Archive for the ‘World Barefoot Center’ Category

NSSA D1 & D2 National Tournament Barefoot Awards

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

The World Barefoot Center sponsored the Highest Scoring Barefoot Act Award at the 2015 Division 1 Show Ski National Tournament and also the 2015 Division 2 Show Ski National Tournament! The skiers really look forward to see who will win this award, since all teams can have the opportunity!

The 2015 Awards winners were as follows:

  • D1 award went to the Aquanut Water Shows
  • D2 award went to the Wisconsin Rapids Aqua Skiers

Congratulations from WBC to all the winners.2015 D1 & D2 Barefoot Thank you - KSO-WBC (1)

50+ Senior Barefooter Weekend!!

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

ATTENTION 50+ BAREFOOTERS!!

Ted Eisenstat and Judy Myers are organizing a 3 day Senior Barefooters Events to be held at the World Barefoot Center in Winter Haven, FL. This event will include 3 days of instruction from the World Class Instructors of the WBC.

The dates are May 15th, 16th & 17th, 2015. The event is for 50+ age barefooters.

The cost are as follows:

  • 1 day @ $195.00
  • 2 days @ $390.00
  • 3 days @ $550.00

For more information you can contact Judy Myers at her email oldbarefooter@mac.com.

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!!

Barefooting with the Legends

Monday, August 25th, 2014

On October 25th, an amazing event called “Legends.” This unique USA Waterski Foundation fundraiser allows the everyday skier to rub shoulders with the greatest water skiers of all time – the skiers who have shaped the sport into what it is today.

“Legends” is in its fourth year, but due to its incredible success with raising money for the USA Waterski Foundation, it has expanded this year to include barefooting and LD jumping for the first time.

The barefoot legends who are attending the event so far are Ron Scarpa, Mike Seipel, Peter Fleck, and John Gillette (who literally wrote the book on barefooting!). I have invited several other legends as well, so I will update you with the legend attendees as the event draws closer.

Here is how the barefoot event will run: On Saturday, October 25th barefooters who purchase a skier package will meet at WBC at 7:00am for registration, and will be on the water at 8:00am. Ron Scarpa and Mike Seipel are the instructors for the day, and each skier will spend half the day with both of them. In other words, if you ski with Mike in the morning, you will ski with Ron in the afternoon, and vice versa. Your morning and afternoon sets will be broken up with a lunch that will be provided at the WBC. The lunch kicks off what we are calling the “WBC Beach Party” because it is here that the other legends and people who purchase a non-skier package will congregate for the afternoon. The lunch/beach party will be a fun reunion for the legends and a great opportunity for skiers to meet and hang out with some legendary barefooters! At the end of the day, the barefooters will come together with the slalom skiers and LD jumpers for an awards banquet and dinner at the Fantasy of Flight.

For the record, “Legends” is an entire weekend filled with fun activities you can attend. On Friday night and Sunday afternoon there are activities taking place at the USA Waterski Headquarters….but for simplicity I will not explain them here.

Contact Teri Larson at the World Barefoot Center at (863) 877-0039 or check out the USA Waterski Foundation website to register or for more details.

Anyone who is participating in the “Legends” event has a few options to choose from. You can choose a skier package, non-skier package, Saturday banquet only, or you can donate auction items. The skier package includes access to allwater and land events being held from October 24th to 26th, a goodie bag, a tour of the Hall of Fame, and of course…a day of skiing with Mike and Ron.

WE HAVE 10 SPOTS FOR SKIERS…so get on it quickly if you want to ski! A non-skier package can be just as much fun as the skier package. Non-skier packages include a tour of the Hall of Fame, entry into the WBC beach party on Saturday, and admission to the Saturday night banquet. Tickets for the Saturday night banquet are also available. The USA Waterski foundation is also looking for silent auction items that people can bid on at the Saturday night banquet.

The USA Waterski foundation a subsidiary of USA Waterski that is responsible for funding the Waterski Hall of Fame and all of the waterski scholarships that are awarded to athletes every year. All proceeds for this event are
donated to the USA Waterski foundation. Therefore, “Legends” is a great event for a great cause. You won’t want to miss it! Register online ASAP to secure your spot!

Click here to register your spot in the boat!

Teri Larson

Life at the World Barefoot Center

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

Whether you’re brand new to barefoot water skiing or you’re an expert, we have a spot for you on the boat at the World Barefoot Center!

Here’s a peek inside a typical day at the WBC:

Workouts are optional.

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

BAREFOOT WATER SKI DESTINATION – (MEXICO)

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. http://www.worldbarefootcenter.com/barefootblog/barefoot-water-skiing-in-mexico

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

World Barefoot Center no longer an Eagle Dealer

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

As of January 2, 2014

WBC NEWS – Company growth outpaces supplier’s production ability!

Every successful company reaches thresholds of increased demand, of elevated customer expectations and of heightened responsibility to their industry. The WBC has just been informed by Chuck Gleason of Eagle Sports that he will no longer be able to meet the barefoot wetsuit production demands of WBC.

In a letter to the WBC Chuck states “You guys have ordered a lot of product, and I know our product fits well within your business…….It’s with regret that I have to inform you that Eagle Sports will be unable to fulfill your wetsuit production needs for this coming season……..we don’t feel we can deliver product to WBC in a timely enough manner for you to adequately support your clients………. ”

The WBC is grateful for the relationship we have had with Eagle Sports during our growth. This was an expected phase, to outpace some of our suppliers, however we did not forecast being at this point with our wetsuit demand at this time.

Ben Groen – WBC Manager Product Development & Manufacturing is excited about this new step “I look at it as an opportunity to learn from our growth and ultimately enhance delivery with higher quality products. By partnering with a more established manufacturer that has closer ties to global markets we will position our company with the leaders within the industry”

The WBC wishes Eagle Sports continued success.

The World Barefoot Center would like to apologize to our customers as we go through this transitional period. We are excited to say we have been working with a respected company and well known wetsuit manufacturer to bring a new line of custom WBC wetsuits soon. We will follow up with an announcement shortly.

Team WBC

Is Barefooting on Your Bucket List?

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

barefooting bucket list

Skydiving. Mountain climbing.  Scuba diving. White water rafting. Barefoot water skiing.

More and more, I’m seeing barefooting as a “bucket list item” among new customers  whenever I’m down at the World Barefoot Center. No matter the age, they want to learn how to walk on water–and it’s right up there with skydiving, mountain climbing, and more. Today’s equipment and teaching methods make it easier than ever to try this extreme sport.

Four years ago, I took up barefoot water skiing again at the age of 44.   I had not barefoot water skied in over 20 years.  At that age, I pretty much thought I’d never barefoot again until I saw 66-year-old Judy Myers barefooting on the TODAY Show.  Judy took up the sport at the age of 53 and today, she’s the world oldest female competitive barefooter at 70. Just watching her on the show inspired me and I started feeling the old passion sparking up within me.  Judy invited me to the World Barefoot Center in March, 2010 and my life did a 180.

The first time I got into the boat at the World Barefoot Center, I was a nervous wreck and pretty intimidated by all the fancy moves everyone else was doing on the water.  If you told me then that I’d be doing some of those things four years later, I would have laughed you out of the boat.  But that day, I was embarrassed to get into a wetsuit and scared that I would make a fool of myself on the water with a boat full of people watching.  I got over that pretty quickly the moment I put my feet on the water and felt the old passion for the sport return.

karen putz back toe

I’ve been taught by every instructor at the World Barefoot Center and I’ve enjoyed learning from all of them (even the one who makes me cry, who shall not be named. <Insert grin.>)  I was once asked to rank each instructor, and I found it impossible to do so.  Keith St. Onge, David Small,  Ben Groen, Ashleigh Stebbeings, and Swampy Bouchard all have a professional attitude and the knowledge to instruct in every aspect of the sport.  They all know when to push, and when to pull back and rebuild your skills.  In fact, when Ben suggested a back toe hold during my last set of Women’s Week in 2013, I thought he had lost his mind. But by the end of the set, I had let go of the handle a few times and accomplished my first back toe on my feet.  Not bad for a 48-year-old!

I’m also seeing more and more “mature” folks taking up the extreme sport after several years off the water.  In 2012, Jill Broderick from Vermont came to the Women’s Barefoot Week for the first time.  The last time Jill barefoot water skied was 40 years ago.  In one short week, she learned the deep-water start, tumble turns, and longline. In 2013, she moved up to one foots and continued to build a solid foundation to her barefooting skills.  Oh yeah, Jill is over 60 years old.

Jill Broderick

The most famous barefooter of all, Banana George, took up barefooting at the age of 46, took up competition at 65, and barefooted behind a seaplane when he was 81. The last time he set his feet on the water, he was 93.  Even then, he managed to do a one-foot!

So if you have “Barefoot water skiing” on your bucket list, don’t wait for some day to make it happen.  Last I checked, there is no “Someday” to be found on any calendar anywhere.

By: Karen Putz