Posts Tagged ‘Best Teaching’

Easiest & Safest way to Learn Barefoot Water Skiing!

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

The World Barefoot Center Ski School located minutes from LegoLand in Winter Haven, FL teaches our students the best, easiest and safest way to learn. We will either start our first timers on a swing, which hangs from the boom, off a Wakeboard or doing a start off the boom while riding on the padding of a barefoot suit. Experience will determine the start method we use. If a student has never barefoot skied they will start on the swing, which guarantees no falls! If the skier is fit and more daring they can start with the front start in a barefoot suit. The wakeboard start is a happy medium.

Here is a link to the Wake Board Barefoot Start.

Keith St.Onge

South Carolina Barefoot Clinic with David Small

Sunday, July 31st, 2011

I had a few days come open in my Summer schedule so I got in touch with Ron Meekes to see if he would want me to come back down to his place for a couple of days.  He asked around and filled the spots within the day so we booked the flight and headed on down.

A few of the crew plus a random guy from the bank that we picked up.... we made his year :)

Ron had the Southern regional championships down on Lake David in Groveland, FL the following weekend so we worked a lot on his trick runs.  His back toe holds on the long line got more efficient as well as figuring out how to make a flying back deep water start not any more complicated than a regular back deep.  He had been struggling with his backward wake crossings so we started out correcting his position on some cut out and then brought these techniques to the wake crossings.  After the second day he was keeping both feet up consistently the whole way down the passes!!!  On one morning we headed out and took ron over the ramp a few times to get him ready for the comp.  He figured out that he did not need to come in to the jump defensive and kick it as hard as possible but to stay on top of his feet (while in a safe position) and simply ride as much of the ramp as possible!

Ron Meekes, the clinic organizer, doing some back toe hold drills

Rons partner in crime, Becki Welsh skied up a storm.  She is an extremely clean skier so I was constantly trying to get her to ski a little bit ‘dirtier’ so that she did not take any unnecessary falls.  Becki managed to get both of her one foot stand ups on her feet as well as getting up backwards consistently!!  Way to go Beck!!

Becki Welsh and Jim Miller watching the other skiers and waiting for their set to come back around

Pat Vella is new to footing but got up on the 5 foot rope on his feet and managed to get his backwards plant on the WBC shoe skis, all in a day!!

Tom Gabey who used to be big in to barefooting until about 10 years ago came out of the woodwork and hit the water after a long stint of not skiing!  He could still go out there and rock out a lot of the tricks he was doing while he was skiing in Nationals etc etc.  He learned all of his stuff back in the day so his style was very ‘old school’.  He wanted to work on his turns and see if we could get them consistent.  He stepped through the spray on most of his turns as well as leading with his head and shoulders so we got him on one shoe ski so that he had no option but to be on the ‘correct’ pivot foot and in just doing this he cleaned up his turns and got him motivated to start skiing again.  Its amazing what happens when new teaching techniques are introduced making barefooting easier which, in turn makes the skier want to ski more 😉  Love it!  Good to see you back on the water Tom!

Chris Fousd also wanted to work on his turns and we also managed to get him to step over on his turns and keep his shoulders level.  I have never seen a guy love doing a backwards toe up as much as Chris does!!  His own little bit of freestyle J At every opportunity he flips over and stands up in his backwards toe hold!!  Very impressive!

Shauwn Sheely skied both days I was there and just wanted to work on his surface turns.  Lat time I was there I made him do 31 turns on his feet.  When I told him what he had to do he wasn’t overly enthusiastic but once he completed the turns he was ecstatic.  Anyway, Shauwn was getting his 4 turns behind the boat on his feet consistently after the couple of days and can now look forward to the joys of learning some multiple turns and expanding his trick run!!

Jim Miller up backwards

Jim also showing us what no man should do...... pee in his suit

Jim Millers ‘thing’ for a while has been getting up backwards.  He had a bit of a confidence issue to start with but after a few talks and progression on the backwards I saw a complete turn around in his attitude towards not only skiing but in himself as a person! He was going out there and believeing that he could get up and loan and behold he managed to get up on his feet backward on the 5 foot and backwards on the WBC shoe skis on the long line!!  Keep that attitude up Jim and stop peeing in your suit ;))

Last but not least we had a special visit from Don Simon.  Don is in his late 60s and still hitting the water hard.  It was a great privilege to see Don ski and do his front one foots, tumble turns and backwards with ease!!!  He is a great ambassador for the sport and is continuing to build the sport as best he can which is great to see!  Thank you Don!

Don Simon getting ready to ski

I had a great few days down there and had the best food!!  Ron and Becki are excellent hosts and its always a pleasure to head down there and see them!

This random guy watched us for a couple of hours on the bank so we picked him up so he could have an up close and personal look at footing.... he LOVED it!!

Written by David Small

HeadZone Helmets, Communication in the Water Ski World.

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

BEND YOUR KNEES!  ARMS STRAIGHT!  EYES UP!  That’s me, Keith St.Onge yelling at my students from the boat four years ago.   I had to yell at the top of my lungs to get my students attention and quite frankly I was fed up with it.  Most times the skier could not hear me and if they did, I was more of a distraction then an instructor.  It felt like I was scolding these barefoot skiers and possibly scaring them at the same time.  I then developed my own sign language to communicate but half the time they would only catch a portion of my symbol.  Simply too many distractions!  “How can my dream job be such a nightmare?” I would say.
Jackie St.Onge

I met Mark Ellis, president of HeadZone four years ago and he has changed my life for the better…forever!  I used the HeadZone communication device when they first hit the market and instantly fell in love with the product.  I can now use this system to easily communicate with my clients while they are performing the maneuvers they want to learn.  I simply talk into the microphone, which sends my instruction through the helmet.  The student does not have to look at me or try to figure out my sign language.  I like to explain this situation as a “Reaction.”  The student reacts to my instruction instead of having to think about what do to.  Many of my clients tell me “It seems like you’re in my head.” Haha, I laugh and say, “That’s because I am!”

With HeadZone I can cut the learning curve in half and accomplish in one run, what use to take three to eight runs.  Not only that but my students do not take unnecessary falls.  I’m able to critique their position before something bad happens and beginners learn instantly because of my ability to response quickly.

You might be asking what type of water resistance this helmet may have?  HeadZone is fully waterproof and can withstand all impacts on the water.  Many times it helps break a fall with less impact being diverted from the head.  The helmet molds tightly to the skull and does not catch or bucket the water.

We are proud to be affiliated with HeadZone and take pride in using this product at the World Barfoot Center!  Come down to sunny, Winter Haven, Florida and allow us to guide you from all levels of barefoot skiing.  The future has arrived and we are embracing it…you should too!

By: Keith St.Onge, 2x World Champion, 11x National Champion

GEAR REVIEW – HEADZONE HELMET from WorldBarefootCenter on Vimeo.