Posts Tagged ‘barefoot ski’

Finding your Passion

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

This world and our lives are all about people!!  Helping others, serving others and always believing you can do it.  I look up to many top athletes and I know many people that look up to me.  Meeting people and seeing their achievements only help our own personal growth!

Back in 2009, Judy Myers had a segment on the Today Show and the husband of Karen Putz forwarded the segment to her.  She saw this 66-year-old woman barefoot water skiing.  Karen had not barefoot skied in two decades due to losing her hearing while taking a barefoot water skiing fall.  Her family had a rare gene; if they hit their head hard on something it would cause them to lose their hearing.  Her sister tripped on a throw rug, hit her head on the floor and lost her hearing just like that, and her brother also lost some hearing from barefooting.

Karen contacted Judy Myers, and in no time was down at the World Barefoot Center ski school in Winter Haven, Florida in the spring of 2010.

Judy Myers helped Karen Putz pursue her passion for Barefoot Water Skiing

I got Karen to barefoot water ski again for the first time in twenty years.  After her second visit just two weeks later, Karen asked me, “Where do you see yourself in five years?”  I told her I would like to be a keynote speaker.  She immediately asked me if I would ever be interested in writing a book.  “Funny you ask.” I said.  I began writing a book with my cousin Matt, but we had too many other things going on and the project never took off.  After Karen went home, we continued our discussion about writing a book. “I would be interested in writing your book.” Karen said without hesitation.  We discussed it some more and decided we could do it.

Two and a half years later, we have the book nearly complete.  Just imagine the communication barrier!  My hat is off to Karen on this one.  I had to speak to an interpreter over the phone.  The interpreter would then sign what I was saying to Karen and Karen would type out what I was saying.  Wow, made for some interesting conversations to say the least, haha!

The Book, "Gliding Soles" Lessons from a Life on Water

The book should be released in September on Amazon.com   Here is a great video below on Karen, with a small plug for the book called “Gliding Soles, Lessons from a Life on Water.”  Gliding Soles Barefoot Camp was the name of my first barefoot ski school.

Visit the link below to view the video on Karen Putz & Keith St.Onge:

http://www.kwtx.com/ourtown/home/headlines/Axtell-Deaf-Barefoot-Skier-Overcomes-Adversity-165939516.html

By: Keith St.Onge

www.keithstonge.com

Waterhawks Whip it up!

Monday, July 11th, 2011

Waterhawk Show Ski Team!

We arrived a day before the clinic began at the Waterhawks ski site near Waterloo, IA.  After we set up the Anytime Fitness National Barefoot Tour Bus up lake side we decided to do some skiing.  John Bunge brought his boat to give us a few pulls on Eagle Lake.  The conditions of this private lake are fantastic.  Later on in the afternoon John informed us that NBC Channel 7 News would be coming out to do a piece on the tour! Checkout the video footage. Click here for video.

Keith St. Onge NBC News

Barefooting gets on TV!

The Waterhawks were happy to have us and since they were missing some skiers, we volunteered and jumped right into show practice.  The next night was the big show for the 4th of July weekend! Wowie the weather forecast was calling for 96 degrees with the heat index of 105 degrees!  With that in mind the clinic started early in the morning to beat the heat. Check out this boat crew!

The only female in the boat Kate Worthington.  Kate had been having some problems in the ski show doing her beach start.  After a few tips and things to think about Kate cleaned up her start and stance.  Now Kate will be confident in her beach start!  Cheer her on the next show!

Austin Walstad from MN came down to ski for the whole day.  Austin’s goal is to be able to take his senior pictures in a couple years, doing a back toe hold.  Keeping that goal in mind Austin worked the basics of he back one foots on he feet and he accomplished both back toe holds on shoe skis!

Back Toe Hold-Austin

A local Tim Schell had barefooted a tiny bit before the clinic.  It was a rough road but once Tim got the hang of it he was barefooting on the five foot handle no problem.  Tim even learned a few tumble turns!

Smooth Deepwater Start! -Tim

Way to go Tim!

Tim’s father Vince Schell joined us for the afternoon session.  Vince had skied on the boom a few times in the past but had not gone any further in his barefooting.  Today Vince learned how to do a front deepwater start and tumble turns!

A Controlled Glide- Vince

Three Point Position-Vince

Yay Vince!

Garrett Bunge was on a roll today!  Before today he had only done one deepwater start behind the boat and he completed 10+ without a hitch! Sweet dude! To top it off Garrett went in the pre show and did his deepwater and skied through the show course!

No Skis Needed!- Garrett

Rocking it out!-Garrett

Skyler Woods is in the barefoot line for the Waterhawks.  Now there will be no need for a ski to step off of, Skyler can do deepwater starts! Skyler added a few tricks to his runs, a toe hold on shoe skis and busted out a few tumble turns. Ya!

Deepwater Start- Skyler

A Lil' Wave From Skyler!

All it all it was a great day, everyone learned something new and more importantly had FUN!

The Amazing HeadZone Helmet- Waterproof Communication

Cooling Off

Thank you Skiers!

By: Keith St. Onge and Lauren Lindeman

Barefooting in Backwater

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

We met Carlos Barreto on Facebook and once he found out about us doing the tour he was interested in doing a clinic.  Carlos joined the Backwater Gamblers Show Ski Team this spring.  Their site sits on the Rock River in Moline, IL other wise known as the Quad cities.  Carlos is a very animated man and you can see his enthusiasm when he talks about barefoot water skiing.

Barefooting Crew!

The first morning was sweet and Carlos Barreto started it off.  Pure glass water the length of the river.  He did his tumble turns and a few one foots.  I then put him on WBC shoe skis and we worked one foot one hands in preparation for toe holds.

Emily Buckwalter is a nineteen year old that skis on the Gamblers.  Her goal was to learn how to barefoot for the first time.  Well, she said she did it before but we made her do a deep water start, which may be a little more difficult at first but it is a stepping stone for the five foot.  She accomplished a deep start on shoe skis and later achieved her goal on standing on her feet.  Great job Emily!

Emily on ShoesEmily on her BARE FEET!

Jason Kauzlarich supplied the boat and he had been foot’n for many years.  In the afternoon the wind blew up so hard we had to go to the backwaters of the Mississippi.  Before going there Jason learned tumble turns for the first time and they were flawless.

Tumble Turn!

That afternoon we headed out to the Mississippi, which was a treat for Lauren and I.  We got the full tour and was able to see the casinos in the backwaters of the Mississippi and Arsenal Island where they make armored doors for tanks and humvees.  We were only able to find a small strip of somewhat smooth water so we did what we could.

Pat Baret got up backwards for the first time on shoes skis.  Oh, did I mention he got the boat driver completely soaked!  Haha  It was funny seeing everyone scurry for shelter when the down pour came!  Seeing people get wet in the boat is funny because they have nowhere to go!  Including the driver…ME!

We got a little damp this run!

Much Better!

James Melter came out strong from the beginning.  He is a fantastic skier with perfect form!  He went through all his basics and once he proved to me he could do what was necessary to turn he executed a perfect back to front and front to back on his feet.  We continued working his reverse turns.  His ultimate goal is to do all four turns consistently although he has done them all before.  We pounded his reverse turn and figured out a few things that would make all the difference.

Surface Turns- James

CJ Barreto, Carlos’s son came out to try barefoot water skiing for the first time.  He never wanted to go out with his father, which might have been a blessing.  Sometimes son’s have a difficult time taking instruction from their father.  I was one of them and for me it was tough because while I was trying to have fun my father was telling me what to do.  My dad told me what to do all the time, “Take out the garbage, make our bed, clean your room, etc…”  I did not want to take instruction from my father when having fun on the water.  So dad’s…be careful and try to butt out of your son’s business at the right time and place.  I went over all the steps with CJ before we took to the water.  With the help of the HeadZone helmet I was able to guide him to barefooting on his feet for the first time.  Congrats CJ!!!!

Cj barefooting!

Jason’s brother Jake  Kauzlarich came out and he has the same story as CJ.  Never footed before! We were able to get him on the five-foot extension after one set on the boom.  Hats off to you brother!

Yay! Sweet Jake!

The only guy we know that Smiles while falling!

Last but not least was my buddy Matthew Becker.  He is the social butterfly on the Backwater Gamblers ski team and is always smiling!  He came out to have a little fun with the boys and was able to do a deep-water start on shoe skis and on his feet off the extension.

Oh Yeah!

Thank you to the Backwater Gamblers for allowing us to stay at you ski site!  A big thanks to Carlos for organizing this whole thing! Keep skiing!

By: Keith St.Onge & Lauren Lindeman

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