Posts Tagged ‘barefoot water skiing’

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

Banana George Blair “The Banana Man”

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

George Blair otherwise know as “Banana George” has been around longer than most people dream of. He was a successful business man from New York in his early years. As he approached his forties, his lower back began to give him pain. He visited the doctor’s office and the doctor suggested he try water skiing for exercise in hopes to loosen it up. George decided to do just that and began skiing in a local water ski club.

He was famous for using a wooden disk to ski on. He would bring a step ladder out with him while balancing on the disk. He then slowly set the ladder up and began climbing as he was pulled behind the boat. The crowd watched in excitement as he got close to the top, sat down and began to un-peel a banana. This was the story he told me personally and now you know how he came to be known as “Banana George.”

I first met the “Man in Yellow” at my first barefoot water ski National tournament in Piqua, Ohio. He was more than friendly as he threw bananas into the bleachers. My dad made me sit down with Banana George as he signed my hat, and I thank my dad for the great memory he captured! I was ten years old, which made George 73 years old at the time.

The Banana man came to our regional championship and I was able to get another autograph and a few bananas out of the back of his trunk. I told George many years later, “I get called ‘St. Orange’ quite often– and I may start handing out oranges soon!” He laughed. That’s one thing I love about him, when he laughs it goes on forever…you can feel it go right to your bones and automatically begin laughing with him.

I began to see George ever year since then and was lucky enough to have him award me the 2006 Banana George Blair Barefoot Waterskier of the Year.

As time went by, we became good friends and went skiing a few times with one another. I had dinner with Banana, his wife, JoAnn and Kuno as I was awarded the IWSF Male Athlete of the Year award.

George also donated one of his bright yellow barefoot suits to the World Barefoot Center! Thank you, George, from the WBC Gang!

Interviewing George on his 90th Birthday

2007 with Banana giving the OK symbol

George is the only man that has barefoot water skied on every continent, was the founder of the “Bike” cup and has the largest privately owned collection of Mercury (God) in the world. Those are just a few fun facts about the Banana man.

His birthday is coming up in January and he will be 97 years old. I wish him all the best and thank him for a great friendship! We love you George & JoAnn!
By: Keith St.Onge / Orange

WBC Invitational Results

Monday, October 17th, 2011

The WBC Invitational was held October 7th and 8th on Lake David in Groveland, Florida.   The event was broadcast live on the World Barefoot Center site, with Swampy Bouchard and Andy Harris providing commentary.

Here are the tournament results:

WBC Invitational Tricks Event Running Order

WBC Invitational Tricks Event Scores

WBC Invitational Tricks Event Finals Scores

WBC Invitational Slalom Event Running Order

WBC Invitational Slalom Event Scores

WBC Invitational Slalom Event Finals Scores

WBC Invitational Jump Event Running Order

WBC Invitational Jump Event Scores

WBC Invitational Jump Event Finals Scores

WBC Invitational Overall Finals Scores

There were quite a few spectacular falls that weekend:

WBC INVITATIONAL MASSIVE FALLS from WorldBarefootCenter on Vimeo.

WBC Head to Head Tournament!!

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

There will be a LIVE VIDEO FEED on WORLDBAREFOOTCENTER.COM of the WBC Head-to-Head tournament being held at Lake David, Groveland, Florida on October 7th & 8th. The tournament starts at 7am eastern time on the 7th so make sure you jump on our website and check it out.

KSO Wetsuits, Fun on the Water Slideshow

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

A collection of KSO Wetsuit customers having fun on the water, including Glen Plake,  Paul Stokes, Judy Myers, Claudia Landon, and more!

KSO Wetsuits Fun on the Water 2011

WBC Open Invitational Tournament Rules & Information

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

The WBC Open Invitational is a Head-to-Head fast paced 3-event high stakes tournament. There will be three categories of competition; Overall, Tricks, Jump, and Slalom. This tournament will have a total cash payout of $20,500. The Breakdown of this sum is as follows:

Overall

–   1st –   $5,000

–     2nd –  $2,500

–     3rd –  $1,000

Single Events

–     1st –   $2,500

–     2nd –  $1,000

–     3rd –   $500

The way that the tournament will be run is under a very different format than any tournament before it. The event will start with 2 elimination rounds of both tricks and slalom. All competitors will be included in both elimination rounds. Jumping will include only 1 elimination round, consisting of 4 jumps per skier. Each skier’s best score out of either elimination round becomes his or her seed score for the rest of the tournament. The top 8 seeded skiers in each event will move on to the head-to-head format.

After elimination, head-to-head begins. From this point on, all jump rounds will only consist of 2 jumps per skier. The seed scores determine the pairings for each round (i.e. #1 vs. #8; #2 vs. #7 etc.). The higher seeded skier of each pair will receive the option of choosing to ski before or after his or her competitor. The winners move on to the next round and the losers are immediately eliminated from that event.

Once the final 4 skiers emerge, the seed scores once again base the pairings for the second round. The winners proceed to the third and final round in a head-to-head battle for first and second place. The skier with the higher second round score of the two losers will take third place.

The Overall category winners will be determined by the skiers’ best score in each event throughout the entire tournament, including the elimination rounds.

Judging will follow the same rules as the standard 3-event competition; however, this tournament will feature Instant Scoring. Each score will be announced and recorded before the next skier is pulled.

WBC Invitational Teaser 2

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

4 weeks to go until the WBC Invitational!! Check out the latest video.

WBC INVITATIONAL OFFICIAL TEASER 2 – DO YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES? from WorldBarefootCenter on Vimeo.

Featured Footer: Chandler Cargile

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

Fourteen-year-old Chandler Cargile entered his first barefoot tournament in May, 2011 at Port St. Lucie in Florida as one of the World Barefoot Center’s sponsored skiers.  Chandler scored 900 points in tricks and a 4.8 in slalom, which is completely amazing for a first tournament.  What’s even more amazing to know is that Chandler first learned to barefoot in July, 2010.

“Barefooting was my dad’s idea,” said Chandler.  “He took me and my brother to the lake near our home and we both tried it.  It took me two tries on the boom and I was on my feet.  My brother did a deep water start, but couldn’t stand up.  We went back a few more times and then we both did the deep water start.  I was really excited!  We went back the next day and did it again.”

Not long after learning to barefoot, Chandler wanted to learn some tricks so his father suggested going to a ski school.  Chandler’s choice was easy;  he wanted to go to the World Barefoot Center and meet the two world champions.  He signed up for a half-day lesson and found himself in the boat with Keith St. Onge.   “I had seen a lot of videos of Keith and read about him in magazines, so I was so excited to meet him,” said Chandler.  “I started to learn the back deep with shoes, tumble turns and one foots with the KSO shoes.  It was a fun trip with Keith!”

On his second trip to the WBC, Chandler went back to ski in Figure 8 tournament and signed up for another lesson.  This time, he met his other idol, David Small.  By the end of the lesson, both David and Keith recognized that Chandler had a deep thirst to learn– both on and off the water. “Chandler is one of the most intense, driven, young kid that I’ve seen in a long time,” said Keith. “He jumped into the sport hard –doing everything– in practice, in skiing, and in working out.  That kid has the drive and the heart– he just loves skiing.”

Chandler went on to become a sponsored skier at the World Barefoot Center.  He never did ski in the Figure 8 tournament that weekend.  “I chickened out,” Chandler laughed.  “I had never competed before and I was a bit scared to try.”

Ben Groen instructs Chandler for his first jump

Swampy took over as a coach and Chandler worked with Ben Groen and A.J. Porreca.  They quickly groomed him as a three-event skier and introduced him to jumping.  His first jump was off the boom.  “On my first jump, I butted the ramp as I went over,” Chandler recalled.  “I moved to the handle, the two-foot, the five-foot, the ten-foot and then behind the boat– all in one morning!”

Chandler found himself battling some nerves when he faced his first jump on the long line behind the boat.  “I thought to myself, it’s not that different from the ten-foot, so I just did the same thing,” said Chandler.  “I landed my first jump–not great–  not clean– but I landed it!”

At his first barefoot tournament, the same nerves crept up as he readied himself in the water, but as soon as the boat pulled forward, Chandler relaxed.   “I felt like I was skiing with Swampy at the school, I wasn’t nervous anymore.  It didn’t feel like a tournament–it felt like I was at the World  Barefoot Center.”  Four tournaments later, Chandler has racked up 1780 in tricks, 8.1 in slalom and 8.6  in jumping.

At the Southern Regionals, Chandler’s goal was to land his jumps so that he could compete in jumping at the Nationals.  After missing his first jump, the pressure was on to land the next two– and he did.  “I was so excited about that– ready to go to the Nationals!” said Chandler.  But little did he know, there was trouble brewing.  The day before, during a practice run, Chandler worked with A.J. to practice his toe up start.  He felt some pain in his hip while planting his foot.  It wasn’t a sharp pain, but it was enough to make him reach for the Advil.  He powered through the pain during the jumping on Saturday and then faced it again during his slalom runs on Sunday.  “I did a back deep on the slalom and when I got up, I felt a lot of pain in one leg, but I kept going,” said Chandler.  “When I went for my second run, it felt worse.  As I told the driver my speed and got ready, I was thinking to myself, ‘this is my last run.’  As I started to plant, I could feel my leg wobble a bit and then I felt a pop.”  Chandler had to be helped into the boat and on land– he couldn’t put any weight on his leg.  A trip to the hospital revealed a fractured hip.  “I was pretty upset– I was ready to go to the Nationals and really looking forward to it.”

Knowing Chandler, he’ll be back on the water in no time.  And when the next Figure 8 tournament comes up, you can bet he won’t be sitting on the sidelines.

Written by:  Karen Putz

Summer Barefoot Instruction Day 5

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

WaterHawks Day 5

The 5th and final clinic day at the Waterhawks ski site.  Today we had 10 barefooters!  Five in the morning session and a completely different crew of five in the afternoon.  It was sweet! Checkout our morning footers!

Morning Barefoot Clinic Crew

Coy Roussell started us off for the day! First set Coy learned a front toe hold on the WBC shoe skis and by next set it was very close to getting it on his barefeet!  We started the process of going backwards and doing the back deep water start.  As many of you know there are TONS of steps to learning the back deep and in one set Coy was starting to come up! Awesome dude!

Ready for a front deepy?

Working the Front Toe Hold!

Coming Up on the Backdeep

Want to meet a fast learner! Mitch Tauke learned to barefoot incrediable fast!  In just 2 sets he learned his front deepwater on the boom, then shortline and then on to the 10ft extention.  Keep it up Mitch and before you know it long line will be a breeze!

Controlled!Three Point Stance-MitchAnd he's even giving us a thumbs up!

Ryan Ruhns already knew how to barefoot, but wasn’t getting up consistently.  Today we worked on a smooth transition from the deepwater to three point and then to standing up!  Ryan also learned to do a front one foot on the shoe skis.

After a nice smooth stand up!- RyanStrongman Front Toehold!

Jackson Twait hit the water for the very first time today!  Jackson learned a deepwater start on the boom.  Oh but thats is not all is also to let his feet glide across the water and did both front one foots! It’s rare but it happens and Jackson is better footing on just one foot than two! Great job!

Jackson on his barefeet!Working barefoot Form- JacksonOh yeah! One Foot!

David Lammers had attempted barefooting a few times in the past, today with a little bit of instruction he got is feet gliding!  From the barefoot swing to the deepwater start.  Checkout his great three point! Looking forward to seeing some video!

Nice Deepwater Start!-David

Nice Three Point!- David

Thank you all for coming out and spending the morning with us, we hope to ski with you all again soon!  Remember if you are in Florida give us a call and come ski with us.  If you’re looking for a new barefoot suit, checkout KSO Wetsuits.  Designed and worn by Barefoot World Champions Keith St. Onge and David Small.  Ski ya next time!

By Keith St. Onge and Lauren Lindeman

Southern Regionals Weekend Recap!!

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

The Southern Regionals and bonus rounds were held on Lake David in Groveland, Florida from the 22nd to 24th July.  Once again WBC continued to see new PBs being set as well as more pending National and World Records.

Another stunning day on Lake David!

Ben & Chandler

Chandler Cargile has been doing a phenomenal job skiing in his first ever tournament in May. Since then he has continued to improve at rapid pace and has now qualified in the trick event for the 2012 Worlds and this tournament was no exception with Chandler landing his first ever jump in tournament at 8.6 meters. Congrats Chan!

Kiwi Ben Groen once again did New Zealand and Team WBC proud tricking a potential New Zealand National and Asian Australasian Oceanic record of 9,400.  He also set a new PB in slalom with a 16.6.

Lisa Pressendo accomplished yet another PB in tricks with a score of 2410, making her first ever toe-back in competition and barely missing out on a back to front in her other pass. Way to go girl!!

Carol receiving her medals

Carol Jackson skied above both the Womens 5 trick and slalom National Records with a score of 1,060 in tricks and 5.5 in slalom.

In the bonus round on Sunday Ashleigh Stebbeings from Australia set two more pending World records in Open Womens tricks with a score of 4,650 and 6,350.

A big congratulations to all the other skiers that did PB’s and a huge thanks to the crew down there for organising such a great tournament!! If you would like to see any scores from the tournament head to www.BarefootWater-Ski.com and follow the links the Southern Region Results.

Banquet (from Left) Lisa, Ben, Chandler, Ash & A.J

By Ashleigh Stebbeings, Australia