Overall Title, which would tie Ron Scarpa.  I was able to land my first jump to secure the title but winning these titles has not been an easy task.

As my body gets older and my mind becomes wise I can’t wait to surpass the legends record of 13 Overall National Titles.  Everyone keeps asking me how many more Nationals will I be skiing in the future but all I can think about is winning one at a time for now.  One more will break the record and that’s what I’ll focus on.

By: Keith St.Onge

Patrick Wehner Inspires Keith St. Onge

Friday, August 17th, 2012

Patrick Wehner. Who is he, one might ask.

He is one of the BEST BAREFOOT WATER SKIERS the sport has ever seen!  If you don’t know him or have ever met him he is one of the most modest people you will ever meet.  His mother is from France and his father (world renowned coach) Hilmar is from Germany.  Patrick has skied for Team France and Germany in his career and has won many individual World Titles.  He has put endless hours of training in on the water and has a deep love for the sport.

Patrick Wehner "One of the Greats"

I met Patrick for the first time at my first World Competition in 1996.  We did not speak to each other much during the competition, but our respect for one another was mutual.  He was a better skier than me and we were close to the same age.  Young men amongst the best in the world.  Patrick and I saw each other at many world championships and began a great friendship.  It’s hard to describe how two people can be such close friends and live so far apart.  I’m in Florida and he’s in Europe, but whenever we connect, time fades away.

I had taken 3rd Overall in 1998, came runner up (2nd) for the Overall title at the world championships in 2000 and 2002.  Over the course of six years, I just couldn’t seal the deal as a World Champion.  It was a tough break for me and a hard pill to swallow, but I simply did not ski to my capability.  One night after the 2002 Worlds, Patrick and I were discussing my continued losses and I broke down and cried.  I was completely depressed and did not want to finish my career without having at least one World Title under my belt.  It seemed like the task was impossible.

Patrick reached in his wallet and pulled out a card. He handed it to me.   It was a quote by William Arthur Ward: “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it.  If you can dream it, you can become it.”    Another barefooter, John Pennay gave it to Patrick during his own low point in life.  John told him to keep the card until he achieved his dreams and then pass it on to someone else.   This simple quote got me motivated again!  Because I had so much respect for Patrick, it was a memento which meant a lot coming from him.  I kept the card in my wallet and read it from time to time; to remind me of what I needed to accomplish.

The card with the Inspirational Quote that Patrick Wehner gave to me.

Nothing else seemed to matter after that moment but one thing: I wanted to become a World Champion!  It was time for me to change the way I looked at life and how I would prepare myself for the next world championship.  I was going to give it everything I had, because I could “Imagine” it and I had “Dreamed” about it for several years!  I was going to make sacrifices and do whatever needed to be done.

Motivating Quote that Inspired me to Fulfill my dreams

Keith StOnge, Even Burger & Patrick Wehner. I received the card later that evening.

It didn’t happen overnight; in 2004, I still came in second once again behind David Small.  I was so disappointed.  This guy beat me two worlds in a row and he was standing in front of my dream.

It took another two years and many more life changes before I finally achieved my dream: in 2006 I won my first World Championship. I passed the card on to someone else.  The card went on to yet another barefooter after that.

The 2006 World Overall Champion, Keith St Onge

Keith St Onge receiving his 1st Overall World Title

Thank you Patrick Wehner for keeping me motivated until I reached my goal.  You are more than a great friend and “One of the Best!”  You are the true example of how we can all help OTHERS around us in our lives. Thank you!!

Click here to read another story on Patrick Wehner

This story and more can be found in greater detail in my upcoming book, “Gliding Soles, Lessons from a Life on Water” to be released in September, 2012.

By: Keith St.Onge
www.worldbarefootcenter.com
www.ksowetsuits.com
www.keithstonge.com

Finding your Passion

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

This world and our lives are all about people!!  Helping others, serving others and always believing you can do it.  I look up to many top athletes and I know many people that look up to me.  Meeting people and seeing their achievements only help our own personal growth!

Back in 2009, Judy Myers had a segment on the Today Show and the husband of Karen Putz forwarded the segment to her.  She saw this 66-year-old woman barefoot water skiing.  Karen had not barefoot skied in two decades due to losing her hearing while taking a barefoot water skiing fall.  Her family had a rare gene; if they hit their head hard on something it would cause them to lose their hearing.  Her sister tripped on a throw rug, hit her head on the floor and lost her hearing just like that, and her brother also lost some hearing from barefooting.

Karen contacted Judy Myers, and in no time was down at the World Barefoot Center ski school in Winter Haven, Florida in the spring of 2010.

Judy Myers helped Karen Putz pursue her passion for Barefoot Water Skiing

I got Karen to barefoot water ski again for the first time in twenty years.  After her second visit just two weeks later, Karen asked me, “Where do you see yourself in five years?”  I told her I would like to be a keynote speaker.  She immediately asked me if I would ever be interested in writing a book.  “Funny you ask.” I said.  I began writing a book with my cousin Matt, but we had too many other things going on and the project never took off.  After Karen went home, we continued our discussion about writing a book. “I would be interested in writing your book.” Karen said without hesitation.  We discussed it some more and decided we could do it.

Two and a half years later, we have the book nearly complete.  Just imagine the communication barrier!  My hat is off to Karen on this one.  I had to speak to an interpreter over the phone.  The interpreter would then sign what I was saying to Karen and Karen would type out what I was saying.  Wow, made for some interesting conversations to say the least, haha!

The Book, "Gliding Soles" Lessons from a Life on Water

The book should be released in September on Amazon.com   Here is a great video below on Karen, with a small plug for the book called “Gliding Soles, Lessons from a Life on Water.”  Gliding Soles Barefoot Camp was the name of my first barefoot ski school.

Visit the link below to view the video on Karen Putz & Keith St.Onge:

http://www.kwtx.com/ourtown/home/headlines/Axtell-Deaf-Barefoot-Skier-Overcomes-Adversity-165939516.html

By: Keith St.Onge

www.keithstonge.com

Michigan Clinic w/ the YoungBlood’s

Monday, July 30th, 2012

I’ve known Jim Youngblood from my younger years when I wasn’t so disciplined. He reminded me I once ordered a Mountain Dew with Vodka one night out to eat when I thought I was invincible. I have grown up quite a bit since then and I was so excited when Jim asked me to do a clinic, for several reasons. One, I knew he had a great site. Two, his daughter Alex visited the ski school this spring and at the ripe age of ten was passionate about the sport and learning extremely fast! Three, it would be great to reconnect with Jim after many years. I wanted to help them out as much as I possibly could. Working with young, motivated and talented kids gets my heart pumping for the sport! Not that I don’t like working with mature skiers but the young are the future of our sport ; ).

Alex Youngblood hammering away her Front Toe's

Jen and her father came over from the Chicago area and it was great to work with them as well. Jen is learning quickly and get this, she would rather go backwards than forwards. She’s a smart cookie because barefooting backwards is easier than barefoot skiing forwards. Mostly due to skiing on the larger part of your foot backwards and being able to use your toes with the ability to lean away slightly. Make sure to start learning the backwards start literally days after learning how to barefoot ski forward.

Jenny figuring out her front one foot!

I had to push Jen to work on front one foots but check out the sweet picture of her riding a super clean one footer!
70 years young making it look easy on the glass conditions we had for three days straight!

Ben came over from Illinois and for 70 Years young skied up a storm! Great time!

Nice sequence of Katie learning her front barefooting Start.

Katie in the Start position

Katie Learning the butt ride

Success!!

Katie was skiing for three days with us and her progression was perfect!  Katie is also ranked #2 in the Nation as a Jr. Female GS snow skier.

Katie & Alex staying warm in the early morning

Girls having fun in the perfect weather we had!

Katie’s dad, Mike, showing the girls he can learn new tricks too! Forth attempt looking clean!

Mike White doing a sweet toe hold on the WBC Shoe Ski. Forth try and he's rock'n it!

I’m taking a picture of Katie’s dad taking a picture of his daughter getting up on her feet for the first time ever behind the boat! Congrats on that one young lady!

Katie's first time up Long Line! Yahooooo!

I would like to thank Jim and his family for welcoming me into their house.  The clinic was a success and I hope I can see everyone reach their goals that participated in the clinic.  I put my heart and soul (Sole) into everyone I teach and it’s great to see people achieve things they thought they could not do or at least achieve things more easily with my help.

KSO, Alex & Jim YoungBlood

The World Barefoot Center takes pride in our instruction on the road doing clinics or at our facility in Winter Haven, FL, which is only fifteen minutes from LegoLand.

By: Keith St.Onge

Catfish Bay Water Ski Show Team

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

“Greatest show on H20” is what their sign reads!  Yes, if you’re driving down I-90 West bound towards Sioux Falls, South Dakota you’ll see their lake with bleachers on the North side.

Team Practice w/ HillBilly Bay as their Theme

This was my third trip back to Catfish Bay and I can say I always love going back.  The skiers are so excited about water skiing.  Due to so few lakes in the area this private site is the perfect place to learn how to water ski or participate on the show ski team.  They have one to two shows per week depending on the holiday and time of year.  Catfish Bay Website

Can't practice Toe Holds enough!

Wrong, Ankle is too far in front of the knee = Hard crashes

Perfect Toe Hold, Ankle is Directly under the knee!

Jason Wallen / Clinic Organizer...Thank you for all your support!

Little Wallen in the Swing

Jim “Jimbo” Bruns started Catfish Bay many years ago and Jason Wallen is who sets up the Barefoot Water Ski Clinic with me.  I appreciate all the support from the club.

Jim Bruns founder of CatFish Bay

Picture perfect deep water start.  I like to make sure all my students fully understand the technique before trying it on the water.  Chris did exactly that and was successful on his first attempt on barefoot water skiing on the boom.

Chris, preparing for his 1st attempt on his Feet.

1st time Chris Barefoot Water Skis!

Learning Butt Control. I tell all my students to have full control on their butt before placing their feet into the water

Super clean front toe hold for just learning it!

Jason Wallen performing a sweet Back to Front. As you can see he is loaded on his pivot foot. When we lets go of the handle his left foot taps the water causing a small divot in the water which then catches his right foot/pivot foot. He got lucky though. Work on staying on the pivot foot to compete the turn smoothly.

I ask Adam if he would show me a flip off the shore line kicker and he did just that!

Thank you Catfish Bay for all your support!  It’s great coming back year after year and seeing everyone continually improving!

Keith St.Onge

Please welcome “Keynote” Speaker Keith St.Onge

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

My second grade teacher Mrs. Provencher emailed me one day.  She explained the Title 1 reading program she now directs had an open house with many activities including barefoot water skiing.  They used me and barefoot water skiing as one of their topics.  I was excited to hear this and not long afterwards Mrs. Provencher asked me if I would come up and speak to the Berlin Middle School in New Hampshire, which is where I went to school also.  I had been wanting to get into speaking part time and she was giving me a perfect opportunity to do so.  I agreed and we set the date for the middle of May.

To drum up an audience Mrs. P and I hit up seventeen classrooms before lunch and I spoke to them briefly.  I basically told them how I followed my passion and became a World Champion one day.  If they have a passion they could also follow it and do what they love! I was on stage in the auditorium for an hour and signed autographs for all the kids and adults afterwards.  Thank you Mrs. P. for your support!

Mrs. Provencher (My second grade teacher) & I

We had a huge line for autographs and everyone got a free poster!

Bruce Bunnel & wife Nicole. Bruce was with me the first time I barefoot water skied.

Line for Autographs

I remember how excited I used to be waiting for an autograph so,  I give my time to the kids and make sure everyone gets one!

My two cousins Shauna & Ryleigh

My middle school Gym teacher Mr. Enman even showed up!

My first speaking engagement went great but I was a little long winded…go figure.  There were over 200 people that were present.  We had a Question & Answer at the end and gave out free games and books.

My mother organized a get together at the Mill Yard Restaurant afterwards and it was a great night hanging out with friends and family.  My next stop was Chicago for a barefoot water ski clinic.

It was a great experience for me and I look forward to speaking to many more children!  I hope I can encourage the kids I speak to find their passion in life.

For more information on Keith speaking for you contact him through, www.keithstonge.com (708) 668-2961

Keith St.Onge

Tennessee clinic w/ Don Simon & Crew

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

Passionate is the word that describes Don Simon and his love for the sport of barefoot water skiing!  At 72 years young he organized this clinic not for his own personal needs but simply to get more footers involved in the sport.  Ok, he may be looking for a few new recruits in case he needs a driver from time to time. haha  All kidding aside, Don holds a barefoot water ski clinic on the Emry River in hopes to get new people involved.  He doesn’t even want instruction for himself.  He says, “Keith, you can’t teach me anything new, I know it all already!” as he laughs!  Don helps drive the boat, motivates others and listens to some “New School” technique so he can help his fellow footers when he can.

Don Simon having fun on his feet!

He even does a 1 ft. at the mature age of 72!!

There are so many lakes and rivers in the Knoxville area it provides a breading ground for local footers.  Many boat manufacturers have also been in the area for years like MasterCraft, Malibu and Supra just to mention a few.  I’d say this area is the boat manufacturer of the world.

Rusty

Chris, Rusty, Danny, Keith W.,Wade & Mike

My job is to make sure everyone walks away from the clinic with a new piece of knowledge.  As long as everyone learns a little something new and knows what not to do I think I’ve done my job.  First rule in the boat is “Have Fun” and that comes pretty easy if you’re in a boat foot’n all day!

Chris Ritchie doing one of his first one foots on his bare feet

Mike Bryant learning a one foot, one hand for the first time.

We used Don Simon’s sweet Super Scorpion Sanger with a custom Tower Extension that sat two feet taller than standard.  I liked foot’n on it!  My friend Danny came over from the Carolina’s and kept everyone laughing and motivated in the boat!  This man is a ball of energy and loves his chewing gum!  He chews gum until it dissolves, which he says last him five hours.  If he is still chewing it before he goes to bed he puts it in the refrigerator or on his night stand…he then throws it into his mouth in the morning and he’s good to go!

Don and Danny

Chris Ritchie first time up backwards!

Taylor was not used to skiing with the boom low but to learn front toe holds it's a must! He did his first one that day!

Thank you everyone that joined the clinic!  It was a blast.  Unfortunately the only picture I got of Jason was learning how to Hand Ski.  He did get up backwards on WBC Shoe Skis on his second set though and did a front toe hold on shoes.

Jason preparing to push up for hand skiing

By: Keith St.Onge

WBC & Female NXS Barefoot Wetsuits

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

Available at the end of May is the WBC wetsuit.  This version is colored by an orange spatter design.  Something new and exciting for 2012 by: KSO wetsuits.

World Barefoot Center 2012 Barefoot Wet Suit

New to the KSO Wetsuit line is the NXS Female Barefoot Wetsuit.  The NXS (In Excess) was requested by many females and has many features for the girls of our sport.  Smaller arm holes and a tapered waist for maximum comfort.

NXS (In Excess) Female Barefoot Water Ski Wetsuit with a tapered waist by: KSO wetsuits

Visit  www.ksowetsuits.com for size charts and call the WBC at (863) 877-0039 to place your order.