Archive for the ‘Figure-8’ Category

Footapalooza 2014 Results

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

Well Footapalooza 2014 is in the bag, and what a great event this year. Friday stated out very well with many practice runs and catching up with the northern footing crew. Silver lake was flat, warm, and at a great level. With the level of the water being nice and high, it kept many of the lily pads out of sight. By the time night fell the course was set and everything was ready to go for the next day.

​Saturday morning came in cool, foggy and overcast, but the water was flat. As the footers showed up, the fog began to lift and by 9 am the sun was beginning to get warm and the water remained flat. When registration was over we had a total of 29 footers and many new faces. This year was the biggest turnout we have had in 6 years. We had footers from all over. New Jersey, Winnipeg Canada, Florida, Iowa, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Missouri, and of course Wisconsin.

The first set of footers set the bar for the day by completing the first figure 8 of the day. The competition was fierce with great sportsmanship. There were many great match ups throughout the day, and with two divisions, it’s really too hard to go thru them all. I think many of the reader of this post would get bored, but I have a few key points to mention. We had several people that we’re doing 2 figure 8’s or more throughout the day. Additionally I believe the highlight of the Footapalooza was Doug Smith sr. facing off against his wife Kristin. As you can guess, the jokes were flying especially after Kristen took her husband out in the first 8, but let’s face it, Doug was in a no-win situation.

The day progressed smoothly without any weather delays, injuries, or boat issues. (Whew, thank God). After all was said and done we had a guy out of Winnipeg Canada winning the open division and taking 3rd in the pro division. It is important to mention that Wayne King skied back to back five times and never asked for a break and in fact, wanted just to keep going. The matches he was facing was no easy task–either every person he faced ran him at least 1 figure 8. Very impressive for anyone especially for someone that is 56 yrs old!

The rest of the breakdown went like this:

​Open division: Wayne King, Al Morrison, Todd Thompson, Travis Lepak, Brody Meskers, and Paul miller.

​Pro division: Jon DeBelak, Marc Donahue, Wayne King, Brad Pylman, Eric Devries, and then Ron Blouw.

​I would like to thank everyone that participated and helped with the running of the event. A special thanks to Dave Mueller for announcing, thanks to mike miller and Kevin bender for driving, and Trisha bender for running the bracket board.

Additionally I would like to thank our sponsors the World Barefoot Center, Masterline, Thor thoradson, al Morrison and Wood Ya eye ware, barefoot graphics and promotions, Beth ann baker, and if I forgot someone, I am sorry, but thank you so much. Finally I would like thank Bill Wolf and Greg Ake for allowing us to use this wonderful site.

​Footapalooza is going to happen next year in June time, as far as the date goes, that is up in June air. There is a chance–a better than average chance that it will be the week before Father’s Day. I will keep everyone posted. Additionally we have another contribution which means more of a payout.

Foot safe this summer and good luck in the tournaments. God bless you all.

Chris Mcwatters

The 2014 Greg Wilkinson Memorial Figure 8 Barefoot Tournament

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

The last two articles I wrote were about the person that taught me how to barefoot or the person that got into competing.  This article is about promoting an annual Figure 8 barefoot tournament.   This event was first called the Silver Sheep figure 8 barefoot tournament when Thor Thordarson was the organizer, but due to his busy personal schedule, he turned the organization duties over to Mark Donahue and me.  Mark and I originally called this tournament the Footapalooza Figure 8 barefoot tournament.  The tournament  is always held on the 1st weekend after Fathers Day.

A couple of years ago, the barefoot community lost a great person when Greg Wilkinson lost his battle to cancer.  Greg was a  great advocate for the sport of barefooting. He always had a smile on his face and was always very supportive.  With the permission of Greg’s wife, Penny, Mark and I changed the tournament name to the Greg Wilkinson Memorial.  We take a  portion of the entry money and any donations– and give them to Penny for a charity of her choice in Greg’s honor.

The Greg Wilkinson Figure 8 tournament has a few different rules and regulations than maybe some of the other Figure 8 events out there.  First and foremost, we want everybody to have the opportunity to compete and barefoot.  Therefore, we really don’t care how you get to your feet during the start.  If you can’t deep water start and you need to drop a ski then bring a ski; if you can’t drop a ski and you can only deepwater start, then leave your skies at home.  Deepwater starts and drop ski footers can go side-by-side without any problem.  Our goal and motto has always been and will continue to be “No footer left on the beach.”

This is a double elimination event.  For next year, we are fortunate to have a couple monetary contributors.  Contributors have given this event 1,000 dollars each. Yup, that’s 2,000 dollars plus the entry fees.  Now, instead of having these Figure 8 junkies coming and fighting over the lump sum, Mark and I decided to make two divisions.  Those two divisions have been uniquely called Pros and Open.  If any footer has won or placed in the top 3 in the last 3 years in any Figure 8, you are considered in our book a “pro.”  If you haven’t done that, we are considering you an Open footer.  We are here to attract footers and not scare them off.  We want to give the open footer the opportunity to win money as well.  The monies will be divided between the two divisions.  Also we do pay down to the fourth and maybe the fifth spot in the open division.  The Pro division will only be paid down to the top three.

So, that being said on June 21st 2014, the Greg Wilkinson Memorial Figure 8 barefoot tournament will be held in Rolling Prairie, Indiana, behind the Sacred Heart Apostolic school located at 5901 N 500 E  Rolling Prairie, In.  The entry fee is $55.00, and if you register between now and May 1st, a tournament shirt will be included with the registration fee. Otherwise you will have to purchase shirts at the tournament.

This event is located approximately 20 miles from South Bend, Indiana.  If you’re flying, Chicago is the closest major airport, but there are small airports around the area that some airlines will fly into. This site is very nicely situated behind the school surround by trees and lily pads.  There is a great viewing area for spectators on a grassy knoll overlooking the lake.  The lake is just big enough for a Figure 8 tournament–it is real nice and decreases the chances for a blow out.

Between the lake and the school, there is a large area for camping–sorry, no hook ups, but we do have porta restrooms on site.  For you non-camping types there are hotels within 10-15 minutes of the site.  We will be cooking on site and we seek donations for the food and the cook.  Saturday night after the tournament is over we have a large bonfire with music and beverages.  Sunday morning we all like to get up and get a quick ski in before we pack upon a leave.

There is an opportunity for barefoot lessons on Thursday and Friday if there is enough interest.  The World barefoot Center with Keith St. Onge, David Small, or Ben Groen would be interested to put on a clinic.  Please contact either me or the World Barefoot Center if you are interested.  The sooner the better of course, the WBC schedule fills up rather quickly.   Mark and I will be advertising this event on social media, word of mouth and hopefully a ski magazine or two, so please help spread the word and come out and enjoy a great time, meet new people, or shoot the poop with old friends–and honor a great person and friend.

Thank you and foot safe,

Chris Mcwatters

Brody Meskers: My Footstock Experience

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

The 2013 Footstock was unlike any other barefoot tournament I have been too.  No fly highs, No Barefoot Sangers, No waiting for good water.

This tournament is skier against skier, friend against friend.   Two  handles, two  ropes,  and one boat.  The objective of the tournament was to see who could hold on the longest being pulled in a Figure 8.  Even though it was a competitive tournament, it was fun to see all the different people  from so many different places.  This is a tournament that you really need to be in shape for.  By the end of the day Sunday, I was having to ski round after round from Open to Juniors. Each run was getting longer and longer in very rough water.  As the tournament neared the last few rounds I was exhausted and had to ski in the junior finals. Even though I came up one run short, I really felt a relieved– and was happy I skied the tournament. It was great to see so many people who shared the love of the sport of barefooting. And I even got to meet people I may be skiing with in the near future at WBC.  

See you soon, Max!

By: Brody Meskers

Thinking About Entering Your First Barefoot Tournament?

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

You’re thinking about it. You’re tempted. You’re curious.

You’d like to try a barefoot tournament but you have no idea where to start or what to do.

Here’s a book to help you get started:

Barefoot Water Skiing, From Weekend Warrior to Competitor

From Juan Carlos Cardoso Riveroll:

This book gave us the additional push we needed to participate in the 2012 Worlds. We had always been weekend warriors and weren’t at all confident to participate in such a big event!.. After reading through beautifully written experiences illustrated in this book we went for it and had a fantastic time competing, networking and becoming part of the international barefooting family.

In a nutshell the book will illustrate the rules & dynamics needed to participate competitively, it will give you clarity on what it takes (and what it doesn’t). It’s a must read for all skiers that want to take the next step in their footing career (or even if they want to keep it a simple hobby). You’ll be surprised on how accessible tournaments are for any ski level and how supportive the community is.

After the worlds I can say that our skiing level, our focus and our understanding of the sport are at a whole different level. This book gave us the insight we needed. We went for it and thanks to it had the experience of skiing with the best. Karen is a fantastic writer, I have reached out to her via Facebook and had all my questions answered – furthermore she put us in contact with all the right people to keep us on track moving ahead! thank you for such a great book.

The book is available at the World Barefoot Center Pro Shop along with Keith St. Onge’s book, Gliding Soles:

World Barefoot Center Books

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


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World Barefoot Center Figure 8 Series

Friday, December 30th, 2011

The 2011 year for figure eight barefooting was more exciting than ever.  From Peter Flecks dominance of Footstock, to 4 different winners in the 4 individual events that make up the World Barefoot Center Figure Eight Series, which ultimately ended with a tie between Keith St Onge and Ron Blouw for the series championship.  What follows is a recap of the WBC figure eight series events from 2011.

The WBC figure eight series started in June at Footapalooza in Rolling Prairie Indiana.  26 footers participated and Marc Donahue started 2011 where he left off in 2010, by winning the event over Keith St Onge.  In the first run of the finals, Marc and Keith completed 3 and ½ 8’s, which ended up being the longest run of the day, when Keith beat Marc to give them each one loss.  Marc turned back around and beat Keith on the run off after 2 and ½ 8’s.  JJ Link took third with Ben Dieser a strong fourth, followed by Ron Blouw in fifth.  The event takes place on a private lake and the view is spectacular from the shore.  This is a great venue for a figure eight event.

JJ Link, Marc Donahue, Keith St.Onge

JJ Link , Marc D, Keith St Onge,

The next stop in the series was the Glen Meuller Figure Eight Challenge that takes place in St Louis, where 39 footers took to the water on a lake that only opens to ski boats on this one day for this tournament.  This event offered prizes for the “best fall”, the “first 8”, and the “longest 8”, as well as the standard  top finishers receiving awards.  This event was won by Ron Blouw who needed to beat the undefeated Tim Knoezer twice as he was coming from the loser’s bracket.  JJ Link again finished third, followed by Keith St Onge and Greg Fatla.  The event takes place at a private country club, and is run by Tim Knoezer and Anthony Gramalino.  If you get there early you can watch the ski show the night before.

Tim Knoezer, Ron Blouw, JJ Link

Tom Knoezer, Ron Blouw, JJ Link

The third event in the series is the Clean Lakes Festival Barefoot Challenge.  This is just one of the many events in the Clean Lakes Festival, located in Madison Wisconsin.  This event was won by Jon Debelak, who had to come from loser’s bracket to beat a previous Clean Lakes figure 8 champion Paul Stokes twice.  Ron Blouw finished third, just ahead of his cousin Eric DeVries who was a strong fourth and Aaron Schoezel was fifth.  One of the really cool things about this event is it’s proximity to downtown Madison.  As is expected for any event in the figure eight series, this event was well run by Bob Manke and Paul Stokes.

Paul Stokes against Mike Netzer in Madison, WI

The last event in the series takes place at the World Barefoot Center.  This event had 32 barefooters competing.  David Small held off his business partner Keith St Onge to win his second consecutive title in this event.  David and Keith did 8 after 8 in the two final runs, with Keith winning the first run to give David his first loss.  David was just two solid to beat twice in a row and David won the run off over Keith.  Ben Dieser  finished third ahead of Marc Donahue and Ron Blouw. Like last year, there was an awards presentation located at the WBC ski school with food and drinks.  The world Barefoot Center was a great host for the event.

Swampy, David_Small, Keith_St_Onge, Ben Dieser, Marc Donahue, Ron Blouw at the WBC Figure 8 Finals

Swampy, David Small, Keith St Onge, Ben Dieser, Marc Donahue, Ron Blouw

In the overall standings, Ron Blouw and Keith St Onge ended in a tie for the points lead, with Marc Donahue in third.  Just how close was it?  The two footers each finished with 125 points.  Neither footer finished lower than 5th in any event, Ron had a 1st, a 3rd and a 5th, while Keith had two 2nds, and a 5th.  Each footer had 2 wins in the finals, with Ron coming from the loser’s bracket to win twice in the final round in St Louis, and Keith came from the loser’s bracket in Indiana and in the WBC tournament to win on the first run each time, only to lose the next run in both instances.  Each footer finished in the top three 2 times.  They faced each other twice and each won once.  It was indeed too close to call.

The entire series was very competitive with multiple winners in the individual events.  Of the top three finishers in the individual events, there were 9 different footers to finish in the top 3, with Keith, Ron, and JJ the only three to place in the top three twice.  The event was very competitive.  The events attracted multiple footstock winners and other figure eight winners.

Keith St.Onge, Ron Blouw & Marc Donahue

Keith St Onge, Ron Blouw, Marc Donahue

This is a great series and the events went off very smoothly with great leadership.  The WBC figure eight series motto is “no one left on the beach” and the tournament allowed duct tape to prevent blisters and either deep water starts or starts from a step off ski.  It allowed for beginners as well as advanced footers to compete against each other.  All ages were included with men and women competing head to head, there were even two sets of husbands and wives competing in the Florida event.  This is a great way to get to know other barefooters who have a similar passion for the sport.  It is also a way to go head to head with some of the best barefooters in the world, and who knows….anything might happen.  If you have never tried a figure 8, join us at one of the events for next year, I bet you will get hooked.  The event was sponsored by Reef Safe Sun Care, US Gear, and the World Barefoot Center.

By: Ron Blouw & Keith St.Onge

WBC Invitational Results

Monday, October 17th, 2011

The WBC Invitational was held October 7th and 8th on Lake David in Groveland, Florida.   The event was broadcast live on the World Barefoot Center site, with Swampy Bouchard and Andy Harris providing commentary.

Here are the tournament results:

WBC Invitational Tricks Event Running Order

WBC Invitational Tricks Event Scores

WBC Invitational Tricks Event Finals Scores

WBC Invitational Slalom Event Running Order

WBC Invitational Slalom Event Scores

WBC Invitational Slalom Event Finals Scores

WBC Invitational Jump Event Running Order

WBC Invitational Jump Event Scores

WBC Invitational Jump Event Finals Scores

WBC Invitational Overall Finals Scores

There were quite a few spectacular falls that weekend:

WBC INVITATIONAL MASSIVE FALLS from WorldBarefootCenter on Vimeo.

Duct Tape Now Allowed at Footstock

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

Footstock, the grandaddy of all Figure 8 tournaments, is now allowing the use of duct tape again– legally.   According to a recent article on the Waterski website:

One of the most controversial rule changes to this year’s event will be allowing skiers to use duct tape to protect the bottom of their feet. The rule change, which has been happening at smaller endurance tournaments, is in response to the growing number of competitors suffering severe burning of their feet due to the increasingly long runs. Last year’s runner-up Pete Fleck actually burned holes in his feet as a result of barefooting over 30 figure eights over the two day competition.


Gary and Dave Mueller posted a humorous debate about the use of duct tape in Footstock:  To Duct Tape or Not to Duct Tape?

Last year’s Footstock summary: Endurance Records Fall at Footstock

Keith St. Onge and Lauren Lindeman are heading up to Footstock.  Will they don the small piece of duct tape allowed?

Written by: Karen Putz

WBC Footapalooza Figure 8 Series

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

This event sponsored by the World Barefoot Center & KSO Wetsuits was a success and a must “DO” for next year.  The site is amazing and there are huge fields for camping on Fri. and Sat. night.  The size of the eight is perfect with a perfectly protected site along with lily pads lining the shoreline. Put it on your calendars for next year!

Go to this link to read about it:  Footapalooza Figure 8

The event was also covered in the Herald Argus newspaper:  Footers Make Front Page

Keith St.Onge

Footers get FRONT PAGE!

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

Lauren Lindeman makes a splash on the front page of the LaPorte, Indiana Herald Argus news:

Footapalooza Makes Front Page!