Posts Tagged ‘brody meskers’

Brody Meskers: My Footstock Experience

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

The 2013 Footstock was unlike any other barefoot tournament I have been too.  No fly highs, No Barefoot Sangers, No waiting for good water.

This tournament is skier against skier, friend against friend.   Two  handles, two  ropes,  and one boat.  The objective of the tournament was to see who could hold on the longest being pulled in a Figure 8.  Even though it was a competitive tournament, it was fun to see all the different people  from so many different places.  This is a tournament that you really need to be in shape for.  By the end of the day Sunday, I was having to ski round after round from Open to Juniors. Each run was getting longer and longer in very rough water.  As the tournament neared the last few rounds I was exhausted and had to ski in the junior finals. Even though I came up one run short, I really felt a relieved– and was happy I skied the tournament. It was great to see so many people who shared the love of the sport of barefooting. And I even got to meet people I may be skiing with in the near future at WBC.  

See you soon, Max!

By: Brody Meskers

Brody Meskers: My 120 Turn Challenge

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

When I went to the World Barefoot Center this summer, Swampy presented me with the 120 turn challenge. The 120 turn challenge consists of 120 turns with no more than 2 falls. That afternoon in the boat was one of the most nerve-racking times barefooting (even more so than skiing at the World Championships that I competed in the summer before). If I fail, I know that 500 turns await me the next day. I hopped in the water, gave myself a pep talk, and before I knew it I had 60 turns in with only one fall. With a glimmer of hope, I am half way there but my arms felt like they were going to fall off. Not a good way to start the next 60 turns.

A fall at 80 turns really messed with my head. Then reality hit at turn 107–I fell! I was disappointed and mad knowing what was ahead of me. Swampy, well let’s just say… he wasn’t too happy with me either. So, we headed back and I just lay down in my room, dreading 500 turns. After calling home to talk to my dad and feeling a little sorry for myself, I sucked it up and accepted that I had a new challenge ahead– and I wasn’t going to lose this one! The plan was to do 120 turns three times and then finish off with the last 140 turns. I didn’t have to worry about the number of falls this time out, but I couldn’t imagine 500 turns. My entire day consisted of turns and sleep, but I did it!

Needless to say, I am much better at doing turns and my mental strength took a little boost as well.

Brody Meskers

Brody Meskers: From Hydromites to the World Barefoot Center

Saturday, May 18th, 2013
When I firsted started to compete I trained with the Chetek Hydromites. The Hydromites were my Show Ski team mates from the Chetek Hyroflites Waterski Show Team, which included Justin and Brandon Books and Derek Buchman.

Even though I was younger than the other boys, I started out with a big advantage–I was barefooting for a  longer time. But that advantage didn’t last long. before you know it Brandon and Derek were doing the same tricks as me. So that forced me to train harder. But the harder I trained the harder Derek and Brandon trained.

The next year, my Dad said Brandon would probably pass me because his skiing was coming along so well. And the year after he thought the same of Derek. Every day I skied with them I wanted to be the best in the boat some days I wasn’t– but if it were not for my Hydromite team mates, I never would have made it to the greatest barefoot team in the world:  World Barefoot Center.

Brody Meskers

Featured Footer: Brody Meskers

Brody Meskers: What Keeps Me Wanting to Barefoot?

Saturday, March 16th, 2013

Brody Meskers turning

I have been skiing for as long as I can remember and something always seems to draw me back each season.

What started out as just fun and recreation has turned into something that motivates me both on and off the water. In barefooting, you will never experience the same day twice and I really enjoy that challenge. I enjoy the many opportunities I have to learn new tricks.

Barefooting keeps me mentally challenged too. I have to continually tell myself that I can do it. I can keep up the positive attitude that I need to succeed. That I can do the land practice I need to in order to succeed. That I can put in the hours I need to in order to succeed.

By: Brody Meskers

Brody Meskers: To Ski or Not to Ski

Saturday, January 26th, 2013

I started my training for my first World barefoot championships in the spring of 2012.  The month of June, I spent at the World Barefoot Center training almost every day working on slalom, tricks, and jump.  In the beginning of the month I was just doing 180 turns, and by the end of the month, I was able to do some multiple turns.

When I went back to Wisconsin, I skied in the Wisconsin Open and established new PB’s: 3400 tricks and 11.7 slalom.  Entering the month of July, I wanted to take my skiing and training to the next level.  My turns were improving and my slalom was getting faster.

Then two days before a tournament that would help me qualify for the Junior team, I fell while practicing my trick pass.  I felt a big pop in my leg and it was the most pain I have felt in all of my 11 years.  My first thought was that my season was over.

After seeing the doctor, he confirmed that I had severely pulled my hamstring.  I was referred to a physical therapist who told me in order to compete at Worlds I would have to do extensive therapy.  I decided that I was going to go for it all.  So every morning I rode my bike two miles to the health club, did my hour therapy session, and rode my bike home.  Each afternoon, I would also run and swim in the pool.  Then every evening I would do another hour therapy session before bed.

The whole time, all I thought about was being on the water rather than doing all the therapy.  I continued doing the therapy until we left for Nationals.  I was able to get on the water twice to test the strength of my leg, but was very limited on what I was able to do.  I was not able to be competitive due to the limited amount of time I was able to train on the water.  After Nationals, I headed back to the World Barefoot Center to train for Worlds.  My confidence was low and I was fearful of re-injuring my leg.  After a couple of days, my skiing was still sloppy.  Swampy pulled me aside and said I needed to throw caution to the wind and quick favoring my bad leg or go home and call it a season.  At  that point in time, I thought I came too far to give up and go home so I dug deep and trained my heart out.

We left for Worlds hopeful that I could pull it off.  However, I didn’t ski to the level I had hoped to.  I know now that facing adversity and not giving up will make me a better skier and person in the long run.

Brody Meskers

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!

Brody Meskers, WBC Sponsored Skier, Male Athlete of the Year

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

brody meskers back flyer

Brody Meskers, a sponsored skier with the World Barefoot Center, has been chosen as the American Barefoot Club Male Athlete of the Year for 2011.  We’re proud of you, Brody!

Brody Meskers, ABC Male Athlete of the Year

Read more on Brody:

Featured Footer, Brody Meskers

Elaine Heller is the American Barefoot Club Female Athlete of the Year for 2011.  Congrats to Elaine!

Elaine Heller, ABC Female Athlete of the Year

By: Karen Putz

Nap Time at the World Barefoot Center

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Barefooting is hard work. Good thing there’s nap time at the World Barefoot Center.

A. J. Porreca

Brody Meskers

Like father…

Robbie Groen

Like son:

Ben Groen

Even champions need sleep:

Small'z

Caitlyn Rowland

Caitlyn Rowland

Ted Baber

Ted Baber

The King of Sleep at the World Barefoot Center:

Adin Daneker

Even Swampy goes down for a nap:

Swampy conks out

Featured Footer: Brody Meskers

Sunday, July 10th, 2011

When Brody Meskers was three years old, he watched some skiers barefooting in a Chetek Hydroflites Ski Show and told his dad, “I want to learn to barefoot!”  Rick Meskers wanted his son to learn to water ski first.  Brody quickly became frustrated with skis that he couldn’t control, so Rick put him in a swing off the boom.  Brody was all smiles when he put his feet in the water.  The following year, he learned to barefoot off the boom and pestered his dad to teach him more.

“Right from the beginning, Brody loved barefooting,” said Rick.  “We never worried about having to teach him as he always wanted to take it a step further each time.”   At that point, there was no holding him back.  Rick added a rope to the boom and Brody taught himself to start on his stomach and tumble up on to his feet–he didn’t like getting water in his face with the deep water start.  By the time he was five, he was barefooting with a twenty-foot line and at six, he entered his first competition.  Because of his tumble up starts, the tumble turn became his first trick–even before he learned to wave.

Keith St. Onge became one of Brody’s idols from the very beginning.  The Meskers met Keith while visiting friends in Florida and Brody took a clinic with Keith when he was six.  “The night before the first clinic, Brody went to bed early so he would be fresh the next morning,” said Rick.  “This is the kid who never goes to bed early!  That was a big deal to him, to ski with Keith.  Anything Keith told him, he took it to heart and repeated everything he said.  Keith is his hero–he loves him to death.”

Six-year-old Brody competed in the Midwest Regionals and Nationals– and he won both tournaments, edging out boys who were 7, 8 and 9 years old.  The following year, Keith told Brody that it was time for him to learn to barefoot backwards.  This proved to be a challenge for him, because he did not like putting his face down in the water.   “That was not a fun year,” Rick recalled.  “Brody promised Keith he would do three backward starts every time we went out on the water.  We had to try to convince him to do it.  That was the only time that I thought some of the fun was taken out of him.”  Brody persisted, and after about 100 starts and many plants, he finally stood up backwards on the water.

Today, Brody is a sponsored skier at the World Barefoot Center and he works with Keith, David and Swampy.  “I like barefooting so much because there is so much to learn,” said Brody. “You can always get better and better.  Sometimes I don’t want to ski, but if I want to become the best, I have to go hard at it.”

This year, Brody focused on jumping and surface turns.  “The first time I jumped, I was with Keith in Florida,” Brody said. “I asked him if it would hurt, and he said no.  I was scared.  I went over the first time with shoe skis and I was so excited.  It wasn’t the cleanest jump–but I landed it!”  Brody recently accomplished his surface turns behind the boat.  His goals this summer include slaloming 12.9 and hitting 3000 with tricks.

“I see Brody being the next Heinrich Sam,” said Keith.  “He is way ahead of the learning curve for a ten year old.  I’ve worked with Brody since he was six years old, so I would love to see him go all the way and accomplish whatever his goals are.”  Brody still has a ways to go to catch up to Keith’s trick scores, but he is determined to make it happen.

Brody spent the month of June working with Swampy, A.J. Porreca and Ben Groen down at the World Barefoot Center.  “As parents, it’s tough to let your kid go,” said Brody’s mom, Tracy.  “But Brody really wanted this, so we agreed to send him off for a month.  They are great guys at the WBC–they are teaching him so much about skiing and life.”

Today, Brody is even more fired up about barefooting than ever.  When people ask him if he wants to be like Keith St. Onge, he’s got an answer ready:  “I want to be better than him.”

Watch out, KSO!

Brody and Ben Groen

Five year old Brody on the water

Nine year old WBC Skier Brody Meskers

Hanging out at WBC

Written by: Karen Putz