Posts Tagged ‘crashes’

South Carolina Clinic with David Small

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

I have been going to Mr Meekes place for the last few years and this year was certainly no disappointment. We had glorious weather and glass water for the full 5 days and a lot of amazing skiing came from it. Ron is still working out in the gym like a mad man and is now competing in Iron Man competitions so he is in the best shape of his life which made him skiing 5 days straight a breeze. His slalom came on a lot, especially backwards as did his front and back toe holds along with a nice toe up and perfecting his turns. He had a little stretch in his hammy mid way through the week which slowed him down a little bit but he battled on and pushed through it so way to go with that Ron!!

Boat crew one day

Saun Sheeley is also a trooper. He ended up cutting his foot open so the decision was made to make a redneck solution for the problem….. lol. Shaun did great with everything backwards once he figured out how to ski with his knees bent and together….. we could drive a truck between his legs sometimes even when his feet were together 😉 His turns were looking very stable as well by the end of the week.

Shawn Sheely with his foot protector in place

As always we ate like kings with everyone getting treated to Rons cooking skills for lunch however this year we didn’t get to sample Rons Famous Cheesecake…. Fingers crossed next year we can see one again.

Wade Masters sporting a new hair doo

Wade Masters payed us a visit and skied up a storm for the day he was there where we worked a lot on his surface turns.
We had a new chick come to the clinic (Ashley) which was nice to see and although she was only there briefly she listened very well, learned a lot and had a lot of fun. Hopefully Ashley will come back next year and have a couple of days booked so we can really push on with her skiing.

Jim Miller peeing in his suit again ;)


Jim Miller also had some ski time with us and is progressing well. Great to see you Jim!

On the way back to the lake after getting picked up we drove past a Drop Zone so Ron was kind enough to stop and I managed to get a jump in :)

SC skydive. Kitted up and ready to go

About a week after I left Rons place I received an email from Ron saying that he liked Charlie so much he had gone out and bought himself a little black toy poodle…… I cannot wait to see the little guy!!

Rons new little toy poodle

I had a great week there again and I will look forward to seeing everyone again next year!!!

Written by ; David Small …. AKA Small’z

Clinic across the pond in my old stomping grounds…… Great Britain!!!!

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

You will have to excuse the lack of pictures of skiing etc. in this one as my phone had been dropped in the river before this clinic so I was phone less.

I arrived back in the UK in to Stansted airport….. if anyone has the choice not to fly in to this place then take it even if it costs more as it is the worst airport in the World!!! What should have taken us an hour and a half drive to get home took 4!!!!! Not cool. Anyway, we needed up going straight to the curry house where the long, stop start journey was forgotten and replaced by a beer and a spicy Indian dish :)  The next morning I drove down to the Cotswolds, picked up the boat, dragged Ted Baber out of bed and headed to the lake.  Id forgotten how beautiful the English countryside is, I had also forgotten how this gets overpowered a lot of the time by the terrible weather that we have over there.  We put the boat in on Kuka, which is a tiny little lake and very well protected from the wind.

Back home for a curry with everyone.... O, how I miss curries

It was great to see that the 7 days filled up and there was new blood getting in to the sport with a couple of guys heading all the way down from Manchester for a days skiing. We needed up with around 15 different skiers throughout the week ranging from 10 years old to upper 50s.  Even though we had rain, wind, boats brewing down left, right and center the week was a huge success and a huge shout out goes to everyone that skied in the clinic and the guys that helped out with boats and accommodations…. Paul Turner, Dave & Lisa Baber, Whitehouse clan and the great Mechanic down the road that got the Malibu running again.

Ted, Charlotte and Katie and myself enjoying the UK sunshine ;)

Carl showing off his skills

Ted Baber skied the whole time i was there and Carl Barnett skied for a full 5 days……. impressive stuff as it was cold on some mornings…. brrrr.  Ted had just come back from staying in Florida for 3 months at the World Barefoot Center where he was getting ready for the World Championships. Coming back and skiing on cold, backwashy water where the lake isn’t long enough to do a tournament pass took the poor little bugger a bit of getting used to but he worked it out and got back in to his multiple turns on his feet behind the boat with consistency….. Remember Tedward……. it is all character building matey 😉

Lunch at a country pub to break up the day

Loaded up in the Malibu with BI boom, flyhigh and tower and ready to go!!!

We had Carls better half get up on the bar which was great to see as well as young Harrisons dad and sister giving it a go for the first time and Bibby Curtis came over on a couple of afternoons after she got done with her GCSE exams.  Great work on getting new blood in to the sport!

John Whitehouse getting up for the first time :))

Harrison skied well with accomplishing his back deeps with consistency.  If any of you want to hear a funny story then ask Harrison about borrowing my suit last year and learning to barefoot. lol.

Harrison getting up backwards for the first time using the WBC shoe skis and Headzone helmet

Paul Turner, the UK team manager came on up for 2 days with another new barefooted from his neck of the woods as well as Clive Wilsdons daughters are getting in the sport now and both of them managed to stand up backwards and were working on their forward sit down stand ups as well as tumble turns and one foots.  You keep it up girls and show your old man how it is done.

Bibby Curtis

Written by ; David Small AKA Small’z

Barefoot Water Skiing in the sunny climates of the UK

Monday, September 12th, 2011

Ive come back to the sunny climates of the UK for a couple of weeks coaching and a week or so to see my family and friends. During my teaching we got some great new barefooters involved, with Bibbi Curtis learning how to foot and almost get up backwards, Josh Brown learning how to get up longline, do one foots and get up backwards, Dom learned how to stand up longline and do some one foots back there as well as getting up backwards and Harrison who also learned how to get up long line, do one foot and tumble turns! All new skiers and they all did a great job out on the water and im looking forward to seeing them all out at the World Barefoot Center this Winter!

The girls huddling to stay warm in-between sets

Ben Harris stretching out


Ted Baber and his Dad organized me coming over to the Cotswolds and we were using his boat most of the time. Ted has only been skiing for a couple of years and he is coming on leaps and bounds. In just this week he learned a toe up on the long line, greatly improved his slalom and managed to do all 4 of his surface turns on his feet!! Amazing job Ted and looking forward to getting you out stateside for the run up to Worlds next Summer!!

Ted putting a safe jump down on the long line

Ted Baber getting ready for a toe up


At the end of my time at the Cotswolds I had some old school UK team members come on down for a day of skiing. We had Ben and Matt Harris as well as Emily Goldie showing us how things are done out in the cold water and it was great to see them all back out there and having fun.

Adam Chaulk flying high

Matt Harris showing his son how to do it


Natasha giving it a go for her first time

Written by David Small

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

David Small Barefoot Clinic in Washington State with Big A and his goats :)

Sunday, July 24th, 2011

Adin Danneker put this clinic on on his private lake in Olympia, Washington.

Adins perfect water ski lake


On Adins lake there are two decent sized turn islands which were getting a little over grown so on one of the days where it was a little windy we took some time out, took an hour drive and bought a couple of goats. The kids at the lake named them Jerry and Dude.

The transportation of the goats to the turn island on the lake


Once back to the house we transported them across to the islands where they proceeded to eat non-stop and get visits everyday from the kids that live on the lake.
Adin built his house and has an amazing set up with his boat slip leading straight from his garage to the lake and the boats already set up and hooked up to his tractor in the garage so its as easy as opening a door and backing it in!! Also in the garage is a big flat screen and a Audi R8 to take out on the few days a year there its not raining in Washington 😉

Adins toy for when its dry out :)

We had a tournament the weekend after the clinic so Adin and I were working on trick runs and trying to clean up slalom so as not to get cut. Adins multiple turns at the end of the week were great and he skied up a storm in the comp with a high 5000 point trick run, nearly equaling his PB in slalom and landing most of his inverted jumps!!
Jerry Kanawyer came to the clinic and we continued on from what we were working on while I was at Jerries place. He got better and better at his surface turns as well as figuring out some new slalom techniques. We jumped a bit while at Adins and Jerry is getting a good inversion on a 10 foot line which is very similar to a long line jump.

Jerry Kanawyer getting ready for battle ;)


The best way to learn the inverted style is directly on a Barefoot International boom (lifted very high) until the technique is perfected and there is no fear in the skier coming in to the ramp. If it doesn’t go as planned go to the WBC shoe skis and start on these. Then a it is best to have a slow progression from the boom by going on just the V of the handle. After this you just inch the line out until on a 10 or 15 foot line off the boom.
Jerry also skied great at the tournament in all 3 events, and did great which was nice to see.
Doug Jorden also came over and did a lot of Barefoot jumping as he is also learning the new inverted jump technique. Doug jumps a good distance on the long line but in a traditional style and when trying to invert long line he has a small mental block and pushes the handle down. What was done to try to overcome this was to keep him on the boom but extend the line further and further out until he was jumping on a 45 foot line! Impressive!

Doug on a 45 foot line on the WBC shoe skis invert jumping.... nearly on the long line!!!


I was there for 4th of July where we went to Lake Silverado in Adna for some skiing and fireworks which was better than anything public we could have traveled to!!!

Had to get a patio heater going as the sun set on Lake Silverado while we waited for the fireworks for the 4th of July celebrations.


Val Shinn came and had a day in sunny Washington where she worked her backwards position as well as sorting out her slalom. Judy Myers who is 68 came and skied with us for a few days. Even after a recent injury and a couple of months out came back and was working on her front one foots and her backwards position as well get getting her edging out of the wake sorted on the long line.

John Macdonald, Judy Myers, Claudia and Dave Landon and myself (David Small)


Claudia and Dave Landon came with 82 year old John Macdonald for a day. Claudia worked on her front one foot and toe hold position as well as getting her first backwards one foot on her feet (which Dave was jealous of). Dave was also working on his front position as well as his backwards one foots which looked good on the WBC shoe skies but he was a little slower than Claudia on transferring it to his feet.

Dave Landon sporting the head zone helmet


Im sure Claudia did he one foot at the end of the day so that Dave didn’t have a chance to get back out there to try to equal her… great marriage rivalry. John Macdonald is going strong and at 82 years young is an amazing skier!! He skies no problem skiing on the boom or long line and was working on butt riding out of the wake so he could stand in calmer water.

82 year old John Macdonald doing his flyer at Lake Silverados competition


With the help of the head zone (turned all the way up..lol) he figured out how to get out of the wake and nearly did a full wake crossing which would give him a US record for his age division!! GOOOOO JOHN!!

82 year old John, myself (David Small) and 68 year old Judy Myers on the start dock

Jay Leuek had a day skiing with us where he learned his back toe holds and step position as well as sorting out his front position… he found that byb not plowing it made his life a lot easier to progress.

Jerry Kannesky doing some dry land practice


Jerry Kannesky came over for a day and a half and its great to have him around. He is extremely passionate about barefooting and brings a lot of energy to the boat! In just a day Jerry got his back to fronts feet to feet on the long line, all 4 turns on the boom on his feet in one pass and the step ones and hop on the boom!! He hadn’t jumped much before and got out there on the boom and in a couple of jumps was doing some great inverted jumps and landing pretty much feet to feet. Amazing!

Jay showing us great form on a back toe hold on the WBC shoe skis


Cheers Adin for having me back out to your pad dude!! I always have a great time over there and Ill be looking forward to seeing you over at Nationals!!

Adins dog, Maggie is finding it hard to see so she borrows Adins glasses from time to time.

David Small California Barefoot Water- ski clinic

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

I arrived in to San Fransico on the Saturday where Mr Jerry Kanawyer himself picked me up .  What I had forgotten was that it was his birthday so he didn’t get a happy bday straight away from me so I apologize for that Jerry.  Jerry has been on the US barefoot Water ski team for years and has always been a great US team player!!  His nickname is Flipper which for those of you that don’t know where it came from….  He is one of only a few people in the World that do all 3 flips in their trick runs….. the wake to wake, wake, and regular flip!!  Rather him than me.

Jerry Kanawyer flipping

Jerry lives in Brentwood on one of the best ski lakes I have been to (it could be a couple hundred feet longer if you wanted to be REALLY picky).  It is died blue to stop the weeds growing in there which also makes the lake look like a swimming pool and with it been located in California it’s as warm as a bloody swimming pool as well…… perfect!!

Diablo Shores

Jerry got in to a car crash a few years ago and if he take a good hit he gets a head ache so he was skiing with a helmet on but when looking on the net we found something better…….. HAHAHAHA! You crack me up Jerry bird!!!

Jerry sporting his head gear

While I was there Jerry made great headway on his front and backwards one foot slalom as well as figuring out the line step position one foots and hops as well as working on breaking his old school bad habit of stepping through on his surface turns. Jerry is also in the process of learning invert jumping which he is doing great on and is always good fun to teach.

Jerry bringing the landing gear down after an inverted jump

Andy Conway was there for 4 days and work a lot of slalom and line step position one foots as well as trying to sort out his surface turns.

7 year old Jackson showing us all how its done

Early in the week we had a 7 year old boy called Jackson that had beaten leukemia and was out there barefooting on the short handle off the boom!! Talk about inspiring, this kid was amazing!!!

On the Wednesday we took a trip out to the Delta where we were met by Willy Farrel (aka, ‘One way Willy’) and his crew of Roy, Pepper Benz and his son…..   , Mark Hobsen, and Dave Naddy.

The Sacramento crew

We took Willys Malibu Response LX out on the 1000 miles of glass calm water (Delta) and hit it hard.  It was in the upper 90s that day and we stayed out on the glass from 830 in the morning until 7 at night without a brake as it was so good out there.  Roy, Mark and Dave worked on similar things with correcting their backwards barefooting position, back one foots and toe holds as well as getting in and out of the step position (the head zone helmets are a life saver when I comes to all of these things and makes it 100% easier for both the skier and instructor!).  Pepper worked on cleaning up his back to front and had never made a front to back so we concentrated on that and by the end of the day he was making a great front to back on the WBC shoe skis.

Dave Naddy showing us a great back toe hold

Loving the zinc action :)

Peppers son, Brady, who had never barefooted before or shown much interest, rocked it out and got out there on the handle and was showing the guys how easy it was to do some one foots.  He also got the award for the most improved skier of the way and went away with a new best hobby….. Way to go dude!!

Brady setting the bar for his elder brother

Adin Danneker, a WBC team member, rolled on up on the Thursday (he can travel around a lot as he only works a couple days a month and then sleeps a lot ….. hes a fire fighter).

It was all too much for Adin

Adin has been competing at a high level for a number of years and won medals at the last World Barefoot Championships as well as other top International events in the past.  It was a pleasure having him there with us for a few days and see his multiple turns get progressively better as well as making some huge progress in his slalom!

Roy Cotterill in a back one foot stance on the WBC shoes skis

Gregg Myer came and took a quick rip after a 6 year break from skiing and still went and did some back slalom.  He was up there on a magazine shoot for his one of a kind million dollar race car that was going up for auction the following month.

Meal time after a long day on the Delta

I took a few days and headed up to Sacramento to ski on another private lake (Twin Cities) and I got to see some more impressive skiing up there.  Mark Hodsen organized these few days and put on a great show.

Mark Hobsen looks just like Pitbull ;)

If it was a little chippy on the lake we headed to the infamous ‘lost slew’ on the Delta which was just behind the lake. Here we were greeted with a few straight glass stretches of around 3 miles a pop!!!! Mark made great progress with his backwards position as well as back one foots and figures out one foot slalom on his feet.  His wife also gave it a go and was a natural and got up first time on the boom and loved it!!  Mark also had his 11 year old niece, Mackenzie, give it a go and she got up on the 5 foot and was showing us some one foots.

11 year old Mackenzie after her ski

She went away loving barefooting and since getting the barefoot bug has been pestering Mark to get her back out on the water!! Great to see young kids, especially girls getting in to the sport! Joe Jacinto showed his face for a couple of days and learned some new slalom techniques as well as finding out that you don’t have to throw yourself in to a turn to make it around 😉 His wife, Dine, also gave barefooting a go and managed to get up on the handle on the shoe skis for the first time.

Pepper came back while I was up there with his older son, carter, as he had heard that his younger brother, who didn’t like barefooting before, was now footing and loving it.  He came to step up his game… nothing like sibling rivalry aye.  He had a great forwards position on his feet, great one foots and even started to try backwards.

Carter and I taking a ski on the Delta after a very productive day

I went and skied with the kids for a little rip at the end of the days they were there and it brought back great memories from when I was a kid learning to barefoot!  Any kid that tries this sport correctly with the right instruction and equipment and doesn’t love it must have something wired incorrectly 😉

Andy had to wear goggles due to his allergies which made it amusing to watch him ski and it was great to watch an ‘old school’ footer go out there and have fun doing some freestyle!!  We worked on some turns and slalom and then some side slides and general goofing around stuff… good fun.

Andy and his goggles ;)

I had a great couple of weeks in Cali and I am looking forward to going back out there later on this Summer!!

Huge thanks for everyone that skied and to Jerry Kanawyer who brought me out there and put me up as well as Willy for the day skiing and Mark for bringing me up to Sac for those fun few days!!!

By David Small AKA Small’z. lol

New York trip and Barefoot clinic with the Piskuras

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

Arrived in to White Planes, Connecticut and the Piskuras picked both my girlfriend and myself up from the airport and took us to their house 45 mins away.  They have a great set up there with their self designed house (with Jimmies man room which is something to be seen J ), Lorraines dental practice and Jimmys Motel that he is renovating all on the same property!  Talk about not having to go very far to work.  Lorraine was away on a sleep apnea conference until the Sunday so we arrived in on the Thursday night so that we could have a few days in NYC to see the sights before hitting the water.

I had never been in to New York before so it was the usual tourist stuff that had to be done.  We started off by taking the train in and arriving in to Grand Central Station, which is a site in itself.

Grand Central Station

From there we ventured to the Rockefeller building where we were going to go up and see the city from a birds eye view however the lady at the desk said that it was far better to see at night so we postponed it until a later date ( that later date never came around as we ended up been too busy to make it in the day and the clouds came in and low in the next couple of days so the night viewing was out as well. Lol. Next time).

Times Square

Times Square was next which is a bizarre thing seeing the hustle and bustle of a big city and then to see a green park with people sunbathing and playing baseball etc in! We walked around the park and ate lunch there and then ventured back in to the city.  We checked out the Museum Of Modern Art (MOMA), which turned out to be free entry for 3 hours which was a result, which is a very cool building and has a lot of ‘interesting; pieces in.  The next day John Swanky, who has been barefooting for decades and seems to know everyone that has ever accomplished something in the sport of barefooting, had us around for a great steak meal at his lakeside house and then took us in the city the next day to have a backstage tour of the Broadway play ‘Spiderman’.  It was a once in a lifetime experience and I never knew how much went on behind the scenes of a play.  Shana and I then checked out the Empire State building and took the tube to see the Statue of Liberty as well as walking around ground zero.  We figured that Manhattan Island isn’t that big so we walked up to see Brooklyn Bridge and then through China town, little Italy and any other miniature cultural blocks until we ended up back in times square where our hotel was… it was a longer walk than I had anticipated and ended up taking us around 2 and a half hours with a couple of bar stops J Our evening was a meal at a nice restaurant followed by checking out 2nd street and a lot of Irish bars with a lot of interesting characters in them 😉

Backstage at Spiderman

The skiing started off on Monday and continued all week with Lorraine (1999 Senior Womens World Champion!!), Jimmy, Emma and Pete Sylvester everyday with others coming for a ski here and there.

Lorraine and Jimmy P

I had been warned about debris in the river that we were skiing on so Lorraine ended up driving for Jimmys first set so that I could concentrate on his skiing and not dodging trees.  This was a good theory until we drove over a submerged log without hitting it and it surfaced right in front of Jimmy doing front wakes at 45 mph.  He had been making some great headway as well in just a few passes! Needless to say it didn’t end well with us having to take him to the hospital (at the end of the day as he refused to go earlier so as to not mess with our skiing…. Tougher than me!!).  They X-rayed his foot and said that he had broken his heel and to stay off it for about 6 weeks.  Since then he has found out that it was not broken and his recovery time had reduced which is always nice to hear!

Jimmys foot

Lorraine had not had a lot of water time prior to me getting there as they had had some terrible weather all Spring which made skiing difficult but she got right out there and work out a lot of kinks in her front and back wakes as well as doing a lot of back to fronts and front to backs on the shoe skis.  Towards the end of the week she was making a few feet to feet back to fronts on her feet and did one that was so slow and clean that I could not believe what I was seeing…. Congrats on that!  She was also attempting front to backs on her feet at the end of the week, making the turn to the back and then just not having the confidence to grab the handle and ski it out but it is the first time she had the confidence to try them on her feet which was HUGE!!  Im looking forward to seeing what she can do when she is ski fit and had water time….. VERY talented! Pete has been footing for a long time as well but had been a little bit of a boom and shoe ski baby for the past few years so we threw him behind the boat a lot on his feet to clean up his slalom.  He is a very good listener and even with his old school style of slalom and straight legs (thought he was dragging his butt on the water when he was almost locked out straight 😉 )  he managed to pick up some new techniques which made him not only faster and cleaner but a lot more consistent.  Lots of back toes and getting into the step position helped him no end with stiff legs and his turns were looking a lot better. Good job Pete!! Petes youngest daughter, Emma, was a star.

Emma perfecting her toe holds using the headzone

Going 'old school' while the Sanger was in for a new impeller

Her attitude was great even when we were out and it was cold and occasionally raining.  She came on leaps and bounds, just a few things she accomplished was her front toeholds, backwards toes and backwards behind the boat!! Emma, I hope you stick with it and I will be looking forward to seeing her and Pete down in FL this winter at the ski school for some fun in the sun.  Mid week Eric Gorman came out and skied a day with us where we just cleaned up a lot of his skiing and we had a great time with him!!

Throughout the week we did get rained out one day and then the impellor broke on the boat so that was out of action for a day so we ended up going ‘old school’ and using Petes Barefoot Nautique which was great fun!!

At the end of the week Lorraine had a long time friend and skier (Sheri Rogers) come on out and even though we got a little rained out in the morning and resorted to going to a nice restaurant in town (life’s hard) we had great water conditions in the evening and finished the week off with some great skiing from the two girls!!

Local winery

Rhubarb wine after 2 days fermenting

We then went and checked out Erics local winery (White Silo Farm & Winery) where he had some wine tasting going on.  I have never had rhubarb wine before but it is amazing, if you are of age and you haven’t tried it then go to his website (www.whitesilowinery.com) and order some!!! He also gave us the tour of the place and showed us the process of making the wine which was great to see!! Thanks Eric!

The boys

The crew

MASSIVE shout out and thanks to both Lorraine and Jimmy for having myself and Shana up there and your hospitality!! You guys are great and it is always a pleasure to be around you both….. even if I needed to go cold turkey from the caffeine once I left (it was great while I was drinking it though).

1st Barefoot Clinic Stop in South Carolina

Sunday, June 5th, 2011

The trip started of with an interesting leg as Charlie (my toy poodle) came with me and it was his first flight.  Fortunately he is a great traveler and did not make a peep the whole way so we were clear sailing.

Ron Meeks, the clinic organizer, met me at the airport and took me to his place on the lake.  This is probably the most organized clinic I have ever been to as when I arrived Ron had a spread sheet there with the whole week planned out with who is coming, what we are having for lunch and dinner for the week and anything else you could imagine.

The first day started off with this water and pretty much continued throughout the week! …

There were a few days where we had some chilly weather which made it a little more difficult to get motivated to get in the water and learn something new.

Then there were also days where a lot of sun cream was needed 😉

One of the skiers, Shawn, has a plane not to far away so on one of the evenings we took a little trip to see the local area and to get an arial view of the set up we were using…  Cheers Shawn!!

I had a great week there and all the skiers learned so much including Ron Meeks doing some surface turns on his feet for the first time and sorting his back wakes, Becky learning her toe holds and getting better at backwards, Jim Miller learning backwards long line, Mark rocking turns out as well as some great slalom and much much more but it would take too long for me to mention.

Everyone skied a lot and resorted to taking small naps in-between sets :)

O, there were also these bugs that only came out ever 13 years, mated and then died within a couple of weeks (kinda cool) and we also came across a snake trying to eat birds under a bridge….

How Fast Should I Barefoot Water Ski?

Monday, March 28th, 2011

In the exciting and extreme sport of Barefoot Water skiing, there is a big misconception that one must travel across the water at excessive speeds in order to stand on the water.  This is not the case.  At the World Barefoot Center (WBC), David Small (Small’z) and Keith St Onge (KSO), work with a variety of skiers, from complete beginners all the way to the champions that are out on the water at international competitions.  There is usually a common denominator with all these skiers– which is that  too much speed is going to be detrimental to your skiing, especially when you combine it with inexperience!

In the learning stages of barefoot water skiing, there is a safe formula that will give you a guideline of how fast one might need to go to barefoot successfully:

Take your weight in pounds

Divide it by ten

Add 20 to this number

This formula will give you your estimated speed in MPH.  For example, if you weigh 200 lbs, then you would divide by ten, giving you 20, then add 20, and you get 40 mph as your barefooting speed.

It is important that your boat driver is clued up to how to drive when pulling a beginner barefooter, as too much or too little speed on the pull out of the water can make or break a deep water start.  Using the 200 lb guy in this example…. a slow, steady pull out of the water is better than a full throttle rip out– and once a speed of around 25 mph is reached the driver can throttle back slowly and hold it there until the skier has steadied themselves in their ‘butt ride’.  A KSO wet suit with padded shorts is a good idea to wear, as it will make the whole barefoot start easier as well as keeping you comfortable when you start progressing in the sport.  After the skier has become comfortable with the ‘butt ride’ they will maneuver in to the ‘3 point’ position.  When they look steady in this position, the driver can once again steadily accelerate to the skier’s final 2-foot standing position.  For the skier in this case, it would be 40 miles per hour.

By: David Small


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