Posts Tagged ‘Barefoot Instruction’

Johnathan Martines: Learning to Instruct

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

For the past 3 years, I have been spending my summers and the majority of my school breaks training at the WBC. Each time I went down, it was basically the same routine. I would usually ski all day and help out around the ski school with whatever needed to be done. My duties would include simple chores around the house like taking out the trash, vacuuming, and packaging orders.

This year, however, a new part of my journey in barefooting began. I began learning to instruct other skiers. I started out by watching Ben and Ash instruct a number of different students. I paid attention to the way they interacted with the person in the water and how they adjusted their instructing style when the skier was not responding.

Eventually, I began to instruct a select few students with either Ash or Ben in the boat.

For me, this wasn’t very difficult. If I had a question about anything or was unsure of myself, I could ask Ash or Ben and get the answer immediately. I usually instructed skiers who were working on intermediate tricks like back toes, line one foots, and slalom.

After instructing with a more experienced instructor in the boat, the moment of truth came, it was my turn to take out some skiers on my own. For me, this was extremely intimidating. Being that I’m still a teenager, many of the people that I was instructing were older than me. I felt intimidated and unsure of myself. Eventually Swampy sat down and had a talk with me. He had heard from a skier that I seemed unsure of myself. Swampy told me to believe in myself and to be confident and vocal while instructing.

I took this advice and acted on it. I started being more confident in my instructing and acting like a leader while in the boat. I started noticing that the skiers responded much better to the instruction when I was confident in what I was telling them.

Beginning the journey of learning to instruct this summer was awesome. It gave me more self-confidence and forced me to be more responsible. I was no longer responsible for only my own skiing, but I was also responsible for how the skier I was instructing was skiing. Without the help of everyone at the WBC, I would never have had the opportunity to learn to instruct. I am still a beginner when it comes to instructing, and I look forward to becoming a much better instructor over the upcoming years.

Johnathan Martines

Duane Godfrey: Dear Ben and Ash…

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

Hey Ben and Ash…or Ash and Ben???

Thanks for your help last week. Not that I don’t know this, but it is always useful to highlight my weak link: the left leg. Hence it was a left leg weak/week.

As I recall, the reverse one foot turns were lousy and even after reverting back to two, they were crap as well…always coming off the turning foot. Don’t know if I pull myself off or just am springloaded to ruin the turn by jamming in the supposed free leg…or both. Would like to go through some video next time down.

So, to break it up I was dismayed to hear Ben inform me that I would be trying shoe reverse line fronts – to force myself on that foot. I knew this would not go well–hence my expectations were well illustrated in the first two or three comedy skits. However, I actually made it around on the 3rd or 4th try, but slammed in the right foot so hard that it felt literally like landing a jump without a cup. Lesson learned and actually started to come to the front balanced on my left foot. Never made 3 in a row, but felt great nonetheless. (Did a “three-zee” with Ashleigh – she’s’ better looking.)

Anyway, I feel pretty pumped about doing a turn I thought impossible…thank you!! And thanks Ash for pointing out that I looked as useless as Ben on the shoe reverse toe front…you will recall that I made one after that incentive…I have standards you know…

In the jump sets, I actually was in control for a couple. Once again thanks Ben for the help and taking the time to illustrate with video between jumps

On the final day with Ash, did a few more reverse line fronts, including a few longline. Thanks Ash for your pointers… “look back, push the handle down and keep it there, turn the hips and ensure a controlled touch down at the front.”

Back wake slalom was a disaster and it was again literally drilled home to STAY LOW – do NOT allow being pulled up; do this event on the tower. Ended up doing cutouts until the feet sizzled. Again, a drill I am in need of.

So, what did I learn:
Stay on the left foot and don’t pull myself up.
Push down on the turning foot
Fight to keep looking at the back
Force the handle down coming to the front
Practice the rev line front regularly and gain some coordination
Exaggerate knee bend in the back px
Keep after jump practice
Stay solid and low in slalom

Thanks again and hope to see you soon


Teaching Barefooting with a HeadZone Helmet

Monday, March 18th, 2013

The benefits of teaching with a HeadZone helmet are tremendous! It allows barefooters of all ages to experience the thrill of learning to ski without falling.

My 11-year-old daughter, Calyssa, was terrified of trying to barefoot because she did not want to fall and get hurt. Last summer, I purchased a HeadZone helmet from the World Barefoot Center and we talked her into giving it a shot! She successfully got up on the boom and barefooted for the first time because of the training through the speakers in the helmet. She felt more comfortable being able to hear the instructions in her ears at all times.

Any family wanting to teach their children to barefoot stress free, would benefit from getting a HeadZone helmet. It was well worth it!

By: Corey Jones


Calyssa Jones

Barefooting in Rolling Prairie

Sunday, July 3rd, 2011

Before the Footapalooza figure 8 tourney Thor Thordarson decided to book and organize a clinic day with some local footers.  We skied on a private site with lots of trees for wind protection and the lily pads limited the backwash.  It’s a perfect site for a barefooter.

The morning of the clinic was a little chilly but once lunchtime rolled around the sun was shining and the conditions were still fantastic for footing.

The barefoot clinic organizer Thor Thordarson is already a solid skier.  Thor has the basics down pat, the main goal for the day was to work towards back wakes.  We worked on cut outs.  Cut outs are a great exercise to do in order to learn to position of the back wake cross.

Andy Scupham is a teacher, well this summer he took part in the Keith St. Onge Barefoot Ski School.  What a great summer school class, right? Andy was a great student he listened well and accomplished his very first backwards one foot one hand! Next step is toe holds!

Seventeen year old Aaron Tanis footed with the crew all day.  Aaron learned a lot of barefooting tricks in a short period of time, we are impressed.  In the morning set Aaron completed his front one foots on barefoot trainers and in the afternoon he got up backwards for the FIRST TIME! Yay!

After taking a year off of skiing Mike Blackwell got back into it at lightening speed!  Before Mike arrived he could do a deepwater start and barefoot straight.  After a full day of skiing Mike had completed some tumble turns, front one foot on his feet, and he started the process of getting up backwards barefooting.  Sucessful day! Look how fast he progressed from shoe skis on the boom to the 5ft rope!

Jack Hollingsworth worked his frontward barefooting form.  Look how good his barefoot position became!

Brynn Hollingsworth braved the cold and skied the morning sets.  Brynn has barefooted before, but today we worked on making her front deepwater start a little smoother! Check her out!  We are putting the invite out to you and all the ladies out there to join us at Women’s Week down in Winter Haven, Florida this year!

A special thank you to Chris McWaters for allowing us to use your boat for the clinic.  we appreciate it!  Thank you Thor for organizing the clinic, it was great and everyone learned something, which is the main goal!  Keep footin’!

By Keith St. Onge and Lauren Lindeman

Anytime Fitness Tour Hit’s up Angola, Indiana

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

Angola, Indiana

For the 2nd year in a row we stopped in Angola and skied with a fun group of skiers.  First up Brian McMillian you may know him as buckhead he is the organizer for the Buckethead Race held in Indiana.  Brian worked on backwards one foot one hands and accomplished a few back toe holds.  Surface turns are in Brian’s future, keep working position on the shoes.

Working on the Surface Turns

 Last year we had the pleasure of teaching Brian’s wife Cara Mcmillian to barefoot on the boom her smile was priceless.  This year we missed Cara but we congratulate this couple and wish them the best at starting a family!

Ben Morgan had an injury the first year we did a clinic.  Finally we were able to see his skills on the water.  Ben has a natural abilty and nice positioning on the water. A first for Ben this week was a front to back on the WBC shoe skis.  Nice job!

Back one foot one hand!

Ben’s lovely better half Audra Morgan also skied the clinic.  Audra has been working on her front toe holds and they are coming along.  Her new trick is soon to be a back one foot on her bare feet! 

Determined!!! We love that!

Front One Foot

 Ben’s younger brother Chris Morgan came out to join us for the day.  Chris worked his front one foots and tumbles and with just a few tips for his backwards barefooting form and all will be smooth:)

Front Ones on Trainers

 Keith Farmer has been an avid footer for years.  Keith worked on his back one foot one hands!

O Yeah!

Dan Melton and his daughter came out to watch for a bit.  Next year we hope to see you both out there getting your feet wet.  Thank you all for participating we enjoy seeing you and your progress.