Posts Tagged ‘best barefoot instructor’

Chris McWatters: Who’s the Best WBC Instructor?

Friday, April 18th, 2014

Over the last two years I have had the fortunate opportunity to ski with many different people from all over the world. One question that I have been asked multiple times is “who’s the best instructor?” Now this question has to be answered very carefully, because if it is not and the answer you give gets back to the crew, well the next ski set could become rather uncomfortable. Writing this article I feel like I am walking a thin line, but I am running out of material to write about, so I am going to try to tackle this obstacle.

Now the safest answer to this question is “they are all good” and that is true, all are very good. Of course the “all” being KSO, Smallz, Ben, Ash, and A.J. and let us not forget Swampy. This answer is pretty general and broad, and could be better defined. I can say that for the most part I have skied equal amounts between all of them with the exception of Swampy, but all the information about your skiing gets back to Swamp so it is like he is in the boat all the time.

It is important to mention that there are two different types of people in the boat. Sponsored skiers and students. Sponsored skiers are on a training schedule with a set regiment and are to do what you are told to do where students are there to square up basics or learn a few new things based on their skill level and wants. So, sponsored skiers and students are not instructed in the same fashion.

That being said, it brings me back to the question at hand. They are all very good at this sport, but being great at a sport and being able to share that knowledge don’t always go hand in hand. Fortunately for this crew, it does go hand in hand. They are great and they know how to share the knowledge. Whether you are student working on basics, or you are a sponsored skier working on more advanced items, all these guys and gal have a great eye and are able to spot what it is you are doing wrong. The real challenge is how can the instructors get you to do what it is that you want to learn with the least amount of pain and failure. Each of them are very successful at doing just that, and each have their own bags of tricks and ways of explaining every aspect of barefoot watersking to insure a positive learning experience at the world’s greatest barefoot training center.

I personally do not have one particular instructor I prefer over another, I think that they are all great and I enjoy skiing with each and everyone one of them. Yes, even with Swampy and that DAMN stop watch. They always have a way to get the best out of you. Well, maybe not right away but in short order. It is truly an honor to be a sponsored skier at the World Barefoot Center and I recommend to anyone, no matter the age, that has an interest in barefoot watersking whether it is for the first time, to square up the basics or advancing to the next level, call the WBC and join us here in Winterhaven, Florida for a wonderful experience and a chance to meet the best in the world.

Chris Mcwatters

Getting to Know Ben Groen

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

The name, Ben Groen, is starting to get pretty big around the World Barefoot Center. You see his name on all of our video’s, You see him in the boat, coaching and instructing skiers of all ages and abilities. You see him on the phone taking care of customers and all over the school taking care of business.

Ben is 22 years old and he is from New Zealand. The Groen name is famous in the barefooting circles, as his Dad Rob and uncle Fred have been involved in the sport for over 30 years and are still deeply involved to this day.  Ben first came to the school when he was 18 for what was suppose to be a one week stay, which ended up being being a six week stay. In those first six weeks with us at the World Barefoot Center his trick scores went from the mid 2000’s to around 5000 points.  We were so impressed with him as a young man that we decided to sponsor him. He came back to the school a few months later but this time he stayed for three months. To make a long story short, we all continued to be so impressed with this young man that we started working on making him a full time fixture at the school.  We started working on getting him a three-year sports visa, with the support of his parents Rob and Wendy Groen. And as you now see, the rest is history.

On a personal level, I love this kid and am very proud to be like a second father to him with the support of his wonderful parents.

On the water, he has a great attitude and works as hard anyone else who I have ever coached. He loves the sport, and when he is not on the water, you will see him watching his videos and doing his dry land practice. He is a true student of the sport and it has all paid off as he is one of only a handful of skiers who has ever tricked over 10500 points in the history of the sport.  In the last two years, he has been bouncing between being ranked the 3rd and 4th best overall skier in the world–with only the two greatest skiers ever, David Small and Keith St. Onge, being ahead of him.

In the boat, he has also become one of the most respected coaches and instructors in the sport. The feedback from all of our students at the ski school from first timers to top competitors is just amazing–everyone just loves skiing with Ben and they all learn so much from him. He has truly become one of the worlds best instructors.

Ben is a very unique and gifted person, big hearted, and very friendly.  He has some of the best people skills that I have ever seen. He is very unselfish and always goes out of his way to take care of people and our furry family members around the school. (Yes, he is a big animal lover.)

He is so mature for his age that I always tell people that he is 22 going on 40. Off the water he is involved in every aspect of the business and I would trust this kid with anything. A hard worker and a quick learner and with people skills second to none and then throw in loyalty and a true love for what he does you then have someone who is worth a ton to the business, a person that can not be replaced with ease. So we at the world barefoot center realizing this have made Ben a partner in the business and Ben has now applied for a green card to be a long term part of this great business that we are building.
So there you have it.

Ben Groen is from a great family with great parents
Is one of the top skiers and instructors in the world
Is one of the friendliest and caring persons that you’ll ever meet
And at 22 is also a part owner of the largest barefoot water sking schools in the world
We are so lucky to have him and I am so proud to be coaching and to be involved in the life of one of the finest young men that you’ll ever meet.
Swampy Bouchard