Posts Tagged ‘best water ski school’

2012 US Nationals from Mike Holts, “Holtzy”, eyes.

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

Sunday Evening August 5th, 2012

I arrived in Waco, Texas today about 12 noon. I want to get familiar with the time zone, the site, boat, equipment, and the water so that I’m most prepared to ski the 2012 National Barefoot Championships.

I stopped at the site today; the entry gate to the facility was locked. Did that stop me? I DON’T THINK SO. So I quickly developed Plan B to figured a way in; I parked the car, squeezed past the gate and walked about ½ mile and found ‘life,’ Heath Cooper my buddy who installed the 409 PCM motor in my boat two years ago, I love this guy.

Mike Holt from tumble up flyer

Heath gave me a tour of the facility, there is a water-ski cable par, multiple water ski lakes, and some special breed animals; it’s an amazing venue –  HYPERLINK “http://www.barefootskiranch.com/” \o “http://www.barefootskiranch.com/” http://www.barefootskiranch.com/.

The facility has two ski lakes; Lake 1 is long and wide; the good part is that the length gives the skier lots of set up time, but bad part is that when the wind pick up, the lake can get choppy. Lake 2 is shorter and narrow; the bad news is that the short length requires a quick ‘set up’ which places pressure on the skiers to rush. Short set up can cause a skier to loose concentration, often without positive results. The good news is that the water should be less choppy in Lake 2.

After the tour, I see my former ski partner David Small, the current three-time World Champion. We hang out for an hour or so; it was very enjoyable and we plan to ski in the morning. This is why I arrived early; find someone to give me some pulls behind the boat on the water I’ll be competing, but to have the current World Champion be my driver/coach was beyond what I was praying for. David and I planned on dinner later tonight and maybe some ‘night barefooting.’

David Small jumping

I get to my room, the air is cool, and I’m excited to just chill out for the evening. THEN I realize that I’m to meet David for dinner at 8 pm and ‘night barefooting.’ I’m thinking … I don’t think those are good ideas now that I’m in my room.

Problem solved, I text David and blow him off; I’m at peace with my decision because I want to be ready for some serious practice in the morning. A few hours later I get a call from another ski buddy and he wants me to go to the site to do some skiing, but again I’m comfortable just relaxing tonight, so I blow him off.

Monday August 6th, 2012

I stopped by the site today to ski with David Small, I have a knot in my stomach and I’m stressed out; my big concerns in skiing at a different venue behind a different boat include:

How is the ‘table’ behind the boat?

What is the top speed can I expect?

How fast does the boat get me ‘out of the hole’?

Overall how do I feel?

What does the water feel like?

The answers were all very positive.

The wake is ‘no worries’.

I need 46.5 mph in slalom and the boat is fine.

The pull out of the ‘hole’ was soft and I need to adjust my call.

The water is interesting, the temperature is hotter and the water feels ‘soft.’ Not sure what to do, maybe I should ‘up’ my speed.

It was just David and I and felt like old times, I feel better now after practice, handle at the end of all runs.

Tuesday August 7th, 2012

Stopped by the site today and skied with Keith St Onge (KSO) who is a two-time World Champion and No. 1 rated skier in the world with his wife Lauren St Onge (she’s so sweet). I’m not relaxed because it’s hard to ski with a World Champion and be relaxed, but I do feel better knowing the venue, what to expect from the boat, and the water.

WHAT do you mean we are not skiing today behind the boat I skied behind yesterday! Great, skiing with KSO and now I have to start all over again ‘testing.’ KSO skies amazing (I feel so small). I’m very pleased with this boat, except the boat doesn’t get 46.5 mph; it’s a max of 45… not good. The water feels soft and I’m confused, do I call for more speed than normal, or stick with my standard call… big question.

I’m judging for the first time at these Nationals, so I spend 4 hours reviewing videos of skiers so that I can be prepared for the next day assignments.

Wednesday July 8th 2012

I wake up early to do more video review, have a great breakfast and go to the site to ‘hang’ with my barefooting ‘tribe members; We ‘get it,’ we understand the years of commitment to excellence, the sacrifices required, overcoming injuries, pain, disappointments along the way, we all want to do out best, but sometimes we show our worst. Competitive barefooting can be a terrible ‘head game….’

A few hours pass and I’m in boat to judge; I’m satisfied with my performance, I’m prepared. After an hour break I go into the next ‘boat crew’ to judge Open Pro Men in Tricks. My first day at Nationals I’m judging the best skiers in the planet that do so many complicated tricks in such a short time? I visit with an official and explain that this is my first time judging at National; did they ‘really’ want me in the boat? They said you’ll be okay “Holtzy”, we have video backup if needed.

I’m in the boat, skiers ski in a ‘seeded’ order where the lowest ranked skier is first and the top rank skier (KSO) is last; this allows me to warm up my skills. All of my preparation in video judging the past two years and judging elite skiers in our Southern Regional tournaments prepared me well. I did a good job in the boat and out of 32 pulls we (not just me) had to do ‘video review’ of 5 runs.

What I learned in judging the best in the world is that out of the 16 skiers there was only a handful that didn’t fall. These skiers are doing the most difficult tricks in the world and one slight mistake is disaster.

This knowledge gives me confidence that if I fall during any of my runs, its okay, it’s just that it wasn’t my day. Failure on any given day or moment doesn’t define who I am. I’m proud of my dedication, focus, commitment to excellent, and to do the best I can.

Thursday Morning, August 10, 2012

This afternoon I ski in Open Pro Men Slalom; I ski with all of the ‘top dogs’. I think my head is screw on straight, we’ll see in a few hours…

Oh yea, the boat to be used for Open Pro Men Slalom IS NOT one of the two boats I ‘tested’ Monday or Tuesday… great, another thing for the head to screw with. What speed do I call? Can I make my back-deep-to-one start on the first pass?

Thursday Afternoon, August 10, 2012

I skied today for the first time in Open Pro Men Slalom and it occurs at the 2012 National Championships. Just a little history, there are three ‘classes’ of competitors, age group, Open, and Open Pro. All skiers automatically qualify to ski in their age group against their peers. The goal of all advance barefooters to one day ski ‘Open.’ When I was younger, 30 years ago, I dreamed of one day skiing Open, but as life took its actions on my life (family/kids) I gave up that dream over 20 years ago.

However, I continued to ski with the best skiers in the world like David Small, Mike Salber, KSO, Rich Powel, Lane Bowers, Mike Seipel, Steve Merritt, Zenon Bilas, and others. After 24 years of skiing, I went Open in 2008; the cool part was that I did it at the National Championships before all the top skiers in the USA; and I won my 5th National Championship in the Men 5 division, and won the Male Barefoot Athlete of the Year.

Last year I ‘toyed’ with the idea that if I trained hard and smart enough, maybe I could qualify to ski in the “elite” division at the 2012 World Championships. To ski “elite” I had to get a qualifying score that matched the top 20th place skier in the WORLD. That score was 15.6. Up to this point, my best slalom run was 15.2 scored at the 2011 Southern Regional Championships at the age of 56 years young! For me to qualify to ski ‘elite slalom’ at the worlds with a score of 15.6 is almost impossible, but set this as my goal last year.

In July 2012, a month ago, I skied 15.8 in slalom as judged by Richard Gray the Chairman of the World Barefoot Council. With this score I not only ski in the ‘Seniors’ division at the 2012 World Championships, I’ll be skiing with David Small, Keith St Onge, Peter Fleck and other elite skiers at the age of 61!

I’m stunned that I slalom 15.8, but the biggest shocker comes the next day; I skied a 16.2 which qualified m3 to ski Open Pro at the 2012 National Barefoot Championships.

So now at the age of 61, I’m at the starting dock… I’ve eaten properly, gotten rest, drank liquids, trained as hard as I could with the best in the world, worked out to get a strong core, had massage therapy and visited chiropractor when needed, keep my focus, I’ve done EVERYTHING I can think of to be totally prepared for this instant.

I’m in the water, my heart is racing, I clean my hands  with soap so that I can grip the handle; especially since I do a ‘back-deep-to one’ for the start. With this start everything has to be perfect, rarely have I ever missed this start in a tournament, but I have missed it before, the last time was at the 2010 World Championships in Germany, let’s not review that story. Why do such a difficult start when it’s not required in Slalom? It’s a long story and one day I’ll explain…

Okay I’m in the water, a boat judge hands me the ‘tournament handle’ and I’m shocked… the handle is like a slick broom stick and I can’t get grip. I try to rub the handle to get some grip, but it’s time to GO.

I give instructions; ‘gear’, then yell ‘okay,’ the boat lunges harder that I expected, the handle slips from my palms to my finger tips… I’m struggling to not ‘loose the handle.’ I plant my ‘one’ foot in the water, wait for speed, with five officials in the boat, I really don’t have the speed I’m accustomed to. I stay as calm, I make the start, I’m on my feet; I’ve passed the first test, I’m up and ready for slalom.

I attempt to regrip the handle from my finger tips to my palms; it’s not working, this handle is crap, I need to get going, with finger tips. I complete the first crossing one foot, then the second crossing, then after the 3rd crossing and I get pull up and take a hard fall (good thing I have a neck brace). I’m bummed out, I only got 3 points on the first pass (I should have gotten 8)…

The pickup boat gets me and takes me to the end of the course to start the second pass. I give my instructions to the boat judges; I’m just skiing forward, so no drama here (unless I fall). I call 46.5 mph (I should have called 47.5, because of soft water is soft), I complete the pass and score 7.8 points (I typically score 8.2).  My score is 10.8 point… I wanted at least 15.0, would be happy with 15.6 and ecstatic with 16.2, but its official 10.8.

I don’t remember much about the rest of the day, I’m numb. What did I do wrong? In reflecting back, it

was my fault; in practice a few days ago they didn’t have the tournament handles so I used ‘my’ handle. I should have force the driver to use the ‘tournament supplied handle’ so that I would know what to expect. If I had done that I would have know about this problem and I could have come up with a solution.

Mike Front Toe

A few skiers told me they had problems with the handle Paul Stokes (Open Pro) told me “Holtzy that’s why I were gloves, you never know the condition of the tournament supplied handle.”

I plan on getting ski gloves for the Worlds, this WILL NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN.

Friday August 11, 2012

This morning I’m sick from yesterday’s failure Open Pro Slalom; I don’t want to be here anymore, I hate barefoot tournaments, I want to go home, I want to be in the arms of my wife so that she can ‘baby me.’ The reality is that I have to ski tricks in my age division, Men’s 6 (60-64 years). There are 16 skiers in the event; the lowest seed is 250 points, 2nd seed is 1500 points, and I’m top seed at 2740 points.

After an hour and half of waiting, it’s my turn to perform; I know my wife is on the computer waiting to watch me ski. I’m suited up, I wash my hands with my soap three times, and I rub my hands on the handle to make sure I have ‘the grip.’ I’m pacing back and forth like a race horse waiting to get out of the pen on the dock.

It’s not time; I take the handle, wrap it around my back, and get ready to do a flyer off the dock. I get ready to yell ‘okay’ but the rope gets hanged up in a cleat on the dock and all systems must stop.

The rope gets reset, I wrap the rope around my back, I yell, ‘in gear,’ the boat begins to move forward in idle, the rope tightens up, I yell “okay” and the boat takes off. I take seven steps, launch myself off the dock in superman and pray I make my flying-back-tumble-deep-to-one start. This start is worth 800 points, the highest scoring start. I don’t know when the last time anybody other than myself has done this start at a National Championship.

I land on the water on my chest, ride on the stomach at 2300 rpm, then turn to the backward position, plant one foot in the water, wait for boat speed, the driver David Miller nails the throttle, I still wait for ‘speed’ and then I press the foot in the water and attempt to stand up on one foot.

I make it, the driver pulled me perfectly and I did what I needed to do; I’m stoked. I regrip the handle; pull it in and down to my butt and start the trick run – one foot, one foot reverse, surface hop – wait I don’t think the hop was high enough for credit, so I do the surface hop again, then a turn from backward to forward, then tumble-360-to-one, reverse tumble-360-to-one, tumble-180-to-one, then reverse 180-tumble-to-one. I have an almost the perfect pass, except the double surface hop. You can see the video at:  HYPERLINK “https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0B2dZybUIi_ohZnl3R21XUFhWeFU/edit?pli=1#docId=0B2dZybUIi_ohRG1hbDJ0dktidDg” https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0B2dZybUIi_ohZnl3R21XUFhWeFU/edit?pli=1#docId=0B2dZybUIi_ohRG1hbDJ0dktidDg

I’m happy with the first pass but I’m still stressed; on the second pass I do a back-deep-to-one start, this is the second most difficult start in barefooting and it’s worth 500 points. I give the boat officials my instructions, the boat tightens the rope, I give the signals ‘in gear’, then ‘okay’ and I roll over on to my stomach. The boat takes off, I wait for speed, plant one foot, press the foot into the water, and when I feel I have sufficient speed I attempt to stand up – and I make it!

Now I do a ‘positional back-to-front turn’ to set up for the first trick; I’ve missed the back-to-front turn before at a National Championship and also once at the 2012 World Championships in Germany. I’m up backward, I get into position for the turn, and attempt the back-to-front turn; I nail it, clean feet-to-feet. I place the handle over my head and do – neck-2-foot, neck-1-foot, neck-1-foot reverse, then a one-foot, one-foot reverse, teeth-2-foot, teeth-1-foot, teeth-1-foot reverse, rope-on-foot, rope-on-foot reverse, tumble-2-foot, and reverse tumbel-2-foot. I did everything and it was flawless.

I know my wife loves the ‘butt slide’ so I do a nice butt slide, look at camera, and give her a signal via the internet that ‘these two passes were for you baby.’

You can see the second video run at:  HYPERLINK “https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0B2dZybUIi_ohZnl3R21XUFhWeFU/edit?pli=1#docId=0B2dZybUIi_ohNEpWVHVHTGdhWTA” https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0B2dZybUIi_ohZnl3R21XUFhWeFU/edit?pli=1#docId=0B2dZybUIi_ohNEpWVHVHTGdhWTA

Immediately after the trick event I call my wife and tell her ‘I love barefoot waterskiing, I love barefoot tournaments, and I’m so glad I’m here!’

The emotions in competitive barefoot skiing at a National Championships can be overwhelming. This week I had some success and some failures, and lessons learned. I didn’t achieve my goal of skiing at least 15.0 in Open Pro so that I could ski in the Open Pro finals, but I know I did the best I could.

National Record – Later I find out my score was 2700 points, the current record for Men 6 is 1310 points. After record review the runs are reduced to 2650 points; I have the current record in Men 5 and now I have the Men 6 trick record. It might be a long time before anybody breaks the Mens 6 trick record.

National Champion – My terrible slalom pass of 10.8 exceeds the 7.28 of the highest Men 6 skier, so I get 1000 points in the Slalom event for overall; my 2700 points in tricks gives me 1000 points in the tricks event. This results in an over all score of 2000 out of 2000 points; I win the 2012 Overall National Men 6 Champion and I think this is my eighth Overall National Championship win.

My season is not done, I have the World Barefoot Championships in two weeks to complete my season; I have my goals set, we’ll review them in a few weeks.

Holtzy

P.S. Joe Malenfant, the President of the American Barefoot Club (ABC) that the record set today was not accurate and that the actual record was base don my performance at the 2012 Regionals tricks event of 2740 points, which was downgraded to 2720 points!

By : Mike Holt

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

David Small barefoot clinic in Connecticut with the Piskuras

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

I got a  lift halfway from Boston to Connecticut where Charlie and I hung out at a Starbucks, people watching and attracting women (having a toy poodle has its perks ya know :) ), while we waited for Lorraine to get there and pick me up.  We went straight to the Piskuras house where Charlie had the pleasant welcome from their German Shepard as its tried to eat him…. luckily she has a muzzle on or Charlie would be no more….. They were friends at the end of the week….. kind of 😉

People watching at Starbucks

Charlie and the Shepherd trying to bond on a walk....

Johnathon Marines, who had been skiing down at the World Barefoot Center for the previous 5 weeks, was already there and waiting as he was skiing for 4 days. We had a little bit of time to kill so we loaded up the car with the 4 of us and two dogs and headed to the hills for a short hike.  It is beautiful there and was great way to loosen up after a long drive.

The Nuffie trying to figure out what its supposed to do with Charlie

Lorraine (Senior World Ladies Champion) skied all week long and is training for this up coming Worlds in Texas.  We worked hard on her front and backwards wake crossings and by the end of the week was doing both her basic and reverse back one foot wakes which is a huge achievement!!! Congrats!  We also changed her jumping technique so that she can stay more on her feet up the ramp as well as cleaning up her back to front, back toes, step position, and tumbles to one foot.  Its always a pleasure to see Lorraine ski!

lorraine showing off her back toe hold skills

Jimmy P managed to fit in a fair few sets this year and unlike last year when he hits tree managed to ski till the end of the week uninjured.  His back one foots long line got a lot better as did his front one foot wakes and impressed everyone in the boat with his long line back tumble ups!!!

Jimmy P looking nervous as last year this was the same time of day and place on the river when he had a disagreement with a tree while footing.... the tree won last time ;)

Johnathon skied up a storm in the 4 days!!  His wakes came on leaps and bounds, turns got cleaner and he is getting along very nicely with his invert jumping!!  This kid last year was tricking 1300, didn’t jump and could hardly do front one foot wakes……. after training hard this winter with his dad and down at the WBC he is now doing multiple turns, front and back one foot wakes and invert jumping long line!!!!!! Unreal skiing and its great to see the progression in such a short amount of time!

Johnathon sleeping

Johnathon had a fight with a stick..... Johnathon won

More sleeping

More sleeping

Father and son taking a nap

Big John Martines did a lot of sleeping in the boat considering he was chafing Johnathon for his boat sleeping antics :)  He also skied well with doing his toe up long line, figuring out how to step over on his turns and generally cleaning up his skiing style.

Big John got a little tired

Pete, Emma and Jen Sylvester came out and skied.  Jen only came for the Friday but did great with getting up long line on her feet as well as getting up backwards!!  Pete had a full week skiing and learned that it doesn’t have to be painful and you don’t have to beat yourself up when learning new stuff.  He skied great with no hard falls and learned toe ups, how to slalom correctly with little effort and a lot more consistency, better back one foot and how to ski smart.  Emma did amazing.  She learned her reverse back toe hold, step position, was getting up backwards longline no probs, long line one foots on feet, and had some great tumble turns!!

Emma keeping an eye out for debris

Jenn perfecting her butt ride with the help of the head zone helmet

Chris, Pete, the Martines and Lorraine huddled at the back corner to stop the spray for 10 foot boom jumping

Pete brought his two nephews out for a couple days skiing.  They both did great with Lucas learning his but ride, one foots on his feet as well as coming along well with his backwards.  Im looking forward to seeing his progression and skiing with him this winter down at the ski school!! Jordan got up long line, worked backwards, and did some good one foots on the shoe skis.

Lucas and Johnathon enjoying a run in after a full day

Jordan getting ready

Chris came down to do some jumping and we were trying to get his landings more consistent.  We only managed a couple of jump sets due to wind and him having to leave early for work but he did also do great in correcting his turns!!

Chris sorting his back one foots

Andy came with the hope of getting a front to back on his feet by the end of his day on the water but we figured out that he was trying to do his reverse turn.  We cleaned all 4 turns up on the WBC shoe skis and then went to his feet.  His back to fronts were great and he got very close on both his basic and reverse FB.  Keep working on it buddy and you will have those in no time.

Don Stoppe flew his own plane to the clinic for a couple of days where we worked his jumping as well as cleaning up his turns, and basic positioning on his skiing.  Don always brings a high level of excitement in to the boat and its great to see someone so enthusiastic about the sport!!  Thanks for making the trip out Don and ill see you in a couple of weeks!

Don got hungry and fancied some sushi mid way through his set

We had some funny weather come in but mostly had some amazing ski conditions out there which made for an amazing week of skiing!!  On the friday we ended a little early and managed to get to ‘The Ranch Skydive Center” in NY where I did a sit fly skydive and Emma, Pete and Jen did there first tandem jumps…. was great to see them go up and they were all so pumped up on landing!!!  Good times!!!

Pete getting suited up for this first skydive

Emma, Jen and myself suited up for some fun in the skies :)))

Alex Straus also came on out and skied up a storm.  He hadn’t really had a lot of water time before but got very comfortable backwards as well as long line forwards!!  Great to see!

Alex Straus Sorting his back barefoot position out

Massive thanks to the Lorraine and Jimmy for organizing this week and being so hospitable!!

Written by David Small…. AKA Small’z

The World Barefoot Center is the place to go to improve your Barefoot Water-Skiing.

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

The World Barefoot Center is continuing to prove itself as the best Barefoot Waterskiing ski school for both beginners and elite.  We have been producing some amazing athletes in the 3 event scene and have had a lot of new students coming to the ski school to learn to barefoot for the very first time or to try some Barefoot freestyle .  Our success in coaching comes down to a few factors…..

1, We have the best Barefoot water-skiers in the World teaching at the school.. David Small, Keith St Onge,  AJ Porreca and Ben Groen who are ranked 1st, 2nd, 4th and 6th in the World.

2, We have the best weather and water conditions at the ski school. With 3 houses on 3 of the chain of lakes we have a lot of options of where to ski and can easily travel through the canals to find long stretches of glass calm water if needed.  With the school based in central Florida, the school has year-round, great weather.

3, The best equipment is used at the ski school.  We use Sanger boats which are powered by Evinrude E-tec motors.  There are 3 jumps permanently in the water so jumping is readily available on a variety of wind directions. We have all of the boats rigged up with Barefoot International towers, fly highs, training booms, all sizes of shoe skis, barefoot swings, US Gear handles, and ropes.  We utilize Head Zone helmets, which allow the coaches to talk to the skier while skiing.  The use of Head Zone helmets dramatically reduces learning times.

With all of these things combined, the World Barefoot Center is the place to go to learn how to walk on water.

Roomy Sanger

Womens week in the Mag.

Getting the BI Fly High rigged up

All 3 boats ready to go

7 year old sitting in the swing learning how to barefoot

7 Year old usinfootsg the shoe skis and Head Zone to learn how to do some one

By : David Small

How can I learn to Barefoot Water Ski?

Monday, September 12th, 2011

Do you want to be the best barefooter on your lake? Come to Winter Haven, Florida, to learn the exciting sport of barefoot water skiing at the World Barefoot Center–safely and effectively. We have the best water skiers (multiple World Champions) and instructors at the school and we take great pride in making our learning environment the best out there.

We will be posting instructional articles and videos throughout the off season that will give you a step-by-step approach to walking on water.  These will be posted to our World Barefoot Center website, Blog and Facebook page.

What a lot of barefooters out there do is try the brutal trial-and-error method…. This can be a painful and totally unnecessary way to learn– and we would highly recommend not doing this unless you like a good fall. ☺

A big question we hear is… ‘Is it possible to learn to barefoot water ski if I am an average person who doesn’t exercise and not very athletic?”

YES, anyone can barefoot water ski!!! At the World Barefoot Center, we use all the latest equipment that will give you the best opportunity to barefoot. We use Barefoot International Booms, swings, Headzone helmets (we can communicate directly with the skier on the water), shoe skis and much more. We have taught people of different ages, backgrounds and abilities– and we take pride in getting everyone to succeed, plus we love a challenge!!! Feel free to contact any of our past customers (best way is on our Facebook page) and see if they would recommend coming to the ski school.

Who are the instructors at the World Barefoot Center and are they qualified?

We have the best instructors and skiers at the World Barefoot Center. The main instructors at the ski school are David Small (3-time World Champion) and Keith St Onge (2-time World Champion) and between the two of them, they hold all of the World Barefoot records. Gary ‘Swampy’ Bouchard is also an instructor at the school and he coaches both David and Keith.  Swampy trained and coached Keith since he was nine.   He also is the US Junior team coach and a top bloke! We also have A.J. Porreca (ranked 3rd in the World) and Ben Groen (5th in the World) working at the school who will offer you great advise off the water and on if requested. Most of the barefoot teams from around the world are now coming to the World Barefoot Center to progress in the sport.  We take huge pride in also teaching complete beginners and intermediate skiers–they’re the grass roots of the sport and they’re the ones who will grow the sport!

Where can I stay when I come to the World Barefoot Center?

The World Barefoot Center offers discounted rates at the Holiday Inn Express, Hampton Inn and Days Inn and we also provide accommodation at the ski school if needed. When you book your reservation at the hotels, be sure to ask for your discount through the World Barefoot Center.

By David Small. AKA, Small’z