Posts Tagged ‘barefoot water skiing’

Cody Ebbert & Claudia Landon Join team WBC!

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011


We are glad to announce that we have two new additions to Team WBC!

Cody Jumping on the 10 foot

Firstly, Cody Ebbert who is currently 18 years old and resides in Utioa, Pennsylvania. His current scores are tricks; 6,350, slalom; 10.8 and jump; 19.3 meters. He is the current Junior Boys World Trick Champion, Bronze in the 2010 World Junior Boys Jump and a member of the 2010 Gold Medal Junior US Team. Some of his other achievements include being the 3 times East Regional Champion (2008 2009 2010). Cody has been training here for the past 2 years and has now joined our sponsored skier program.

Claudia going backwards


The second new addition to the team is Claudia Landon. Claudia is 58 years old from Post Falls, Idaho. Her current scores are tricks; 640 and slalom; 3.9. Claudia is a competitive Women’s 5 skier winning the US National Overall Title 3 times (2008, 2007, 2006). Her other accomplishments include 2005 US Nationals Women’s 4 runner-up in tricks and slalom, 2004 US National Women’s 4 Overall Winner and 2003 and 2002 US Nationals Women’s 4 silver in slalom and bronze in Tricks. We are very excited to see yet another of our Mature Women joining the WBC ranks!

Welcome to the team Cody & Claudia!!

By Ashleigh Stebbeings, Australia

WBC says goodbye to Taylor True and Joey Tombers after 5 weeks of hard training!!

Monday, July 18th, 2011

Joey & Taylor at Holtzy's Invitational

When Taylor and Joey arrived at the World Barefoot Centre they were eager to get on the water and make the most out of the 5 weeks that they were spending here to train over the summer. With the tournament season just about to start, they needed to be focused and train hard to give themselves the best possible chance of moving towards their goal to qualify for the 2012 World Championships.


Here’s what Joey had to say about his time at the World Barefoot Centre. “WBC is a wonderful place, both on the water and off. I learned so much in the five weeks I was there. When I first arrived I could barely get up backwards, now I can do line step one foot, one foot reverse, hop and both back toe holds.  All this wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for the awesome coaching by some of the top skiers and you can’t forget Swampy, the best coach you could have. They pushed me to do the very best I could. I had so much fun skiing with WBC and I can’t wait until I come back down next time.”


They both worked really hard to get where they have and also had a great attitude towards training and it has shown with the scores that they posted in the first two tournaments of the season. Joey’s personal bests went from 900 in tricks to 1,330 and he increased his jump from 7.7 to 9 metres. He also went from doing forwards two foot slalom crosses to solidly doing both one foot crosses forwards and also one foot crosses backwards. Taylor’s personal bests went from 320 in tricks to 890 and she increased her slalom score from 3.3 to 4.6. She has also started to consistently get up backwards as well as her forward one foot slalom crosses.

It was great to have them both here and watching them progress as skiers. We are all looking forward to seeing them the next time they come back down to WBC.

– by Ashleigh Stebbeings, Australia

Keith St. Onge on NBC News Iowa

Friday, July 1st, 2011

Keith St. Onge featured on NBC News in Iowa:

Waterhawks Welcome World Champion Barefoot Skier

Karen Putz– My First Barefoot Tournament

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

As I drove up the highway toward Blue Moo lake in Alma Center, Wisconsin last Thursday, I was having second thoughts about the whole barefoot tournament thing.  Earlier in the week, I took a few runs with Dan Tanis over at Cedar Lake, but I couldn’t accomplish a single thing on the water.  Out of five pulls, I got up twice and fell each time I attempted to slalom across the wake.   I hadn’t yet practiced a trick run.  And here I was, driving four hours to compete in my first tournament.  

Twenty five years after tripping over a wake, I got back on the water again at the World Barefoot Center in March of last year.  I think a certain 68-year-old woman came up with the idea of entering tournaments.    “It’ll be fun!” she said.  “Everyone is friendly and they’ll help you and tell you what to do.”

Well, Judy was right about that.  I arrived at the dock on Friday morning and met with Kenny Kaestner, the instructor from Footn Foundations and host of the clinic.   Right away, Kenny made me feel at home on the water and he provided some fantastic instruction.   I was struggling to cheek out, and he taught me to line myself up at the opposite angle of where I wanted to cheek out to.   I spent the  morning slaloming and going through my trick runs.  Kenny bumped my speed up to 39/40 and I discovered that I liked it much better on firmer water.  By the time the morning sets were over, I felt confident that I knew what to do.  We spent the afternoon working on backwards.  I worked on riding backwards on one foot on shoes and then tried a back deep on my feet with no success.  I explained that I could get up easily on shoes, but I was really struggling to get up on my feet.  Kenny ran me through a hip exercise several times in the water, identifying the muscles used to get the hips up.   After that, I  was able to get up three times in a row backwards on my feet.

I somehow totally missed the fact that the tournament started at four that afternoon and I was pretty wiped out at that point.  I put myself last in the line up– hoping that I could recover some energy before it was my turn.  Let’s just say this… nothing will wake you up faster than getting back into a cold wetsuit– and jumping in the cold Wisconsin water late in the evening.  Holy moly…

I told myself that if I could just stand up and manage at least one cross, I would be happy.  I forgot the very trick that Kenny taught me– and found myself stuck inside the wake during my first run.  I didn’t have a choice but to stand up inside, and I nearly lost my balance.  I managed to make it outside the wake and then cut right across the wake.  To my complete surprise, I found myself still standing on the other side– and cut back across.  I managed two more crossings and I was really whooping inside when the boat came around.   I ended up with six on the second pass and with a score of 2.8.  That was later bumped up to 3.3. 

Kenny is a guy who does it all.  Not only did he run the tournament, but earlier in the year, he took his bow and arrow, shot Bambi– and served venison for dinner.  “I don’t care much for venison,” said Janell Heller, the owner of Blue Moo Lake.  “But when Kenny marinates and cooks it– it is wonderful.”  I took her advice, tried the venison and agreed with her, it was really delicious.

Blue Moo Lake is set at the edge of a corn field in the middle of a very rural part of Wisconsin.  When I first met Blake Heller, he reminded me so much of my dad– the same round face, the farmer’s heart and the beer in one hand.   I asked Blake how the lake came about and he explained that it took just three guys to dig out the lake.  They started in November and finished in spring the following year.  This was my first time skiing on a lake made specifically for barefooting and wow, one could easily become spoiled by the amazing water that happens on each run.

I put myself last in the line up again the next day for tricks.  I was a little nervous about doing a flyer, as I had done one only once before down at the WBC.  Paul Stokes had just returned from his run and he gave me some reminders as the rope began to tighten up.  The flyer went perfectly and I managed to get the wave, wave, sit down stand up in.  As soon as I shifted to one foot, bam– I faceplanted.  I had planned two tumble turns on the second pass.  Halfway through the first tumble, I felt as if the handle was going to get away from me so I pulled out of it– stood up for the second tumble– got halfway around and lost the handle.  So much for that run!  But I was happy with the 140– it was a lot better than a zero.

The best part was getting to watch the other gals barefoot.  It was amazing to watch Ariana and Kailey Koehler do their trick runs and absolutely jaw-dropping to watch Elaine Heller and Liz O’Flaherty sail over the jump.  The whole tournament experience was a positive one.  The barefooting community is definitely a warm, welcoming one.  Whatever apprehensions that I had when I arrived– were totally gone by the first hour.   I’m really looking forward to the next tournament!

barefoot scores blue moo

By Karen Putz

A New Barefooter in the Family

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

My son and I got up at five a.m. to head out to Cedar Lake earlier this week.   It would be David’s first time on the boom, and I was looking forward to sharing the sport with my oldest kid for the first time. I was hoping he would be hooked– as I had visions of us barefooting together the rest of the summer.

After the first try, he admitted that the sport was just a tad harder than he expected it to be.  He gripped the boom again for another try.

“Um, son, both feet in the water.  Save the one foots for a little later…”

Ok, the third time just might be the charm:


The boat exploded in applause– a new barefooter just joined the family!  There was a broad smile on David’s face when he climbed into the boat.   An even bigger smile was plastered on my face as I went to hug my son.  “So, what do you think?” I asked.

“It’s cool, Mom!  But I still like wakeboarding better.”


— by Karen Putz

Barefooting Across America Tour Stop #2

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Anytime Fitness National Barefoot Tour Stop #2 is complete! Yet again another wonderful clinic a great set up by Don Simon in Harriman, TN. Footers from all over the United States came to ski at this barefoot clinic.

Ski partners Pete Whitcomb and Chris Ritchie show up for a day on the Emry River and walk away with many new techniques!  Enough information for them to “Chew On” for the rest of the summer.  Our friend Danny Richardson used that tag line at least 30 times per day and I even began to say it over and over!  It’s funny how some people can rub off on you after hanging out for several days in a row.  Pete brought his converse shoes because he was having a hard time standing up. I was confident that he would not need them so we kept those on shore.  I explained a few things to him, got him directly on the boom and he instantly had success!  He then went to the five foot and got up without a problem.  His goal was to stand up behind the boat for the first time on his feet and I made sure we took our time before getting there.  Of course, he had instant success on his first try.  We had to give most of the credit to HeadZone Helmets for the great communication they provide!  Congrats Pete!

All the way from McCordsville, IN Paul Miller. Energetic to say the least, Paul found us on Facebook and noticed we were going to be in Tennessee.  Since he is in sales and TN was part of his territory he decided to take a business trip…wink, wink!  Paul was full of positive energy and successfully completed both toeholds on shoe skis behind the boat.  He also did a toehold on his feet off the five-foot extension.  He also cleaned up his backwards stance at 30mph, which is always a big challenge!

Chris, on-air Personality of the Year – medium market otherwise known as “Chris & Andy” on Country Radio station WVIK-FM came out for the day.  He worked on his one foots and got up backwards six plus times on the shoe skis for the second time ever!  If it is someone’s first few times getting up I tell them to simply get miles under their feet or shoes.  The more miles you can put on the more you can work on positioning and confidence.
Don Simon a young mature man of 73 is still like a kid on the water, he simply loves it. Over the years Don has been doing all that the can to grow the sport of barefoot waterskiing. All that are involved have a great appreciation for Don and his works. Anyone in Tennessee that wants to learn or just ski with some good people, let us know and we will put you in contact with Don.

Here is an article about Don and his knee surgery:  Don Simon, Extreme Sport Enthusiast

A local ski partner of Don Simon’s is young footer Todd Fipps. Todd was intoduced to the sport of barefooting and he is 100% focused on succeeding in 3-event barefooting. Todd is quickly working his way up the ranks. Keep an eye out for this up and comer.

Our most enthusiastic student was Danny Richards from Kernsersville, North Carolina. If you live in the area please let us know, Danny is looking for some barefooters to ski with, he is willing to teach. Danny has a love for the sport like no other, his excitement overflows and makes everyone laugh and feel encouraged. Listening closely to every detail paid off, look what Danny has been working on this week.

The man that has a love/hate relationship with shoe skis :) — Drew Stutphen from Almin, Ohio.  Drew had an uneasy feeling about using shoe skis the first morning, and absolutely did not want anything to do with reverse foot. Keith knew what Drew needed to work on to become a better skier– and reluctantly, Drew followed instruction. By the afternoon set, Drew came to an understanding with what Keith was teaching him and when he was done, he had already ordered a pair of WBC shoe skis from the WorldBarefootCenter. We wish Drew the best this summer and look forward to seeing his progress.

Dr. Jim Murakami also from Amlin, Ohio made the trip down to barefoot with Keith St. Onge.  Jim had great questions and learned tons while at the clinic. Jim and Drew are ski partners and they have plenty to work on this summer. This early in the season clinic will give their skiing a boost for the summer.

Channel 8 News Covers Anytime Fitness Barefoot Tour in TN

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Channel Eight News was on hand at a clinic in Tennessee to capture some barefooting on the Barefooting Across America Tour:

Keith St. Onge– Barefooting in Tennessee

The entire interview:

Keith St. Onge Tricks 13,100 Points

Saturday, May 14th, 2011

The World Barefoot Center team rocked the PGA tournament in Port St. Lucie. Keith St. Onge tricked 13,100 points but his runs did not go through as a pending world record after the tournament officials reviewed it.  David Small was right behind him with 12,500.  USA Water Ski posted an article: St.Onge barefoot skis over 13,000 points but is not a pending world record after review.

This was the first tournament for World Barefoot Center sponsored skier, Chandler Cargile.

A.J. Porreca joined the 10,000 Club (one of only five skiers!)– he tricked 10,100 and slalomed 16.4.

Ben Groen (New Zealand) tricked a personal best of 8,200, setting a new (pending) record for New Zealand.

Ben LaFrance (Canada) tricked 5,600 and slalomed 14.0.

Swampy Bouchard, the World Barefoot Center coach, summed it up: “I am so proud of our team yesterday at the PGA tourney in South Florida, we had 10 team skiers including Chandler Cargile– who entered his first ever tournament. The team yesterday posted 12 PB’s, two pending world records, a pending New Zealand record, broke the 13,000 point mark for the first time in history, and had the 5th skier in the history of the sport to break past 10,000 points.”

Laura Szwed Trains at the World Barefoot Center

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

Laura Szwed is a senior at Castleton State College, studying psychology, but when she’s not deep into her studies, she’s out barefoot water skiing.  She was recently featured in her college newspaper:

Laura Szwed, Walking on Water

A few weeks ago, Laura spent a week at the World Barefoot Center getting ready for the summer’s competitive circuit.  Here’s what she shared about her experience at the World Barefoot Center:

“I had such a great time skiing at the World Barefoot Center this past April!  It was exactly what I needed for a Spring Break– no school work– just my wetsuit!  I learned so much in the week that I was there.  KSO and Small’z were able to get me back into barefoot shape in no time, and they were able to get me doing things that I never thought I would be able to do in a  short amount of time.  They have my best interest at heart and want me to excel in this sport.  They have faith in me and that really helps to motivate me to try and learn tricks that I never thought was possible.”

David Small Jumps Over the Lazy Guys’ Tube

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

The boys at the World Barefoot Center didn’t have anything to do one afternoon, so they decided to have some fun making Small’z work for his jumps:

Watch the action on “Next Level Barefooting,” and check out the GoPro camera view with David Small, Ben Groen, Ben LaFrance, Clement Maillard, and Filippo Ribaldone: