Posts Tagged ‘blue moo’

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.
Sincerely,
James Callahan
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Alexis McCauley: My First Tournament

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

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My first tournament was the 2012 Chick Fest at the Blue Moo in Wisconsin. My mom and dad were not able to go because they were working. My grandma Julie drove my sister Syd and me to Wisconsin, which was ten hours away from where we lived.

My grandma took us to the site at 7 am when the start time was around 8. I was not expecting this long, narrow lake in the ground. Slowly one by one, people started showing up. They were very laid back, calm, and friendly. Everyone was so welcoming. They asked who we were, where we were from, and how long we skied. All the friendly people helped calm my nerves. The boat driver was going to be the guy with the dog which I couldn’t remember his name [David Small]. I remember the dog, Charlie, because of pictures I had seen. Later I found out the driver was the champion of the whole world. I thought, he has to be as good of a driver as my dad.

I watched the Kohler girls skied. “WOW!” I was very impressed. My sister skied and got a personal best. It was my turn to go. In the water, I told Mr. Small I would stand up in the middle if I didn’t make it out. Never skiing off a super fly high or a Sanger before, my brother said it felt just like being on the boom. So, I called a slow-medium- medium start to 27 mph. Mr. Small gave me a good start. I planted my feet, to stand and I edged out. All I could hear was everyone cheering from shore for me to be skiing my first tournament. My trick run was sit down, stand up, and hand-hand. My second pass was just to ski down the lake and wave to the crowd. The rest of the day was so much fun, meeting David Small and Charlie, hanging out with a lot of the other girls. I heard good job and got high 5’s all day. I was looking forward to my next tournament in three weeks, the Eastern Regional’s. Then my final destination was Waco,Texas for my first U.S. Barefoot Nationals.

Alexis McCauley

Lauren St. Onge: 2014 Barefoot Worlds Wrap Up

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

That’s a wrap. The Barefoot World Championships of 2014 Mulwala Australia is over. The success of the World Barefoot Center skiers is phenomenal, we are proud of each and every one of the team skiers. Your hard work, dedication and athleticism shined. The WBC has brought home a lot of hardware and smiling faces.

David Small: Open Gold Tricks & Gold Overall.
Keith St. Onge: Open Gold Slalom, Gold Jump & set a world record for Senior Jump.
Ben Groen: Open Bronze Jump and Silver Overall.
Ash-Kate Stebbings: Open Gold Slalom, Gold Jump, Gold Overall & set world records in Slalom and Jump!
Kenny Eissler: Junior Gold Jump
Will Rhea: Junior Bronze Jump
Kailey Koehler: Open Bronze Overall
Teri Jones: Senior Silver Tricks, Jump, and Bronze Slalom. Tricked a PERSONAL BEST! Yay!

Thank you to the LOC, officials from around the world and the Mulwala Ski Club for hosting, its many months, weeks, days and hours of preparation and we are appreciative.

The next Worlds location has been confirmed and it will take place in Alma Center, Wisconsin, USA.

The Heller family has a private lake and great property to host we are looking forward to another wonderful tournament.

2013 Midwest Barefoot Regionals

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

Just a little chilly...

It was a cold, rough, windy Midwest Barefoot Regional tournament on July 26 and 27 at the Blue Moo in Alma Center, Wisconsin.  Judging from the smiles on everyone’s faces, it was perfectly warm.

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A calm moment at the Blue Moo

Joe Knapp's 36th year on the water

Tom Tocco and Alex Youngblood

Brrrrr!

Cody Heller at the Midwest Regionals

Amber Rangel's First Regional Jumping

Photo: Congrats dad on placing 3rd in slalom!

Patrick Blake

Photo: It was a bit cold at day 2 of the Midwest Barefoot Regionals...

Hey, it's July!

Photo: Definitely NOT the Southern Regionals. Only in the Midwest!

"Definitely not the Southern Regionals," says Scott Jones

Kailey and Ariana Koehler, "It's not cold!"

By: Karen Putz

Chick Fest: The Barefoot Tournament for Girls and Women

Monday, May 20th, 2013

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All over the world you will find a number of different barefoot tournaments, but there is one specifically that I find different from all the rest. The tournament I am referring to is called Chick Fest and it is for GIRLS ONLY! Chick Fest is hosted in Alma Center, Wisconsin at the Blue Moo. I have been going to this tournament since the first one in June of 2007. It is an awesome tournament that I hope we can keep going in the years to come.

Chick Fest is a great tournament for girls of all ages and skill levels to come to and have a good time. It is not a competitive tournament at all and very laid back. I like to think of it just as a fun picnic for girls to meet other female footers and get some water time. There is even a boom division for footers who are just starting out. Most recently, David Small has come to this tournament to drive and and teach some clinics. This gives all of the girls some professional instruction to improve any areas she may need help in.

At Chick Fest, any pressure from a typical tournament is taken away and you are surrounded by a great set of people. The atmosphere is great for all girls to be a part of and see what this sport is really about. I definitely encourage every Chick footer out there to attend this tournament!

~Ariana Koehler

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Karen Putz– My First Barefoot Tournament

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

As I drove up the highway toward Blue Moo lake in Alma Center, Wisconsin last Thursday, I was having second thoughts about the whole barefoot tournament thing.  Earlier in the week, I took a few runs with Dan Tanis over at Cedar Lake, but I couldn’t accomplish a single thing on the water.  Out of five pulls, I got up twice and fell each time I attempted to slalom across the wake.   I hadn’t yet practiced a trick run.  And here I was, driving four hours to compete in my first tournament.  

Twenty five years after tripping over a wake, I got back on the water again at the World Barefoot Center in March of last year.  I think a certain 68-year-old woman came up with the idea of entering tournaments.    “It’ll be fun!” she said.  “Everyone is friendly and they’ll help you and tell you what to do.”

Well, Judy was right about that.  I arrived at the dock on Friday morning and met with Kenny Kaestner, the instructor from Footn Foundations and host of the clinic.   Right away, Kenny made me feel at home on the water and he provided some fantastic instruction.   I was struggling to cheek out, and he taught me to line myself up at the opposite angle of where I wanted to cheek out to.   I spent the  morning slaloming and going through my trick runs.  Kenny bumped my speed up to 39/40 and I discovered that I liked it much better on firmer water.  By the time the morning sets were over, I felt confident that I knew what to do.  We spent the afternoon working on backwards.  I worked on riding backwards on one foot on shoes and then tried a back deep on my feet with no success.  I explained that I could get up easily on shoes, but I was really struggling to get up on my feet.  Kenny ran me through a hip exercise several times in the water, identifying the muscles used to get the hips up.   After that, I  was able to get up three times in a row backwards on my feet.

I somehow totally missed the fact that the tournament started at four that afternoon and I was pretty wiped out at that point.  I put myself last in the line up– hoping that I could recover some energy before it was my turn.  Let’s just say this… nothing will wake you up faster than getting back into a cold wetsuit– and jumping in the cold Wisconsin water late in the evening.  Holy moly…

I told myself that if I could just stand up and manage at least one cross, I would be happy.  I forgot the very trick that Kenny taught me– and found myself stuck inside the wake during my first run.  I didn’t have a choice but to stand up inside, and I nearly lost my balance.  I managed to make it outside the wake and then cut right across the wake.  To my complete surprise, I found myself still standing on the other side– and cut back across.  I managed two more crossings and I was really whooping inside when the boat came around.   I ended up with six on the second pass and with a score of 2.8.  That was later bumped up to 3.3. 

Kenny is a guy who does it all.  Not only did he run the tournament, but earlier in the year, he took his bow and arrow, shot Bambi– and served venison for dinner.  “I don’t care much for venison,” said Janell Heller, the owner of Blue Moo Lake.  “But when Kenny marinates and cooks it– it is wonderful.”  I took her advice, tried the venison and agreed with her, it was really delicious.

Blue Moo Lake is set at the edge of a corn field in the middle of a very rural part of Wisconsin.  When I first met Blake Heller, he reminded me so much of my dad– the same round face, the farmer’s heart and the beer in one hand.   I asked Blake how the lake came about and he explained that it took just three guys to dig out the lake.  They started in November and finished in spring the following year.  This was my first time skiing on a lake made specifically for barefooting and wow, one could easily become spoiled by the amazing water that happens on each run.

I put myself last in the line up again the next day for tricks.  I was a little nervous about doing a flyer, as I had done one only once before down at the WBC.  Paul Stokes had just returned from his run and he gave me some reminders as the rope began to tighten up.  The flyer went perfectly and I managed to get the wave, wave, sit down stand up in.  As soon as I shifted to one foot, bam– I faceplanted.  I had planned two tumble turns on the second pass.  Halfway through the first tumble, I felt as if the handle was going to get away from me so I pulled out of it– stood up for the second tumble– got halfway around and lost the handle.  So much for that run!  But I was happy with the 140– it was a lot better than a zero.

The best part was getting to watch the other gals barefoot.  It was amazing to watch Ariana and Kailey Koehler do their trick runs and absolutely jaw-dropping to watch Elaine Heller and Liz O’Flaherty sail over the jump.  The whole tournament experience was a positive one.  The barefooting community is definitely a warm, welcoming one.  Whatever apprehensions that I had when I arrived– were totally gone by the first hour.   I’m really looking forward to the next tournament!

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By Karen Putz