Posts Tagged ‘England’

Sam Meredith: Barefoot Clinic with David Small

Monday, November 17th, 2014

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I booked in for a ski clinic with David Small in September in sunny England. I was looking to improve my backwards position on both feet and one foot. Having spent 3 weeks in June at the World Barefoot Center, I did about 50% of my training skiing backwards and became quite confident on two feet by the end of my stay, but when it came to doing one foots, my technique and body position slipped making me very unstable.

I arrived at the lake in Cambridge and I was cold as soon as I stepped out the car. My first ski pass was a front pass working on my toe holds and tumble turns which were a little shakey and slow at first but managed to get them all in, in the short pass. Dave had me repeat this for another couple of passes then had me trying to complete as many toe holds in my pass he set me a target of 10 which I missed a few times by 1 or 2 then on my last run just about got.

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For my second set of the morning Dave had me skiing backwards. I did a few passes and he made some adjustments to my ski position to stop me skiing too clean on my feet and arching my shoulders more which felt a lot less sketchy. At the end of my set, he had me doing my one foots which I didn’t really struggle with too much. Before I started, he just said, “don’t dive away too much when you pick your foot up” which stuck in my head and made it a lot easier and managed a pass of some good steady one foots. For the end of my set in the morning I tried a couple of passes at a back toe hold which I managed to get my foot up and in the toe strap but as soon as I let go I fell off my standing foot by leaning the wrong way Dave said my leg was far too bent and I needed body position to be far more upright to make it easier.

After an hour long hot shower and lunch, I did my second half of the day just working my backwards one foots on shoe skis again trying to complete as many as I could in one pass my target was 20 which took my a couple of passes but then once I got the hand of transferring my weight onto the standing foot, I managed it. For my second set, I worked on back toe holds on shoe skis both basic and reverse, concentrating on standing more upright in the toe hold position which made me much more stable. By the end of the set, I managed to get two in the pass.

Sam Meredith

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

Featured Footer: Ted Baber

Saturday, January 7th, 2012

Ted Baber at World Barefoot Center

In the winter of 2010, 16-year-old Ted Baber flew in from Bristol, England to take barefoot lessons from David Small at the World Barefoot Center during a family trip to Florida. The teen had competed in slalom events for water skiing back home, but he had never barefooted. It was a cold day in February, but Ted quickly warmed up with excitement the moment he placed his feet on the water.

“Dave is British and the top skier in the United Kingdom,” said Ted. “I met him before at a few tournaments, so I was excited to learn to barefoot with him.”

Ted spent five and half days at the WBC and picked up a variety of skills. “I learned to barefoot backwards on shoe skis,” said Ted.  “I was so excited! I didn’t get it right away at first, it took me three days.”  Ted enjoyed the whole experience of learning this new sport and all the terminology that came with it. He asked his parents for another opportunity to head to the World Barefoot Center to learn more.

backwards, ted baber, world barefoot center

In April, 2010 Ted returned to the WBC for ten days of instruction.  The ten days stretched into twenty, as travel back home was restricted by the ash cloud that drifted from Iceland.  The extra days on the water paid off.  “I learned the back toe hold,  line step position,  tumbles to one,  two foot slalom and  long line backwards on feet,” said Ted.  “I even went over the jump on shoes and landed my first jump!”  Before he left, he signed on as a sponsored skier.  “I like the challenge of barefooting– I’m passionate about it.”

As soon as he arrived home, Ted continued to practice what he learned.  Ted competed in the British Nationals as his first tournament. “I was nervous, but I tricked like 617 and I slalomed a 3.4.”  He went on to compete in the Europeans and improved his scores.  He was selected for the UK Junior team and spent hours on the water with his father driving the boat, practicing his slalom runs over a huge wake. Ted flew to Germany and competed in the 2010 Worlds.  This was an amazing accomplishment for a kid who learned to barefoot in less than a year.

“Tricks are my favorite event,” said Ted.  “My favorite trick is the front-to-back.  It was hard to learn and I took a lot of hard falls.  But I don’t get frustrated–  I keep trying. I was relived and happy when I finally did it.”

Ted Baber, world barefoot center

Ted threw his shoulder out in the spring of 2011, tearing a ligament and pinching a nerve, but he didn’t let it stop him on the water.  He’s working on honing his surface turns and one foot turns.

“Ted is a great kid with huge talent and the right attitude to succeed in the sport of barefooting,” said David Small. “He has come a very long way in the last few years, on and off the water, and it’s a pleasure to watch him grow. I look forward to seeing how far the WBC team can take him!”

No matter  how bad it gets it’s fun to be out on the water,” said Ted. “A bad day on the water is better than a good day in school.”   Lucky for Ted, the teen has graduated and is done with school. More time for him to play on the water!

Here’s a video with a few clips of Ted on the water:

CHRISTMAS FOOTING from WorldBarefootCenter on Vimeo.