Archive for the ‘World Barefoot Center’ Category

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

Clinic across the pond in my old stomping grounds…… Great Britain!!!!

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

You will have to excuse the lack of pictures of skiing etc. in this one as my phone had been dropped in the river before this clinic so I was phone less.

I arrived back in the UK in to Stansted airport….. if anyone has the choice not to fly in to this place then take it even if it costs more as it is the worst airport in the World!!! What should have taken us an hour and a half drive to get home took 4!!!!! Not cool. Anyway, we needed up going straight to the curry house where the long, stop start journey was forgotten and replaced by a beer and a spicy Indian dish :)  The next morning I drove down to the Cotswolds, picked up the boat, dragged Ted Baber out of bed and headed to the lake.  Id forgotten how beautiful the English countryside is, I had also forgotten how this gets overpowered a lot of the time by the terrible weather that we have over there.  We put the boat in on Kuka, which is a tiny little lake and very well protected from the wind.

Back home for a curry with everyone.... O, how I miss curries

It was great to see that the 7 days filled up and there was new blood getting in to the sport with a couple of guys heading all the way down from Manchester for a days skiing. We needed up with around 15 different skiers throughout the week ranging from 10 years old to upper 50s.  Even though we had rain, wind, boats brewing down left, right and center the week was a huge success and a huge shout out goes to everyone that skied in the clinic and the guys that helped out with boats and accommodations…. Paul Turner, Dave & Lisa Baber, Whitehouse clan and the great Mechanic down the road that got the Malibu running again.

Ted, Charlotte and Katie and myself enjoying the UK sunshine ;)

Carl showing off his skills

Ted Baber skied the whole time i was there and Carl Barnett skied for a full 5 days……. impressive stuff as it was cold on some mornings…. brrrr.  Ted had just come back from staying in Florida for 3 months at the World Barefoot Center where he was getting ready for the World Championships. Coming back and skiing on cold, backwashy water where the lake isn’t long enough to do a tournament pass took the poor little bugger a bit of getting used to but he worked it out and got back in to his multiple turns on his feet behind the boat with consistency….. Remember Tedward……. it is all character building matey 😉

Lunch at a country pub to break up the day

Loaded up in the Malibu with BI boom, flyhigh and tower and ready to go!!!

We had Carls better half get up on the bar which was great to see as well as young Harrisons dad and sister giving it a go for the first time and Bibby Curtis came over on a couple of afternoons after she got done with her GCSE exams.  Great work on getting new blood in to the sport!

John Whitehouse getting up for the first time :))

Harrison skied well with accomplishing his back deeps with consistency.  If any of you want to hear a funny story then ask Harrison about borrowing my suit last year and learning to barefoot. lol.

Harrison getting up backwards for the first time using the WBC shoe skis and Headzone helmet

Paul Turner, the UK team manager came on up for 2 days with another new barefooted from his neck of the woods as well as Clive Wilsdons daughters are getting in the sport now and both of them managed to stand up backwards and were working on their forward sit down stand ups as well as tumble turns and one foots.  You keep it up girls and show your old man how it is done.

Bibby Curtis

Written by ; David Small AKA Small’z

World Barefoot Center 2012 Videos

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

Ben Groen can really walk on water

Are your feet itching to hit the water but you’re stuck inside an air-conditioned building with some time to spare? Here’s a collection of 2012 barefoot water skiing videos produced by Ben Groen from the World Barefoot Center:

Riding the Glass

Barefoot Training Camp

Taking Flight Barefoot

Sunset Footing

Slaloming with the World’s Best

Epic Barefoot Stacks

10-Year-Old Barefoots Backward

Ashleigh Stebbeings sets a NEW WORLD RECORD in the Open Womens Trick Event of 5,050 pts!!!

Friday, July 6th, 2012

Ashleigh Stebbeings (AUS) made history on June 23, 2012 at the Southern Glass 2012 Barefoot Waterski Tournament held in Port St. Lucie, FL. Ashleigh set a new Women’s Barefoot Trick Record of 5050 Pts. and became the first women in history to push the World Record over the 5000 point mark.” – World Barefoot Council

The Trick Pass was as follows:

First Pass: Toe Up, 180 Front to Back, 180 Back to Front, 180 Front to Back Reverse, 180 Back to Front Reverse, 180 1 Foot Front to Back, 180 1 Foot Back to Front, 180 1 Foot Front to Back Reverse, 180 1 Foot Back to Front Reverse (downgraded 100 pts) then fall on a toe back! The first pass came out to 2600 pts.

Second Pass: Back Deep Water Start, Line Step Hop (not credit due to the video footage), Line Step 1 Foot, Line Step 1 Foot Reverse, 360 Back to Back, 360 Back to Back Reverse, 540 Back to Front, Toe Back (not credit as time has expired)! The second pass was 2450 pts.

I would like to say a special thanks to my Dad and Swampy for everything they have done for my skiing. My skiing wouldn’t be where it is today without them both. They have put their heart and soul into my skiing and I really hope they know how much I appreciate it. I would also like to thank everyone at the World Barefoot Center, my family and all the barefooters in Australia and around the world for their constant support. It means the world to me and it was such an amazing feeling to FINALLY break the 11 year old record! I hope to continue to move forward and that the girls can continue to raise the bar higher.

Ashleigh Stebbeings, AUS

David Smalls second trip to Austria

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

Austria … the second visit.  It had been 2 weeks since I was last in Austria and I was happy to find that the weather had warmed up a little bit as well as the forecast showing that we weren’t going to get rained on all week :) Andreas Rektenvelt picked me up at the airport along with his daughter and her friend.  I had a very interesting trip over as I had got lumbered with taking a super fly high over as well as some barefoot suits and shoe skis.  This involved me trying to lug around a 6 foot long very heavy box around Orlando, Manchester and Viennas airports….. I got my daily exercise that is for sure.  I walked out side Viennas airport to see Andreas getting a parking ticket as he was trying to get as close to the doors as he could….. thanks Andreas :)

Karting the fly high through the airport

This week clinic was held in Walsee at the Wimmers ski site where the 2002 World Championships were held and as this was where I won my first World Overall Title it held good memories for me to be back.

All week we had Andreas skiing along with Stefan Wimmer and his elder brother, George, that is getting back in the sport after a short break.

The boys

As the Stefan and Andreas are attending the World Championships this Summer in Waco, Texas their training for the week started with a lot of getting their base tricks down so that they were confident with their base trick runs and making their jumping along with their front and back one foot wake crossings clean and consistent.  Once this was achieved we moved the training on to developing new skills in order to increase their scores in each discipline.

Stefan showing his mad skills

As George had taken a lot of time off from competitive skiing we spent a lot of time going back over his basic tricks. When I say basic, we worked the kinks out on his front and back one foots and toe holds and then got right on to his surface turns which came back to him very quick ……. on one afternoon the wind blew straight down the pipe which made it almost impossible to ski so George got the pleasure of going on a 100 foot line on shoe skis directly behind the boat and got to practice his backward one foots and toe holds…… Needless to say, I wasn’t the most popular person that afternoon. lol.

George Junior

If any of you that are reading this have hung out with me for any period of time you wil know that I use my phone a lot to take pictures and then upload them to the Tinternet, for your enjoyment, on the World Barefoot Centers Facebook or my own personal page.  Well, while we were out having some great ski time the Austrian weather decided to surprise us with a nice hail storm. As the people in the boat were dry and warm at that point we rushed back to the dock and got out of the boat as fast as humanly possible to avoid, not only getting wet but also getting beat on by hail stones, and as I jumped out of the boat I heard a …. splash.  Thinking nothing of this we all ran up to the club house where we made coffee and i got my phone out to use the Wifi to upload some of the pictures of the day on to my computer……….. phone wasn’t to be seen :(  As the river was 4 and a half meters deep, cold and murky, efforts to retrieve the phone by swimming down failed miserably.  As far as we were all concerned it was bye-bye iPhone. The next day Andreas turned up with the full scuba gear so i geared up, swam down and after a short while after over 15 hours of the poor phone been submerged in water and sitting in the mud it was retrieved…… happy days :0  For the next 6 days the phone sat in a bag of rice trying to dry off and when i fired it back up while plugged in to the computer……… IT WORKED!! I could retrieve all my info, pics and anything else on the phone and it actually worked while plugged in to a power supply but the battery was dead.   Don’t worry, i have a new one so the pics will keep coming 😉

Finding the phone

I had another great week out there with the Austrian Team, they skied amazing and made me feel very at home.  I will be looking forward to seeing you all in Texas this Summer where you can all show off your mad skills.

Was a little bit chilly

O, Andreas and I also managed to get a skydive in over there on the final day while we were on the way to the airport. We rocked up expecting at least a building……. what we got was a white van pull up 45 mins late, a guy hobble out with a broken leg and then the rigs all piled up in a jungle of stuff in the back.  Interesting would be a good way to describe it but the jumps went well and we are still here. Good times :)

Austrian skydiving..... lol

Written by David Small

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

The World Barefoot Center Goes Wild With New Colors

Monday, May 7th, 2012

Things at the World Barefoot Center have gotten a little more colorful.  One of the Sangers received a brand new wrap. Over in the pro shop, we’ve got t-shirts to match.  Come on down and get a little wild with us on the water.

Growing Bolder with Barefoot Water Skiing

Friday, April 20th, 2012

Judy Myers and Karen Putz were interviewed by Growing Bolder less than a year ago.  The amazing story about Karen’s husband forwarding a link about Judy on the Today Show changed her life.  The video link inspired Karen to take the sport of barefoot water skiing again and she came to the World Barefoot Center to put her feet back on the water after her last barefoot run twenty years prior.

Judy and Karen were approached by Growing Bolder to do a video on Karen and Judy’s relationship and how Karen lost her hearing from taking a fall while barefoot skiing.  Her family had a rare inherited gene where a sudden hit or blow to the head would cause hearing loss.  A Mom Who Walks on Water. They also did another video on Judy: The Barefoot Competitor.

Recently, Kellie Clark viewed the Growing Bolder video and decided he wanted to try barefoot skiing.  He visited the World Barefoot Center in Winter Haven, FL with his friend, Steve Franklin, and we got them on their feet.  We appreciate the time Growing Bolder took to come out and interview Judy and Karen.  We hope to have many new students that are inspired from watching Growing Bolder!!
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.

New and innovating teaching techniques used by the WBC…. HeadZone Helmets!!

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

Teaching how to stand on feet using the HeadZone Helmet and the swing

We all know that Barefoot Waterskiing is one of the most exciting and adrenaline filled sports out there but this also has its difficulties when learning.  When we get a lot of beginners skiing at the World Barefoot Center and a lot of the time they find it difficult to concentrate on what they have to do out on the water as they are so excited to stand up or have a sensory overload with being pulled across the surface of the water at speed :)

HeadZone Helmet allowing the student to relax in the butt ride position

What we used to have to do was to pick our battles and only give students one or two things to think about when they are out there…. this leaves a lot gaps which takes a lot of time to fill.  This problem was then solved when we started using HeadZone helmets. These are comfortable helmets with speakers in so that we, as instructors, can talk the skiers through every step when they come to it.

69 year old Judy Myers being taught how to get in to the backwards step position using the head zone helmet and WBC shoe skis

We can now talk to the student in the water before their next ski pass about what they are doing wrong and how they need to correct it in detail and then walk them through each step with the use of the HeadZone helmet.  This new and innovating teaching technique is allowing our students to relax on the water due to not having to worry about remembering what the instructor was talking about and learn at an accelerated rate with reduced falls.

We have been getting amazing results in the past couple of years from using these helmets and if you haven’t tried one yet then come on down to the school and see how fast you can progress with the help of the WBC and HeadZones.

Written by

David Small

Small’z