Posts Tagged ‘barefoot water-ski’

Keith St. Onge makes the South Dakota News

Saturday, June 14th, 2014

I had the pleasure to go to Rapid City, South Dakota and barefoot water ski with the Mortimer and McGrath family the first week of June.  While I was there KOTATV came out and shot a bit of video.

Too see the news clip click on the link below.

KOTATV News in Rapid City, SD

Body Slide be Keith St. Onge

Barefoot Water Skiing in MEXICO!!

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

BAREFOOT WATER SKI DESTINATION – (MEXICO)

This was the first barefoot water ski destination trip ever and this is a trip you don’t want to miss in the future!!

After I did a clinic this past March in Mexico with Juan Carlos and Gustavo I knew I had to return!!  It was one of the best trips I had taken with awesome food, perfect weather and glass conditions every day…no lie!!

Our host Juan Carlos barefooting backwards

There isn’t a lot of Mexican barefooters (yet) so Juan Carlos invited me back down but asked if I could bring a few people with in order to help support the clinic.  We arranged a week in November, put a schedule of events together and organized a week of fun that included: Fly Boarding, barefooting, tourist trip to the town of Taxco, eating out and other local venues to see and explore.

I expressed to everyone that this trip would be a “relaxed barefoot clinic.”  This clinic wasn’t going to be pressed for time, we would start a bit later than usual, lunch wasn’t served till 3pm and we would enjoy the surroundings and live in the moment.  This is exactly how most Mexicans live and it was something I needed to learn and practice along with other busy businessmen.

I invited several people on this trip and the guys that decided to give it a go were Lee Stone, Don Stoppe, Glen Kinnear and Jimmy Stone.  My wife Lauren accompanied us and Juan Carlos’s wife Edith was so gracious to pick us all up from Mexico City airport.

The night or our arrival: L-R, Gus, Glen, Don, Juan, Jimmy, Keith & Lee

Here is how our schedule went:

Arrive in Mexico City on Nov. 10th, late morning or early afternoon.

Drive to Tequesquitengo on the 10th    (2 hours depending on traffic)

This trip is about the “experience, culture and relaxation.”  Nobody is in a hurry in Mexico.  Lunch is typically around 3pm, a siesta and late dinners similar to Europe.  Instruction will be from Keith St. Onge and four sets per day is not our priority, purpose or guaranteed.  This clinic will a two set or three set kind of clinic.  There will be plenty of skiing to do.  The sets may be slightly shorter or longer depending on the weather, physical ability and number of skiers.  Some days we may have seven skiers and other days we may have four or less.  I also want this trip to be fun and relaxing.  This will be a stress free and fun environment.

There will be internet/wifi available at Gustavo’s house, which will be one of the homes used for Lodging.

Nov. 11th

Wake up at 7am-ish Central Time

Eat breakfast, leave at 8am-ish (20min.) drive to site.  The ride is a great experience, seeing how people live off the land in Mexico.  Very poor area’s but amazing to witness.  Horses and donkeys are used to transport local crops.
For more info visit this link. http://www.worldbarefootcenter.com/barefootblog/barefoot-water-skiing-in-mexico

Put boat in the water and begin skiing at 9am or earlier or later.  One or two mornings we will do a Mexican style breakfast at the site.

Jimmy Stone enjoying his 1st run in Mexico

Lauren St.Onge relaxing while foot'n in Mexico

Don Stoppe foot'n with his sunglasses on.

Everyone skis two sets and we have a late lunch around 2-3pm, which is customary in Mexico

Everyone skis one set and we leave at 5pm or earlier or later.

The two homes used for lodging are on a beautiful lake that is very populated and busy.  We will not be skiing there.  The site we are skiing on will be private to us with no other motorboats. It has shorelines like our lakes in Florida.  No back wash and great for wind protection.  I can just about guarantee glassy conditions based on my first trip there.

At the end of the day Don pays the Mariachi Band to play some Mexican music for us.

Nov. 12th

Wake up at 7am or earlier and leave at 7:30 for breakfast at the lake.

Ski at 9am-ish

Lunch at 2-3pm

Leave at 5pm-ish

Pina coladas with fresh Pineapple & coconut milk (Rum optional)

Nov. 13th

Touring Day

9am – FlyBoarding

Lauren taught local Mexican lady how to water ski for the 1st time and Jimmy Stone enjoying the FlyBoarding in the back ground!

Don Stoppe getting ready for a rib shot, ouch!

Visit local Pyramids, and then drive to the city of Taxco, which is known for their Silver mining.  Silver can be found very reasonable here.  I explain this town like Greece without the ocean.  The city is built on the side of a mountain overlooking the valley below. Beautiful!

The crew visiting the local Pyramids

Mexican barefoot water skier Juan Carlos giving us the tour of the Pyramids

Nov. 14th

Wake up at 7am or early or later

Eat breakfast

Leave at 8am

Ski at 9am

Lunch 2-3pm

Leave at 5-ish

Pick up Coco’s to hydrate and visit the Estate of wealthy Cane Sugar owner.  Dinner was amazing with a beautiful atmosphere!

Awesome Dinner at the old sugar cane factory

Glen Kinnear loving the warm weather!!

Nov. 15th

Wake up at 7am

Leave at 7:30am

Eat breakfast at the lake at 8am

Ski at 9am – 9:30am

Lunch at 2-3pm

Finish at 5pm-ish

Pure glass everyday!!

Lee Stone striking a pose after enjoying a relaxing message!

Nov. 16th

Fly home early afternoon or evening

Time to head home

To say the least this trip was well organized and a compete SUCCESS!!  We plan on doing this trip again in November and possibly twice a year if we have the demand.  So, if you are interested please contact the World Barefoot Center, inquire and put your name on the list.

Private instructor: Keith St. Onge

Keith St. Onge coaching in Mexico

Thank you Gustavo for the amazing dinner on your terrace over looking the lake!!

Gustavo Barefoot water skiing backwards in Mexico

After the clinic in Tequesquitengo we said our good byes to Lee, Jim, Don and Glen.  Lauren and I along with Gustavo and his girlfriend Fernanda drove two hours South to Acapulco.  We met Juan Carlos and his wife Edith there.  The plan was to search for a barefoot paradise on one of the local lagoons.  We heard about some great places there and thought it would be a great place to host a clinic in the future.

We went up and down the coast and found many lagoons that would work out but the wind always blows off the ocean around noon.  This would hinder our plan to barefoot all day.  We then found a spot that has wakeboard boats and my next favorite thing to do on the water after barefoot water skiing is wake surfing.  It’s so fun because it’s slow pace, the falls don’t hurt, smooth water is not required and you can load the boat up with people.

My plan is to barefoot water ski in the morning, have lunch and then wake surf in the afternoon.  If this is something you want to be a part of please contact the World Barefoot Center or private message me on FaceBook.  I’m looking for four people that would be interested in this trip.

Here is one of the places we stayed at, which is only a ten minute drive from the site.

Lauren St. Onge relaxing in the infinity pool in Acapulco

Keith St. Onge taking it all in while in Acapulco Mexico

By: Keith St.Onge

Catfish Bay Water Ski Show Team

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

“Greatest show on H20” is what their sign reads!  Yes, if you’re driving down I-90 West bound towards Sioux Falls, South Dakota you’ll see their lake with bleachers on the North side.

Team Practice w/ HillBilly Bay as their Theme

This was my third trip back to Catfish Bay and I can say I always love going back.  The skiers are so excited about water skiing.  Due to so few lakes in the area this private site is the perfect place to learn how to water ski or participate on the show ski team.  They have one to two shows per week depending on the holiday and time of year.  Catfish Bay Website

Can't practice Toe Holds enough!

Wrong, Ankle is too far in front of the knee = Hard crashes

Perfect Toe Hold, Ankle is Directly under the knee!

Jason Wallen / Clinic Organizer...Thank you for all your support!

Little Wallen in the Swing

Jim “Jimbo” Bruns started Catfish Bay many years ago and Jason Wallen is who sets up the Barefoot Water Ski Clinic with me.  I appreciate all the support from the club.

Jim Bruns founder of CatFish Bay

Picture perfect deep water start.  I like to make sure all my students fully understand the technique before trying it on the water.  Chris did exactly that and was successful on his first attempt on barefoot water skiing on the boom.

Chris, preparing for his 1st attempt on his Feet.

1st time Chris Barefoot Water Skis!

Learning Butt Control. I tell all my students to have full control on their butt before placing their feet into the water

Super clean front toe hold for just learning it!

Jason Wallen performing a sweet Back to Front. As you can see he is loaded on his pivot foot. When we lets go of the handle his left foot taps the water causing a small divot in the water which then catches his right foot/pivot foot. He got lucky though. Work on staying on the pivot foot to compete the turn smoothly.

I ask Adam if he would show me a flip off the shore line kicker and he did just that!

Thank you Catfish Bay for all your support!  It’s great coming back year after year and seeing everyone continually improving!

Keith St.Onge

World Barefoot Center Figure 8 Series

Friday, December 30th, 2011

The 2011 year for figure eight barefooting was more exciting than ever.  From Peter Flecks dominance of Footstock, to 4 different winners in the 4 individual events that make up the World Barefoot Center Figure Eight Series, which ultimately ended with a tie between Keith St Onge and Ron Blouw for the series championship.  What follows is a recap of the WBC figure eight series events from 2011.

The WBC figure eight series started in June at Footapalooza in Rolling Prairie Indiana.  26 footers participated and Marc Donahue started 2011 where he left off in 2010, by winning the event over Keith St Onge.  In the first run of the finals, Marc and Keith completed 3 and ½ 8’s, which ended up being the longest run of the day, when Keith beat Marc to give them each one loss.  Marc turned back around and beat Keith on the run off after 2 and ½ 8’s.  JJ Link took third with Ben Dieser a strong fourth, followed by Ron Blouw in fifth.  The event takes place on a private lake and the view is spectacular from the shore.  This is a great venue for a figure eight event.

JJ Link, Marc Donahue, Keith St.Onge

JJ Link , Marc D, Keith St Onge,

The next stop in the series was the Glen Meuller Figure Eight Challenge that takes place in St Louis, where 39 footers took to the water on a lake that only opens to ski boats on this one day for this tournament.  This event offered prizes for the “best fall”, the “first 8”, and the “longest 8”, as well as the standard  top finishers receiving awards.  This event was won by Ron Blouw who needed to beat the undefeated Tim Knoezer twice as he was coming from the loser’s bracket.  JJ Link again finished third, followed by Keith St Onge and Greg Fatla.  The event takes place at a private country club, and is run by Tim Knoezer and Anthony Gramalino.  If you get there early you can watch the ski show the night before.

Tim Knoezer, Ron Blouw, JJ Link

Tom Knoezer, Ron Blouw, JJ Link

The third event in the series is the Clean Lakes Festival Barefoot Challenge.  This is just one of the many events in the Clean Lakes Festival, located in Madison Wisconsin.  This event was won by Jon Debelak, who had to come from loser’s bracket to beat a previous Clean Lakes figure 8 champion Paul Stokes twice.  Ron Blouw finished third, just ahead of his cousin Eric DeVries who was a strong fourth and Aaron Schoezel was fifth.  One of the really cool things about this event is it’s proximity to downtown Madison.  As is expected for any event in the figure eight series, this event was well run by Bob Manke and Paul Stokes.

Paul Stokes against Mike Netzer in Madison, WI

The last event in the series takes place at the World Barefoot Center.  This event had 32 barefooters competing.  David Small held off his business partner Keith St Onge to win his second consecutive title in this event.  David and Keith did 8 after 8 in the two final runs, with Keith winning the first run to give David his first loss.  David was just two solid to beat twice in a row and David won the run off over Keith.  Ben Dieser  finished third ahead of Marc Donahue and Ron Blouw. Like last year, there was an awards presentation located at the WBC ski school with food and drinks.  The world Barefoot Center was a great host for the event.

Swampy, David_Small, Keith_St_Onge, Ben Dieser, Marc Donahue, Ron Blouw at the WBC Figure 8 Finals

Swampy, David Small, Keith St Onge, Ben Dieser, Marc Donahue, Ron Blouw

In the overall standings, Ron Blouw and Keith St Onge ended in a tie for the points lead, with Marc Donahue in third.  Just how close was it?  The two footers each finished with 125 points.  Neither footer finished lower than 5th in any event, Ron had a 1st, a 3rd and a 5th, while Keith had two 2nds, and a 5th.  Each footer had 2 wins in the finals, with Ron coming from the loser’s bracket to win twice in the final round in St Louis, and Keith came from the loser’s bracket in Indiana and in the WBC tournament to win on the first run each time, only to lose the next run in both instances.  Each footer finished in the top three 2 times.  They faced each other twice and each won once.  It was indeed too close to call.

The entire series was very competitive with multiple winners in the individual events.  Of the top three finishers in the individual events, there were 9 different footers to finish in the top 3, with Keith, Ron, and JJ the only three to place in the top three twice.  The event was very competitive.  The events attracted multiple footstock winners and other figure eight winners.

Keith St.Onge, Ron Blouw & Marc Donahue

Keith St Onge, Ron Blouw, Marc Donahue

This is a great series and the events went off very smoothly with great leadership.  The WBC figure eight series motto is “no one left on the beach” and the tournament allowed duct tape to prevent blisters and either deep water starts or starts from a step off ski.  It allowed for beginners as well as advanced footers to compete against each other.  All ages were included with men and women competing head to head, there were even two sets of husbands and wives competing in the Florida event.  This is a great way to get to know other barefooters who have a similar passion for the sport.  It is also a way to go head to head with some of the best barefooters in the world, and who knows….anything might happen.  If you have never tried a figure 8, join us at one of the events for next year, I bet you will get hooked.  The event was sponsored by Reef Safe Sun Care, US Gear, and the World Barefoot Center.

By: Ron Blouw & Keith St.Onge

Ski With the Top Barefoot Champions

Sunday, December 11th, 2011

In two short years, the World Barefoot Center has grown to include the top barefoot champions from around the world.  We love what we do, and it shows in our passion for the sport.  Like Swampy always says, “Let your feet do the talking.”

INSANE SKIING from WorldBarefootCenter on Vimeo.

Whole Foods Market Fuels Champions!

Friday, August 26th, 2011

As many of you can imagine, being a professional athlete goes hand in hand with eating well and taking care of the body.  As a barefoot waterskier, I have to stay on top of my eating habits to preform to the absolute best of my abilities.  During a four month Anytime Fitness  National Barefoot Tour on the road, Whole Foods Market has kept me and my fiance, Lauren Lindeman, going strong.  As we go from town to town, we stop at Whole Foods along the way.  Health is always on our mind– we enjoy real foods and we applaud Whole Foods for providing so many wonderful products.  We live vegetarian, dairy free, and gluten free– this is the best lifestyle for us! 

Whole Foods Market

 Thank you, Whole Foods, for making healthy foodies like us happy! 

Keith St. Onge and Lauren Lindeman

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

No Lake Payne, No Gain!

Friday, July 1st, 2011

We arrived at Ron Blouw’s cottage in Middleville, Michigan on Sun. June 19th.  Ron and his wife Cheryl and son’s Payton, Grant and Jordan welcomed us to there summer play ground.  The Blouw’s move forty minutes South during the summer months so they can enjoy the lake.  Lauren and I plugged in he Anytime Fitness Tour Bus across the street and prepared for the next morning of footers.

Monday morning consisted of Ron Blouw and his son Payton Blouw, Cory Holden and Kaitlyn DeVries.  Since most of the skiers on this lake step off skis to do endurance runs I thought it would be a great idea to learn deep water starts.  Good thing they were all interested in doing deep starts. because I don’t allow skis in the boat anyhow:)

After a half dozen tries Payton and Cory both completed several starts on their butts.  Padded shorts make the deep water start much easier and help prepare for tumble turns. It is important for the skier must learn butt control.  Cory worked on his front one foot and look at hiss success! Payton did toe holds on shoe skis as well as both tumble turns!

Front One Foot- Cory Holden

Payton's Front Toe Hold!

Kaitlyn DeVries has been a FootStock goer for a few years now and competeing a few times in the Women’s  Division.  Kaitlyn is proficient at barefooting behind the boat and doing step offs.  A few days prior the the clinic Kaitlyn attempted some front deepwater starts, sadly they were not complete.  With just a little bit of instruction Kaitlyn became a natural at the front deepwater start! As a bonus Kaitlyn also worked on one foots.  We hope to see you at Women’s Week Kaitlyn!

Front Deep Water Start- Kaitlyn DeVries

Kaityln DeVries

Ron worked his front toe holds on shoe skis and once proficient at those we moved onto his backwards position.  Ron’s goal was to do back ones on his feet and move onto back to fronts from there.  Instead of going straight to turns I explained to him we must get his basic one foot stronger since that will be the foot he turns on.  He did his back one foot on the rope and one hand with WBC shoe skis and when he looked solid with that we moved onto a back toe hold.  This was his first back toe-hold on shoe skis and he was pumped!  On his next set we started with more back toe holds in preparation for back to fronts.  Back to fronts followed directly after and he really got them dialed in.  All Ron needs to do now is take the same progression on his feet and he will be efficient with the turn.

Turning- Ron Blouw

Payton and Ron

Ron's Back One Foot One Hand!

In the afternoon I had Dave otherwise known as “Fig” and he was the pioneer on Payne Lake.  He has a passion for the sport like no other and you can truly see the respect from everyone when he get’s in the boat.  Most footers on the lake learned from Fig at one point or another.  Fig learned both one foots on his feet.

Look at Fig Go! Woo Hoo!

Doug Wieringa spent most of the day working on his frontwards one foot one hand, once he figured out what hand to let go with and what foot to pick up it was easy! Doug also got up backwards on his feet on only his twelfth attempt, that quick learning!

Doug's One Foot

Eric “Bear” De Vries skied with us and got up backwards on his feet for the first time! Congrats! Eric is also working in his front toe hold, your getting there!

So Close!

Jason “Smiley” Mulder was a novice footer and he learned the deep water start and tumble turns by accident.  Actually it worked out well because he learned his tumble up start with no trouble.  This guy had what I call a perma-smile!  He had a smile on his face 24/7 and I could tell being in the boat was all he wanted to do!  This crew of guys made me laugh so hard my cheeks hurt by the end of the day.  That’s always a good time!

Oh Yeah Jason!

Perma-Smile!

The next morning our skiers were Ron and Cheryl Blouw and Kyle and Eric Voelker.

Morning Crew

Cheryl Blouw was intimidated by the idea of stepping off a ski years ago.  We were able to convinced her to learn a deep water start.  Even though you can get a lot of water in your face when learning a deep start it is worth it.  The deepwater start allow you to go much slower when planting two feet in the water and you learn good habits from the beginning.  Once proficient with the start the skier will not get any water in their face or nose.

Nice but Ride!

Three Point Stance

Barefoot Once Again!

We had twins join us that only tried barefoot skiing on their own off the boom, no instruction.  We went over the start on dry land first to help the muscle memory before attempting for the first time.  Both Kyle Voelker and Eric Voelker learned quickly and after several starts directly on the boom I gave them the five foot rope.  They were successful once again in their training wheel position, which are knees together with feet wider than the butt.

After realizing how quickly they had progressed I thought it would be great for them to get up behind the boat.  Since they were only skiing the morning session it was a little bit of a long shot but doable!  After a few tries a piece they both stood on their feet behind the boat.  It was amazing to see their facial expressions!  Their goal was to get up on the five foot for the morning but yeah, there’s nothing wrong with surpassing your goals!  Great job guys!

That afternoon I had Todd Blouw, Ross Hopkins, his wife Bethany Hopkins, David Rintsema and Grant Blouw.

Todd Blouw is also a great long line barefooter, stepping off for a start!  Todd Learn to do a front deepwater and some tumble turns!

Todd after a front deep!

Tumble Turn- Todd Blouw

Ross was quite a seasoned skier. He worked on back one foots on the WBC shoes.

Ross Hopkins

Bethany Hopkins worked on her front one foots on shoe skis.  Unfortnaley Bethany had horrible water to ski on, but she still did great!

David Rintsema was another first timer for the deepwater start and her learned his first trick, the tumble turn! Great job!

Barefooter-David Rintsema

Tumble Turn- David Rinsema

Grant Blouw is Ron’s son.  Grant is also a great footer behind the boat with a step off.  Well now skis are no longer need, Grant can do a deepwater start! Nice work!

Ready for the Deep Start

Grant After an Awesome Deep Up!

We wish you all the best this summer with the new techniques make sure to keep it up the rest of the summer! Thank you to all those that helped organize the clinic and participated, we enjoyed it! Remember only Jesus and barefooters walk on water:)

By: Keith St.Onge & Lauren Lindeman