Posts Tagged ‘barefooting’

Will Leigh – Moving Lakeside

Monday, December 14th, 2015

Recently my family and I were fortunate enough to be able to move from my parent’s farm in the country side, into the house on our lake side farm. By doing this I am now able to be a day student at the school I attend, compared to being a border which only allowed me to come home on the weekends. This has given me the opportunity to ski before going to school in the morning. Being able to ski more has helped me so much with enhancing my skiing ability heading into the summer. A big thank you to mum and dad for making this decision.

By William Leigh


Sam Meredith: World Barefoot Center Visit Oct/Nov 2015

Monday, November 30th, 2015

This year my trip to WBC was for 3 main reasons; to ski, go on Smallz stag and to be there for Tabbs & Smallz Wedding Day. Before I arrived at the WBC I set myself a couple of targets for my trip. I wanted to successfully complete back toe holds on my feet and to also get more comfortable skiing backwards. I had a quiet summer season skiing in the UK, so this was only the third time to be back on the water this year.

The first week was a really tough week which consisted of a lot of slaps and face-plants, mainly trying to ride one foots backwards. Every time I lifted my one foot up especially on the reverse, I would get defensive and start to dive away by pushing on my toes. Two of the most important things I learnt during the first week which helped me the most was to SLOW everything down and to push straight down on my standing foot rather than ploughing through the water and pushing out. After a few failed attempts I relaxed, slowed everything down and the one foots became so much easier and less painful. I even managed to ride a few passes without falling.

After three full days of skiing I was ready for a break as my body was not ski fit. One thing I learnt is you can’t really get ski fit in a gym, nothing can prepare your body on the water more then simply skiing a lot. Before the boys headed off for the weekend stag break, a group of us at the school all went out for a night ski. I have always wanted to night ski, it was a wicked night.



After Las Vegas I couldn’t wait to get back on the water! With my main goal still in mind, I was on a mission to complete a few back toe holds before I went back to the UK. After the 3 day stag break I started getting much more comfortable skiing backwards. I even surprised myself by successfully completing backwards slalom both on the shoe skis and on my feet for the first time. Doing backwards longline and mixing it up with slalom helped me a lot. On one of my last mornings when I was out with Dave Small he had me doing a pass of back ones and back toe holds on my feet. I was concentrating on not diving away and keeping flat on my foot and I managed to do two or three back toes. It felt AWESOME! The last few days I worked on my slalom and jump. The whole trip and the training made me think about how much I need to start training more in the UK.

– By Sam Meredith

James Callahan: Sailing Trip 2015

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

I recently got back from a sailing trip to the Bahamas. We sailed around the Abaco Islands, which are absolutely jaw dropping beautiful. In my opinion our family did pretty good at sailing, I mean we went 7.7 knots (8.86 miles per hour). One thing that really surprised me was how the beaches were completely vacant.  I’m not complaining but the whole beautiful beach was to yourself.  It was a little weird.

Also the snorkeling there was amazing, you can already see straight down to the sand in 15 feet of water.  You can see but with goggles on its like you can’t tell the difference between normally seeing and under water.

The Bahamians are spectacular people there always willing to help and start a conversation with you. Even though they’re hard to understand sometimes because they talk so fast. The food in the Bahamas was remarkable. The fish, and conch was the best. We went to this spot called Two Shorty’s in New Plymouth, Green Turtle Cay and they had the best fried conch. After like ten minutes since we ordered we could here her making a cracking noise in the back, at first we were wondering what it was but then we realized that is was the conch she was hand pounding to tenderize it. It was mind blowing it tastes so good let alone the sauce.

We sailed to an island where there are wild pigs that you can feed so we did. After we gave them all of our food that we brought with us we went snorkeling around the island it wasn’t very good so we walked back to our dingy and guess who we saw. Bradley Cooper, Bradley Cooper was the actor in Hang Over and American Sniper. Yeah it was just our family and Bradley Cooper on a beach Even though it was so much fun it took a few days to get used to sleeping on the sailboat. It was a little hard but I think I had the best bed in the boat. It was a couch/table eating area so we just lowered the table and put cushions over it and there I slept. The best part about it though was the breeze that came through the top window, it deflected a lot wind right at me and it was nice on the hot days. Another thing I had to get used to was the waves rocking you back and forth.

-Sleeping on sailboat

-visiting pigs on No Name Cay and Bradley Cooper


Kenneth Eissler – German Nationals

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015


The German Nationals took place from the 12th until the 14th of July, 2015 in Röllfeld am Main which is near Frankfurt. The open Skier Stefan Weigand organised a very big event. We arrived at a camping place on Thursday afternoon and couldn`t believe what we saw: The competition hadn`t even started but there were already spectators, big tents, sponsor signs and everything you need for a great weekend.

Usually the German Nationals are a more familiar event but Stefan had another plan for the competition this year. The weather was also perfect so we started with the trick and slalom events on Friday. Even the life stream worked so the spectators could watch what happens behind the boat. On Saturday morning the German TV came and interviewed a few skiers and filmed a lot.

The competition was going very well and in the afternoon the excitement got even bigger. We were starting to get ready for the first round of Jumping, when hundreds of people started rolling in to came and watch us jump. They were fascinated by the sport and especially the invert jumpers caught their attention. Lukas Heiss, Stefan Weigand, Frank Renelt, Chris Kurz and I had a hard fight for the gold medal in Jumping.

I really enjoyed skiing in front of so many people because it gives you a great feeling, it makes all the hard training worth it. In the above  picture you can see my 22.6 metres jump from the competition and in the background there are all the people who were there supporting us. All in all it was an amazing weekend and in my opinion the best German nationals I skied so far because it really pushed our sport forward and made it more famous in Germany.

Thanks again for everyone who made it possible!

by Kenneth Eissler

Carol Jackson – Other Sports That Complement Barefooting

Sunday, November 15th, 2015


Barefoot Water skiers as athletes must maintain a level of strength to ski and prevent injury. Working the upper body, core and lower body is essential. Balance can be improved being involved in other complementary sports.

Some sports you might try are as follows:

  • Rollerblading
  • Indo Board
  • Horse Back Riding
  • Bicycling
  • Tennis
  • Slalom (3 event)
  • Wake boarding
  • Trick skiing

It is always good to cross train between sports particularly in the off season.

– by Carol Jackson

James Callahan – New Boat

Saturday, November 14th, 2015

I’m so excited because we got a new boat from Idaho. It’s a Malibu Flightcraft and it’s a really nice boat because it can get you out of the water really quick and that makes it easy to get up. It also has an outboard so it goes really fast and has a small wake. It’s a lot easier to practice barefooting now that we have two boats.  I can ski in a lake 8 minutes away from my house in Minnesota and my family also has a cabin in Wisconsin.

Our new boat is actually an “old” boat, a 1998 barefoot competition boat.  My Dad had a similar boat when he was a kid growing up. They are hard to find so we were happy when we found it.  It’s nice to have a boat that can do the same things as the ones at WBC.  My Dad is trying to teach my sister to drive so she can take me skiing any time I want.  I love being on the water, so I hope she figures it out soon.

By James Callahan


NSSA D1 & D2 National Tournament Barefoot Awards

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

The World Barefoot Center sponsored the Highest Scoring Barefoot Act Award at the 2015 Division 1 Show Ski National Tournament and also the 2015 Division 2 Show Ski National Tournament! The skiers really look forward to see who will win this award, since all teams can have the opportunity!

The 2015 Awards winners were as follows:

  • D1 award went to the Aquanut Water Shows
  • D2 award went to the Wisconsin Rapids Aqua Skiers

Congratulations from WBC to all the winners.2015 D1 & D2 Barefoot Thank you - KSO-WBC (1)

James Callahan: My First Barefoot Nationals

Friday, August 21st, 2015

I recently participated in my first Barefoot Nationals Tournament at Blue Moo Lake in Alma Center, Wisconsin. It was so much fun and everyone was so nice and helpful. The judges and the driver made me feel a lot better and I was not as nervous as I was before.  After I was done everyone was congratulating me.

I received my first medal.  I got silver in tricks and slalom.  Everyone was cheering and clapping and I felt very proud of myself scoring a new personal best in slalom.  Of course, I would’ve like to have gold, but I was glad the gold went to Brice Storman – my fellow WBC teammate.

Some of the highlights were seeing veteran barefooter, Jim Boyette,  who has gone to every Barefoot Nationals, since the 70s.  Also, it was awesome watching Landen Ehlers shatter his pb (personal best) in Slalom and Tricks.  KSO makes everything look so easy.  It was especially cool watching the night jumping.  After going to regionals and nationals, I realized how welcoming and supportive the barefoot community is.  I’m glad I picked up this sport.
Congratulations to Ashleigh on her pending World Record in slalom.  Also, a major shout out to all the instructors at WBC for their great instruction. Thanks and I look forward to working towards my goal of qualifying for Worlds back at Blue Moo Lake in 2016.
James Callahan

Duane Godfrey – New Zealand

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

When we exchange contact info at ski schools or competitions, pledging to meet again, I am very fortunate being able to travel and visit fellow skiers.

My recent trips to NZ were highlighted through spending time with Kathy and Roger Duxfield. These two are the ultimate hosts/tour guides and we had a wonderful time experiencing this beautiful country. Every day was a complete pleasure and full of two things I love – exercise and seeing new things.


On my first arrival in early Dec, I hiked for a few days then got hold of Kathy and met her and her son Jaydn at their ski lake – the Piarere Waterski Club. We both did a bit of skiing and earned my first NZ waterski federation badge. It is a very interesting site and we enjoyed just cruising around the Lake while Kathy gave us a guided tour of location and showed us around the club where they hold their tournaments.


Later in Jan after my daughter’s wedding in Tauranga, we drove down to Putaruru and spent a few days with Kathy and Roger. Roger is jack of all trades and master of all – has lived an exciting life and could keep us entertained with his ongoing adventures and misadventures through his travels and endeavors all around the world. Early the first morn we took in the twice daily milking of approx 250 cows while Roger explained all that goes into ensuring quality control through a computerized system – all brand new to this city slicker. We went into town that afternoon to drop off a couple bicycles for repair then walked around town while Kathy saw a chiropractor about her neck injury – pretty unfortunate and we will all hope she recovers soon.


Kathy and Roger were busy planning day trips and they almost got us way up island for some scuba diving. The tanks were sold out so we opted to stay down south for a hike along the Terawera trail with Kathy’s healthy and fit parents. The hike has you follow the river downstream and it literally disappears down a few holes; you can hear and feel it rumbling after it vanishes. About 1/2 Km later it reappears blasting out of a mountain face.


The water is a beautiful blue and forms quiet pools with a deceptively strong current in the middle. There I totally skinned my knuckle to the bone with an unsuccessful Tarzan rope entry into one of the pools. (This was preceded by bruised face and back from perfect 3/4 gainer and splendid 1 and 1/4 back flip layout from a cliff at Mclaren Falls…I defy anyone to duplicate this feat!)


On our last day, Kathy drove with us to the Waitomo caves and got us a great deal on a tour of the caves famous for the glowworms. We departed north bound in two vehicles and stopped in the visit Peter and Teresa Old who have turned a quarry into a world class ski lake. Again, typical NZ hospitality while enjoying the company and scenery from the deck of their lakehouse. Peter ran me down the lake a few times behind his Sanger with SFH.


To top off the trip I rocketed down his 100m waterslide, thinking as surfaced in the lake “gee the water is really itchy”!  That itch was two elbows totally skinned in my not have sense to keep my arms tucked in as I approached terminal velocity. A quick coating of polysporin and off we raced for AKL and the trip home. Numerous reapplications of polysporin over the next month gave a nice reminder of how much fun we had…and look forward to more, though forewarned of proper bobsled technique and maybe brushing up on vine swinging and the high divin’ act.


Twas a great trip. Many thanks to the Duxfields and this sport of barefoot skiing that attracts quality folk and creates friendship with like minded people from all over the world.

– By Duane Godfrey


Alex Youngblood – One Barefooting Season

Monday, June 22nd, 2015

You learn A LOT in one barefoot season. So you can never misuse it. You have to be committed to it. I was really set on learning the toe up this year, but I got a really late start, I didn’t start training till the start of July. So I struggled in the time I had, but when I went out to practice, I never put this trick off. I didn’t spend my whole set on it, but I practiced it every time I went out. I struggled with it, so then me and my dad looked for some ways to make it easier, and we found a method that sounded less rough. So it was about middle September, one of our last runs of the barefoot season. I went out and when I went to do the toe up, all of those days I worked and practiced finally paid off, I stood up, and got out of the toe strap steadily. I had just done a Front toe up! I was really happy. But I learned a bunch from that trick. IF you want something, you have to be committed and go for it. My dad said to me “Alex, this stuff doesn’t happen overnight; you have to put your time and work into it.” It’s true, you learn a lot on one barefoot season.