Posts Tagged ‘georgia groen’

Georgia Groen: The Turning Point, 2010 World Championship

Saturday, December 7th, 2013

In 2010, I attended my 2nd World Championships at 14 years old. These world championships were held in Germany and were a huge turning point for my future in the sport. The Germany Worlds was a really cool experience as it was made to be very spectator friendly so there was always something to do or watch. I remember the first week of training was just terrible. The Open men from the New Zealand team couldn’t even do a toe hold–the water was that rough.  They reverted to making the tow rope twice as long and did tumble turns in the middle of the wake. You can imagine how little 14 year me was thinking, if the best skiers in NZ were struggling with the basics how was I meant to? However the day the competition started, the water turned and I had good water the whole time.

This World Championship was the first time I got a world medal, I remember just before leaving New Zealand my parents and friends told me, “If you were to medal, tricks would be your best shot”. I ended up getting silver in Junior Girls slalom and Junior Girls Jump, First in Junior Girls Tricks, 3rd Overall in Junior Girls, and I helped the New Zealand Junior team receive a bronze medal for the first time in a long time. These results were way, way better than I thought I would go and it gave me the feeling of success.  This feeling was really the turning point for me in the sport. After the Worlds, I knew that I wanted to be the best and now I am ranked 2nd in the world!

Looking back its cool to see how far I have come since those Worlds and see how the hard work paid off.

By: Georgia Groen

Instant Scoring for Barefoot Water Ski Tournaments

Saturday, October 5th, 2013

This year at the New Zealand tournaments we tried out an instant scoringsystem, and what a difference it made the tournaments. Coming from a skier’s point of view, the worst thing about tournaments is waiting around for hours for your score from your 30-second pass to be posted. I understand that it is quite the process for the judges and does take a lot of time however any way to make the scores come out faster is great.

My Uncle, Rob Groen who is also the President of the New Zealand Barefoot Waterski Club is always trying to progress the sport and make it better. In result of this he sorted out a very easy to use instant scoring system that can be viewed anywhere via the Internet. This is not only beneficial for the skiers but it also allows spectators to have a clue on what is going on.

How it works…

Firstly there are 2-3 judges in the boat that will judge the skier and at the end of each run they will also score the pass, if there is any confusion the videographer has the pass ready for the judges to watch again. Once the score is agreed on they then radio back to land where someone is on a computer. The person on the computer then just types the score into the spreadsheet looking page and within 10 seconds the score will appear on the big TV screen and any other device that is connected to the internet and on the website, whether they be all the way in France, America, Australia… Anyone can see it.

As a skier this was great because by the time I had finished my run and walked up to the TV screen my score was there ready for me to read. Also as a spectator it was good as well because even if you weren’t able to watch the skiers you could still see how they were doing.

I think that this was a huge step for barefoot waterskiing as a sport. I hope that this is only the beginning and that we can continue to try and progress the sport, the use of technology is a great way to start and I look forward for what is to come in the future.

By: Georgia Groen

Georgia Groen: Barefooting with Sanger Boats

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

I first skied behind a Sanger DXII in 2008, since then I have never looked back. It is a boat that is specially made for barefoot waterskiing and just stunning to ski behind. Sangers are best known for the perfect wake that it makes for the slalom event. The best thing that I like about the Sanger wake is that when you cross it, it doesn’t feel like you are actually crossing a wake at all! It is so smooth that I can just glide across it not having to worry about bumps that could put you off balance or make you fall. This type of wake increases the confidence of the skiers because it means that there are less things to go wrong, thus the performance of skiers increases as well.

 Sanger Boats have been the official tournament boat of the past 3 World Championships. It is a boat that is all about performance for the skier and driver. Not only does it have a fantastic wake, it is also very nice to drive. My favorite thing about the Sanger I have apart form the wake, is the perfect pass system. This was awesome for when I was learning to drive the boat, all I had to do was enter the speed and then I could just focus on steering, it also came very use full when I am coaching people because it means I don’t have to worry about going the right speed and I can spend more time coaching the skier.

 Another thing that is good about the Sanger DXII is that it can equip anything a barefooter needs. For example they are very easy to put a boom onto and also the pylon makes a Super High Fly easy to attach and use. There are so many different attachments you can get with these Sangers to suit different peoples wants and needs, whether it be a stereo, depth finder, Perfect pass, clock etc.

Overall, I believe that the Sanger DXII is the best barefoot boat there is. It’s a boat that is enjoyable to ski behind and drive, perfect for any skier.

By:  Georgia Groen

Georgia Groen: My Barefoot Paradise

Saturday, July 27th, 2013

My barefoot paradise is the lake I live on, Lake Inspiration. Lake Inspiration is located in Otaki, which is about an hour out of New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington. The lake is a privately owned lake shared between 7 owners. At the moment there are only 3 permanent residents living on the lake ( one of them being my cousins) so it means you can go skiing when ever you want without having to worry about other boats on the water sending rollers down your course. Lake inspiration is not a very big lake, it is about 750m long and 35m wide with a depth of 2m. It is a purposely built barefoot lake, made for straight runs and yet you can complete a 15 second run with no problem. The lake is surrounded by hills and trees so it is generally wind free, apart from the occasional southerly. The most common wind in Otaki, New Zealand is a westerly so the lake was built specifically angled so that type of wind would not affect it.

I have been living at Lake Inspiration for 5 years now and I love it. The lake sits about 20m away from my house so it is really easy for me to go skiing which is perfect. Lake inspiration is a beautiful place to ski, there are nice sanded beaches that prevent rollers and green grassy banks surrounding the lake which is great for spectators. Lake Inspiration has held a lot of tournaments over the past 6 years such as Wellington regionals, New Zealand nationals and even the world championships in 2009. It is a great place to ski and I am very grateful to live there.

It still looks nice in winter :)

Georgia Groen

Georgia Groen on the Water

Georgia Groen: My Favorite Barefoot Trick

Saturday, April 20th, 2013

I learnt my first ever front to back when I was 13 years old. I liked the front-to-back because it was the start of a whole new range of tricks, such as multiples and one foot turns.

It took me a long time to make my first front-to-back, but I remember it very vividly. One day I was skiing with my brother,Tyler and practicing the trick.  I was taking a lot of falls, but it was about my 7th try when I actually made it. It wasn’t the prettiest turn, but I still did it and from that day on, the trick became natural.

To me, accomplishing my first ever front-to-back was a huge milestone in my barefooting career. It lead me to getting high scores and world records. The key to a front-to-back is confidence; once you believe in yourself–believe that you can do them– they become simple.  I hope everyone enjoys the front to back as much as me. =)

Georgia Groen

Barefoot Jumping at Night

Monday, February 4th, 2013
One of the most memorable events I have done would have to be my first ever night jump event. The event was a last minute event that my brothers Ryan and Mitch decided to put together at the 2012 New Zealand National championships, where any level jumper could compete. When the boys were going around asking people if they wanted to compete I was very skeptical on whether or not I wanted to do it. I remember watching night jump at the 2010 world championships in Germany, it looked awesome! However I decided to give it a shot, so I said yes.
I was getting really excited prior the event, we decided to go do to the local store and buy some glow sticks to decorate our helmets. They ended up looking really cool and I was feeling really good. Then It got really dark outside and the light that my brothers hired didn’t look very bright. I was low key freaking out; what if I couldn’t see the ramp? How ever after Sarah Linton went, she informed me that it was fine and it was heaps of fun. I started to relax again and enjoy the atmosphere. Night jump is the coolest thing to watch, all you can see before the ramp is pattern of glow sticks on the skiers helmets, then out of the darkness the skier is off the ramp and in the air. Every time a skier went over the jump we had fireworks that went off at almost perfect timing.

Soon It was my turn. I remember the deep water start, I couldn’t see the boat wash at all– it was that dark! So I had to feel my way out to stand up. All I could see was a bright white ramp, and it came towards me very quickly. As soon as I landed I felt an adrenaline rush, and just wanted to do it again and again, however unfortunately we only got two jumps. From that day, night jump has been one of my most enjoyable and exciting events to do.

Georgia Groen

Georgia Groen, Featured Footer

Georgia Groen, Featured Footer

Monday, November 5th, 2012

Georgia Groen was four-years-old when she set her feet on the water for the first time but she doesn’t remember it. “I got into barefooting because my whole family barefoots,” Georgia said.  When she says her whole family is into the sport, she means it. Ten members of the Groen family all walk on water and they’re quite passionate about the sport. So passionate that they built their own barefooting lake  in New Zealand.

Georgia was eight when she entered her first barefoot tournament.  “I was really excited standing on the dock and just being in a tournament situation,” Georgia recalled. “I think I took 130 points in tricks, and I don’t remember about slalom.”  Georgia remembers what came next: learning to barefoot backwards.  “It was very hard to learn–backwards is very different than forwards–it was hard for me for a while.

As hard as it was to learn to ski backwards, it was even more challenging to learn to jump. “Jumping was the hardest for me. I learned to jump when I was twelve,” said Georgia. “I was really nervous and scared, because my mom had a jump accident.”  Back in 2006, Georgia’s mom, Brenda, crashed head-first into the jump ramp. She spent three months in the hospital and has fully recovered.  Georgia has since learned to approach her jumps with complete confidence and a strong mind.  “If you’re scared, that will control you,” she said. “So forget about being scared and just concentrate. That will keep in you in control.”

During the summer, Georgia is out on the water nearly every day with  her three brothers, Ryan, Mitchell and Tyler.  During the winter months, they pull out the dry suits and continue to ski until they take a month or two off when the cold sets in.  The kids’ dad, Fred, is their coach and driver. “Without my family, I couldn’t be where I am today,” said Georgia.

Before heading out to the 2012 U.S. Nationals and the Worlds, Georgia spent some time at the World Barefoot Center learning how to bring her skills to the next level. Georgia’s cousin, Ben Groen, is one of the instructors at the center.  “Swampy taught me to jump better, I learned all my turns and he taught me some mental control stuff –like to stay humble and to keep trying to better myself,” said Georgia.  Her goal at the 2012 Worlds was to become the Overall Junior Champion and bring home at least one medal in the Open Division.  “The most challenging tournament was this year’s world championship,” she said.  “I competed in two divisions Girls and Womens–and  made it to all the Junior finals and two of the three for the Open.  I took all the gold for the Junior Division and that was awesome.  It was challenging for the Womens Division– I had to fight for that gold in tricks.  I couldn’t believe I did  it until it happened!”

Georgia has some big plans for the future. She wants to become a World Champion in the Womens Division and set a new Junior record in slalom.  “Right now I have one and half more to break it,” she said.  “My best is 14. 4, 16.1 is the record. A  few more to go,  but I will practice. For sure, that’s my goal.”

Georgia in the news:

One News, New Zealand

Otaki Barefooters Land Top Spots

New Girls World Trick Record

Sportswoman of the Year

Emerging Sportswoman Award

The Kapiti Observer: Sportswoman Award

Georgia Smashes Skiing Records

By: Karen Putz