Archive for the ‘Barefoot How-To’s’ Category

Barefoot Water Ski School

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

The World Barefoot Center is the #1 Barefoot Ski School to learn how to barefoot water ski for the first time.  The World Barefoot Center has the experience in their staff on and off the water.  Visit the website and follow us on Facebook to learn more about us.  We promote safety, fun and learning the right progressions from the start.  No matter what level of skier you are you’ll be able to learn how to barefoot water ski.  We have taught people that have never water skied before.

If you want more information or have questions please call us at anytime! (863)-877-0039  We offer great summer rates when staying longer than one week.

We also offer traveling clinics from our professionals.  Clinics allow families, friends and clubs to hire us to come to their personal site.  We use your boat and teach from beginners to all levels at your location.  http://www.worldbarefootcenter.com/clinics.html

World Barefoot Center / Barefoot Water Ski School

Ski School Rates:  http://www.worldbarefootcenter.com/rates.html

Surface Turns on my Bare Feet!

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

Turns are a BIG part of barefoot water skiing. Before you can even begin to learn turns, you must learn all of the basics. I had to have all of my one foots and toe holds down. Swampy told me I had to be able to trick over 2000 points without doing turns. My trick run would be toe up, toe hold, toe hold, 360 tumble to 1, 360 tumble to 1, one foot, one foot, hop, sit down stand up to 1, sit down stand up to 1, sit down stand up to 2, then I would do a back deep, get into line step position and do one foot, one foot, hop, (get out of line step) back toe hold, back toe hold. All of the basics really help with turns, especially the front and back toe holds. Once you have mastered the basics and are solid with it all, you are ready for turns. The reason you must learn the basics first is so that you do not pick up any bad habits, because bad habits are very hard to break. It’ll be easier if you just learn the right way.

My first front-to-back came as a real shock. About four days before I did it, I had worked nothing but back toe-holds and line step position. I was already solid on my front one foots and toe holds. After finally getting my line step, one, one, hop, back toe, back toe, I was able to start learning turns. I had done turns on the WBC shoe skis before, but it was a long time ago, and they weren’t consistent. One morning, A.J. and Ben took me out for a set of turns on the WBC shoe skis, and it went very well. My basic front to back was my best turn out of all four of them. For the rest of that day I had just kept working turns on the shoe skies.

The next day, Swampy and A.J. took me out to try a couple turns on my feet; just to get the feel of them. As I jumped in the water, A.J. told me that turning on your feet and turning on the shoe skis are not much different. He also told me not to over think it, because once you start to think about it, you’re not going to make it. So I got up and just pictured myself on the shoe skis. I turned with my pivot foot and made my first front to back. I had made it on my first attempt. I was so shocked and didn’t know what to think, say or do, so I just floated in the water laughing. I was SPEECHLESS and EXCITED!! As soon as I made that turn, I was so surprised that I looked at the camera, as I was skiing backwards, and said something I probably shouldn’t have. Once I had made the first one, I tried a few more, but failed the rest. Two days later, I went out with Ben and Brody Meskers and made two more front to backs and my first back to front. One of the main things that help THE MOST is to just not think about it; just do it. I want to thank Swampy, A.J., Ben, Keith and Dave for a fun week and teaching me all that they did!

By: Chandler Cargile Chandler Cargile makes Front to Back!

St. Onge At the Wisconsin Water Ski Convention and Expo

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

If you’re itching for some barefoot instruction in the middle of winter, head up to the Chula Vista in Wisconsin Dells this weekend for the 2012 Wisconsin Water Ski Convention and Expo. Two-time World Barefoot Champion, Keith St. Onge will be giving workshops on barefoot instruction (beginners to advanced), goal setting, cross training, surface turns and more. There’s also a session highlighting the Women’s Barefoot Week at the World Barefoot Center.

On-site registration begins Friday, February 24, 1:00 p.m. CST at the Chula Vista in Wisconsin Dells.

For more information, contact: Cathy Luiting (608) 290-4340.

Wisconsin Water Ski Federation/Water Ski Convention and Expo

Photo credit: Distinctive Photography by Dale

How to Barefoot Backwards (Back Deep Water Start)

Saturday, February 4th, 2012

Glen Plake, Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame

Hook Ankle Under Rope

So you’re ready to start learning how to barefoot backwards?   Before you start, here a quick few pointers that will make things go a little smoother and keep the “nasal water logging” to a minimum. (And there’s always nose tape for that!)

To get up backwards we are going to stick to three simple steps:

-Planing on your belly and riding the plant.

-Transitioning from the plant to backwards barefooting position.

-Position while skiing backwards.

1.  PLANING ON YOUR BELLY AND RIDING THE PLANT

Roll Over Onto Belly

Float on your back, place the handle between legs and reach behind and grab it with both hands, hook one of your ankles under the rope

Time to take a deep breath and roll over, making sure you keep your body, arms, and legs straight. You will only be unable to breathe for maybe a second.  The driver should now pull you out of the water at a nice SLOW speed (too fast and you begin to porpoise and bounce). The water line should be breaking right around your knees.  10-12 mph will be your speed.

Now in this position you should easily be able to plane on your belly – making sure you are pushing your chest towards the water (this will create an air pocket and you will be able to breathe), and staying stiff like a board. This will not only allow you to breathe but it will also keep you from

Stay Stiff As A Board

bouncing and you will be in much more control. Once you are comfortable with this position, very slowly take your feet off the rope, and before being able to plant you will need to make sure you flex your feet.

This means pulling your toes back towards your ankles (it is very important not to point your toes otherwise they will go straight through). Turn outwards to a 45 degree angle and slowly place them onto the water, a little wider then hips width (an exercise to do to practice gliding on your feet would be to do one foot at a time with one foot staying hooked on the line and getting the feeling of the water coming off your feet – once you have them in the right position the water should flex the feet automatically for you, you shouldn’t push against the water or curl your toes down Once you are comfortable with one foot, put it back on the rope and repeat with the other.)

Take Feet Off Of The Rope

While doing this, the rest of your body should be fairly relaxed.  Once you are comfortable enough to plant with both feet you should be able to ride this position comfortably for 30 seconds. If you can’t do this because you are out of control, it can mean you’re not allowing the water to flex your feet, which means you will be gas pedaling (pointing toes or gripping). Remember-at no POINT should you ever pull in on your arms. You should still be remained with your chest pushed into the water.

Once you can glide with your feet on the water you are ready for the next step.

2. TRANSITIONING INTO A STANDING POSITION

Now that you can ride, on your chest, with your feet planted in the water,

Planting Feet

you will need to, what we call BREAK, which means pushing your chest and chin down while allowing your hips (butt) to push up towards the sky. This is very important factor. Imagine sticking your head between your legs so that you’re folding in half. While you break and you feel your upper body starting to lift you will need to make sure that you start to pull your legs closer so it makes it easier to stand (about shoulder width). Keep rotating your feet and knees inwards.

A key factor in the breaking point is to WAIT as long as you can and to allow the boat to do the work. AT NO POINT DURING THIS STAGE should you try to lift your upper body and/or head to try and stand. You MUST wait, wait, wait and then when you think you have waited long enough, wait some more. This is the part most people have trouble with.

Pushing Chin Down And Hips Up

Keep pushing your hips upwards as you rotate your feet inward (feet should be parallel to one another) until you feel the water on your chin. You will need to maintain bent knees and make sure you don’t come up too tall.

3. BACKWARDS BAREFOOTING POSITION

Congratulations, if you’ve made it this far, you’re now barefooting backwards!!! Now that you’re up and skiing however, you need to keep focused and make sure you are in a solid position. You want to be broken away at the hips, but still arching your back, and keeping your head up, your knees should be bent into athlete position, with your arms straight, and glued to your butt. (If the handle is away from your butt, you will be pulled out over the back much easier). If you are sliding around a lot, get off those toes and ski flat on your feet!! Using the whole surface of you

Breaking

foot (Water line should be up around your instep) will allow you to glide easily on the water, instead of sliding around or pushing water.  The driver should not exceed speeds over 28-32 mph depending on the size of the skier.   If the skier is having difficulty at this speed they do not have the correct position.  Any faster can result in a hard fall.

Driver Notes:

Boom height.

Higher booms will make it harder for the skier to slowly put their feet in the water and they might end up dumping them into the water, whereas if the boom isn’t high enough it will make it harder for the skier to get up. The boom should really sit around the skiers shoulder height when in

Backwards Position

the back barefoot position. (About 4-5 feet off the water)

Boat speeds.

– Planing stage: A nice SLOW (10-12 mph) speed-if bouncing occurs, you’re going too fast.

– Planting: Once you can see that the skier has got a firm even plant then it is time to bring the boat up to speed (this is a smooth, consistent, and gradual movement on the throttle.)

– Standing speed: This depends on the weight of the skier, but most people up to 200lbs will be able to backwards barefoot happily at no more than 32 mph.  More speed will only be applied after several miles have been occurred on their feet.  This means several sets and 20 days or more of skiing backwards.   Do not be in a hurry to do back one foots as this should be done on shoe skis first!

-Ending the pass: Unlike when your skier is going forwards, he/she can’t see when the end of the run is coming up!!! While this seems pretty straight forward, you’ll save a lot of last minute head smashers if you just ease off very gradually, letting the skier know the end is coming and giving them time to let go and lean away, instead of suddenly losing speed and going head over heels!!

–       Ashleigh Stebbeings, Australia


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Easiest & Safest way to Learn Barefoot Water Skiing!

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

The World Barefoot Center Ski School located minutes from LegoLand in Winter Haven, FL teaches our students the best, easiest and safest way to learn. We will either start our first timers on a swing, which hangs from the boom, off a Wakeboard or doing a start off the boom while riding on the padding of a barefoot suit. Experience will determine the start method we use. If a student has never barefoot skied they will start on the swing, which guarantees no falls! If the skier is fit and more daring they can start with the front start in a barefoot suit. The wakeboard start is a happy medium.

Here is a link to the Wake Board Barefoot Start.

Keith St.Onge

How to become a WBC Sponsored Athlete!

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

Have you ever wondered if you have got what it takes to join the WBC’s Sponsored Athletes Program. Well here at the World Barefoot Center each and every skier shares a passion for the sport of barefoot waterskiing and a willingness to push themselves to become better skiers. Our sponsored athletes program is always expanding to become bigger and better. We are looking for skiers that are able to ski well and that have a great personality as well as the heart and drive to push themselves to become the best skiers they can be. We want to build world-class skiers by giving them an opportunity to train with the best skiers and coaches in the world, and elevate their skiing to the highest level.

In order to reach our goals, we need to be sure that we have members who want to go all the way and are completely committed to improving and doing things the right way. The sponsored skiers need to honour a number of qualifications in order to help both WBC and themselves out. The qualifications include:

  • Attending all major tournaments
  • Willingness to help in all aspects of Barefooting (for example helping out during tournaments, taking pictures/videos, and writing articles)
  • Commitment to the school and spending time here (a minimum of 10 days per year)
  • Openness to teamwork
  • Having a great attitude towards learning
  • Professionalism and class both on and off the water
  • Representing WBC and the sport in an outstanding way
  • Courtesy
  • And most importantly a desire to be both among the best and to become one of the best.

There are no set qualification scores to be able to apply for the program. However, all athletes will be expected to spend at least 10 skiing days per year at the school, and must be dedicated to learning and progressing in the sport.

If you think the above applies to yourself and that you are interested in applying to become apart of the team theres a WBC team application form that needs to be filled out and sent in to either the school E-Mail, wbcbarefoot@gmail.com or to our Postal Address, 3915 Lake Conine Dr. E. Winter Haven, Florida 33881. You will also need to include bio information including your current PB’s and accomplishments (check out Team WBC on our website for examples of what we are looking for), your future goals and ambitions, a description of both your long term and short term goals as well as a short explanation about what you think you can bring to the group as a team skier and what your willing to do for the team. We would also like you to include a picture of yourself so that if you are chosen we can put it on the website.

If chosen, the skier will be notified and will now be a part of The WBC Sponsored Athletes Program, and will be expected to honor all above statements. These individuals will become a part of a very special group.

WILL YOU BE THE NEXT TO JOIN?

By Ashleigh Stebbeings, Australia

How to Become the Best Barefooter on Your Lake

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

First, you need to get kitted out in all the right gear– a wetsuit and padded shorts are a good place to start. KSO wetsuits and shorts are as good as they get.  As an added bonus, they have built in tumble turns!

Next are your handles and lines. US Gear handles are great with a soft grip and rounded corners for extra
comfort and they also look real cool as well. A KSO pro fusion line is the next step for absolute no line-stretch skiing. Lastlydon’t forget a pair of KSO shoe skis-the most comfortable and durable on the market. But most important of all
is to start with the correct help and training. Before you take to the water, call the World Barefoot Center and get some advice and book some training from the World Champions, Keith St. Onge and David Small.

Then comes the easy bit:  train for about ten hours a week on the water and go to the gym every other day for the next three years, and you will be the best barefooter on your lake.

Unless of course your lake happens to be Lake Conine.

Written by Adam Chalk

How Fast Should I Barefoot Water Ski?

Monday, March 28th, 2011

In the exciting and extreme sport of Barefoot Water skiing, there is a big misconception that one must travel across the water at excessive speeds in order to stand on the water.  This is not the case.  At the World Barefoot Center (WBC), David Small (Small’z) and Keith St Onge (KSO), work with a variety of skiers, from complete beginners all the way to the champions that are out on the water at international competitions.  There is usually a common denominator with all these skiers– which is that  too much speed is going to be detrimental to your skiing, especially when you combine it with inexperience!

In the learning stages of barefoot water skiing, there is a safe formula that will give you a guideline of how fast one might need to go to barefoot successfully:

Take your weight in pounds

Divide it by ten

Add 20 to this number

This formula will give you your estimated speed in MPH.  For example, if you weigh 200 lbs, then you would divide by ten, giving you 20, then add 20, and you get 40 mph as your barefooting speed.

It is important that your boat driver is clued up to how to drive when pulling a beginner barefooter, as too much or too little speed on the pull out of the water can make or break a deep water start.  Using the 200 lb guy in this example…. a slow, steady pull out of the water is better than a full throttle rip out– and once a speed of around 25 mph is reached the driver can throttle back slowly and hold it there until the skier has steadied themselves in their ‘butt ride’.  A KSO wet suit with padded shorts is a good idea to wear, as it will make the whole barefoot start easier as well as keeping you comfortable when you start progressing in the sport.  After the skier has become comfortable with the ‘butt ride’ they will maneuver in to the ‘3 point’ position.  When they look steady in this position, the driver can once again steadily accelerate to the skier’s final 2-foot standing position.  For the skier in this case, it would be 40 miles per hour.

By: David Small


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How to Barefoot Water Ski using a Wakeboard

Monday, March 28th, 2011

If your reading this right now, it must mean you are interested in learning how to barefoot or have had trouble learning.  There’s even a chance you are struggling to teach someone else to stand on his or her own two feet.  Getting those first few stand-ups and having the sensation of putting those soles on the water is a hard one for many.  Here’s an easy, simple, and effective way to learn how to barefoot water ski for the first time, without flushing the sinuses with lake water.

1. First, you want to get your balance while floating in the water as you straddle the wakeboard. The key is to relax and let your feet just float on each side. Next, have the boat slowly idle forward and as you start to move, place both feet on the nose of the board.

2. Now as the boat picks up some speed the board will begin to plane off. Make sure to keep your feet on the nose of the board for stability at this stage and let the board flatten out.  If the board starts to bounce ask the boat driver to slow down.

3. As the board stabilizes you want to slowly bring your feet down evenly in front of you to meet the water, allowing them to glide along on top of the surface.

4. At this point the driver will start to increase the speed again, and as this happens you want to smoothly shift weight onto your feet, keeping them flat and on top of the water. If you start to get spray in your face at this point, remember – relax! Resist all urges to tense up and/or let go of the boom, flatten your feet out, and just let them wash back underneath you.

5. As the boat speed increases more you can put more weight onto your feet. You should begin to feel the wakeboard slide out behind you. Be sure to support your own weight now – stand on top of those feet and keep those arms nice and straight out in front of you.

6. Now that you’re standing, push your hips forward and have both your chin and back perpendicular to the water. By now you should have the perfect stance, with a nice straight back, straight arms, and knees bent at a 90-degree angles with those feet directly under your knees.

Once you feel like you’ve had enough, or you run out of water, simply bend those knees even more, let go, and lean back, allowing your self to simply sink down into the water, ready to get back up and do it again!

You can also use a kneeboard for this technique, but a wakeboard is much easier to balance on, and sits a tad easier between your legs for smaller skiers. This is a great way to learn how to stand up for those first times until you can do it without the board.  Never attempt the Superman start, which is when you let your feet drag behind you as the boat takes off.  This will result in many hard falls and wear your arms out completely!  If you do not have a board the learn a deep water start with your feet on the front cables of the boom and lift those hips up.  Otherwise you can visit us at the World Barefoot Center located in Winter Haven, FL.

By: Keith St Onge

www.WORLDBAREFOOTCENTER.com

(863) 877-0039