Posts Tagged ‘barefoot international’

Best Barefoot Ski School, Biggest Barefoot Ski School & Most Affordable Barefoot Ski School

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

Saying we are the Best Barefoot Ski School may be a little biased, but here are a few reasons we could be considered to be the best:

The best Barefoot Water Skiers in the World own and work at the WBC: David Small and Keith St.Onge have won the last six world titles, Ashleigh Stebbeings is the #1 female barefoot water skier in the world and Ben Groen is ranked #4 in the world.  There are some athletes that should only be athletes and not coaches or instructors but these four individuals have the common sense to be both.  Our instructors will not only provide a great service but they are safety conscious and provide a fun atmosphere in the boat while learning.

We have the best equipment and boats.  We use all Barefoot International products (Boom, Tower, Tower Extension), provide shoe skis and ropes & handles by US Gear.  Our boats are a little older, but that is entirely due to the wear and tear these boats go through on a daily basis.  The Sanger outboards have a flat wake, no chin spray off the side and are powered by brand new Evinrude engines.

The World Barefoot Center is the Largest Barefoot Ski School in the history of the sport.  This is a fact because:

We have four boats, fully equipped.
We have five top-level instructors that have titles as professionals, top four on the ranking list, hold world records, and years of experience.
We have four lakes which we use and can accommodate any wind direction.
We have a fully-stocked pro shop.
Our instructors are available seven days a week.
We pulled 22 skiers in one day, which is a record as far as we have ever heard.

Most Affordable prices:
Our clients can simply do their homework and Google our competitors prices.  The World Barefoot Center prices are the most reasonable, affordable, and fair-priced compared to any other barefoot ski school.

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Barefoot International Booms

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

Barefoot Int was the first company to manufacture and sell barefoot booms to the public.  A boom is a device that sticks out the side of the boat which is attached to a pylon or tower that enables any water discipline to be learned much easier and safer.

Barefoot International Boom off the boat

I learned how to step off a ski in 1988 holding onto a boom and if it wasn’t for that who knows how difficult it would have been to learn how to barefoot water ski.  Many people have learned how to get up on water skis, a wakeboard and on one ski while holding onto the boom.  Learning these manuveurs behind the boat can by tough for many people.  The boom is steady, rigid and allows the body weight of the individual to be less than trying it long line behind the boat.

The Tower Boom attaches to the side of the tower

This training aid or what is now called the boom was developed years before Mike Seipel began manufacturing it.  Some people used to build them out of two by fours, aluminum pipe and whatever they thought would be strong enough to attach to the boat and hold onto while skiing or barefooting.

Learning to slide before barefoot water skiing on the boom

Cypress Gardens was known for using their own homemade booms for photo shoots years ago.

WakeBoarding on the boom

Here’s a video of Keith St.Onge showing what a boom is and the features that come with it.

Barefoot Boom Video

2012 World Barefoot Water Ski Championships

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

This years World Championships was held 2 weeks after the US Barefoot National championships at the same site provided by Stuart Parsons at the Barefoot Ski Ranch in Waco, Texas.  A big thanks goes out to Stuart for putting both of these events on.  We all know that its a big job so we salute you :)

Areal view of BSR

If any of you reading this has ever been to BSR then you will know that it is probably one of the best water ski set ups in the World and it is very rare for the site to get blown out…. Throughout the week of Worlds we had the pleasure of a huge storm come around Florida and make its way towards Texas.  Fortunately it didn’t get quite over to us however it did bring wind to the site and there were a few occasions where both of the ski sites had white caps.  This made it interesting to say the least.

Opening ceremonies

The opening ceremonies were at BSRs new cable park and it was great to see so many different countries there especially Mexico and China which are new at the World Championships.  We were also shown a true texan show and got to see a shoot off……. interesting to say the least

2012 Medalists

Right after the opening ceremonies Worlds got under way. There were a lot of good skiing and having the live feed on the World Barefoot Centers website made it possible for fans, families and groupies (haha) to watch the skiing take place, real time.  All we need now is instant scoring ….. 😉

Team WBC

Here are the results for the Overall.

Men

1. David Small

2. Keith St Onge

3. Peter O’Neill

Women

1. Ashley Stebbeings

2. Elaine Heller

3. Georgie Groen

Junior boys

1. Keenan Derry

2. Ben Franks

3. Ryan Jameson

Junior girls

1. Georgia Groen

2. Kailey Koehler

3. Courtney McDonald

Senior men

1. Kenny Derry

2. Dan Baumgartner

3. Peter Fleck

Senior women

1. Gizella Halasz

2. Steffi Kirsch

3. Teri Jones

For more results go to www.barefoot.org

On the Friday night Stuart put on another night Jump Jam but this year there was no beat your PB event.  With it being held along side a Worlds event meant that we had all of the top jumpers from around the world which made for a very exciting event!!!  There were a lot of spectators there for this event which made it even more exciting for the skiers.  The results were…

Elimination round of jump jam

Men

1. David Small

2. Keith St Onge

3. Ben Groen

Women

1. Ashley Stebbeings

2. Elaine Heller

3. Georgia Groen

The closing banquet and prize giving was great to see as a huge hall was packed full of all the World wide skiers and spectators that had flown in from around the World to compete and to support the World Championships.

closing ceremonies

Well done to all of the competitors and a big thank you to the sponsors of the Worlds…  World Barefoot Center, Parsons Roofing, Sanger Boats, US Gear, BSR, Lake Elmo Sports

Written by David Small aka Small’z

Clinic With Dave Packard in Massachusetts with David Small

Monday, September 10th, 2012

After the World Barefoot Championships in Waco, TX I had a 2 day clinic with Dave Packard in Massachusetts. We stayed at Daves place is Mass but drove to a lake just in side the Connecticut boarder to ski due to Daves lake that he lives on having a restriction where you cannot head out before 10am…. Very civilized if you dont want to ski 😉 It was a beautiful lake and even though we had strong winds the water conditions were great. I didn’t get any pictures of skiers as it was raining the whole time and I had coat upon coat on trying to stay warm and as dry as i could be. Dave had everything ready to go…. BI Boom, Tower, WBC shoe skis, everyone had good wetsuits, handles and ropes and he even had his own Head Zone Helmets which is great to see them being used outside of the ski school!!

First morning before the rain started ;)

We used Daves Master Craft for most of the first day and when we were out of gas in that we used an older Ski Centurian which brought back great memories. When I first started getting coaching back in the UK I skied at Bomere which is in Shrewsbury with Tim Hodgkins behind his Centurian. Really good to be in one again.

Some of the crew out for sushi

Even with the rain the guys made the clinic great fun and i don’t think we stopped laughing for the whole 2 days I was there.
Hope to see you all again soon.

David
AKA Small’z

2012 US Nationals from Mike Holts, “Holtzy”, eyes.

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

Sunday Evening August 5th, 2012

I arrived in Waco, Texas today about 12 noon. I want to get familiar with the time zone, the site, boat, equipment, and the water so that I’m most prepared to ski the 2012 National Barefoot Championships.

I stopped at the site today; the entry gate to the facility was locked. Did that stop me? I DON’T THINK SO. So I quickly developed Plan B to figured a way in; I parked the car, squeezed past the gate and walked about ½ mile and found ‘life,’ Heath Cooper my buddy who installed the 409 PCM motor in my boat two years ago, I love this guy.

Mike Holt from tumble up flyer

Heath gave me a tour of the facility, there is a water-ski cable par, multiple water ski lakes, and some special breed animals; it’s an amazing venue –  HYPERLINK “http://www.barefootskiranch.com/” \o “http://www.barefootskiranch.com/” http://www.barefootskiranch.com/.

The facility has two ski lakes; Lake 1 is long and wide; the good part is that the length gives the skier lots of set up time, but bad part is that when the wind pick up, the lake can get choppy. Lake 2 is shorter and narrow; the bad news is that the short length requires a quick ‘set up’ which places pressure on the skiers to rush. Short set up can cause a skier to loose concentration, often without positive results. The good news is that the water should be less choppy in Lake 2.

After the tour, I see my former ski partner David Small, the current three-time World Champion. We hang out for an hour or so; it was very enjoyable and we plan to ski in the morning. This is why I arrived early; find someone to give me some pulls behind the boat on the water I’ll be competing, but to have the current World Champion be my driver/coach was beyond what I was praying for. David and I planned on dinner later tonight and maybe some ‘night barefooting.’

David Small jumping

I get to my room, the air is cool, and I’m excited to just chill out for the evening. THEN I realize that I’m to meet David for dinner at 8 pm and ‘night barefooting.’ I’m thinking … I don’t think those are good ideas now that I’m in my room.

Problem solved, I text David and blow him off; I’m at peace with my decision because I want to be ready for some serious practice in the morning. A few hours later I get a call from another ski buddy and he wants me to go to the site to do some skiing, but again I’m comfortable just relaxing tonight, so I blow him off.

Monday August 6th, 2012

I stopped by the site today to ski with David Small, I have a knot in my stomach and I’m stressed out; my big concerns in skiing at a different venue behind a different boat include:

How is the ‘table’ behind the boat?

What is the top speed can I expect?

How fast does the boat get me ‘out of the hole’?

Overall how do I feel?

What does the water feel like?

The answers were all very positive.

The wake is ‘no worries’.

I need 46.5 mph in slalom and the boat is fine.

The pull out of the ‘hole’ was soft and I need to adjust my call.

The water is interesting, the temperature is hotter and the water feels ‘soft.’ Not sure what to do, maybe I should ‘up’ my speed.

It was just David and I and felt like old times, I feel better now after practice, handle at the end of all runs.

Tuesday August 7th, 2012

Stopped by the site today and skied with Keith St Onge (KSO) who is a two-time World Champion and No. 1 rated skier in the world with his wife Lauren St Onge (she’s so sweet). I’m not relaxed because it’s hard to ski with a World Champion and be relaxed, but I do feel better knowing the venue, what to expect from the boat, and the water.

WHAT do you mean we are not skiing today behind the boat I skied behind yesterday! Great, skiing with KSO and now I have to start all over again ‘testing.’ KSO skies amazing (I feel so small). I’m very pleased with this boat, except the boat doesn’t get 46.5 mph; it’s a max of 45… not good. The water feels soft and I’m confused, do I call for more speed than normal, or stick with my standard call… big question.

I’m judging for the first time at these Nationals, so I spend 4 hours reviewing videos of skiers so that I can be prepared for the next day assignments.

Wednesday July 8th 2012

I wake up early to do more video review, have a great breakfast and go to the site to ‘hang’ with my barefooting ‘tribe members; We ‘get it,’ we understand the years of commitment to excellence, the sacrifices required, overcoming injuries, pain, disappointments along the way, we all want to do out best, but sometimes we show our worst. Competitive barefooting can be a terrible ‘head game….’

A few hours pass and I’m in boat to judge; I’m satisfied with my performance, I’m prepared. After an hour break I go into the next ‘boat crew’ to judge Open Pro Men in Tricks. My first day at Nationals I’m judging the best skiers in the planet that do so many complicated tricks in such a short time? I visit with an official and explain that this is my first time judging at National; did they ‘really’ want me in the boat? They said you’ll be okay “Holtzy”, we have video backup if needed.

I’m in the boat, skiers ski in a ‘seeded’ order where the lowest ranked skier is first and the top rank skier (KSO) is last; this allows me to warm up my skills. All of my preparation in video judging the past two years and judging elite skiers in our Southern Regional tournaments prepared me well. I did a good job in the boat and out of 32 pulls we (not just me) had to do ‘video review’ of 5 runs.

What I learned in judging the best in the world is that out of the 16 skiers there was only a handful that didn’t fall. These skiers are doing the most difficult tricks in the world and one slight mistake is disaster.

This knowledge gives me confidence that if I fall during any of my runs, its okay, it’s just that it wasn’t my day. Failure on any given day or moment doesn’t define who I am. I’m proud of my dedication, focus, commitment to excellent, and to do the best I can.

Thursday Morning, August 10, 2012

This afternoon I ski in Open Pro Men Slalom; I ski with all of the ‘top dogs’. I think my head is screw on straight, we’ll see in a few hours…

Oh yea, the boat to be used for Open Pro Men Slalom IS NOT one of the two boats I ‘tested’ Monday or Tuesday… great, another thing for the head to screw with. What speed do I call? Can I make my back-deep-to-one start on the first pass?

Thursday Afternoon, August 10, 2012

I skied today for the first time in Open Pro Men Slalom and it occurs at the 2012 National Championships. Just a little history, there are three ‘classes’ of competitors, age group, Open, and Open Pro. All skiers automatically qualify to ski in their age group against their peers. The goal of all advance barefooters to one day ski ‘Open.’ When I was younger, 30 years ago, I dreamed of one day skiing Open, but as life took its actions on my life (family/kids) I gave up that dream over 20 years ago.

However, I continued to ski with the best skiers in the world like David Small, Mike Salber, KSO, Rich Powel, Lane Bowers, Mike Seipel, Steve Merritt, Zenon Bilas, and others. After 24 years of skiing, I went Open in 2008; the cool part was that I did it at the National Championships before all the top skiers in the USA; and I won my 5th National Championship in the Men 5 division, and won the Male Barefoot Athlete of the Year.

Last year I ‘toyed’ with the idea that if I trained hard and smart enough, maybe I could qualify to ski in the “elite” division at the 2012 World Championships. To ski “elite” I had to get a qualifying score that matched the top 20th place skier in the WORLD. That score was 15.6. Up to this point, my best slalom run was 15.2 scored at the 2011 Southern Regional Championships at the age of 56 years young! For me to qualify to ski ‘elite slalom’ at the worlds with a score of 15.6 is almost impossible, but set this as my goal last year.

In July 2012, a month ago, I skied 15.8 in slalom as judged by Richard Gray the Chairman of the World Barefoot Council. With this score I not only ski in the ‘Seniors’ division at the 2012 World Championships, I’ll be skiing with David Small, Keith St Onge, Peter Fleck and other elite skiers at the age of 61!

I’m stunned that I slalom 15.8, but the biggest shocker comes the next day; I skied a 16.2 which qualified m3 to ski Open Pro at the 2012 National Barefoot Championships.

So now at the age of 61, I’m at the starting dock… I’ve eaten properly, gotten rest, drank liquids, trained as hard as I could with the best in the world, worked out to get a strong core, had massage therapy and visited chiropractor when needed, keep my focus, I’ve done EVERYTHING I can think of to be totally prepared for this instant.

I’m in the water, my heart is racing, I clean my hands  with soap so that I can grip the handle; especially since I do a ‘back-deep-to one’ for the start. With this start everything has to be perfect, rarely have I ever missed this start in a tournament, but I have missed it before, the last time was at the 2010 World Championships in Germany, let’s not review that story. Why do such a difficult start when it’s not required in Slalom? It’s a long story and one day I’ll explain…

Okay I’m in the water, a boat judge hands me the ‘tournament handle’ and I’m shocked… the handle is like a slick broom stick and I can’t get grip. I try to rub the handle to get some grip, but it’s time to GO.

I give instructions; ‘gear’, then yell ‘okay,’ the boat lunges harder that I expected, the handle slips from my palms to my finger tips… I’m struggling to not ‘loose the handle.’ I plant my ‘one’ foot in the water, wait for speed, with five officials in the boat, I really don’t have the speed I’m accustomed to. I stay as calm, I make the start, I’m on my feet; I’ve passed the first test, I’m up and ready for slalom.

I attempt to regrip the handle from my finger tips to my palms; it’s not working, this handle is crap, I need to get going, with finger tips. I complete the first crossing one foot, then the second crossing, then after the 3rd crossing and I get pull up and take a hard fall (good thing I have a neck brace). I’m bummed out, I only got 3 points on the first pass (I should have gotten 8)…

The pickup boat gets me and takes me to the end of the course to start the second pass. I give my instructions to the boat judges; I’m just skiing forward, so no drama here (unless I fall). I call 46.5 mph (I should have called 47.5, because of soft water is soft), I complete the pass and score 7.8 points (I typically score 8.2).  My score is 10.8 point… I wanted at least 15.0, would be happy with 15.6 and ecstatic with 16.2, but its official 10.8.

I don’t remember much about the rest of the day, I’m numb. What did I do wrong? In reflecting back, it

was my fault; in practice a few days ago they didn’t have the tournament handles so I used ‘my’ handle. I should have force the driver to use the ‘tournament supplied handle’ so that I would know what to expect. If I had done that I would have know about this problem and I could have come up with a solution.

Mike Front Toe

A few skiers told me they had problems with the handle Paul Stokes (Open Pro) told me “Holtzy that’s why I were gloves, you never know the condition of the tournament supplied handle.”

I plan on getting ski gloves for the Worlds, this WILL NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN.

Friday August 11, 2012

This morning I’m sick from yesterday’s failure Open Pro Slalom; I don’t want to be here anymore, I hate barefoot tournaments, I want to go home, I want to be in the arms of my wife so that she can ‘baby me.’ The reality is that I have to ski tricks in my age division, Men’s 6 (60-64 years). There are 16 skiers in the event; the lowest seed is 250 points, 2nd seed is 1500 points, and I’m top seed at 2740 points.

After an hour and half of waiting, it’s my turn to perform; I know my wife is on the computer waiting to watch me ski. I’m suited up, I wash my hands with my soap three times, and I rub my hands on the handle to make sure I have ‘the grip.’ I’m pacing back and forth like a race horse waiting to get out of the pen on the dock.

It’s not time; I take the handle, wrap it around my back, and get ready to do a flyer off the dock. I get ready to yell ‘okay’ but the rope gets hanged up in a cleat on the dock and all systems must stop.

The rope gets reset, I wrap the rope around my back, I yell, ‘in gear,’ the boat begins to move forward in idle, the rope tightens up, I yell “okay” and the boat takes off. I take seven steps, launch myself off the dock in superman and pray I make my flying-back-tumble-deep-to-one start. This start is worth 800 points, the highest scoring start. I don’t know when the last time anybody other than myself has done this start at a National Championship.

I land on the water on my chest, ride on the stomach at 2300 rpm, then turn to the backward position, plant one foot in the water, wait for boat speed, the driver David Miller nails the throttle, I still wait for ‘speed’ and then I press the foot in the water and attempt to stand up on one foot.

I make it, the driver pulled me perfectly and I did what I needed to do; I’m stoked. I regrip the handle; pull it in and down to my butt and start the trick run – one foot, one foot reverse, surface hop – wait I don’t think the hop was high enough for credit, so I do the surface hop again, then a turn from backward to forward, then tumble-360-to-one, reverse tumble-360-to-one, tumble-180-to-one, then reverse 180-tumble-to-one. I have an almost the perfect pass, except the double surface hop. You can see the video at:  HYPERLINK “https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0B2dZybUIi_ohZnl3R21XUFhWeFU/edit?pli=1#docId=0B2dZybUIi_ohRG1hbDJ0dktidDg” https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0B2dZybUIi_ohZnl3R21XUFhWeFU/edit?pli=1#docId=0B2dZybUIi_ohRG1hbDJ0dktidDg

I’m happy with the first pass but I’m still stressed; on the second pass I do a back-deep-to-one start, this is the second most difficult start in barefooting and it’s worth 500 points. I give the boat officials my instructions, the boat tightens the rope, I give the signals ‘in gear’, then ‘okay’ and I roll over on to my stomach. The boat takes off, I wait for speed, plant one foot, press the foot into the water, and when I feel I have sufficient speed I attempt to stand up – and I make it!

Now I do a ‘positional back-to-front turn’ to set up for the first trick; I’ve missed the back-to-front turn before at a National Championship and also once at the 2012 World Championships in Germany. I’m up backward, I get into position for the turn, and attempt the back-to-front turn; I nail it, clean feet-to-feet. I place the handle over my head and do – neck-2-foot, neck-1-foot, neck-1-foot reverse, then a one-foot, one-foot reverse, teeth-2-foot, teeth-1-foot, teeth-1-foot reverse, rope-on-foot, rope-on-foot reverse, tumble-2-foot, and reverse tumbel-2-foot. I did everything and it was flawless.

I know my wife loves the ‘butt slide’ so I do a nice butt slide, look at camera, and give her a signal via the internet that ‘these two passes were for you baby.’

You can see the second video run at:  HYPERLINK “https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0B2dZybUIi_ohZnl3R21XUFhWeFU/edit?pli=1#docId=0B2dZybUIi_ohNEpWVHVHTGdhWTA” https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0B2dZybUIi_ohZnl3R21XUFhWeFU/edit?pli=1#docId=0B2dZybUIi_ohNEpWVHVHTGdhWTA

Immediately after the trick event I call my wife and tell her ‘I love barefoot waterskiing, I love barefoot tournaments, and I’m so glad I’m here!’

The emotions in competitive barefoot skiing at a National Championships can be overwhelming. This week I had some success and some failures, and lessons learned. I didn’t achieve my goal of skiing at least 15.0 in Open Pro so that I could ski in the Open Pro finals, but I know I did the best I could.

National Record – Later I find out my score was 2700 points, the current record for Men 6 is 1310 points. After record review the runs are reduced to 2650 points; I have the current record in Men 5 and now I have the Men 6 trick record. It might be a long time before anybody breaks the Mens 6 trick record.

National Champion – My terrible slalom pass of 10.8 exceeds the 7.28 of the highest Men 6 skier, so I get 1000 points in the Slalom event for overall; my 2700 points in tricks gives me 1000 points in the tricks event. This results in an over all score of 2000 out of 2000 points; I win the 2012 Overall National Men 6 Champion and I think this is my eighth Overall National Championship win.

My season is not done, I have the World Barefoot Championships in two weeks to complete my season; I have my goals set, we’ll review them in a few weeks.

Holtzy

P.S. Joe Malenfant, the President of the American Barefoot Club (ABC) that the record set today was not accurate and that the actual record was base don my performance at the 2012 Regionals tricks event of 2740 points, which was downgraded to 2720 points!

By : Mike Holt

Clinic in California at Diablo Shores with David Small…

Friday, August 10th, 2012

I left the cold weather behind when I left the Twin Cities and landed in to sunny San Francisco where Dave Naddy picked me up.  Jerry Kanawyer sorted the clinic out but as it was his 50th birthday a few days before my arrival he was throwing a party at his house and had to stay behind and organize the band, tents and the other logistical nightmares that go with hosting a party 😉 After leaving the low cloud of the city and driving through the hills we got to Diablo Shores and was greeted with glass clam blue water and not a cloud to be seen…….. perfection!!!!

jerrys bday hat

Shot of the lake on my arrival :)

Jerry and Adin Danneker were skiing all week and are both training for the up coming World Championships in Waco Texas this Summer so it was a pleasure to work with them and get them more competition ready.  Both Jerrys and Adins slalom came on leaps and bounds as well as Adins turns getting a lot better and Jerry figuring out his line step position as well as dabbling with his surface turns.

Jerry and Adin suiting up

Adin showing his jumping skills

Mark Hobson was down most of the week with his 13 year old niece, Mackenzie, who only started bare footing on my last visit last Summer.  She is now getting up long line on her feet, doing sit down and stand ups, starting in to tumble turns, working on her ones foots and starting in to backwards!!! Very proud of you Mac!! Last year Mark couldn’t get up longline backwards or do one foots forwards.  He is now rocking long line back wakes out, back one foots behind the boat, can hall ass on front wakes and can ride toe holds.  If anyone wants to see a guy enthusiastic about bare footing then this is your man…. pleasure to be around and to ski with and I’m looking forward to coming back after Nationals and skiing with him again and possibly seeing his new baby girl if she has arrived by the start of Aug 😉

Mark Hobson showing us how to wake slalom

13 year old Mac ..... its the only pic i had Mac, sorry.... She was getting up long line on her feet but i didn't get a shot

Andy Conway, who is gentile giant was looking good on his backward one foot wake crossings as well as getting a lot more consistent with his front slalom.

At the start dock at the Diablo Shores open tournament

Jenna Gernstein who is 15 years old and trying to qualify to ski in the Junior World Championships also came for a few days.  She lives in San Diago and skies with Art. She has been skiing since she was 3 years old and is very stable out on the water…. and if she practiced her reverses more than once a year would be a very well rounded skier 😉 lol.

Jenna showing off for the camera

After the week clinic Jerry had a tournament at his lake where he had a good turn out as well as putting on a driver and safety clinic after the skiing was done.  There were some good scores posted.  It wasn’t a RC tournament but I skied 13250 in tricks and 19.2 in slalom which I was happy with.

As much as i tried to skydiving while i was there we were starting early in the morning and then by the time we were done the winds always picked up (water was still glass) and the place thats close to Jerrys is notorious for accidents…… I have Swampy in my head telling me he will kill me if i injure myself jumping out of a perfectly good plane so i decided to wait until i return in a month or so :0

charlie not giving up his stick

Written by : David Small

AKA  Small’z

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

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

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

Winter Haven lock opens which gives the WBC 24 lakes to choose from…

Saturday, March 10th, 2012

The World Barefoot Center runs the biggest and best Barefoot Waterski school in the water ski capital of the world…… Winter Haven, Florida. The ski school primarily runs on Lake Conine, Rochelle, Smart and Haines but with Lane Bowers staying on the south lakes of Winter Haven and Paul MacDonald of Ron Scarpa Watersports going out of business this has opened up more lakes for us to use. The city of Winter Haven has 45 fresh water lakes with 24 of them connected together by canals for very easy access between the chain of lakes. As the WBC is located on the chain of lakes there is no trailer needed and we now have access to the full 24 lakes with the help of the new lock system that has been built.

Rocking up to the lock

Driving in to the lock

The lock filling up

Leaving the lock

This lock system has being in the plans for a while but now that it is completed we can simply drive the boats up to it, press a button and drive in, press another and one side closes, the lock fills up and we are through to the main chain. If the mood takes us we can even take a little trip through the lakes down to Lego Land and watch their ski show from the tire wall out on lake Eloise. Having all of these lakes at our disposal, together with the top 4 ranked skiers in the World working at the school, the best Barefoot boats, BI towers, fly highs and booms and a boat full of shoe skis and US gear handles and lines we are a force to be reckoned with.

Going through to some new lakes

Written by David Small

Small’z