Posts Tagged ‘David Small’

Alex Youngblood: My Coaches

Sunday, October 27th, 2013


A lot of different coaches have taught me a lot of different stuff. Let’s start with Keith St. Onge, Ben Groen, and David Small. Keith, Ben, and David are my main coaches. They taught me my front toeholds and my back deep long line. They worked me really hard and it all paid off. I usually go to their ski school every spring now for about 2 weeks.

Another one of my coaches was Lane Bowers. He taught me my first back deep on the boom. One thing he told me to do, which I still do it to this day is to growl when you are in the motion of getting up. That helped me a lot. So, that back deep had a huge impact on my skiing.

Last but not least, Kenny Kaestner. He was the one who taught me my first front deep. We made a special deal. If I got the front deep with his help by October 1st, he said he would give me, my very own junior handle for free. I told him, it was a deal! After that I practiced and practiced and practiced. Finally the day came to do it. I tried and tried and tried, I wasn’t going to give up. I tried it one last time and on that that attempt, I did all the mechanics right…AND I GOT IT!!! I was extremely happy and flabbergasted! And I thank him for that.

So those are all my coaches who have gotten me to this point. They rock!

– Alex Youngblood

Chandler Cargile: Using Video Review to Improve Your Barefooting

Saturday, October 26th, 2013

There have been many things help me learn a new trick such as the coaching, the training, the encouragement, and reviewing videos. It is amazing how much it has helped me in my skiing after watching my skiing and studying it closely. The reason it helps watching video is because I can watch my own skiing and watch where I am messing up, plus I can watch it in slow motion and get into detail on where I am really going wrong. Even more than watching my own skiing, watching Keith St. Onge’s slalom and David Small’s jumping and tricks have helped me a numerous amount of times. Watching it has shown me how down weighting and being slow on the jump gives you big pop and keeping the handle out gives you more distance and time to come down on top of your feet. It has also shown me, in slalom, I am supposed to be aggressive on the transfers, shoulders forward and drive as hard as possible. And in tricks, I see how every turn is supposed to be slow and every turn is a one foot turn with a quick handle pass.

Watching my videos and going back and watching theirs has made a big help in my skiing. I recommend other skiers watch their and then watch Keith and Dave’s. It unbelievable how much it really helps.

David Small’s World Record Jump

Keith St. Onge’s video

David Small’s video

By: Chandler Cargile

Setting Goals in Barefooting

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

Dave Small and Sam Meredith

By setting sharp, clearly defined goals, you can measure and take pride in the achievement of those goals, and you’ll see forward progress in what might previously have seemed a long pointless grind.

I think people underestimate the value of setting goals with regard to making rapid progress in anything they choose to do in life. Setting a series of short term goals in order to achieve your ultimate long term dream, can be used as a tool to keep you motivated and give you direction. It focuses your acquisition of knowledge, and helps you to organize your time and your resources so that you can make the very most of your life.

It is easy to look at the great skiers like Dave Small and Keith St. Onge and forget that you can’t just become that good over night.  Like me, they must have had to work at the basics such as one foots and toeholds before they could do such seemingly impossible tricks like one foot turns and toe turns. One of the most important characteristics of goals is the level of challenge. People are often motivated by achievement, and they’ll judge a goal based on the significance of the anticipated accomplishment. When you know that what you do will be well received, there’s a natural motivation to do a good job. Rewards typically increase for more difficult goals. If you believe you’ll be well compensated or otherwise rewarded for achieving a challenging goal that will boost your enthusiasm and your drive to get it done.

When I trained for three weeks at the World Barefoot Center, my learning curve was steep and I made rapid progress– from someone who could barely stand up to quite a competent barefooter, with a decent repertoire of tricks. I think a big factor in the success of my stay at WBC was that I knew what I wanted to achieve by the end of my stay. Each day, I would sit down with the team and have a talk about what I would like to get out of the day. By setting short term targets, such as learning to get up backwards on the shoe skis, I was achieving mini successes on the way to achieving a slightly longer term goal of doing my first back toe hold by the end of my stay.

It was an incredible feeling to finish each day with a new trick or a consolidation of something that I had found difficult before. There are some golden rules when setting goals and by following these simple steps I think everyone can give themselves a better opportunity at being the best skier they can be.

SMART goal setting

S – Specific (Well defined objective)
M – Measurable (Know if the goal is obtainable and how far away completion is)
A – Attainable (Agree on whether the goal is possible)
R – Realistic (Within you capability)
T – time-bound (Enough time to achieve the goal)

By: Sam Meredith

Alex Youngblood: My Experience at the World Barefoot Center

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

Well, there is a lot of stuff to write about, let’s just start off on all the fun experiences in this wonderful sport called Barefooting. So once you get really into a sport, you obviously want to get better at it, right?

Well I did.

My dad hooked me up with the World Barefoot Center. So I live in Michigan, but WBC was all the way in Florida! ! And at the time I was 10 years of age, so I was pretty nervous to be honest with you. But I wanted to be a world champion barefooter. Keith St. Onge and David Small are my idols, so I knew it was the right thing to do.

I toughened up and went.

Once I got there, I met people from all over the world. Some from Austria, Great Britain and also New Zealand! I was really shy at first. But once I got to know everyone, I was all right. Anyway back on topic. Once I got there it was straight to the water for me. I said at the beginning that I was committed to this. I was probably out on the water and the boat for about three hours in the morning and three hours in the afternoon. It was tuff training, but I was willing to do whatever it takes to be the best I can be. After about a week, I was sore and tired. But I wanted to make the last week count. I worked my hardest, I got frustrated at times but I knew this stuff wouldn’t just come to you. A lot of people would be doing this sport if it was easy.

On my last day, I didn’t want to go home really, learning new tricks and techniques were more fun than I thought, and I said my goodbyes and thank you.  I really like this sport and I want to keep getting better and better. I’m definitely not giving up now!

-Alex Youngblood

Back to the Basics with Barefooting

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

duane godfrey taking a faceplant

Every time I go skiing with Keith St. Onge, I enjoy our conversations about health, fitness, eating habits and…thinking. This goes way back to when we first met at Gliding Soles, (his first barefooting school, also the name of his new book, Gliding Soles, Lessons from a Life on Water) – he was fun to hang with and was an open book on eating and training well. For me, shooting the breeze with Keith is always a great opportunity to learn all I can from a proven practitioner. I want to know what the best skiers think in setting up for accomplishing a trick and/or thoughts/focus before and during a slalom pass. It is important for me to unclutter the mind and just focus on what I need to think. It comes down to what works for me and what I need to be focused on. What I don’t need is to clutter my diminishing/clogged hardrive with superfluous over-thinking, when I should be focusing on one or maybe two setup thoughts. These need to be ingrained: hence the topic…ingrain the basics and free up the mind.

It is no wonder that the basics are the core of WBC’s mantra. Prior to joining  the World Barefoot Center, I was fortunate to work with those who also identified my weaknesses. Both Richard Gray and Paul MacDonald insisted that I need to smarten up and ingrain the basics to become a better and more consistent skier. Each have pushed one foots and toeholds – especially back toeholds, while their tone persuaded me get on it to avoid their ire. What has dogged all my back to-front one foot turns over the years – surface, line and toeturns is the fact that my basic forward one foot skiing position is terrible. To prove the point I was asked to merely demonstrate basic forward one foot position…

WRONG!! Foot forward, plowing, and straining was what I ended up with. “Do a front toehold” – foot flat, shin 90degrees to foot/water (shin flex), proper amount of knee bend – effortless…so then they’d ask, “why can’t you do a front one foot?”… obviously because I never thought anything of it other than just mindlessly doing something before something else. By concentrating on this one aspect, my one foot back-to-front surface turn, line front and toe fronts became much easier and actually do-able. So for me, since this is not yet ingrained, I need to remind myself that when coming to the front, I need shin flex and flat foot.

David Small has helped my back skiing setup by reminding me to ski flatter on my foot in preparing for the 1 foot b-f as well as pulsing down (absorbing the turn)when reaching the back from a 1 foot turn or toeback– these points are definitely helpful hence major setup thoughts – for now.  My goal will be to make this automatic so I can be more in tune with the turn itself – I still don’t see the turn, and for that I need to concentrate and actually have my eyes open!….Always see where I have been.

Back toes are another block-builder that I plan to do on a more regular basis.  It takes strength, determination, balance, smoothness, vision and accuracy to perfectly track the trough without movement….sounds like a challenge!  If the toes burn, you know immediately that the foot is not flat enough. If you are moving to the side, chances are there is not enough shin and foot flexion. When anything goes wrong with a back toe, it identifies a weakness hence a very good indicator to the skier of what needs attention thereby also improving self analysis. When doing back toes, one has to do everything in unison – again, a great skill to practice. Deliberately going off balance and rectifying are great exercises for overall skiing and completing the toe-back. These are important skills that sets one up for success in turns and wake crossings.

In conclusion, I will strive to remember that barefoot skiing is a lot of fun but can become a chore when only working toward tournament scores. Therefore, Note to self:  I will take the time to practice the basics and ratchet down the intensity;  striving to perform smooth and controlled warm up passes to set the tone for the harder stuff……….Stuff that requires solid basics.

Duane Godfrey

Evert Aartsen, Jr.: A Month of Barefoot Training at the WBC

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

I will be spending the whole month of May at the World Barefoot Center. I will be cleaning up my turns during this month and hopefully starting to work on some more multiple turns, one foot turns, and toe turns. I hope to get my trick score up a lot this season, and of course slalom and jump too.  Tricks is my weakest event of the three, so I will be working most of my time here on tricks.

I will be spending two times a day in the garage doing dry land practicing on turns to build that muscle memory.  I also plan to spend time in the boat when Swampy is coaching Keith St. Onge, David Small, and Ben Groen–this helps a lot for my skiing, just to listen what Swampy has to tell them, that makes me think about that too.

I want to learn a lot during this month so I can become a better skier. Swampy, KSO, Dave, and Ben are just the right people to learn from!

Evert Aartsen Jr.

Evert Aarsten Jr.: My First Tournament

Barefoot Water Ski School

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

The World Barefoot Center is the #1 Barefoot Ski School to learn how to barefoot water ski for the first time.  The World Barefoot Center has the experience in their staff on and off the water.  Visit the website and follow us on Facebook to learn more about us.  We promote safety, fun and learning the right progressions from the start.  No matter what level of skier you are you’ll be able to learn how to barefoot water ski.  We have taught people that have never water skied before.

If you want more information or have questions please call us at anytime! (863)-877-0039  We offer great summer rates when staying longer than one week.

We also offer traveling clinics from our professionals.  Clinics allow families, friends and clubs to hire us to come to their personal site.  We use your boat and teach from beginners to all levels at your location.

World Barefoot Center / Barefoot Water Ski School

Ski School Rates:

David Small – The Jump King

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

David “Small’Z” Small has been around for quite some time.  Now that he’s lived in the United States for over five years, his name continues to grow!  He dominates the Jump event and flies further, smoother and more graceful than anyone in the world. Let’s not forget about his butter landings either.  He literally lands like a cat.

Here’s his latest shot in Waterski magazine.

World Jump Record Holder David Small Barefoot Water Ski Jumping

The World’s Greatest Barefooter: David Small

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Best Barefoot Ski School, Biggest Barefoot Ski School & Most Affordable Barefoot Ski School

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

Saying we are the Best Barefoot Ski School may be a little biased, but here are a few reasons we could be considered to be the best:

The best Barefoot Water Skiers in the World own and work at the WBC: David Small and Keith St.Onge have won the last six world titles, Ashleigh Stebbeings is the #1 female barefoot water skier in the world and Ben Groen is ranked #4 in the world.  There are some athletes that should only be athletes and not coaches or instructors but these four individuals have the common sense to be both.  Our instructors will not only provide a great service but they are safety conscious and provide a fun atmosphere in the boat while learning.

We have the best equipment and boats.  We use all Barefoot International products (Boom, Tower, Tower Extension), provide shoe skis and ropes & handles by US Gear.  Our boats are a little older, but that is entirely due to the wear and tear these boats go through on a daily basis.  The Sanger outboards have a flat wake, no chin spray off the side and are powered by brand new Evinrude engines.

The World Barefoot Center is the Largest Barefoot Ski School in the history of the sport.  This is a fact because:

We have four boats, fully equipped.
We have five top-level instructors that have titles as professionals, top four on the ranking list, hold world records, and years of experience.
We have four lakes which we use and can accommodate any wind direction.
We have a fully-stocked pro shop.
Our instructors are available seven days a week.
We pulled 22 skiers in one day, which is a record as far as we have ever heard.

Most Affordable prices:
Our clients can simply do their homework and Google our competitors prices.  The World Barefoot Center prices are the most reasonable, affordable, and fair-priced compared to any other barefoot ski school.


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Barefooting Friends

Monday, April 8th, 2013


As I look back at the 22 years since I first learned to barefoot, one of the most memorable experiences has to be of all the friends that I’ve made along the way. We all share the same passion for Barefooting and it’s through these friendships that our sport continues to grow and flourish.

Remembering my first run across the water on my bare feet on Lake Anna in central Virginia, I had no idea at the time that I would eventually train, ski and become friends with some of the top barefoot skiers in the World. The likes of Mike Seiple, Ron Scarpa, Paul McDonald, Andy Sable, Brett Sands and now Keith St.Onge and Dave Small! They have all been an inspiration to me and have motivated me to continue to improve my skiing.

But of course, it’s everybody else that I’ve met along the way that makes Barefooting such an enjoyable sport. I always look forward to my time at the World Barefoot Center because I know that I will share the boat with skiers from all ability levels and backgrounds, and that I will learn SOMETHING from EVERYBODY. Who knows, that 11 year old kid from Wisconsin could be a future World Champion and by getting to observe his skiing, maybe it will help unlock the missing link that I’ve been looking for……….we serve as inspirations for each other. There I was in Winter Haven in 1996 skiing at Ron Scarpa Watersports and had the pleasure of skiing with a 14 year kid from the UK who, even then, was an incredible skier. Little did I know that he would become a future World Champion, multiple times….his name was Dave Small.

Then there was my very first barefoot tournament down in New Orleans in 2000, the Monster Mash, where I skied in a 2 day clinic given by a 19 year old kid from New Hampshire, who was also at that time, a phenomenal skier who also later become World Champion……his name was Keith St. Onge.

And finally, the time I was in Austin, TX competing at the 2004 U.S. Barefoot Nationals and I was looking for a ride to the tournament site ( my rental car partner had to get up early ) and a family from Port St,. Lucie, FL was nice enough to let me ride with them……and so I met the Pressendo family. These are just a few examples of the long lasting friendships that continue to this day that would not have been possible if not for Barefooting. Through competing in tournaments to training at ski schools, I have met a lot of fellow skiers young and old and it’s this comraderie that continues to define our sport.

I am looking forward to making new friends and no matter how busy I may be, I will always find time to make sure a fellow barefooter gets a chance to ski! So, if you’re like me and really enjoy Barefooting, don’t be afraid to take the time to talk to a fellow barefooter, you never know who that person may turn out to be……quite possibly a friend for life!

Jim Forster