Archive for the ‘WBC in the News’ Category

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

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.

World Barefoot Center in MORE Magazine and Chicken Soup

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

Grab a copy of the November issue of MORE magazine the next time you’re at the supermarket.  The World Barefoot Center gets a mention, along with Keith St. Onge, Judy Myers and sponsored skier, Karen Putz. You can also read the entire story here:

Reinvent Yourself After Misfortune

The trio can also be found in the newest Chicken Soup for the Soul book:

Chicken Soup for the Soul Find Your Happiness

Judy Myers Featured on Growing Bolder

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

KSO and Judy

World Barefoot Center sponsored skier, Judy Myers, is a legend in the sport of barefooting, being the oldest female competitor (Sharon Carlson is right behind her!). Check out the video that Growing Bolder did on Judy Myers and how she inspired Karen Putz to get back on the water. The video also has footage of Banana George Blair:   Barefoot Competitor Walks on Water.

Find more inspiring video, audio, and images at Growing Bolder.

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!

Barefoot Wine “Foot Fan of the Month”

Sunday, June 26th, 2011

Check out  Barefoot Wine’s “Foot Fan of the Month” for June–it’s the Fab Five ladies:  Judy Myers, Val Shinn, Joann O’Connor, Claudia Landon and Karen Putz.   The five ladies met up at the Women’s Barefoot Week at the World Barefoot Center in October, 2010.

Judy Myers

Known as the “Old Lady,” Judy started barefooting at the age of 53.  She’s been featured in More Magazine, on the Today Show and Suzanne Somers show.  She did a Subway “Fit to Boom” segment.   At her very first tournament, all she could do was stand up.  Last summer, she competed in the Worlds.  Today, this 68-year-old gal tells the younger gals to “suck it up” when they dare complain about their aching muscles after a run.  But at the end of Women’s week, we discovered her secret drug stash: a huge bottle of Motrin.

Judy Myers Inspires Deaf Mom

Val Shinn

Dubbed “The Show Girl,” Val presents grace on the water every time she barefoots.   Don’t let Val fool you– at first glance, it doesn’t seem like this delicate lady even belongs on the water, much less in a tough sport like barefooting.  Watch her on the water, and your jaw will drop, the lady can glide!  At the age of 60, Val still climbs pyramids in weekly water ski shows.  Every Thursday, she hosts a radio show on astrological topics.

Valerie Shinn–Show Girl on the Water

Joann O’Connor

Joann is one tough gal– she skis on a fused ankle, the result of a motorcycle accident many years ago.  The 62-year-old picked up barefooting again ten years ago.  Three years ago, she figured out how to make adjustments with her ankle and learned to barefoot backwards.  Some days, her back gives out and she has to crawl back into the boat, but a few minutes later, she’s back out on the water doing toe holds.

Barefooting with a Senior Citizen

Claudia Landon

Claudia is “pure poetry on water.”  When she does her back deep starts, she rises out of the water with the grace of a ballet dancer.   Claudia started barefooting at the age of 37 and ten years later, she entered her first barefooting tournament.  Just recently, she qualified for the Worlds in tricks.  Claudia has endured several ear drum blowouts.  She once donned ear plugs, a headband, a swim cap and a helmet to protect a burst eardrum, and then took a fall where the helmet collided with her arm–breaking the bone.  “I don’t think my arm is supposed to look like this,” she told her husband when the boat came to pick her up.  I think the rest of us would have been screaming in pain.

Claudia Landon, Pure Poetry on Water

Karen Putz

Karen tripped on a wake as a teen and went from hard of hearing to deaf in an instant.  In March of 2010, Karen met Judy and Keith, and put her feet back on the water again.    She taught the entire WBC boat crew to sign “awesome,” so now they praise her from 75 feet away.

Karen Putz on Growing Bolder

WBC Skier, Chandler Cargile in the News

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

World Barefoot Center sponsored skier, Chandler Cargile recently landed in the news:

The Barefoot Skier

Channel 8 News Covers Anytime Fitness Barefoot Tour in TN

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Channel Eight News was on hand at a clinic in Tennessee to capture some barefooting on the Barefooting Across America Tour:

Keith St. Onge– Barefooting in Tennessee

The entire interview:

PGA Tournament

Monday, May 16th, 2011

The PGA Tournament took place in Port St. Lucie, Florida on May 14th.   Many firsts occurred this day and the WBC is proud to share the good news!

Chandler Cargile a WBC Sponsored Athlete competed in his very first tournament! Chandler not only had the support of his parents Beth and Mark Cargile but also a large portion of the WBC Team.  All eleven team members filled the dock and shoreline cheering Candler on!

New Zealand footers should stand proud today, Ben Groen tricked a potential New Zealand national record of 8,200.  All the hard work is paying off for this young kiwi.

We like to call him “Frenchy” but he is better known as Ben Lafance from Montreal, Canada.  Ben has been training at the WBC for 3.5 months and his scores show his improvement.  In tricks Ben went from 2,400 to a whopping 5,600!! Slalom 11.8 to 14! Hats off to you!

Did you know that only 4 people in the world have ever tricked over 10,000 points?  Today AJ Porecca bumped that statistic up to 5.  AJ tricked 10,100! The amazement doesn’t stop there; AJ has a new PB (personal best) in slalom of 16.4. Way to go AJ!

Florida’s finest young lady Carol Jackson had success today and scored a new PB in slalom. We are looking forward to seeing more PB’s this summer!

Lauren Lane Lindeman soon to be St. Onge from Chicago, IL. Today Lauren accomplished her first back one foot wakes that busted her old PB by a mile!

Your current World Champion David Small from the UK put some great scores on the board.  Fans from the UK that has skied at the WBC last week were cheering him on!

Bringing Barefoot Waterskiing to the Next Level

Brian Hetherington had a goal of tricking 8,000 points and he accomplished it with ease!  Brian posted at score of 8,100, awesome job!

Only men and boys can do surface turns! YEAH RIGHT! Lisa Pressendo scored her first back to front and barely missed a front to back.  Once again busting her personal best! Keep it up Lisa!

For the first time in history 13,000 points in tricks was possible.  David Small and Keith St. Onge have been pushing each other during practice over the past few months.  Once again the tricking level has been brought to a new level.  Today Keith St. Onge scored 13,100! Congratulations Keith!

These WBC Sponsored Athletes couldn’t have done it without the one and only Swampy Bouchard.  His phenomenal coaching and his knack for numbers and trick runs are appreciated by every one of the team members.  Thank you Swampy for your support and encouragement.

WBC Team Work

World Barefoot Center Skiers on Growing Bolder TV

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

Karen Putz, Judy Myers and Keith St. Onge are featured on Growing Bolder, shown on over 250 PBS stations and Create TV:

Find more inspiring video, audio, and images at Growing Bolder.