Posts Tagged ‘ben groen’

Barefoot Water Ski School

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

The World Barefoot Center is the #1 Barefoot Ski School to learn how to barefoot water ski for the first time.  The World Barefoot Center has the experience in their staff on and off the water.  Visit the website and follow us on Facebook to learn more about us.  We promote safety, fun and learning the right progressions from the start.  No matter what level of skier you are you’ll be able to learn how to barefoot water ski.  We have taught people that have never water skied before.

If you want more information or have questions please call us at anytime! (863)-877-0039  We offer great summer rates when staying longer than one week.

We also offer traveling clinics from our professionals.  Clinics allow families, friends and clubs to hire us to come to their personal site.  We use your boat and teach from beginners to all levels at your location.  http://www.worldbarefootcenter.com/clinics.html

World Barefoot Center / Barefoot Water Ski School

Ski School Rates:  http://www.worldbarefootcenter.com/rates.html

Best Barefoot Ski School, Biggest Barefoot Ski School & Most Affordable Barefoot Ski School

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

Saying we are the Best Barefoot Ski School may be a little biased, but here are a few reasons we could be considered to be the best:

The best Barefoot Water Skiers in the World own and work at the WBC: David Small and Keith St.Onge have won the last six world titles, Ashleigh Stebbeings is the #1 female barefoot water skier in the world and Ben Groen is ranked #4 in the world.  There are some athletes that should only be athletes and not coaches or instructors but these four individuals have the common sense to be both.  Our instructors will not only provide a great service but they are safety conscious and provide a fun atmosphere in the boat while learning.

We have the best equipment and boats.  We use all Barefoot International products (Boom, Tower, Tower Extension), provide shoe skis and ropes & handles by US Gear.  Our boats are a little older, but that is entirely due to the wear and tear these boats go through on a daily basis.  The Sanger outboards have a flat wake, no chin spray off the side and are powered by brand new Evinrude engines.

The World Barefoot Center is the Largest Barefoot Ski School in the history of the sport.  This is a fact because:

We have four boats, fully equipped.
We have five top-level instructors that have titles as professionals, top four on the ranking list, hold world records, and years of experience.
We have four lakes which we use and can accommodate any wind direction.
We have a fully-stocked pro shop.
Our instructors are available seven days a week.
We pulled 22 skiers in one day, which is a record as far as we have ever heard.

Most Affordable prices:
Our clients can simply do their homework and Google our competitors prices.  The World Barefoot Center prices are the most reasonable, affordable, and fair-priced compared to any other barefoot ski school.

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Georgia Groen, Featured Footer

Monday, November 5th, 2012

Georgia Groen was four-years-old when she set her feet on the water for the first time but she doesn’t remember it. “I got into barefooting because my whole family barefoots,” Georgia said.  When she says her whole family is into the sport, she means it. Ten members of the Groen family all walk on water and they’re quite passionate about the sport. So passionate that they built their own barefooting lake  in New Zealand.

Georgia was eight when she entered her first barefoot tournament.  “I was really excited standing on the dock and just being in a tournament situation,” Georgia recalled. “I think I took 130 points in tricks, and I don’t remember about slalom.”  Georgia remembers what came next: learning to barefoot backwards.  “It was very hard to learn–backwards is very different than forwards–it was hard for me for a while.

As hard as it was to learn to ski backwards, it was even more challenging to learn to jump. “Jumping was the hardest for me. I learned to jump when I was twelve,” said Georgia. “I was really nervous and scared, because my mom had a jump accident.”  Back in 2006, Georgia’s mom, Brenda, crashed head-first into the jump ramp. She spent three months in the hospital and has fully recovered.  Georgia has since learned to approach her jumps with complete confidence and a strong mind.  “If you’re scared, that will control you,” she said. “So forget about being scared and just concentrate. That will keep in you in control.”

During the summer, Georgia is out on the water nearly every day with  her three brothers, Ryan, Mitchell and Tyler.  During the winter months, they pull out the dry suits and continue to ski until they take a month or two off when the cold sets in.  The kids’ dad, Fred, is their coach and driver. “Without my family, I couldn’t be where I am today,” said Georgia.

Before heading out to the 2012 U.S. Nationals and the Worlds, Georgia spent some time at the World Barefoot Center learning how to bring her skills to the next level. Georgia’s cousin, Ben Groen, is one of the instructors at the center.  “Swampy taught me to jump better, I learned all my turns and he taught me some mental control stuff –like to stay humble and to keep trying to better myself,” said Georgia.  Her goal at the 2012 Worlds was to become the Overall Junior Champion and bring home at least one medal in the Open Division.  “The most challenging tournament was this year’s world championship,” she said.  “I competed in two divisions Girls and Womens–and  made it to all the Junior finals and two of the three for the Open.  I took all the gold for the Junior Division and that was awesome.  It was challenging for the Womens Division– I had to fight for that gold in tricks.  I couldn’t believe I did  it until it happened!”

Georgia has some big plans for the future. She wants to become a World Champion in the Womens Division and set a new Junior record in slalom.  “Right now I have one and half more to break it,” she said.  “My best is 14. 4, 16.1 is the record. A  few more to go,  but I will practice. For sure, that’s my goal.”

Georgia in the news:

One News, New Zealand

Otaki Barefooters Land Top Spots

New Girls World Trick Record

Sportswoman of the Year

Emerging Sportswoman Award

The Kapiti Observer: Sportswoman Award

Georgia Smashes Skiing Records

By: Karen Putz

Clinic in California at Diablo Shores with David Small…

Friday, August 10th, 2012

I left the cold weather behind when I left the Twin Cities and landed in to sunny San Francisco where Dave Naddy picked me up.  Jerry Kanawyer sorted the clinic out but as it was his 50th birthday a few days before my arrival he was throwing a party at his house and had to stay behind and organize the band, tents and the other logistical nightmares that go with hosting a party 😉 After leaving the low cloud of the city and driving through the hills we got to Diablo Shores and was greeted with glass clam blue water and not a cloud to be seen…….. perfection!!!!

jerrys bday hat

Shot of the lake on my arrival :)

Jerry and Adin Danneker were skiing all week and are both training for the up coming World Championships in Waco Texas this Summer so it was a pleasure to work with them and get them more competition ready.  Both Jerrys and Adins slalom came on leaps and bounds as well as Adins turns getting a lot better and Jerry figuring out his line step position as well as dabbling with his surface turns.

Jerry and Adin suiting up

Adin showing his jumping skills

Mark Hobson was down most of the week with his 13 year old niece, Mackenzie, who only started bare footing on my last visit last Summer.  She is now getting up long line on her feet, doing sit down and stand ups, starting in to tumble turns, working on her ones foots and starting in to backwards!!! Very proud of you Mac!! Last year Mark couldn’t get up longline backwards or do one foots forwards.  He is now rocking long line back wakes out, back one foots behind the boat, can hall ass on front wakes and can ride toe holds.  If anyone wants to see a guy enthusiastic about bare footing then this is your man…. pleasure to be around and to ski with and I’m looking forward to coming back after Nationals and skiing with him again and possibly seeing his new baby girl if she has arrived by the start of Aug 😉

Mark Hobson showing us how to wake slalom

13 year old Mac ..... its the only pic i had Mac, sorry.... She was getting up long line on her feet but i didn't get a shot

Andy Conway, who is gentile giant was looking good on his backward one foot wake crossings as well as getting a lot more consistent with his front slalom.

At the start dock at the Diablo Shores open tournament

Jenna Gernstein who is 15 years old and trying to qualify to ski in the Junior World Championships also came for a few days.  She lives in San Diago and skies with Art. She has been skiing since she was 3 years old and is very stable out on the water…. and if she practiced her reverses more than once a year would be a very well rounded skier 😉 lol.

Jenna showing off for the camera

After the week clinic Jerry had a tournament at his lake where he had a good turn out as well as putting on a driver and safety clinic after the skiing was done.  There were some good scores posted.  It wasn’t a RC tournament but I skied 13250 in tricks and 19.2 in slalom which I was happy with.

As much as i tried to skydiving while i was there we were starting early in the morning and then by the time we were done the winds always picked up (water was still glass) and the place thats close to Jerrys is notorious for accidents…… I have Swampy in my head telling me he will kill me if i injure myself jumping out of a perfectly good plane so i decided to wait until i return in a month or so :0

charlie not giving up his stick

Written by : David Small

AKA  Small’z

World Barefoot Center 2012 Videos

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

Ben Groen can really walk on water

Are your feet itching to hit the water but you’re stuck inside an air-conditioned building with some time to spare? Here’s a collection of 2012 barefoot water skiing videos produced by Ben Groen from the World Barefoot Center:

Riding the Glass

Barefoot Training Camp

Taking Flight Barefoot

Sunset Footing

Slaloming with the World’s Best

Epic Barefoot Stacks

10-Year-Old Barefoots Backward

My journey back to Kiwi-Land!!!

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

As most of you know, this January I returned to my homeland, New Zealand, for a quick vacation to catch up with family and friends (and a little bit of skiing). After 14 months in the United States, I was shocked at how climatized I had become to the American (and by American I mean mainly “Southern”) culture, without even realizing it. Small things that had once seemed bizarre to me, things like tax not being included in the price displayed, the average vehicle being the size of a small elephant, Police with guns (Not allowed in NZ!!!), and 400lb people wedging themselves into little carts to buzz around Walmart, had become a usual sight for me, and the change when I got home was unreal!!

Walking through the shopping mall when I was home, I was suddenly immersed back into familiar slang, food, and fashion. I know it sounds silly but it really is that obvious! People walking past in Stubbies, a singlet, and jandals (Roughly translated, that would be short, thigh length shorts used for playing rugby, a beater/tank top, and flip flops), or all the cafes, wedged between every second or third shop, with folks sitting outside stopping for a quick coffee and “sammy” (Sandwich) on their lunch break.

Walking through Wellington city in the late afternoon/evening it was just nice to see people finishing their days at work or Uni (college) sitting down in parks, or big open areas of grass, just unwinding. A group of young guys throwing a rugby ball or Frisbee around, or a few stranglers with their noses in books, or some people just there to people watch, as everyone made their commute home, either by foot, or what seemed like the second most popular mode of transport – skateboard. I guess the only place I’ve really seen with a similar culture like this in my time in the States would be San Fran.

Anyway, that’s enough about culture. I was only home a matter of hours before I was reminded as to what made Florida so appealing. The infamous Wellington winds started gusting up, turning our lake into something similar to the ocean, with the temperature being cold enough for a Floridian local to dress in snow gear. In actual fact, it was still around 60-65 degrees – but that’s cold enough!!! Luckily the winds gave up and we were granted beautiful water, sadly the not-so-warmness hung around. One big thing about New Zealand that you have to be really careful about, apart from speed cameras, is the sun. There is a big hole in the ozone above New Zealand, and it makes a big difference!! In Florida you can happily sit out in the sun for 3 hours – unless your last name is Small or St. Onge -and you may get a little pink, but you won’t notice it too much. In New Zealand however, if you don’t slop that sunscreen on, those 3 hours will nuke you!! I made that mistake the second day I was back, falling asleep in the warm sun for only two hours in nothing but shorts, and after my entire body shedding a layer or so of skin, six weeks later, and I am still rocking distinctive tan lines halfway up my legs!!

As far as the quality of skiing goes in New Zealand, I will admit we are a little behind the times, with anyone who can do a Front to Back automatically advancing to being one of the best trickers in the country. And with fairness – that front to back is a sucker to learn!!! But these days, we’re starting to catch up with the rest of the world, with more kiwis travelling out to Florida to ski with us at the World Barefoot Center and taking what they learn home, modern coaching techniques have been introduced and its great to see a group of young kids coming up, learning the correct way. What was once just another ski school, the name barely memorable only a couple of years ago, has now become an icon for barefooting back in New Zealand, helped greatly with today’s social media, and more importantly, the results of the skiers that come back after weeks/months of training at the school!!!

So, even though there are some major differences dividing these two countries from one another, there is also one big similarity – the passion for barefoot water skiing, and the huge sense of family you get from anyone else involved in this great sport, no matter where you are on the planet. The greatest thing I think I noticed while in New Zealand was the general level of skiing, as us kiwis move into the modern era of footing, all thanks to what’s been going on here at the school. As far as myself goes, the journey I have taken personally here at the ski school has been a life changing one, with life-lasting friendships being formed, finding a second family, a second home, and a whole new platform for my skiing.

And as much as I have loved every minute of this trip….it’s always nice to go home :)

– Ben Groen, New Zealand

Surface Turns on my Bare Feet!

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

Turns are a BIG part of barefoot water skiing. Before you can even begin to learn turns, you must learn all of the basics. I had to have all of my one foots and toe holds down. Swampy told me I had to be able to trick over 2000 points without doing turns. My trick run would be toe up, toe hold, toe hold, 360 tumble to 1, 360 tumble to 1, one foot, one foot, hop, sit down stand up to 1, sit down stand up to 1, sit down stand up to 2, then I would do a back deep, get into line step position and do one foot, one foot, hop, (get out of line step) back toe hold, back toe hold. All of the basics really help with turns, especially the front and back toe holds. Once you have mastered the basics and are solid with it all, you are ready for turns. The reason you must learn the basics first is so that you do not pick up any bad habits, because bad habits are very hard to break. It’ll be easier if you just learn the right way.

My first front-to-back came as a real shock. About four days before I did it, I had worked nothing but back toe-holds and line step position. I was already solid on my front one foots and toe holds. After finally getting my line step, one, one, hop, back toe, back toe, I was able to start learning turns. I had done turns on the WBC shoe skis before, but it was a long time ago, and they weren’t consistent. One morning, A.J. and Ben took me out for a set of turns on the WBC shoe skis, and it went very well. My basic front to back was my best turn out of all four of them. For the rest of that day I had just kept working turns on the shoe skies.

The next day, Swampy and A.J. took me out to try a couple turns on my feet; just to get the feel of them. As I jumped in the water, A.J. told me that turning on your feet and turning on the shoe skis are not much different. He also told me not to over think it, because once you start to think about it, you’re not going to make it. So I got up and just pictured myself on the shoe skis. I turned with my pivot foot and made my first front to back. I had made it on my first attempt. I was so shocked and didn’t know what to think, say or do, so I just floated in the water laughing. I was SPEECHLESS and EXCITED!! As soon as I made that turn, I was so surprised that I looked at the camera, as I was skiing backwards, and said something I probably shouldn’t have. Once I had made the first one, I tried a few more, but failed the rest. Two days later, I went out with Ben and Brody Meskers and made two more front to backs and my first back to front. One of the main things that help THE MOST is to just not think about it; just do it. I want to thank Swampy, A.J., Ben, Keith and Dave for a fun week and teaching me all that they did!

By: Chandler Cargile Chandler Cargile makes Front to Back!

Ben Groen, Back in the USA

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

Ben Groen is back at the World Barefoot Center after spending a few weeks back home in New Zealand.  Before he left, he took one last spin on the water.  What a spin it was!

Check out the cool camera footage taken with the GoPro camera:

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.

Women’s Barefoot Week 2011 Highlights

Monday, November 7th, 2011

The 2011 Women’s Barefoot Week started off with a rainy Halloween, but the gals got into the spirit donning some costumes. The boys, David Small, Keith St. Onge and Swampy joined in on the fun. The gals planned to barefoot in the costumes, but with the rain coming down, that idea was tossed out.   Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz (Karen Putz) had painted red glitter shoes on her feet, cinching her for the “Best Halloween Costume.”

The gals came from all over– including Mandy Wood, who managed a 27 hour trip from Australia.  Judy Myers was recovering from knee surgery and after duct-taping her $1,400 brace, she went out and did  everything she could do before–including a long line back deep and back toe hold.  (Yeah, she’s baaaaack!)  Joann O’Connor employed the Patience, Persistence and Perseverance policy all week long as she worked on her back deep on a 15-foot line–she spurred the rest of us on!  “My new trick was learning to do one foot cut outs  on shoes– KSO had me doing them like a pro on my fused ankle!” said Joann. “I never even thought I could go one foot on that side, but the cutting angle works great. I can’t go straight on that foot but I will be able to learn one foot wakes!”

Claudia Landon worked on her back one foots with both feet.  Sharon Carlson was nursing a sore knee, but she joined Claudia in the quest for back one foots along with Mandy. “I’m very excited that I did back one- foot–I picked it up, and put it down three times in a row in one pass,” said Claudia.  “According to John MacDonald, the 82 year old from Texas whom we ski with in the summer– after you do a trick three times in a row, you own it!”

Debbie Fahrenthold was back on the water for the first time– five years after surgery for a brain tumor.  She tackled the water with gusto, first on shoes, then her feet, and even on one foot with shoes!  Carolyn Scott nailed her back deep on the short line and tackled some forward wakes.   Karen Putz accomplished her first back toe hold on shoes– and Keith introduced her to a couple of back-to-fronts on the last set (she still has to learn to ride them out.) Diane Schaupp was the youngest gal in the group. She worked on wakes– both forwards and backwards, and succeeded in a back one foot crossing on a shoe!

“The best part of women’s week was meeting some incredibly inspirational women,” said Diane. “All you ladies have had some difficulty that you’ve had to overcome in life. It would be easy to use a fused ankle or screws in the wrist or being deaf as an excuse to not get out there on the water–but instead, these difficulties are used as a reason to work harder and keep trying to accomplish new tricks.  For me, the two days I spent with you ladies was more than just about learning new tricks on the water… it was about an unexpected lesson in life… and one I’ll never forget.”

A special thanks to Women’s Barefoot Week sponsors:  Vibram5Fingers, Coconut Bliss, Badger Balm, and Popchips — it was a great week!

WOMENS WEEK 2011 from WorldBarefootCenter on Vimeo.

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