Posts Tagged ‘headzone’

New and innovating teaching techniques used by the WBC…. HeadZone Helmets!!

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

Teaching how to stand on feet using the HeadZone Helmet and the swing

We all know that Barefoot Waterskiing is one of the most exciting and adrenaline filled sports out there but this also has its difficulties when learning.  When we get a lot of beginners skiing at the World Barefoot Center and a lot of the time they find it difficult to concentrate on what they have to do out on the water as they are so excited to stand up or have a sensory overload with being pulled across the surface of the water at speed :)

HeadZone Helmet allowing the student to relax in the butt ride position

What we used to have to do was to pick our battles and only give students one or two things to think about when they are out there…. this leaves a lot gaps which takes a lot of time to fill.  This problem was then solved when we started using HeadZone helmets. These are comfortable helmets with speakers in so that we, as instructors, can talk the skiers through every step when they come to it.

69 year old Judy Myers being taught how to get in to the backwards step position using the head zone helmet and WBC shoe skis

We can now talk to the student in the water before their next ski pass about what they are doing wrong and how they need to correct it in detail and then walk them through each step with the use of the HeadZone helmet.  This new and innovating teaching technique is allowing our students to relax on the water due to not having to worry about remembering what the instructor was talking about and learn at an accelerated rate with reduced falls.

We have been getting amazing results in the past couple of years from using these helmets and if you haven’t tried one yet then come on down to the school and see how fast you can progress with the help of the WBC and HeadZones.

Written by

David Small

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

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

Show Skiers Go Barefoot

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

Day 2 with the WaterHawks Water Ski Show Team, at Eagle Lake.

It was a windy morning but that didn’t stop us!  The cool breeze was a nice change from yesterdays high heat.  These footers are signed up for the entire day, that means each person skied two sets in the morning and two sets in the afternoon.  Lets checkout what they learned.

First up Tyler Schuman from Minnesota.  Tyler worked on his front one foot one hand trick and then moved on to backwards deep starts.  In the past couple years Tyler has played with backdeeps but couldn’t figure out what was going wrong.  Today KSO figured it out and had Tyler try it out on the WBC trainers.

One Foot One Hand!Barefoot Backwards!

Just last night we heard a story from Ryan Corkery about why he joined the WaterHawks Ski Show Team.  Ryan had come to a show 2 years ago and saw Keith St. Onge Barefoot in the show and from that day Ryan knew he had to learn to barefoot waterski.  A week after Keith left town Ryan became a member of the ski team. Inspiring! Now Ryan is doing his deepwater start, tumble turns and one foots a lot more easily, its amazing was a few tips can lead do.  Ryan worked on back deepwater starts too.

Ohhh Yeah! One Foot

Planting for a Backdeep

Chloe Lawson is tough!  After taking a year off from skiing due to a broken leg she is back at it once again, we applaude her for that!  Chloe has a natural great forward gliding position.  In the afternoon Chole worked on her back deep water starts.

Clean Frontwards Barefooting Posture

Chloe Back Deep Water

All around fantastic show skier Jordan Kintzle came out for the day.  Jordan learned a front deepwater start, working on getting a cleaner front one foot and is starting to glide perfectly on his feet backwards!

Nice Posture and Glide

Body Slide!

The WaterHawks show director Melanie Kintzle learned about the three point stance and standing up over her feet.  Once Melanie go the hang of it she was deeping up much smoother than before.  Those beach starts in the show will be much easier:)  Like many people Melanie was a little nervous to try a back deep, we assured her that you can breathe while dragging backwards.  After some encouragement Melanie was gliding backwards with ease.

Deep Water Start

Nice Barefoot Form!

Thank you all for skiing with us! We had a wonderful boat crew and it was very enjoyable! Remember we sell ALL your barefoot gear from wetsuits, to booms. We hope to see you in Florida at the World Barefoot Center.

By Keith St. Onge and Lauren Lindeman

Waterhawks Whip it up!

Monday, July 11th, 2011

Waterhawk Show Ski Team!

We arrived a day before the clinic began at the Waterhawks ski site near Waterloo, IA.  After we set up the Anytime Fitness National Barefoot Tour Bus up lake side we decided to do some skiing.  John Bunge brought his boat to give us a few pulls on Eagle Lake.  The conditions of this private lake are fantastic.  Later on in the afternoon John informed us that NBC Channel 7 News would be coming out to do a piece on the tour! Checkout the video footage. Click here for video.

Keith St. Onge NBC News

Barefooting gets on TV!

The Waterhawks were happy to have us and since they were missing some skiers, we volunteered and jumped right into show practice.  The next night was the big show for the 4th of July weekend! Wowie the weather forecast was calling for 96 degrees with the heat index of 105 degrees!  With that in mind the clinic started early in the morning to beat the heat. Check out this boat crew!

The only female in the boat Kate Worthington.  Kate had been having some problems in the ski show doing her beach start.  After a few tips and things to think about Kate cleaned up her start and stance.  Now Kate will be confident in her beach start!  Cheer her on the next show!

Austin Walstad from MN came down to ski for the whole day.  Austin’s goal is to be able to take his senior pictures in a couple years, doing a back toe hold.  Keeping that goal in mind Austin worked the basics of he back one foots on he feet and he accomplished both back toe holds on shoe skis!

Back Toe Hold-Austin

A local Tim Schell had barefooted a tiny bit before the clinic.  It was a rough road but once Tim got the hang of it he was barefooting on the five foot handle no problem.  Tim even learned a few tumble turns!

Smooth Deepwater Start! -Tim

Way to go Tim!

Tim’s father Vince Schell joined us for the afternoon session.  Vince had skied on the boom a few times in the past but had not gone any further in his barefooting.  Today Vince learned how to do a front deepwater start and tumble turns!

A Controlled Glide- Vince

Three Point Position-Vince

Yay Vince!

Garrett Bunge was on a roll today!  Before today he had only done one deepwater start behind the boat and he completed 10+ without a hitch! Sweet dude! To top it off Garrett went in the pre show and did his deepwater and skied through the show course!

No Skis Needed!- Garrett

Rocking it out!-Garrett

Skyler Woods is in the barefoot line for the Waterhawks.  Now there will be no need for a ski to step off of, Skyler can do deepwater starts! Skyler added a few tricks to his runs, a toe hold on shoe skis and busted out a few tumble turns. Ya!

Deepwater Start- Skyler

A Lil' Wave From Skyler!

All it all it was a great day, everyone learned something new and more importantly had FUN!

The Amazing HeadZone Helmet- Waterproof Communication

Cooling Off

Thank you Skiers!

By: Keith St. Onge and Lauren Lindeman

Satisfied Skiers at the World Barefoot Center

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

Jim Mondl and his son, Nick, spent a day at the World Barefoot Center and shared a review over at Moomba Boards: (reprinted with permission)


My 14 year old son & I just returned from a day at World Barefoot Center in Winter Haven, FL. If you have any interest in barefooting, and a few dollars to blow on yourself, go there. WBC is a barefoot school run by world champions Keith St. Onge and David Small, with their coach “Swampy” there as well. Keith spent the morning with us, getting Nick up on his deep water starts for the 1st time ever, and me doing a toe hold and backward barefooting for the 1st time ever. Nick then spent the afternoon with kids his age (Brody and Derek) who are sponsored athletes at WBC. What a day. We would have spent our entire summers working on the basics of those moves, with many painful falls in the process, but instead learned them the right way. Also, many of the budding barefoot contenders train there, so we spent a lot of time hanging with those guys, who were extremely friendly. No egos involved. I am very pumped about barefooting more this summer (of course, I already was before going to Winter Haven). Whether you never barefooted before or already have some basics figured out, they will treat you well and teach you whatever you want to learn. One day of instruction was probably worth many weeks of trying to figure things out on my own. Many fond memories were generated that day.
“Nick’s interest in barefooting skyrocketed after our trip to the World Barefoot Center,” said Jim.  “He was interested in barefooting before, having stepped off a ski a couple of times last summer on the boom and short line, but he is pumped about barefooting now.  The fact that he owns a new KSO barefoot suit probably helps; he seems especially enamored with that.   His goal this summer is to participate in the Figure 8 tournament at Lake St. Louis in August. All we need now is summer!”
Jim has only one regret about his trip to the World Barefoot Center:  “I wish I took more pictures!” he said.